Sunday, August 2, 2015

Why the Poor Would Do Better Moving Out of These Types of Municipalities

You think you have money problems?  Try being poor in America.  It's expensive to be poor!  Before you start thinking today's post is about defending poverty, and providing excuses for people's circumstances, let me dispel this from your mindset right away.  No one learns when we get involved in the "blame game."

I'm here to provide you with additional valuable financial literacy, and it is for anyone who is currently living in a certain type of municipality, or is looking to move to a particular municipality and has not factored this into their decision-making check-off.

When is the last time you checked on the fiscal health of your municipality?  Like, actually looked at copies of the budget?  These are public records.  If you're like me, you have probably never bothered to inform yourself how your city, county, and state are fairing financially, and are surprised when you read how crappy things are in an online article.  Case in point from today: Kansas Collects 3.7M Less in Taxes .  What's Kansas to do?  Raise taxes?

Passing any legislation that is in support of raising local city, county, or state taxes is worse than pulling teeth out.  The alternative to raising taxes is creating an elaborate network of cow udders that when milked provide a city, county, or state with a bucket full of milk.  In my metaphor, the cow udders are minor (some more serious) penalties and infractions that lead to squirts of revenue taken from citizens like you and me.

Did you know that in the St. Louis suburb of Pagedale, it is illegal to have a hedge more than three feet high, or a basketball hoop in front of your house, and kids cannot play in the streets.  In, Police Shootings Won't Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down..., Jack Hitt presents a brilliant piece on the dangers of turning police officers into revenue generators.  It is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the problems the poor and people of color face in fiscally waning municipalities.

Do you have anything wrong with your vehicle?  A broken tail-light?  Forgot to put this year's tag on your license plate? Have you ever switched lanes without signaling?  Do you speed?

Let he who has never sinned as above, cast the first stone.

In San Diego, a A $35 speeding ticket becomes a $235 fine.  California is in the top five of worst states to speed in.  New Jersey is No. 1 and that is a bad thing.  Speeding is dangerous, no doubt, but everyone has done it at some point in their driving career.

We already know it's expensive to live in certain states.  It's called, "cost of living."  But we have come to a point now, with the Great Recession having taken a toll, where local municipalities are over-reaching and committing the crime of racketeering, conducting judiciously sanctioned extortion rackets.  Pay or go to jail.  And if you can't pay and must go to jail, the tax payer will pay your room and board and any other processing fee for you.

What's the solution?  Make these places and their leaders hurt.  Move!  Don't live there.  Don't give them any more revenue.

"But my job is here.  But my family lives here.  But..."

In the case of living in a place like Ferguson, what other recourse is there?  It's move or have an arrest warrant issued against you, do jail time, or worse, be killed.

Before moving to South Carolina, would you like to one day be possibly stopped during Operation Rolling Thunder, an annual dragnet orchestrated by 21 different law enforcement agencies?  Screw that!

Would it concern you to know that a circuit court judge (Hub Harrington) in Alabama described the Shelby County Jail as a "debtor's prison?"  Why would you, even if you could afford it, want to live in a place like this?  You'd be paying increased taxes indirectly, footing the bill for all of the poor people in jail.

Local and state governments have made certain places in America financial black holes for middle and lower class peoples.  Can't hurt these governments with marches or letters.  You do so by keeping your wallet as far away from these spots as possible.

Source/State: Oregon

I respect law enforcement officials.  Putting their own lives on the line daily is something not many people are willing to do.  Part of their duty reminds me of what I used to do at school as an assistant principal.  I wanted to educate and keep the school safe, but I hated nitpicking students and enforcing trivial school rules (carrying skateboards on campus, dress code, etc.).  I didn't have anyone above me checking my stats, however, nor did I feel pressure from anyone to issue more school citations.  And I simply skipped this part of my job as often as possible.

I am sure that many Officers feel trapped between a rock and a hard place, having to work as tax collectors on our streets.  I don't think this is what they envision they were signing-up to do.  It's too bad.

Until next time!  C-Los...out!

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