Multiple fines issued to Taiwanese farmer for selling cabbage in streets of the southern city of Tainan:
A 59-year-old farmer [surnamed Chen (陳)] from Tainan’s Kuantien District (官田) faces multiple fines after attempting to sell his produce on the streets of the city over several days last month.
“I come into the city like this only once or twice a year; I do not want to see all my hard work be for nothing. These fines are really a big blow to me,” Chen said.
Police said Chen was fined according to Article 82 of the Act Governing Punishments for Violations of Road Traffic Regulations (道路交通管理處罰條例), which stipulates that vending on the roadside without a permit may result in fines from NT$1,200 to NT$2,400.
Police said they would only continue to fine Chen if they received complaints from residents, adding that if any vehicle accidents occur as a result of Chen’s activities, he could face criminal charges.
Bit absurd to fine someone for selling cabbages, but one can see where the police are coming from. Surely the farmer could have rented a stall at a night market somewhere in town to avoid creating a vehicular hazard.
But if the rental fees there were too steep, one possible solution might be to rent space to small entrepreneurs like this in one of the city's "mosquito halls". (For those not familiar with the term, a "mosquito hall" in Taiwan is a government building constructed with legislative pork, which then sits idle most of the time -- attracting only mosquitoes.)
It'd be win-win all the way around. The government would generate at least some revenue from under-utilized facilities, and part-time vendors would obtain low-cost floor space. Given that the February 28 Massacre and the Arab Spring were both sparked by heavy-handed police responses to poor people just trying to earn a buck, I wouldn't call this charity. It's instead an investment in maintaining social peace.
(Although on second thought, there would be ONE loser: the local politician who squandered taxpayer money in constructing a building that was never needed in the first place. Oh my god, what was I thinking! My proposal is utterly unfeasible! Politicians can't be made to lose face now, can they?)