Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Climate of Fear

John Stossel is a huge proponent of putting a stop to what he calls frivolous lawsuits. Or to put it another way, John Stossel is opposed to wealthy white people being held accountable for their actions.
Sure, fear of the "invisible fist" makes manufacturers more careful. Some lives have been saved because the litigation threat got companies to make their products safer. That's the "seen" benefit.

But that benefit comes with a bigger unseen cost: The fear that stops the bad things stops good things, too -- new vaccines, new drugs, new medical devices. Fear suffocates the innovation that, over the past century, has helped extend our life spans by almost 30 years. Every day, we lose good things.

We can't even begin to imagine the life-saving products that might have existed -- if innovators didn't live in a climate of fear. That'll be the subject of next week's column.
This is one of the core differences between the Liberal and Conservative mindset. To Conservatives, wealthy white people are generally good and want to do good things, but are held back by frivolous lawsuits and over regulation. If we just let wealthy white people do what they want, without fearing for the consequences if they make a mistake, well, we'd all be a lot better off.

I say wealthy white people, not because I think Stossel is racist, but because most of the wealthy people he is trying to protect are white. I'm sure that in so far as Hispanics or Blacks or Asians are wealthy, John Stossel wants to give them a pass for their mistakes as well.

I'd be curious to know where Mr. Stossel stands on treating drug abuse compared to criminalizing drug abuse; many conservatives (but not all) are bang up along side punishing Drug Abusers, particularly the poor and non white drug abusers. Or, alternatively, consider the recent Bankruptcy bill that targeted America's working class who made a few mistakes.

The pattern seems clear. Poor people's screw-ups should be punished; wealthy people should live in a climate where they can screw up as much as they want without consequence.

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