Monday, December 22, 2008

Law Upon Law, Straw Upon Straw

Too Much Law Guarantees Unfairness

It's no secret that America's public schools, health care system, and lawsuit industry -- among other institutions -- are broken. After decades of alarming reports and reform efforts, they still cost far more, and with worse results, than those of almost all other developed countries. And President-elect Obama's hope of changing things dramatically for the better faces an uphill battle.

A big part of the reason, New York City lawyer-author-civic leader Philip Howard writes in a forthcoming book, Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans From Too Much Law, is that our institutions and their leaders are paralyzed by tangles of legal rules and diverted "from doing what we think is right" by fear of being unfairly hauled into court.

"We will never fix our schools, or make health care affordable, or re-energize democracy, or revive the can-do spirit that made America great," Howard writes, "unless American law is rebuilt to protect freedom in our daily choices." By this he means freeing ourselves from "the confusion of good judgment with legal proof."

You know it's true. I was just reading yesterday about a California law that will hold you liable if you injure someone while trying to rescue them from imminent danger. The result being that you will probably not be rescued from that burning vehicle you can't get out of by yourself.

That's a great article with too many good points to quote here.

No comments: