“You Didn’t Pay Child Support? We’ll Make it Harder for You to Work”

by Walter Olson on November 15, 2013

Yanking drivers’ and professional licenses from dads who fall behind on their payments? David Henderson on a widespread government policy that makes little sense as a way of maximizing the payment rate for court-ordered obligations, somewhat more sense if seen as a vehicle for sentimental vengefulness. [EconLog]

{ 2 comments }

1 great unknown 11.15.13 at 9:05 am

Isn’t “vehicle for sentimental vengefulness” a concise description of Family Court?

2 Hugo S. Cunningham 11.16.13 at 1:15 am

In addition to the debtors’ prison argument raised by the student, there is also the devaluation of license-suspension as a sanction against dangerous driving. In a community where license-suspension is widely viewed as capricious, the unsafe driver will feel less inhibition about continuing to drive (and endangering the public) despite a suspended license.

On a related question, I have opposed car seizures for minor non-safety related offenses like cruising for prostitutes, largely on Eight Amendment grounds (“excessive fine”). AS a test of good faith, I would require communities wanting to institute non-safety seizures to demonstrate, in interests of proportionality, that they already were seizing cars of drivers using a license suspended for *safety* reasons (and only safety reasons).

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