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H.R. 5: Political Chronyism At Its Best

5 comments

My favorite author, Ayn Rand, believed that the enemies of free market capitalism included communists/socialists and politicians who practiced chronyism. The vast majority of Americans agree that communism and socialism are failed economic systems, but it seems that just as many Americans fail to recognize the serious danger to our free market capitalist system that is posed by chronyism in Washington. Both parties practice captitalism- killing chronyism. An upstart automobile company that strives to produce a vehicle that runs on something other than gasoline stands very little chance of out-competing an entrenched company that relies on lobbyists and bailouts to stay in business. The leading manufacturers of wind turbines used to be based in the USA. The oil lobby forced them to move to Germany by ending their tax credits while extending those credits to oil companies. That’s not free-market capitalism, but rather unfair chronysim. The latest hypocracy comes from the politicians who, out of one side of their mouths support states’ rights, shrinking the federal government, a return to free market solutions, and a return to the Constitution, while out of the other side, they support whatever their special interest groups want, which right now is so-called tort reform.

The last time I checked, this country favored a capitalist sytem for doctors. The best surgeon in a locality should be able to charge more than the worst surgeon. Most doctors are excellent. However, every town and city has its worst doctor in a particular field. Sometimes that "worst" doctor is so bad that he or she is an embarassment to other doctors who secretly would not allow that doctor to treat their pet hamster. In a former firm, my medical malpractice defense colleagues represented an OB/GYN who was sued multiple times for repeatedly failing to read PAP smear reports returned to her/him from the lab. She/he would stick the report in the file and not review it until her/his patient returned for her annual check up. On several occasions, by the time of the next check up, the patient’s cervical cancer, which had been treatable 12 months earler, was now terminal. In a pure capitalist society, lawsuits would have driven this bad apple out of business. However, my state had a relatively low cap on medical malpractice awards ($1 million at the time), and this and other bad apple doctors simply bought insurance for $1 million and didn’t sweat it. My state also requires medical malpractice attorneys to certify, before they are even allowed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, that one or more physicians have agreed to provide expert testimony that the defendant doctor breached the standard of care and that the breach proximately caused the patient harm. Moreover, in all states, medical malpractice lawsuits are risky business propositions for plaintiff’s lawyer, costing $50,000 to $100,000 in costs advanced that probably will not be recovered if the case is lost. In other words, a "frivolous" medical malpractice lawsuit rarely, if ever, gets filed, at least in my state where we already have protections against such suits at the state level.

That brings me to H.R. 5- the attempt by some House Republicans to federalize state medical malpractice laws. Do these politicians think we’re too stupid to recognize that they are the same people who generally argue in favor of states’ rights, less federal government activism, and free market solutions, and who specifically oppose Obamacare because it attempts to federalize health insurance? Thankfully, some true conservatives like Fred Thompson and some members of the Tea Party like Rep. Ted Poe (R. Tex) recognize this hypocracy. Former Senator Thompson wrote a compelling editorial opposing tort reform and H.R. 5, and Representative Poe spoke against H.R. 5 in the House, saying it violated the Constitution.

Representative Poe makes a great point. H.R. 5 doesn’t actually address imaginary "frivolous" lawsuits. On the contrary, it punishes patients who have been seriously harmed by a doctor’s negligence. The bill would have politicians in Washington rather than local juries determine damage awards in favor of a patient who has proven a doctor’s and/or hospital’s negligence, by arbitrarily capping the amount the patient can recover in a state jury trial. The 7th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury. The Republican party’s chronies would like to strip this right away from individuals (not corporations) by, inter alia, capping their damages, forcing them to arbitrate disputes, and obstructing their right to enter into private contracts with attorneys. One favorite provision the tort reformers push is to federalize private representation contracts between individuals and their lawyers for representation involving tort claims. They know that most people cannot afford to pay hourly for a lawyer to bring a tort claim against a corporation. The solution for most people is to agree to contingency fees, meaning the lawyer does not get paid a fee unless he or she wins the case, at which time the fee is a percentage of the gross recovery. A famous federal judge once call contingency fee lawyers true capitalists. The tort reformers know that if they can federalize fee contracts, citizens won’t be able to afford a lawyer to sue a corporation.

While chronyism has been around forever, I fear that it’s reached a crisis level in this country. The Democrats are such wusses that the Republicans smell blood. Unscrupulous bankers who passed off their toxic mortgaged-backed securities to pension funds and made loans to people who could not afford to repay them got off scott-free. Meanwhile, the teachers, firefighters, police, and private corporation employees whose pensions evaporated as a result of the Wall Street bankers’ gross misconduct are the very people currently under attack by some Republican politicians. The attacks on unions in Wisconsin and on federal employees by the House Speaker are rationalized by the attackers as necessary measures to reduce the debt. However, everyone knows the overwhelming majority of this country’s budget is spent on three things: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and Defense. Instead of having the courage to address these areas, the politicians attack the teachers, cops, and fire fighters making $40,000 per year. Give me a break!

