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Archive for March 31st, 2011

Two reasons the rich should not pay more

While it may be true that the only way to make detterence of crimes for the rich actually work is by making them pay more proportional to their income. I believe this is a faulty decision for two reasons.

First, as the book already points out, the rich are able to hire expensive lawyers. By doing so they are already spending amounts ten times that of poor criminals. Next, as the economic arguments go, this money is put back into the system. Although the money does not go to the government, the wealthy defendant undoubtedly felt the effect of his trial on his pocket.

Secondly, while I have not looked up any statistics here, are the largely educated, wealthy, Americans the ones committing a majority of the crimes in this country. While  opponents may argue that it is because the rich have better legal teams that they are a small percentage of criminals, I would argue that (similar to my last post) the poor and uneducated are the demographic committing the most crime. Again, Freidman uses excellent economic knowledge but fails to look at the actual situation to see what effect his theories would have on the real world we have today.

Friedman ends his sections about higher fines for the rich by saying, “you will have to decide for yourself whether justice is worth the cost.”

We are back to the question our class had early in the semester. Is justice a flat rate for all citizens or a law the has equal effects on all individuals? In any political situation it is easy to pick out a group you are not part of and call on them to fix a problem, be taxed more, or place blame. While many students technically live in poverty and are far from wealthy, I don’t think fining the rich more for speeding is the right avenue to fix (is it broken?) our criminal law system.