First watch this video of John Oliver
Yea, I’m gonna use the “f” word here — it’s fascism (you thought I was gonna use the other one? Prolly later). Municipalities are so afraid of raising taxes because of all the fear mongering propaganda that they are destroying lives in order to maintain needed programs. They won’t raise taxes on the wealthy, because the wealthy’s attitude is “I’ve got mine and fuck you”. It doesn’t matter to them that they, or their families took advantage of some type of government program like, the G.I. Bill; or went to college when tuition was nothing, or next to nothing because of New Deal programs or their progeny; or that their business has been protected by police and fire paid for by services paid by all; or the roads and highways delivering commerce to and from their business was paid on the back of a progressive tax system.
So, most likely the people in office in your local government are Reagan trickle down economics ideologues who’ve gotten conned by Wall Street hustlers and their interest rate swaps, or have heard of the con, and now know they can’t get away with it. They refuse to tax themselves, because, again, their over-riding philosophy is “I’ve got mine and fuck you”, so what can they do? They can’t directly tax the poor because that would be too blatant, so they use civil asset forfeiture, which is a legal fiction (something completely made up. George Carlin explains legal fictions. I agree with everything but the last sentence) and is literal theft of private property by your local government. And when the cops don’t shake you down, the judges do,
So, what are they to do?
As explained by John Oliver in the video above, Ferguson Missouri, along with thousands of other governments generate a huge amount of revenue from fines and fees based on law enforcement harassing and targeting people who have a difficult time maintaining their vehicles, or keeping up to date on registrations, or licenses, or might commit petty theft because of economic disadvantages. People who can’t get a job, or get a good job because of the outright narcissism of many of those who are well off, putting in place unfair policies that result in a downward spiral for those who don’t have the skills, or better, the access to the education and training the more well off enjoy. And when those in the lower economic strata try to get educated they’re being preyed on through predatory student loans.
Kennedy vs.the City of Biloxi, is a big fucking deal. I can easily see this going before SCOTUS, because the neo fascist American ideologues will appeal because they need this revenue, mainly because they’re some of the least creative people on the face of the fucking earth and in their mind are out of options. And by far, their most marketable skill is the sociopathic art of manipulating and controlling others.
Here’s an introduction by the ACLU
In the latest pushback against the national scourge of debtors’ prisons, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit challenging the illegal arrest and jailing of poor people in Biloxi, Mississippi, without a hearing or representation by counsel. Victims are told they can avoid jail only if they pay the entire amount of outstanding court fines and fees up front, in full, and in cash.
The percentage of people living in poverty in Biloxi has doubled since 2009. Yet during this period, the city, through the Biloxi Municipal Court, has aggressively pursued court fines and fee payments from indigent people by issuing warrants when payments are missed. The warrants charge debtors with failure to pay, order their arrest and jailing in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center, and explicitly state that debtors can avoid jail only if they pay the full amount of fines and fees in cash.
Plaintiffs Qumotria Kennedy and Joseph Anderson are among the victims of this illegal scheme.