What does this have to do with the Democrats being wusses? I believe the Republicans see the unions and the trial lawyers as the balls of the otherwise ball-less Democrat pary. That and the fact that their major contributors are anti-7th Amendment and anti-union are why the Republican’s top priorities are federalizing state tort laws and further weakening unions. Ironically, this requires them to support the very kind of activist federal government intrusion into our private rights that they supposedly oppose. Hopefully, the Tea Party members will stay true to their principles and continue to oppose this big government chronyism.

5 Comments

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  1. Wingnut says:
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    Hi

    You DO see the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA one dollar bill, right? You DO see the servitude infestation in capitalism, right? And do you see the “pay up or lose your wellbeing” Chicago mob-like felony extortion widespread within capitalism? Do you see the “join or starve” felony extortion done to the 18 year olds… by this ugly competer’s church called capitalism? See how forcing competer’s religions onto 18 year olds… kills membership in the cooperator’s church (Christianity/socialism)?? Do you understand that AmWay (American Way) (New World Order) got “the exclusive” (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) accepted in supply depots (stores) and leverages 18 years olds into the organization via that felony activity as well? (It puts AmWay-coupon slaving requirements called price tags… on all the survival goods). Do you understand how farmyard pyramids work… from your childhood?? Remember?? Upper 1/3 are “heads in the clouds” while the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world’s knees in their backs? Still with me? Do you see anything illegal, immoral, or just plain sick… in any of this pyramid scheme’s activities?

    Us American Christian socialists are still patiently awaiting the natural fall of the pyramid-o-servitude, or the busting of the free marketeers felony… by the USA Dept of Justice. Us Christians are VERY CLOSE to issuing a cease and desist order until the servitude and inequality goes away… which means it turns into a commune. Commune is a word we LOVE when used in the word “community”… but its one the caps HATE when used in the term “commune-ism”. Go fig. PROGRAMMED!!

    Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ to see a full color picture made way back in 1911, when capitalism was first discovered to be a con/sham instigated by the Free Masons/Illuminati. Folks sure bought into the thing… hook, line, and sinker just the same. The caps didn’t even check if a string was attached! Now THAT’S easy fishing, eh?

    Time to level the felony pyramid scheme called capitalism. Abolish economies and ownershipism worldwide, and hurry. Economies just cause rat-racing, and rat-racing causes felony pyramiding. BUST IT, America! Look to the USA military supply/survival system… (and the USA public library system) for socialism and morals done right. Equal, owner-less, money-less, bill-less, timecard-less, and concerned with growth of value-criteria OTHER THAN money-value. Quit doing monetary discrimination immediately, and make it illegal. There are MANY measurement criteria of “value”… not just dollars. Try morals, efficiency, discrimination-levels, repairability, etc etc. Economies are cancerous tumors, and to cheer for their growth… is just insane. Profiting causes inflation, so if caps LIKE inflation, and if they LIKE a terrible time in afterlife when they meet the planet’s ORIGINAL OWNER before caps tried to squat it all with ownershipism, then keep it up with the felony pyramiding. I dare you. While us Christians are finally bulldozing that pyramid scheme back to level, lets make servitude and “join or starve” (get a job or die) illegal in the USA, and lets level the architecture seen in USA courtrooms, too. Right now, USA courtrooms are church simulators or “fear chambers”, by special design. Sick.

    Isn’t that back-of-the-dollar pyramid… a Columbian freemason symbol? And WHERE is the USA gov located? District of Columbia? (Not even part of the USA!). How much more blatant can ya get? Wake up, bud. The “Fed” runs a pyramid scheme called the free marketeers. If you’re using the “federal reserve note” certificates, or using no-other-living-thing-on-the-planet entitles of ownership, you’re bought into a servitude/slavery con/sham… called capitalism. Pyramiding 101.

    Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
    (anti-capitalism-ists)
    Bessemer MI USA

  2. Dudemauler says:
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    Ok, wingnut, I think you’re taking this a little too far. All your talk about the pyramid and such is all true, but it doesn’t make it right. I hope that somewhere in the miniscule spark of synapses that you pass for thoughts you realise that it’s human nature to form into hierarchies. Every single human on this earth and probably you too, except you’re too dim to realise it, wants and needs to know his place among his fellow humans. The capitalist system is designed so that you easily know your worth just by counting how much money you have and your social status. I, too, would like to have a hierarchy-free system but it’s just not possible for extended periods of time. Human nature makes it impossible.

  3. Wingnut says:
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    DM: Ok, wingnut, I think you’re taking this a little too far.

    W: Thanks for the reply, bashing aside. Actually, abolishing the tools by which rat-racing happens (money and ownership) is the ONLY solve. Pyramids ALWAYS collapse, and crush the folks on the bottom, unless they revolt first.

    DM: All your talk about the pyramid and such is all true, but it doesn’t make it right.

    W: Truth isn’t right? Hmmm.

    DM: I hope that somewhere in the miniscule spark of synapses that you pass for thoughts you realise that it’s human nature to form into hierarchies.

