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Old 2013-05-29, 07:42   #1
jasong
 
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Default Fines based on a percentage of net worth

I don't remember where I read it, I think it was talking about an Arabian country, but a guy got a ticket that cost about $200k American dollars for going over the speed limit. The reason the fine was so incredibly high is because your net worth is taken into account when they fine you there. Can't remember where it was, just the approximate fine amount.

I was wondering if the forum members think it would be a good idea to base fines on a person's net worth. So maybe there'd be a minimum amount and a percentage amount like half a percent or 2%. So speeding tickets and any other sort of ticket would be affected by how much money you're worth.

What do you think about it?

Last fiddled with by jasong on 2013-05-29 at 07:43
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Old 2013-05-29, 08:27   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I don't remember where I read it, I think it was talking about an Arabian country, but a guy got a ticket that cost about $200k American dollars for going over the speed limit. The reason the fine was so incredibly high is because your net worth is taken into account when they fine you there. Can't remember where it was, just the approximate fine amount.

I was wondering if the forum members think it would be a good idea to base fines on a person's net worth. So maybe there'd be a minimum amount and a percentage amount like half a percent or 2%. So speeding tickets and any other sort of ticket would be affected by how much money you're worth.

What do you think about it?
I think those who can afford to do so will arrange not to be worth very much.
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Old 2013-05-29, 08:31   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I don't remember where I read it, I think it was talking about an Arabian country, but a guy got a ticket that cost about $200k American dollars for going over the speed limit. The reason the fine was so incredibly high is because your net worth is taken into account when they fine you there. Can't remember where it was, just the approximate fine amount.

I was wondering if the forum members think it would be a good idea to base fines on a person's net worth. So maybe there'd be a minimum amount and a percentage amount like half a percent or 2%. So speeding tickets and any other sort of ticket would be affected by how much money you're worth.

What do you think about it?
xilman's solution notwithstanding there is also the thing to remember that a lot of wealthy people can arrange to not need to pay such fines at all.
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Old 2013-05-29, 08:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
xilman's solution notwithstanding there is also the thing to remember that a lot of wealthy people can arrange to not need to pay such fines at all.
In terms of chauffeurs(no idea how to spell that, gave up) I'd fine the guy that supplies their paycheck.

(googled the proper way to spell chauffeur, still looks totally wrong.)

Last fiddled with by jasong on 2013-05-29 at 08:48
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Old 2013-05-29, 08:56   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
In terms of chauffeurs(no idea how to spell that, gave up) I'd fine the guy that supplies their paycheck.

(googled the proper way to spell chauffeur, still looks totally wrong.)
So you would punish a person that is not even in control of the vehicle? That creates absolutely no incentive for a chauffeur to care about their driving. I doubt that that would reduce the incidence of speeding (or indeed any other form of bad driving).

Also, does chauffeur include a taxi driver? A limo driver? A personal employee of big-boss(TM) driving someone else (say, a foreign visitor) to a hotel?

Last fiddled with by retina on 2013-05-29 at 08:57
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Old 2013-05-30, 02:54   #6
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(Withdrew the post.)

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2013-05-30 at 02:58
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Old 2013-05-30, 04:48   #7
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Here in Germany, speeding tickets and the like are fixed price items. But there are also things where you get charged in "Tagessätze" (plural) where one "Tagessatz" (singular) is basically your daily income. So you might be charged e.g. 50 times your daily income resulting in two persons committing the same offence and paying vastly different fines. The idea is that to drive the message home the fine needs to hurt a bit and therefore should be in proportion to what you can afford.

I'm not a lawyer so don't ask me for details but I think there's always a court involved in this. All the "simple tickets" are fixed price.

And to answer your question: I think it's a good idea to take into account what somebody is worth because I personally know some rich peoples kid who got stopped for driving his motorbike without a helmet (which is not allowed here). When the police asked him why he had no helmet on he handed over the 50 D-Marks (yeah, old story...) and answered "because I can afford to do so". Learning effect - none. It was just too cheap for him. On the other side it would be ridiculous to charge a very high sum and get people in financial troubles for small things. So yes, I rather like this idea.
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Old 2013-05-31, 14:23   #8
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Sounds nice, but
- who keeps the list of everyone's net worth? What would that database be worth?
- how is your entry calculated so that you can't game it easily?
- do you want public officials like police officers to know how much money you have?
- what if lots of your net worth is tied up in something illiquid, like a house or business? Now your speeding ticket requires an appraisal of those things

Remember, in the US you're taxed based on money you make, not on how much you have. Those could be very different figures, so the IRS doesn't know net worth figures.

Last fiddled with by jasonp on 2013-05-31 at 14:26
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Old 2013-05-31, 14:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
So you would punish a person that is not even in control of the vehicle? That creates absolutely no incentive for a chauffeur to care about their driving. I doubt that that would reduce the incidence of speeding (or indeed any other form of bad driving).

Also, does chauffeur include a taxi driver? A limo driver? A personal employee of big-boss(TM) driving someone else (say, a foreign visitor) to a hotel?
A person's job tends to be regarded as more important than an individual traffic ticket, so this would tend to cause people who are responsible for other people's stuff to be more careful. Getting fired is a way worse penalty than a simple traffic ticket.

Besides, the employer could simply take it out of the driver's paycheck. but the employer would at least be aware of the situation, which they should be considering the driver works for them.
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Old 2013-05-31, 15:06   #10
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This may be what was referred to: http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/13/s...ing-fine-ever/
It is based on the offender's income, not his net worth. As that is tracked in most places for income tax purposes, I'm sure it's easier to come by.
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Old 2013-05-31, 15:12   #11
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Was it Steve Jobs that had a yearly income of $1.00? If not him then I'm sure there are other CEOs that have comparatively tiny incomes. Net worth can be transferred also. I don't see how it is workable for people that can wangle income and asset values to their advantage.
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