When You Subsidize Behavior, You Get More Of It

You know the saying, When you subsidize something, you get more of it?

What are we subsidizing in Grand Traverse County?

  1. The courts have an incentive to find people guilty. They collect court fees from every person they convict.
  2. CPS has an incentive to remove children from their biological families. States receive a financial incentive for adopting children out of foster care.
  3. The courts have an incentive not to award joint custody. The county receives an incentive payment for every dollar they collect in child support. Sole custody awards, specifically awarding custody to the parent who earns the least, result in the highest child support orders.
  4. Declaring a state of emergency for Coronavirus opens the door for the county to claim federal dollars to help with the response. Grand Traverse County declared a state of emergency for Coronavirus on March 25. As of this writing, six weeks later, there have still only been 23 cases in the entire county.
  5. Sheriff Bensley offered extra days off for sheriffs who wrote tickets at a particular intersection. The sheriffs deputies wrote lots of tickets.

What other behavior do you know of that is subsidized in Grand Traverse County? Do you agree with any of these subsidies? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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1 thought on “When You Subsidize Behavior, You Get More Of It”

  1. The House Judiciary Committee has been taking testimony on allowing the practice of charging court fees to the individual convicted to continue in sessions over the last couple of weeks, too.

    Of course there are huge incentives for all of it. The MDOC has incentives to have someone on probation and especially to have them in the prison system – they’re getting ~38k/yr average per inmate.

    The prosecutors get more notches in their belts when they get a conviction.

    The whole system runs on the need for money and power. Sounds kind of like a criminal enterprise to me.

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