Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In the mid-21st Century, we like government not to overreach

At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st Century, the situation in America had gotten very strange. Demagoguing politicians had been able to enact laws that raised the penalties for minor crimes so that fines and punishments were excessive. The demagoguing followed a narrative about cracking down on crime. Minor traffic violations had their fines raised by an order of magnitude. Governments, especially in southeastern Michigan, could confiscate your property for crimes, sometimes relatively minor, and which was certainly excessive punishment. In the mid-21st Century, we repeal laws that everyone violates. The situation at the beginning of the 21st Century had made all sorts of common behavior that everyone did be unlawful. For example, speed limits in some areas were reduced down to 10 or 15 mph below what everyone drove. I suspect that much of the motivation was "revenue generation", because late 20th and early 21st Century politicians and bureaucrats liked to spend money, usually to pay off buddies and family members and to buy votes.

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