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Get The Guv’mint Off Our Backs (And Make It Give Back My Car)!

So I experienced what many an unfortunate Chicago resident has experienced: today, my car was towed away to the deepest Southside (the 10000 block!) before my eyes.  I had stepped inside a building to pick someone up for a workshop, and all the while I had this weird uneasy feeling…maybe I should go check on my car, something told me.  Sure enough, they were hitching my car to the tow truck even as I had this sense of foreboding.  So the lesson is simple, folks: listen to your paranoid instincts!  Because they are coming to get you (or at least your car).  It is this sort of petty law enforcement (a.k.a., the city’s money-making racket) that makes me lose respect for the law, because this pretty clearly had nothing to do with clearing the road for rush hour (the alleged reason for making this area a tow zone) and had everything to do with milking me for a nice fat fine.  If any progressives out there would like to understand why people like me really loathe government, know that it is because of these obnoxious little abuses of power along with the great.         

In fairness to the horrible towing tyrants, I was in a tow zone designated as a tow zone between 4-6 for a grand total of three or four minutes after 4:00.  They had not yet taken my car away when I came running out to try to stop them from taking it away.  There was “nothing” the tow truck guy could do, he said.  Yeah, well, there was nothing he could do if he wanted to get paid more. 

The parking ticket/towing regime in Chicago is one of the most maddening things about this city, and if I had to make a short list of reasons why no one should ever live here it would rank high on that list.  It would fall below “large numbers of whiny Cub fans” and come in just ahead of “terrible blizzards.”

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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