I was surprised to see here that "The American Bar Association's Canons of Professional Ethics explicitly forbade 'stirring up litigation, directly or through agents.'" at one point in time. I can barely remember a time without ambulance chasers and other leeches.
Evidently, at one point in time the purpose of tort law was simply to "make whole" some person who had been harmed by the negligence of another. If no negligence was involved, no compensation was owed. Such cases were few. In 1944, there was a California Supreme Court decision which set the precedent for the situation we have today involving strict liability - a defendant can be forced to pay damages even if no negligence occurred. And the floodgates were opened to all the frivolous and damaging lawsuits of the last half century.
In the matter of the Executive Branch choosing which of Congress' laws to enforce,
"Presidents have been pushing against the limits on their powers since George Washington, and that tendency has increased as the limits on government have loosened over the last seventy years...a broad range of constitutional scholars agree that President Obama's unilateral actions (on changing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and selectively enforcing immigration laws) are not the thin edge of a wedge. He is merely pounding an existing wedge deeper into constitutional limits on presidential power."
Perhaps the most damning chapter in this book is the one titled A Systematically Corrupt Political System.
"..today's political process has produced politicians who, while keeping within the law, do things that are operationally indistinguishable from the way Third World kleptocrats operate."
Think about these identifying factors.
In a corrupt system:
- Government Service is a Way to Get Rich
- You Pay for Access to the Authorities
- Officials Shake Down Businesses
- Public Officials Shower Their Friends with Gifts
- Bribes Produce Results Independently of Political Principle
Think about it a bit.
One of the examples that got me a little hot,
"...the Wireless Tax Fairness Act was expected to come to a vote in the fall of 2011. It was supported by the cell-phone industry, had broad bipartisan support, and was certain to pass. But for months House Speaker John Boehner did not bring the bill to the floor for a vote. FinbVerizon sent checks to members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican."
It's called "tollbooth" charges by author P.eter Schweizer.
Murray's fundamental theory of political corruption.
"Corruption in the political process varies directly with the number and value of things that politicians have to sell."
and his fundamental theory of democratic politics,
"People who receive government benefits tend to vote for people who support those benefits."
This applies equally to middle class Social Security recipients, welfare mothers, farmers with sugar subsidies, and multi-billion dollar defense contractors.
There's a pretty good chapter towards the end of the book about the government shakedown of big businesses in the practice of levying large fines in negotiated "sealed", or secret settlements.
"If the government has been behaving with integrity in this process, and exposure of the sealed settlements would reveal that the companies have behaved badly enough to warrant their multibillion-dollar settlements, then corporations have no choice but to start behaving better. (this is the Progressive position on corporations js) But if it is the government that has been behaving badly, selectively choosing what regulations to enforce against whom so as to yield a large cash windfall (my naturally suspicious libertarian bent makes me believe this more likely js), corporate America will have to start asking itself whether it can coexist peacefully with the regulatory state."