Saturday, May 26, 2007

How Did We Get Here?

How in the world did we get to this point? I'm talking about the place where we sue anyone and everybody for our own mistakes? I like the Louis Cardinals; have ever since I saw them play in the Astrodome in the early seventies. I saw them play again in the eighties when the roster included Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Terry Pendleton. I don't follow them as closely these days, but I did take note when pitcher John Hancock died recently. One news story stated:

...the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cell phone and wasn't wearing a seat belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found in the SUV.
People make mistakes and there are consequences for those mistakes. I guess John Hancock's father doesn't understand those facts. He is suing the manager of the restaurant that sold alcohol to his son. He is also suing the owner of the tow truck that Hancock ran into. He is also suing the tow truck driver. He is also suing the driver of the car who had his car stall on the interstate.

I'm currently reading John Stossel's Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity available at Wal-Mart for about $10. Stossel does a great job of documenting the idiocy within our society. Topics such as Big Business (most of them don't rip us off), gasoline prices (the price of gas is actually a bargin when you consider many of us are willing to pay the equivalent of $9 per gallon for bottled water), taxes (most of us really have no idea what we pay--i.e. the government takes--in taxes), and politicians ("often busybodies who want to force their preferences on us").

Chapter seven-The Lawsuit Racket is exceptionally good as Stossel points out how lawsuits, especially malpractice and product liability lawsuits, have actually deprived us of safer products, actually hurt more people than have been helped, taken away our choices, and decreased safety by creating meaningless "safety" warnings. "Lawyers make millions by telling juries, 'The accident wouldn't have happened if my client had been properly warned!' Cringing companies respond by putting warnings on everything"(pg 172). Consider the following "warning labels" that were obviously the result of some insane lawsuit:

  • A hair dryer comes with the instruction-- "Never use while sleeping."
  • Birthday candles warn--"Do not use the wax as earplugs."
  • A power drill label states--"No intented for use as a dental drill."

If this stuff weren't true, the book would almost be funny. As it is, it's a pretty sad commentary on our country and the greed and stupidity that drives it. I'll ask again: How in the world did we get to this point?

1 comment:

Baxter said...

ARG!!!!!!! It all seems so OBVIOUS! "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."