Government logic

May 10th, 2010

I just paid a Milwaukee parking ticket online.

By doing so, cialis sale sovaldi I saved the city from having to open the envelope, levitra confirm which fine was being paid, cialis making out a deposit ticket and sending the check to the bank.

And I paid an extra $2 for the privilege.

What a great way to encourage people to help make government more efficient!

(That was sarcasm in case you missed it.)

Entry Filed under: Observations

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris from Racine  |  May 10th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Solution: Don’t get parking tickets! ;)

  • 2. TerryN  |  May 10th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    This policy was reviewed by the employees who open those envelopes and approved. Nuff said?

  • 3. John Foust  |  May 11th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I bet there’s a layer of privatization somewhere in there. You hate free enterprise and big business, don’t you? I blame Obama.

  • 4. Beverly  |  May 13th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    To pay my county property taxes on line costs $10. Makes you wonder what government genius came up with this.

  • 5. John Foust  |  May 13th, 2010 at 9:57 am

    A government genius who doesn’t want other taxpayers to pay for your desire to incur a 3-5% extra cost of processing your credit card.

  • 6. Elliot  |  May 13th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I would bet that $1 transaction fee is considerably less than the cost of having someone open the envelope, record the payment, make out a deposit ticket, and deposit the check.

    Not to mention the fact that they charged me TWICE what it would cost if I were just covering the credit card fee.

  • 7. John Foust  |  May 13th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Have you never been in business, Elliot? It’s probably more complex than that. It’s probably not a single someone, it’s probably a communication process between several people. I bet a doughnut they out-sourced the credit card processing to a private company to handle the transactions, because, you know, it’s always better to privatize government.

    A $2 fee? Easy to explain. Their department is probably being asked to recoup the cost of the web developer who made their web site do that. They’re being charged a percentage by the processing company. How much was your ticket? Back of the envelope, if the government worker costs $20 an hour? $2 easy.

  • 8. Elliot  |  May 13th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I have a friend who owns an ad agency and web development company.

    If the site was built right, it should basically completely eliminate human interaction and the associated cost. The money goes from credit card to the government seamlessly and the infractions database is updated automatically.

    The cost of processing the fee must already be built into the fee itself. If the site saves the government money on that processing (which it almost certainly does), the state really has no excuse to charge extra for that service.

    Plus, the web site is almost infinitely scalable. If one person could process 100 payments an hour, a website could easily handle hundreds of thousands.

    And sure, maybe they need to recoup the cost of development, but do you really think they’ll stop charging the additional fee after the initial investment has been paid for?

    Books I buy from Amazon don’t cost more than the ones I buy locally. They cost less.

    Name anything else you expect to pay MORE for if you order it online then if you do it offline and I’ll take a defense of this fee more seriously.

  • 9. John Foust  |  May 13th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    “If the site was built right”? Is your friend high, or just trying to sell something? Whether the integration could be seamless probably has little to do with the site and far more to do with the government accounting systems. There may not be any potential for magical hand-waving integration.

    You understand credit-card processing fees, right? The merchant usually sucks them up. You think the other taxpayers who use a stamp should subsidize your desire to use a credit card online? But maybe I’m all wet here… can you use a credit card if you want to pay that way, in person?

  • 10. Elliot  |  May 13th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    According to this:

    They charge $2 if you use credit online or by phone, but not in person.

  • 11. grumps  |  May 13th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    You’ve never ordered from Ticketmaster, have you? Pay a $8 “Convenience Charge” just one time and then call me back.

  • 12. Debunked  |  May 14th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Have you considered that the $2 fee is for paying the skilled labor making $20/hour who are responsible for keeping the website secure, running, and fixing bugs as opposed to the poor schmuck making $6.50 per hour to sit behind a glass window and deal with irate people all day?

  • 13. John Foust  |  May 16th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

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