Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Urban Legends and Tort Reform

Ezra Klein spotted an excellent article in today's Sunday L.A. Times that's definitely worth the time. It details how the public discourse regarding tort reform is dominated by urban legend and anecdotal evidence. Also fills in some of the blanks in the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit, which everyone at the watercooler seems to know all about, but, shockingly, doesn't.

Like rallying public opinion against the estate tax, this is one more example of right-wing corporatist interests' more or less successfully hoodwinking average Americans into supporting something that directly opposes their interests. Tort reform is peddled as some kind of pro-consumer initiative, but after you wipe away all the bullshit, it is part of an ongoing campaign to relieve large corporations of ever having to incur any substantial risk. Gotta hand it to them really. How'd they pull it off? Could we hire some of their PR guys to hoodwink the insurance and pharmaceutical companies into supporting Guaranteed Health Care For All Americans?

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