Town will cut off power to families of kids who commit vandalism

The statistics are irrelevant. Vandalism is a problem regardless of how many people it affects or what percentage of people it affects. But none of that means that the proposed solution is the correct way to address it.

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Of total population. 815 households as of 2010 census so 5% of people could reasonably say that the tires on ‘their’ car were slashed. Think about it this way: Everyone in town knows someone whose tires got slashed in the last year, not counting other forms of vandalism. Ergo, massive political pressure to do something, so people start entertaining… unorthodox ideas. What do you think an appropriate rate of tire slashing is in a town of 2,000?

Correct on all three counts. I was responding to someone who suggested that nothing worse than golf course damage or library book defacement could happen in such a place.

The town is 96.4% non-Hispanic white. The town had eight black people in the 2010 census. I’ve lived in places like this, everyone already knows who is responsible and the minorities hide well enough that most people don’t think about them much.

This is true, I was thinking of unintentional torts. Damages for willful acts still tend to be capped, however. I’ve always been bothered by the concept of vicarious liability, however, even when it involves children. Mainly because it presumes a degree of control over children that likens them to chattel property, and increasingly fails to reflect modern realities about how we now treat children.

I’m somewhat familiar with small communities as well. The fewer “others” that are present, the more everyone else “knows” they don’t belong. The only difference as time has passed is that fewer people feel comfortable stating that belief in public. It hasn’t changed the perception that those who “belong” would never behave poorly, so it must be someone else.

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And yet people will pay thousands for an original Banksey?

Thanks, this town, for giving more ammunitions to people paranoid about public utilities. That really helps.

Hey Doctorow ! I was reading a book, wikinomics. They talk about you, I like that you do… I from Queretaro, México.

The contributors rarely participate in the comments. If you’d like to try and get Cory’s attention here’s his email address:

Oh - that looks fun. Let me try:

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A study revealed that drinking water with high cyanide content will kill you.


In a town that size, people know who’s doing it.

I think that’s really the issue: the town is probably ganging up against one or two families the majority don’t like. Race? Social class? Who knows. But already coming up with the game plan that anyone who can’t pay off the fine in a certain amount of time loses a basic utility means the whole process is vindictive rather than merely bureaucratic.

different orten !! aside is , well , not off topic , not non-sequitor , but more rather , just a day trip , just a few miles or words or web pages detour that may prove of interest to some , or not ~ ( there is an obelisk with a plaque at clifton gorge , opposite side of john bryan from glen helen )

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This method could end up costing taxpayers much more than the money recovered, because usually social services takes your kids into foster care if you can’t keep the utilities on. Even one case like that would wipe out all the revenue gains and then some. Of course, that money would come out of state funds, not the town budget, but it’s all from taxes paid by people in the end.

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Yeah, I should have quoted the part of the message I was replying to that made the statement necessary. Too late now…

Oh I know I was teasing.

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What I’m hearing is “Town with lots of assets to lose in a civil rights case is doing something really stupid. Lottery for entry into the multi million dollar jackpot is having your kid spray paint a wall somewhere”

I’m close to Farmer City. I know people who’ve been pulled over by their constabularies. They maximize revenue extraction with some degree of creative interpretation of “laws.” If you’re traveling on I-74, that’s one town to bypass …


Halfway between Bloomington and Champaign: I wonder how many college students they ticket on an average weekend?

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