    W: What kindness! Actually, competing has not been proved to be human nature, and in fact, the more research I do on the subject, the more I think its learn behavior. Can’t chalk this one off to human nature… like the blame for so many other things we choose not to look at. Learned behavior is far from ruled-out on this one. And I doubt you’ve done the legwork to prove that rat-racing can be blamed on human nature, and thus washed from our moral hands. But bashing me sure helps the cause, eh? its the competitive pyramiding way, right? Make other around you look stupid, and you look smarter, right? Yay pyramiding/competing! Yay smashmouthing! Yay football!

    DM: Every single human on this earth and probably you too, except you’re too dim to realise it, wants and needs to know his place among his fellow humans.

    W: Again, what kindness and love! Wouldn’t it be nice if every person’s place among “fellow humans” was BESIDE them, and not above or below? Wouldn’t it be neat if we worked WITH each other and not FOR each other? Wouldn’t it be nice if ORDERS didn’t happen, but instead, requests? Have you waved your empowerment coupons in the air and placed an ORDER for a hamburger in a fast food restaurant lately, and seen how the servants are under ORDERS to make the hamburger… OR ELSE!? Orders are fun, huh? Fun when you are empowered over another, but not so fun when another is empowered over you.

    DM: The capitalist system is designed so that you easily know your worth just by counting how much money you have and your social status.

    W: I suspect you mean one’s MONETARY worth only, and to hell with other measuring criteria of worth… like logic, love, kindness, morals, reusability, reparability, happiness, right?

    DM: I, too, would like to have a hierarchy-free system but it’s just not possible for extended periods of time. Human nature makes it impossible.

    W: Are you open-minded to the possibility that you are wrong on this point, or have you got it all chiseled in granite? What if I said that an addiction-to and tradition-of competing… makes it SEEM impossible? Would you be open to THAT possibility, maybe without bashing me again? Be careful what you chalk-up to human nature. I think you will find, upon intense scrutiny of the scene… that much of it is, instead, learned behavior… mostly handed-down traditions. A deep debate once happened here… if you’re bored.

    http://www.chancelitton.com/?p=131

    Thanks for being against hierarchies, and thanks for the reply… bashes or not.
    Wingy

  4. Wingnut says:
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    Hi again. DM and others… I need to add something here. I believe… there is a Moebius type of inside-is-outside-is-inside thing happening with chalking things up to human nature. I believe humans create their own(ed) “entity” via the wearing-of (donned) beliefs (often self-BS’ings). This is what causes humans to buy into stories and spinnings. Humans… in my opinion… are designed to be story listeners and to get semi-easily enthrawled in the story. They “wear” these beliefs and story-convincings… like clothing. So, as professional story listeners and watchers (see how muc we all like movies?), many will buy (into) ANYTHING… including our own self-BS. Self-BS is not necessarily a bad thing, but its often a speculation, and thus rarely accurate or backed by much solid evidence. It is an area of study that hasn’t been fleshed-out… no time. We are a rushed people, you see… and thus, we have to concentrate on the surface things in life, and we rarely get around to deep scrutiny. We rarely get time to “bust” our own self-BSings.

    To flesh-out some of these “how’s this work” and “what’s this mean” speculated areas… takes time, and opportunities. Most opportunities are blocked by either a no trespassing sign, a fence, or the money-based blockade called “affording”. Therefore, its not easy for young minds to explore the planet or its creatures. Its all owned and most of it is protected by police guns and ownership laws. So, we crawl into a little box, and speculate our brains out (or turn to a religion)… to fill-in gaps in knowledge that are blocked from being research-gathered. With me?

    This explore-the-planet-I-was-born-onto discrimination, is part of OWNing. In a way, all owning is illegal, because Earth creator(s) (original owners of all Earth materials)… were never consulted. All land squattings… illegal. All tree owning and cow owning… illegal. Can’t own Earth Creator(s)-made things… and since ALL “things” are made of Earth materials… then all ownership is null and void. Pretty heavy thought, but we all know its still correct… and right.

    But to make an already miserable story… less miserable…

    I believe that it IS human nature for folks to unwarrantedly and unjustifiably chalk-up many things to human nature (scapegoating/handwashing). We believe stories easily, and thus, we believe many things to be “human nature” when they are actually learned behaviors. Often, its the most distasteful and un-faceable things that get handwashed.

    Its human nature… to not own-up-to disgusting learned-behavioral things we do… I think. Thoughts?

  5. Dudemauler says:
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    You are very true about the self-BS’ings that happen a lot, but take it this way: Most other social animals on the earth naturally organise into hierarchies.

    Sorry for the bashing, I’ve grown tired of the number of people spouting gibberish on the internet, and you seemed like one of them.

    I feel as if your “pyramids always collapse” mantra is one of your self-BS’ings. I recently attended a program called the Landmark Forum and the self-BSing is an integral part of that education, about how you tell yourself that you cannot do something and therefore you don’t even try or just try to reinforce your belief that you cannot do it.

    Another part of that is that if something is true that doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. For example, the fact that your parents got a divorce is true but it’s not wrong.

    The avoidance of responsibility is a large part of american culture in its present state.

    The fact that hierarchies appear is true but not wrong.