Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chicago City Government Finds New Ways to Exploit The Poor

I really feel strongly that the people who sit in government office, lack a key skill for governing. It's called common sense. The alderman for the city of Chicago are being wood by Insurenet to use their existing network of surveillance and red light cameras to catch prey on uninsured motorist as a revenue stream.

I wanted to bring just a small pinch of common sense to counter the wild claims of millions of dollars in revenue being preached by Insurenet all for the small cost of their 30%. Insurenet projects Chicago earnings as much as $350 Million annually. Though the alderman all already misty eyed with the combined emotional surge that only greed and pork barrel spending can bring, I hope they might consider these realities.

1. People who drive unisured vehicles do so because they can not afford the insurance.
2. Many of these people once fined will lack the resources to pay their fines as demonstrated by their lack of resources to carry auto insurance.
3. In order to deal strictly and swiftly with those who feel that not paying the fine is their only financial recourse the city will have to incarcerate those parties that are unable to meet the camera levied fines.
4. Each incarcerated citizen will further cost the city money, rather than accomplishing the stated goal of raising revenue for the city.

(Dooms Day Scenario Following)

5. In the end the network will cost the city $200 million per year to pay Insurenet their expected 30% for identifying the unisured motorist and the remainder in the increase costs in the penal system to incarcerate basically law abiding citizens for their offense of being poor and marginalized.

This is the kind of justice that passes as "good government" in America today. Personally I am quite glad my citizenship is in another kingdom.


Niki said...

I really love that we get pissed off at the same types of idiocy. :)

Randy said...

While I am against the idea of using cameras for raising revenue, the government does have an obligation to the rest of us to enforce the law. Even as a libertarian I have no issue with state governments requiring that people who drive cars maintain insurance. This law is especially important to "the poor" who would not have the resources to take personal responsibility if they caused an accident.

A car is by no means a right. It is a responsibility. I would probably contend that if you can own a car, you are not poor. If you can't afford to be responsible and buy auto insurance, then you can't really afford a car.

Now, feel free to be against the proposed law because of greed of politicians for power, fear that the government will abuse the system, or lack of controls. But to think it unfairly targets poor people is not a rational reason to be against a law.

Kevin J Bowman said...


I knew what your response to this would be and I meant to add an update last night and got side tracked.

I absolutely do not feel that driving is a right, and I absolutely support enforcement of insurance laws. I have never accused officers of enforcing laws like this in a routine traffic stop as a form of racketeering.

HOWEVER, at the point this becomes an automated revenue scheme. It will disproportionately punish the poor. You CAN NOT deny that.

This leads to the bigger problem of the cost associated with enforcement and incarceration of those who will not or otherwise can not pay.

Overall, this is a windfall for no one other than the stock holders of Insurenet.