I hear about this and I still - sadly - can believe DC will probably have them by Christmas. There was a story in the Wall Street Journal about Pacific Grove, California, where they have installed so-called "smart" parking meters.
These things sense when your car is there and when you move - even if there is a lot of time on the meter - they zero themselves out. That means the person who pulls in behind you will miss the thrill of getting something for nothing - time on your dime.
This particular beast pictured here takes a hi-res photo of your ride and sends it to the government if you run out of time. And you can tell it to call your cell phone if it is about to run out of time. Oh, and you can't feed these things - they can tell you haven't moved your car, and they will not take any more money until the space is empty!
Who gets it? The city! The godforsaken city government, where profit is everything!
DC will have to have these things soon, and they will send the taxpayers the bill. It's hard enough to park here in the city, but now they are going to ask more for it.
And of course the city officials are ALL for it. It would mean basically a free dollar or two for them. It already costs $.25 for 15 minutes in downtown DC, so why not gather up all those quarters people have in their cars anyway.
Get your bicycles ready, yo. The Chocolate City's coming to take another bite out of your wallet.
Maybe the American people should implement a system like that for the government. You know - charge the Congress for every time they write some usless bill or staple some amount of pork projects onto a vital piece of legislation.
Or maybe we could revoke a lawmaker's - or the president's - right to govern every time they did something stupid.
"Too much money wasted - oops sorry, you're no longer in Congress."
" No weapons of mass destruction - ching - you're no longer president."
" Too much influence from rich white men - ching - you're out of office."
You know, their reign is over; they're no longer king.
Oh, that's right we can do that! We can do it in November. We don't need guns or bombs, we have ballots. So let's make sure we exercise that privilege - be as automatic in the ballot box as this stupid parking meter is about your car. If you have overstayed you're welcome, the next guy doesn't get a free ride - he has to prove he belongs there, and it has to cost him something.