Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jobs program

The Taconic State Parkway used to be a major road leading from the Massachusetts border to New York City. Years ago, when the New York State Thruway was built, traffic was diverted, and hardly anyone takes the Taconic any more, preferring a modern highway with tolls and heavy traffic. Don't ask me why--can the people who voted for Eliot Spitzer have their reasons?

So I am driving down the Taconic State Parkway, zipping along nicely at 70 miles per hour. There is one vehicle in sight, ahead of me, and no-one coming in the opposite direction as far as the eye can see. Long story short, a state trooper stops me and issues an expensive ticket, and I have to send a certified check for a lot of money to some jerkwater town in Upstate New York.

I am appalled by the witlessness of this entire transaction. I was not drunk, I was not on drugs, I was in total control of the car, I was not endangering myself or others. If I had hit somebody at 55 mph they would be just as dead as if I had been going 70.

So what's the rationale? The State trooper is paid a lot of money to stop people like me, so the State can get enough money to pay the trooper, who then has to stop more people like me so that State will have enough money to pay his salary.

Okay, I figured it out. It's a jobs program! All these people--the trooper, the clerk who sends out the notice, the judge who presides over the court, the bank which issues the certified check, and the mailman who delivers it, and goodness knows who else--are productively employed.

I'm proud I could do my part! Otherwise, unemployment might be at, oh, 50 percent, maybe, instead of 9.6.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...and imagine, if that would happen to you while on vacation in Canada, you could be proud of supporting economy of an entire neighboring nation!

[guess, to whom this happened and how proud am I and the friend who was driving?]