Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"We're Going to Make A Lot of Money"

So said then-City Council President Gladys Santiago last summer, cutting to the main point about the City's plan to install red-light cameras as a money-making device.   As in every other city where these cash-machines have been installed, there's an embarrasingly thin pretext of "public safety" clothing the real purpose.   The last thing they want is for people to follow the law to the letter at a red light with a camera, because then the money stops.

Now Governor Paterson proposes, as part of the State budget -- not even bothering with any pretense about what it's really all about -- to install "speed" cameras on highways to catch unsuspecting motorists, with fines of up to $100.   The Budget counts on it for an additional $25 million next year.   And by keeping speed limits artificially and unrealistically low, the State makes us all criminals and speeders.   When was the last time you saw someone doing 65 on the Thruway, except maybe in a snowstorm?

From Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand:

There's no way to rule innocent men.  The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals.  Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them.   One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.   Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?   What's there in that for anyone?   But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt.

1 comment:

clay barham said...

At 105, it is not that Ayn Rand is bigger, but what she gave us that justifies what our founders described that is bigger. The jury summation by Howard Roark in Fountainhead was pure Libertarian. It is because we have all left things to chance and are now paying the price that makes what she said bigger. The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon and describes the libertarian 19th century Democrats who followed Jefferson and Madison, contrasted with modern Democrats who follow Rousseau and Marx, that being what Rand found of no worth as was the Old World.