What’s government doing? Category


Posted On January 5, 2014By adminIn What's government doing?

Control of Chrysler unified

The recent history of Chrysler has been deeply troubled but it now seems the corporation has finally turned the corner into what promises to be a stable future. First, a brief recap. In 1998, the corporation “merged” with Daimler-Benz. With profitability in steep decline, the German company sold most of its holding to Chrysler Capital Management LP. In 2007, the final tranche of shares was transferred and the corporation entered bankruptcy. After making a loan of $8 billion, the federal government saw the corporation through bankruptcy. In 2011, Fiat boughtRead More

Posted On December 24, 2013By adminIn What's government doing?

Drive safely for Christmas

Politics is a strange “business”. For large parts of the year, what the politicians and interest groups say is ignored. Most of us don’t really care what the talking heads say because it doesn’t affect our everyday lives. But there are times when we pause and take a breath. The Christmas and New Year holiday period is one of those times. Whether you are a Christian, there’s a century and more tradition involved. We are more receptive to messages about health and family. Because both can be affected by theRead More
Let’s start thinking about this question in a relatively sleepy town called Monticello, New York. The local mayor is called Gordon Jenkins and there are several hours of his behavior on the internet after he was arrested for drunken driving. Not only is he seen verbally assaulting the officers for arresting him and showing him lack of respect by handcuffing him to the wall, he’s also shown pulling a clock from the wall and smashing it on the floor. Although one of his functions as mayor is to appoint theRead More
This may seem a rather harsh question. After all, driving is an everyday activity and it’s an extreme reaction to lock up someone just for driving, right? It would be different if this driver had killed someone. Anyone who causes a death should always be at risk of jail time. We would all rightly think of that person as guilty of a homicide — it makes no difference what the weapon used. Some may prefer to use a knife or a gun. Others get behind the wheel of a heavyRead More

Posted On December 5, 2013By adminIn What's government doing?

What’s your price?

Everyone is a mercenary. If you work for a living, you are selling your labor. If you run a business, you are selling goods and services. If you are unable to work, you are dependent on charity to eat and put a roof over your head. In each case, the price you have to pay for the basics of life changes your behavior. When you only have a little, you spend time searching for the cheapest or best possible value for your dollars. Economy is uppermost in your mind. WhenRead More
This technology has grown increasingly common. It builds on optical character recognition systems to scan and read the letter and number combinations on license plates. Put another way, this is a mass surveillance system, expanding closed-circuit television and other camera systems to identify all the vehicles which pass any given point. The local, state or federal government could be using this system for simple law enforcement purposes. If a driver goes through a red light or speeds, a ticket can be generated automatically and sent to the owner’s address. ScaledRead More
The law is supposed to work in a way that is fair to everyone who has a stake in the outcome. So if A hits B with a weapon, A is punished and the state gives B some sense of payback. Hopefully, A is deterred from hitting people in future and B does not feel like attacking A in revenge. The state therefore keeps the peace. If we come to driving offenses, the state has an interest in keeping the roads as safe as possible. It therefore creates traffic lawsRead More

Posted On November 11, 2013By adminIn What's government doing?

What price privacy as a driver?

We need to come to the question of privacy without preconceptions. Throughout history, when one group decided to keep a secret, there were other groups motivated to find out what it was. Of course, in the early days, these secrets tended to be military and business but, as people with power and status established themselves, they preferred their lifestyles were out of the public view. Blackmail and extortion have been around for centuries. So when we come up to date, we should not be surprised that states, corporations and individualsRead More
If law-makers approach questions as a matter of common sense, the law should create criminal offenses when the behavior represents a danger to others. The threat of punishment is hoped to deter the unwanted behavior. The fact individual liberty has been sacrificed is justified because the safety of the many outweighs the loss suffered by the few who represent a danger. So when it comes to creating an offense affecting driving, the test is always going to be whether the driver was acting in a way that was inherently dangerous.Read More
There’s a general sense that some groups of people who have power and status feel they are above the law. It’s a case of “do as I say, not as I do.” So lawmakers may sit in their seats and talk about how this proposed law will make the world a better and/or safer place. They regret the interference with individual liberties, but there comes a time when action is required. The public were asked to change their behavior. They ignored the request. Selfishness prevailed. So now there have toRead More