Friday, January 08, 2010

Calculating Fines

Who among us has not engaged in a little speeding...looking at the sign that says "Speed Limit XX" and deciding that it really doesn't apply to us. We're special, after all. Perhaps we're Hollywood celebrities, or well-connected and wealthy, or Members of Congress...or perhaps just ordinary people looking for a bit of quasi-innocent naughtiness.

Don't do it in Switzerland.

According to this article in Yahoo News, a Swiss court has fined a Swiss millionaire a record sum of $290,000 for driving as much as 35 mph over the posted 50 mph speed limit. The fine was based, per Swiss law, on the malefactor's estimated wealth of over $20,000,000.

I expect he'll appeal, don't you?

So, proceeding from this interesting data point, one might ask how fines would be calculated for various offenders here in the good old US of A if the individual's net worth were used as a basis for the levy.

How much would we fine our elected reprehensives who adjusted the laws to make it possible for the financial mismanagement industry to loot the economy? Let's average member of Congress earns $174,000 per year. The Swiss benchmark for fine calculation seems to be about 1.45% of net worth, so we might assess each member of Congress 1.45% of $174,000, or about $2,500. Multiplied by 535 members, we get the grand total of $1,337,500.

Oh, heck, it's not worth it...the government spends that much money in the amount of time it takes to type it out. Even if we add in a fine based on the President's salary of $400,000, it adds only another $5,800 to the total. A good lobbyist can get that much out of Congress without even getting out of bed.

Let's just forget the whole thing. Except for the part about not speeding in Switzerland. Or in any residential neighborhoods here at home.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Mike said...

But all they would have to do is catch Bill Gates once!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Don't drive in Switzerland!