How are fines different from extortion?
PREFACE: I don’t understand the logic behind fines. I paid a small fortune in parking tickets when I lived in a city where parking was a scarce resource. That sucked, and I thought it was ridiculous then, and that there must be a better system for allocating this resource.
Now I live in a place where parking is bountiful, yet by some kind of massive bureaucratic error, my car has been towed (from outside my apartment, where it is registered and has been parked without event since September) and is being held for ransom to the tune of $750.
And it’s the weekend, so if I want to resolve this I have to go through some kind of peripheral agency that I am positive does not have the resources to figure out how this error occurred in the first place.
QUESTION: How can we encourage people to park fairly and adequately share this scarce resource? What about other fines, like the phenomenally absurd overdraft fee? There has to be a better system for encouraging people to do the right thing in these circumstances. Any ideas?
QUESTION 2: How do you combat a massive bureaucracy? Even if my car was unregistered, this kind of tow-on-demand policy is completely absurd.
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.