Justinian Lane

The Politics Behind Tort Reform

Hello, and welcome back after that fifteen-month intermission. I've been too busy helping people to blog about the forces that want to prevent me from helping people.

To dip my toe back in the blogging water, I thought I'd give a very brief primer on the politics behind tort reform.

Tort "reform" is of course the effort to (a) make it more difficult to file injury lawsuits, and (b) make it more difficult to collect meaningful amounts of money from injury lawsuits. These efforts benefit large industries to the detriment of the general public. (You know, like most policies these days.)

Republicans are big supporters of tort "reform" for the following reasons:

1: Most Republicans believe that lawsuits are a form of regulation that hampers big business. Without pesky lawsuits, businesses could make more decisions on the basis purely of profitability, without much concern about the safety of their products. For those folks who believe corporate America would always do the right thing regarding safety, I suggest you research the history of asbestos use in America.

2: Most Republicans are supported by industries that are often sued in personal injury lawsuits (doctors, pharmaceuticals, oil, gas, transportation, etc.) or that foot the bill in the lawsuits (insurance companies.)

3: Most trial lawyers are Democrats and give campaign contributions to Democrats.

4: Tort "reform" drastically reduces the amount of money trial lawyers can earn. The less money a trial lawyer earns, the less he or she can give to Democrats.

So here's how the cycle works: Republicans throw red meat to the base by promising tort "reform" measures. That gets dollars flowing to the Republicans. If the measures pass, it cuts into the amount of money trial lawyers can give to Democrats. So by pushing for tort "reform," the Republican party simultaneously revs up its base, increases campaign contributions, and defunds the Democrats. If you're a Republican, you're an idiot not to support tort "reform." You're also not the brightest if you're a Democrat who supports tort "reform."

That's it for today, kids. I have literally over 1,000 blog topics I've been saving up in a "To Be Blogged About" folder in my Inbox. I doubt I'll ever get all the way through it, but I'll start working on it.

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Posted at 6:13 PM, May 20, 2012 in
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