There's something I just realized about a claim made in the title of the article. “System made $71 Million”
What does it mean to “make” money?
In legitimate business, money is made by producing and selling goods and/or services that are more valuable than what it cost to provide them. People and equipment working to turn less valuable materials into more valuable products are what create wealth. If a company spends a million dollars in materials, labor, and other expenses, to produce products which it is able to sell for two billion dollars, then it has created a million dollars in wealth.
So, how did Chicago's red-light camera system “make” seventy-one million dollars? It didn't. It just took it. It created a situation in which otherwise diligent motorists are tricked into running red lights, caught them doing so on camera, and fined them. It didn't create seventy-million dollars worth of new wealth. It didn't even create a penny of new wealth. It just took wealth from others, leaving those from whom it was taken poorer, in total, by exactly the same as the amount by which it thus enriched itself.