Being Penny Foolish Can Land You In Trouble
Being penny wise and pound foolish hurts, we all know. Whoever thought it also hurts to be penny foolish? Well, that is exactly what Jason West of Salt Lake City found out when he went to pay a medical clinic bill in 2500 pennies.
For West it was a way of protesting the bill that in his mind was not justified. But the Clinic officials thought it a nuisance and called police. The police officer arrested West and filed a charge that carries a maximum fine of $140.
There were nearly 14,000 comments to this story when I read it. I had to dig in very deep to find a couple of comments that supported the bank or the police officer, the rest were in support of West.
One commenter wrote, “Pennies are legal tender for all debts public and private. I would appeal my $140.00 fine as far as I could find a court to hear it.” Luis G wrote, “When cops and the justice system are being used by big shot medical companies in this way it’s no wonder the country is in the toilet.”
The popular sentiment of the day was expressed by one comment, “govt is too powerful..... fined for doing nothing.” What took me by surprise though was the following comment:
My grandfather and grandmother bought a car with the pennies. The salesman and my grandmother sat on the floor of the dealership for three days rolling them up in sleeves. While my grandfather wheel barrowed them from there basement stash of cash. 14 blocks 1 3/4 miles round trip. lt was 800$. in 1939. It was a 1929 Plymouth. At Hinckley Dodge Ogden, Utah.
So, what’s the deal here? Except that the justice system is so polarized with the bias toward the corporate right that individual right is merely words today, unless of course, you have money, not just money but loads of it.