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I think that the cost of a parking ticket should be the same for everyone. But it's not. The more you make, the less they cost.

Let me explain. If I earn a minimum wage of $10 per hour and a parking ticket is $40, I will have to work 4 hours to pay that ticket. So, if I work 40 hours a week, that ticket will cost me 10% of my weekly income!

But if I earn $20 per hour, I work 2 hours to pay that ticket, and it will cost me 5% of my weekly income.

And if I earn $40 per hour, I work just one hour and that parking violation will cost me only 2.5% of my week's pay.

I think that is unjust.


Because I think of "the cost of something" as how much time and effort I will have to use and expend to earn a given amount of money. And that cost should be the same for everyone when it comes to paying a parking ticket.

So as things are now, a parking ticket for someone making $20,000 per year cost five times more than someone making $100,000 a year.

Instead, I think the price of a parking ticket be charged based on money earned (for a set amount of time) by each ticketed individual. 

Yet, I know this isn't going to happen any time soon, if at all. Objections would be fast and furious: "Enforcement of graduated fees would require a separate government office investigating a citizen's income and assets." Or, "here is yet another intrusive bureaucracy making the IRS seem like child's play." And, of course, the expected "...since it's the the same price for everyone, it's fair."

I disagree with those objections, but accepting reality, I propose that parking tickets continue to be issued as is, but with a voluntary, graduated higher price for those who make more. Parking tickets would stipulate the minimum price, and then the higher, graduated prices based on the recipient's financial situation.

Making the recommended fees voluntary would be attractive and beneficial for at least two reasons. 

First, a city has much to gain, and nothing to lose. The basic parking fees and collection process remain unchanged. Any and all increased revenue would be at no additional collection expense.

Second, there is virtually no downside to informing the public that the recommended price is applied on the honor system. Citizens will appreciate the common sense realization that recommending graduated fees affirms and recognizes the honor and dignity of citizens.

What do you think?

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