Washington Post: “A government of the people’s every wish?”
If you don’t live in this country all of the time, and I don’t, here is what you notice when you come home: Americans — with their lawsuit culture, their safety obsession and, above all, their addiction to government spending programs — demand more from their government than just about anybody else in the world. They don’t simply want the government to keep the peace and create a level playing field. They want the government to ensure that every accident and every piece of bad luck is prevented, or that they are fully compensated in the event something goes wrong. And if the price of their house drops, they will hold the government responsible for that, too.
2 Responses to “Some Applebaumian Wisdom”
Well the latter one is mostly true due to bad government policy and not the fault of the owners.
It was an interesting piece that rang true in some respects, but I wonder whether most Americans are really “demanding” some of these things. The obsession with safety and accident prevention, for example, was the subject of ridicule where I grew up and seen as something being externally imposed by an out-of-control tort system. I have the feeling (impossible to prove, of course) that most of the people I knew wouldn’t sue in a medical or product liability case even with a good chance of winning. I don’t know whether to chalk this up to regional differences, or maybe to the people that Applebaum is friends with, but this part of her thesis just seems off to me. On the other hand, there’s a lot of saftey-totalitarianism at the local level too, which tends to be more reflective of the government people want in any given area. But an interesting read.