Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Chamber And Lawsuits--Time To Pull The Plug On This Merry Go Round....

This article by CBS' Andrew Cohen absolutely nails the hypocrisy of the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce and its never ending quest for liability protections for corporate America, even in the face of the worst epidemic of corporate greed, fraud, and scandals in U.S. history. He accurately lays out the Chamber's never ending game plan as follows:

1. Spend billions on ad campaigns and lobbying that pushes for limits on Americans' rights to hold businesses and insurance companies accountable when they harm people;

2. Have every state pass the Chamber's wish list of legal "reforms" that either limit what businesses will pay if held legally accountable, or give them immunity from any lawsuits;

3. Refuse to accept that our mortgage backed economic meltdown, financial pyramid schemes, and millions in job losses was caused in part by the Chambers' platform of "Corporate America needs freedom from lawsuits and excessive regulations to thrive"; and

4. Amazingly, and with a straight face, spend billions more to argue for MORE corporate legal protections or else the economy will suffer further....

Are they serious? You bet. The Chamber's assault on the legal rights of individuals is like mail to the mailman--it just keeps coming, rain or shine, boom or bust.

The Chamber does alot of good things for businesses big and small. But when it comes to the issue of lawsuits and businesses and the cause and effect between them and the economy, the Chamber is like an out of touch DJ playing the same old tunes that nobody really wants to dance to. But if you think otherwise, here's a thought. The true test of any "reform" measure, in my opinon, is: Does it affect everyone equally? Will everybody share in the pain and sacrifice, or just a select few?

Well, guess what? The Chamber's "reform" measures that limit or deny the right to sue don't apply to businesses. Corporations that are harmed are free to bring thousands of lawsuits every year to enforce their rights, with no limits on what they can recover. They can sue each other, or sue you, with impunity. But when it comes to individuals bringing lawsuits against corporate America, now we need "limits" and "boundaries" and "pre-emption" and "immunity."

Colonel Potter from M.A.S.H. had a saying for these euphemisms: "Horse hockey!"
(syn., see "b.s.")

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