Wait just a minute... you mean legislators don't give fully weigh both solutions to a problem in a fair, non-partisan way prior to making choices that effect the lives of millions? I'm devistated...
/end sarcasm :)
I agree with you basically, Rob, but I was sort of joking with the last post. On my site, any controversial topic always denigrates into "but those rogue judges" as someone tries to defend an undefendable position. Personally, I don't think there is such a thing. I think there's judges that don't agree with people's ideological take on the law so they're "rogue" or "activist" or "leftist" or (loosely quoted from the Senate floor) "causing frustration that I can understand how might end in... (long pause for effect) ... violence".
I've never heard of the idea that the government should be awarded the damages though. Personally, I like a litigious society. It keeps everyone in check. If you do something to overtly to me, I want the right to take you to court, have our differences heard and receive some sort of restitution. I think the bar is set a little too low in some cases. Coffee has the ability to scald, and bikes can get you hurt. If it's a mountain bike and you're using it as its designed, it will get you hurt... eventually.
My problem with a litigious society happens with special interests get control over the laws. Right now (on in the very near future, if it hasn't taken effect yet), if I was medically qualified surgeon and performed a surgery on someone and amputated the wrong arm, I would be held liable no more than $250,000 - I'm almost 100% this is the way it is in California now, and with the new medical malpractice reforms Congress passed this year it will be this way nationwide soon. Now if I go hop on some file-sharing network and download two songs, I can be held liable for $300,000!
Yeah... I see how that's right. I'm a doctor, expected to make the right choices, but go get drunk and mutilate someone - a cool quarter of a million and we'll call it even. But download a song! Stop the presses we have a serial society destroyer on our hands! Sue the teenager for everything they'll make for the first few decades of their life! And if it is a pre-released song/video and the MPAA/RIAA has their way - it's slammer time for you!
Unfortunately, it all comes down to money and I'm not sure how to remove that from the equation. Politicians need money to run for office, so they're do fund raisers. I don't think public funding is the answer. I see it as a way for the two parties to lock themselves in. How exactly can you trust them to come up with a fair and equitable way to distribute money to all of the candidates that might want to run? Short answer is you can't. They'll have the bar so high that only someone who financially independent (can anyone say "Forbes" and "Perot") or has a party machinery behind them will actually have the resources to meet their requirements (10k signatures in 10 different counties for state office, or some other ridiculous requirement).
And the infotainment world needs advertising revenue. They aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them. In some cases, it wouldn't be the hand that feeds them, but rather the hand that feeds them, provides a place for them to stay, and puts up with them. What happened to anti-trust laws? Oh that's right, we save those for companies that don't "really effect us" (a quote from a Senator when asked why the Justice department went after Microsoft but wouldn't pursue big oil for price fixing).
When I look through the history of the US, it seems to me that we're on a similar course as we were at the end of the 19th century. Business is being given free reign, the government is their whore, and the major newspapers aren't doing a damn thing about. Thank god we do have the new version of the independent press - the blog.
Hey, Rob, you left your soap box here... ;)