Lately, not a news cycle turns without an insurance company, a Wall Street firm, a bank or other corporate giant asking for a government bailout with our taxpayer money.
Ironically, these are the same Big Corporations that every year aggressively lobby the government to de-regulate their industries to allow for greater profit margins.
We have all heard corporate America’s battle cry before: More government intrusion will lead to decreased profits and thus harm the economy. If we fill the pockets of the rich, this will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the population because the rich will spend money and create jobs. The truth of these ideas are the subject of much debate, but it is undeniable that corporations are an integral piece of our economic engine. They create new technologies, employ the workforce and increase our Gross Domestic Profit. It is also undeniable, given the recent economic downturn, that when corporations are left to their own devices, there is an element that will exploit the weak and powerless for their own gain. It is simply in the nature of Corporate America to place profits above all else, including Americans.
To those of us who are called on to fight these titans of corporate America on behalf of individuals, this most recent and seemingly incongruent request for government intervention by corporate America is nothing new. Corporate America has for years been talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to government involvement. While on the one hand, they have lobbied for less government and less taxes (in a further twist of irony, taxes are now being used to make up for their mismanagement), they have asked for government intervention before when it suits their needs. They have simply packaged this need as tort reform.
If some in corporate America could choose their utopia, it would look something like this:
1. Corporations would pay little or no taxes;
2. Corporate executives would be paid billions in bonuses;
3. If corporations posted large losses, employees would be laid off;
4. Repeat number 2;
5. No one would hold them accountable.
This is wrong. The very balancing act our founding fathers intended contemplated a system of checks and balances.
This system of checks and balances has been applied to the private sector. When a corporation unjustly and unlawfully harms an innocent individual, they have a right, in this country, to seek legal recourse. This right is not exclusive to the rich or the powerful, but is afforded to all citizens (and, in certain instances, non-citizens) of the United States of America. From the powerful to the powerless, all have the right to be compensated for being unjustly harmed by another. Tort reform is nothing more than corporate America’s attempt to tilt the scales against the individual in favor of the powerful and avoid accountability. It is wrong. It is anti-American. It is also hypocritical and simply another form of back-door deregulation at the expense of the weak and powerless.
For the truth about tort reform, please visit: www.tortreform.com