A Very Expensive Traffic Ticket
Recently, in eastern Switzerland, an affluent driver who was exceeding the speed limit by more than 35 miles an hour received a ticket. The ticket sounds like a predictable penalty; the fine, however, was not. The fine totalled $290,000 because it was based on his wealth.
People pay government money for many reasons: income taxes, excise taxes,traffic tickets, tariffs.
When though, should government charge everyone the same amount for the same offense or property or service and when should the wealthy should pay more.
The Economic Life:
Some say it is never fair for those with less to pay more and yet it happens everyday at the cash register. For every sales tax, whenever everyone pays the same amount, the poor are paying a higher percent of their income. For that reason the tax is called regressive. By contrast, as with the Swiss speeder, when the more affluent pay a higher proportion of their income than those with less, the tax is called progressive.