cop: "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
Me: "To generate revenue for the government."
I've been meaning to write a post I was going to title: "The Jersey Shore DVD box set provides more value than cops."
Obviously, people who buy things, even as stupid as a tv show dvd series, do so becasue they chose to and were not forced to do so. And because of this people are employed in the making of these things. People are employed in the creation of goods and services desired by others.
And cops have jobs because most people cannot imagine a world without them. And in order to justify their existence, and generate revenue, they are tasked with enforcing trivial laws and giving out tickets.
But rather than expand on that idea, I've discovered that my favorite author has been writing articles for a website that I've never heard of until recently. And he's beaten me to it:
Police Work has become a Racket by Jeffery Tucker
Somewhere in my bag I have an envelope that contains a bill. It was handed to me by a local policeman after being stopped on an interstate highway in Texas. I was doing a mean 80 miles per hour in a 75 mph zone.and so on...
So of course this great servant of the public had to stop me before I endangered the lives of so many others, including the people going 85 and 90 miles per hour who were passing me on the right and left. I got caught because—well, probably because the others were going too fast to catch.
So this guy stops me and informs me of my very bad behavior. He explains that I’m not allowed to do what I was doing and so therefore he has to give me a citation. But he assures me that this citation does not mean that I’m necessarily guilty. This is a government of laws, not of arbitrary dictates by heavily armed people in bulletproof vests, and so therefore I have a constitutional right to a fair trial.
Or so we are constantly told.
I kind of began pressing him on this, which I probably should not have done lest I get arrested yet again. But I couldn’t help myself.
“Let’s just say that I think you are wrong. I mean, you are probably right, but let’s just say that I think you made this whole thing up. I can dispute this in front of the judge?”
“Yes, sir, you may. Just see the court date.”
“And where is this court?”
“Right here in this county.”
Of course I had explain to him that I was headed to the airport and that I live 1,000 miles away. I asked whether I could use Skype or Google Hangout to attend my hearing.
“I’m sorry, sir, you have to attend in person.”
I continued on: “So I have to drive to Atlanta, catch a flight to Dallas, rent a car and drive 100 miles south on some particular date in order to have my rights realized? You do understand that this would cost me probably two days of work and as much as $1,000?”