Pragmatic Solutions For 2009

by Prescott Johanson

Well my friends, to say 2008 was a rough year for our country is a vast understatement. We come in to 2009 with renewed hope and vigor. This country is strong and great, but we've gone beyond common sense pragmatic solutions to a bitter fight between 2 warring political factions. These factions many times throw out solutions that can work for solutions that clearly do not but that represent one of their money contributing special interest groups. Or even worse, and you can see this the last few years in particular, they do nothing at all. I am starting a series of editorials on various subjects I think are important and what common sense tells us to do. If you disagree, good, write something yourself. These are some of my ideas, ideas that are practical and would help this country.

I wanted to start off with what I think is the one underlying subject that has an effect on all others, and that is how America has become a sue first society. The time is now for very real tort reform to limit the scope of lawsuits while also protecting the common citizen. There was an article I read recently that said over 80% of the politicians in Washington are lawyers, that was their primary profession. Very few were people who created a product or build a business or sowed a harvest or cured a disease, but the vast majority are those that learned the law and learned to manipulate it. Now I have nothing against lawyers, but when they are the majority representatives of a society as vast and diverse as ours there is a major problem. Gee, I wonder why they don't get anything done, because they don't know how. This is a completely different issue, and it's a problem, but they won elections so what can you do. This is why though, that issues are always slanted towards the individual and low and behold, the lawyers representing them.

Well, the problem with this is that first off, it substantially increases out medical costs. I think we will all agree that the vast majority of doctors are good people who are there to help and do their best. Mistakes will be made though, specifically in surgery where no procedure is guaranteed. If a mistake does happen though, the doctor is finished, so they pay astronomical sums for insurance and charge even more to protect themselves and who can blame them. My thinking isn't that we should end these lawsuits but limit them and limit the amount that an individual can collect and more importantly, the amount the lawyers can collect. Having something go wrong in a risky procedure doesn't entitle you or your family to gain 10's of millions of dollars, or at least it shouldn't. This is the same with any lawsuit. Insurance of every kind is more expensive because of the risk that someone will be hurt in some way by that asset and go out of their way to bankrupt you or the company. This goes for a house, a motorcycle, boat, business, anything. It has simply gone too far.

When you take into consideration the loss of humanity in our current society, the inability to help a person who needs it you can see an area that has been really affected. We've all seen the video's on TV where someone is getting robbed or beaten or hit by a car and people stand by and do nothing, not willing to help, and it makes me sick. I would help, I hope anyway, and I hope you all would to. We are here to help our fellow humans and if it is possible without hurting yourself, you should do it. I hated these people. Then I realized a big problem when I read other articles about people helping people and then getting sued for such help because it didn’t go perfectly. If someone is hit by a car and is laying there if you move them you take on some liability regardless of how careful you are. It is a terrible way to live and I started realizing that this is part of the reason our society has become so insensitive, because it has become not in your best interest to help a stranger, regardless of how they are getting wronged.

Another point is within corporate America. Look, I understand that the idea of "big business" is as an evil entity bent on ruling the world. The fact is though, that companies hire people, pay them, create jobs, and create the products that make our everyday life better. What they get in return is a quick trigger response to more or less steal from them through frivolous lawsuits. I don't even need examples; read the paper every day for the next month and you will see many such situations. Well, I hate to tell you folks, but those law suits that they are paying, for coffee being too hot, of a kid choking on a toy that the parents shouldn't have bought for them get passed right back down to the consumer and taken from your pocket. Again, lawsuits are necessary but it always strikes me that the most minor things with minor consequences produce extreme wealth for the individual. I swear it gives incentives to people to quit looking for jobs and start looking for a way to sure someone. Wait a minute, this is exactly what is already happening. We sue first and ask questions later.

The problem is that there are so many lawyers making so much money that it will never stop just because we know it is wrong. People do what the incentive tells them to, good people sue because it works and pays for a new house. We have to limit these lawsuits. More times then not in fact the lawyers get more then the actual complainant. If a person breaks into your house and hurts themselves on the front steps that you forgot to fix then they sue you...and win. We know this is wrong, we all do, but we can't change it until the people in control do something about it. The problem is...again...they are all lawyers. Ha ha, it makes my head explode.

It is an inefficient way to run a society and leads to waste and resources going to people who don't deserve them. Again, of course lawsuits are there as a protection, but shouldn't there be a limit to how rich you can get by getting wronged by someone? It gets to the point where we can all sue, really. Think to yourself and you will find a situation...but don't act on it. Life is hard and we need to start realizing that. Everyday isn't rainbows and roses, what fun would that be? What happened to the saying "if it doesn't kill me it makes me stronger"? I pray that we can get back to a society of individual responsibility, where we deal with our problems and live up to our obligations as citizens and do what is best for us all. If you hurt your arm at a neighbor’s house and it heals you are not entitled to be a millionaire, okay? Please, start thinking about this and about the fact that while you are smart and talented and do work everyday that is important, creating wealth and jobs, building cars and building houses and then…you elect a lawyer. Please, it is a new year and the mantra is "CHANGE", so why don't we really do it. Start thinking about what you can do to be productive for yourself first and therefore for society and stop thinking and living to take from someone else, to loot someone else's hard work. Work towards a life of creation rather then theft.


@Copyright 2009 Prescott Johanson

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