Saturday, November 3, 2007

There is no free lunch

I contend that no payments are "free," and the cost of all payments growing out of litigation ultimately come out of the pockets of individuals. Individuals bear these costs in the various forms that include private insurance premiums, taxes paid to the government, gifts made to charities, higher prices for goods, lower wages for employees, and reduced profits and investment values for corporate stockholders and owners(be they individuals, public or private pension plans, charitable organizations, etc.).

The amount of any payment that is made in litigation or a settlement that is borne by any one individual may be miniscule or possibly not even discernible by the individual, but the amounts are real and, however small they are for each individual separately, all the small amounts added up for many, many individuals come up to a significant total amount that gets paid.

Plaintiffs lawyers want to obscure the foregoing and like to get a jury to act with disregard that ultimately their jury verdicts are coming out the pockets of individuals such as themselves.

There is a signicant factor that no single individual may much care or bother to complain about whatever miniscule amount is coming out of his pocket. If that is so, that is part of the phenomenon I alluded to previously in few stakeholders with big interests versus many stakeholders with small interests

There are numerous areas in society and the economy where small amounts come out of the pockets of many individuals in order to lump them together to create a large source of funds. Taxes could be viewed as one of these realms. It is beneficial for members of a society to be cognizant of situations where this happens and to exercise oversight about the matter in order to protect against abuse and exploitation that tries to take advantage of small motivation of any single individual to complain about a small amount being taken from him.

Taxpayers, through the democratic process, should and do exercise oversight over the levying of taxes.

I contend similar concerns are applicable to the current state of a great deal of litigation that goes on in the United States.

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