Chicago Machine Polly to Hike Protest Costs


By Vinnie Foster

Just when you thought it was impossible to give the children of the rich any more help than they already receive, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking to tilt the playing field even further in their favor.

The machine politician wants to quadruple the minimum fine to $200 from $25 and double the maximum fine to $1,000 from $500 for political protesters resisting a police officer or aiding escape in the latest bid to disenfranchise decent working class Americans, according to this story in The Chicago Tribune. The move comes as Chicago prepares for the G8 and NATO summits in May.

Freedom of speech?

Yeah, sure. All you can afford.

Machine politicians like Emanuel have substituted fee and fine hikes like this for the evenly distributed percentage tax hikes the rich abhor so much. Why? Because it really irks the wealthy when they’re treated like the rest of us.

Let’s face it, Michael Bloomberg and his pampered daughters aren’t going to feel the toll hike on the George Washington Bridge, to $12 from $8, when daddy is bringing in $7.2 billion a year and already has $19.5 billion in the bank. But the higher tolls are a real problem for someone in the middle class, and so are the higher fines Emanuel is proposing.

Pretty soon, only the rich will be able to afford the cost of getting arrested at a political protest. It must be nice to be able to afford to live first class without ever working a day in your life.

The decent thing would have been to scale the size of the fines based on wealth, just like they do with speeding tickets in Europe, but doing so would require the rich to carry their own weight and that’s never going to let happen.

They own this situational democracy, which is only a democracy when it suits their purposes. Don’t ever forget that. Not even when their kids are laying under a tarp beside you on “safari” talking the talk at Occupy Wall Street.

Mummy and daddy can always put a greasy thumb on the scales of justice for the William Kennedy Smiths, Geedubs and Georgina Bloombergs of the world. The children of working families are on their own. All the time.