Monday, January 26, 2009

how modern law makes us powerless

It is impossible for me to say how much I agree with this opinion piece from today's WSJ. If Phillip K. Howard were giving this as a speech I would be there pumping my fist and cheering.

Here is where I would scream out, "Yes!" and "You said it, man!":

"All this law, we're told, is just the price of making sure society is in working order. But society is not working. Disorder disrupts learning all day long in many public schools -- the result in part, studies by NYU Professor Richard Arum found, of the rise of student rights. Health care is like a nervous breakdown in slow motion. Costs are out of control, yet the incentive for doctors is to order whatever tests the insurance will pay for. Taking risks is no longer the badge of courage, but reason enough to get sued. There's an epidemic of child obesity, but kids aren't allowed to take the normal risks of childhood. Broward County, Fla., has even banned running at recess."

I'm going to start a group named, "Mothers for Dangerous Playground Equipment."

"The idea of freedom as personal power got pushed aside in recent decades by a new idea of freedom -- where the focus is on the rights of whoever might disagree."

Here is another thing we are free to do: not get hurt. If we do, you can bet it's someone else's fault and we are free to make them PAY.

"The flaw, and the cure, lie in our conception of freedom. We think of freedom as political freedom. We're certainly free to live and work where we want, and to pull the lever in the ballot box. But freedom should also include the power of personal conviction and the authority to use your common sense."

"We need to abandon the idea that freedom is a legal maze, where each daily choice is like picking the right answer on a multiple-choice test. We need to set a new goal for law -- to define an open area of free choice. This requires judges and legislatures to affirmatively assert social norms of what's reasonable and what's not. 'The first requirement of a sound body of law,' Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote, 'is that it should correspond with the actual feelings and demands of the community.'"

This is the kind of political action I could get into.

2 comments:

yesweareonmars said...

Thank goodness the rest of the world isn't so bad however, that said, even here there are things that drive me crazy. It all comes from the lawyers and insurance companies that run the world. It's ridiculous!
Fortunately some countries have passed laws regulating what and how much you can sue for and they also regulate what a drug company can charge for certain drugs.

My travel insurance says I can travel all over the world in every country and I am covered for everything - except in the U.S.. It is the only country in the world they put limits on because of the exorbitant price of medical care. Its ridiculous!

I hate it when you post such things cuz it gets me a goin. Stop that!

Anonymous said...

"Live Free or Die!" Maybe I should move to New Hampshire. Anyone want to come with?
ave