Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Last weekend, I blogged that the installation of photo radar has nothing to do with making roads safer. It’s all about the cash.
Photo radar is catching on, big time despite its obvious disturbing Orwellian characteristics. Motorists, as you can imagine, aren’t doing cartwheels over a system that sends them a ticket in the mail after the fact, based on some photographs. They are understandably upset.
When I say upset, I don’t mean they dash to their computer to send a nasty-gram. I mean they’re UPSET.
Victims of photo radar, or plain, ordinary citizens who are not enamored with this new law enforcement tool have resorted to chicanery, not to mention violence and property damage.
Apparently even Santa Claus, who tends to have a heavy foot in the first place, hates photo radar.
Even though government yahoo’s and bureaucrats think they’ve outsmarted everyone, the press has figured out the true MO of photo radar: to make mucho dinero and screw you, the guys and gals behind the wheel.
The Wall Street Journal has more.
And while we’re on the subject, here’s more evidence to demonstrate that when some public sector pencil pusher, guy with a badge, or elected official denies that writing all those tickets is a money-making operation, he/she is lying.
The above-mentioned Wall Street Journal article makes mention of a recent study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis with conclusions that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Tickets are used to generate revenue. Not only that, the number of tickets doesn’t decline when revenues increase:
“There is ample anecdotal evidence that local government use traffic tickets as a means of generating revenue, implying that traffic law enforcement may be motivated by political interests as well as public safety interests. Our paper provides the first empirical evidence to support this view by examining how changes in the number of traffic tickets issued in North Carolina counties are effected by changes in local fiscal conditions. The results indicate that, while changes in local government revenue are significantly correlated with the number of tickets issued, the response is asymmetric to positive and negative changes in local revenue. Positive changes in local revenue have no statistical effect on the changes in the tickets issued, but we find evidence that law enforcement officials issue significantly more tickets in the year following a decline in local government revenue. Specifically, a one percentage point decrease in last year’s local government revenue results in roughly a 0.32 percentage point increase in the number of traffic tickets in the following year. In terms of elasticity, we find that a ten percent decrease in negative revenue growth results in a 6.4 percent increase in the growth rate of traffic tickets.”
Here’s the shortened version of the study, and the actual study.
EVERY SUNDAY I REVIEW THE MOST COVETED EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE WEEK BY OPINION-MAKERS AS WELL AS THE MOST WIDELY-READ, THE SUNDAY “CROSSROADS” SECTION OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. I WILL KEEP TRACK OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PIECES CONTRIBUTED BY NON-JOURNAL SENTINEL WRITERS AND KEEP A RUNNING SCORE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.
TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES
George Meyer and Marc Smith: Go strong on ballast regulations
Piece supports tighter regulations to be imposed by the already heavy-handed DNR and praises Democrat members of Congress.
Janice Wilberg: Rethink child welfare from start
This effort opens with some universal themes regarding care of children:
“You cannot hit or sexually abuse your child.
You must protect your child from physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by others.
You must provide basic food and shelter to the best of your ability.
You must not leave a child alone if he/she is under age 12.
You must ensure that your child attends school and receives basic medical care.”
“Give up on the foster care system.........Drastically reduce the number of kids placed in out-of-home care. Like abortion, out-of-home placement should be safe, legal and rare.”
That kind of thinking, keeping too many kids or reuniting them with a birth parent or family has led to too many abused and sadly, dead children.
TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:
Higher beer taxes hit wrong target
Anti-tax column. Liberal? No way.
NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE
Hungry? You won't be.