Our friend and colleague Alex Tabarrok has posted his thoughts on “The Ferguson Kleptocracy” earlier today. In addition to a grab bag of (representative?) anecdotes, Professor Tabarrok notes, among other things, that “last year Ferguson drivers paid $12,400 in fines for driving cars with tinted windows. They paid another $4,905 for loud music coming out of their cars.” We’re not so sure what to make of these facts, however. Are they evidence of overzealous and oppressive law enforcement in the service of revenue collection (i.e. hidden taxes), or are they part of an aggressive broken-windows strategy for preventing more serious crimes from being committed (i.e. a signal to would-be criminals)? Also, as far as we are concerned, people who play loud music in their cars are generally rude and inconsiderate and should be fined …
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