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RE: stainless steel cable [kids' safety, etc.]

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From: Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 1:49 PM
To: chrisw(--nospam--at); seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: stainless steel cable [kids' safety, etc.]

In a message dated 5/25/05 9:17:58 AM, chrisw(--nospam--at) writes:
Very interesting thread.  I imagine everyone's chuckled at the cartoon of the OSHA-approved cowboy on his horse,   complete with rollover bar, air bags, turn signals, etc.  At the other extreme we have companies selling heart pacemakers with known deficiencies (talk about people who should be shot!).  But the fact is that we can't force people to be safe--all the seat belt laws in the world won't force people to wear them, or to stop them from putting their kids in the trunk (see today's paper). 

 Historically our free society has been based on personal freedom and self-responsibility. Risks were assumed to be a fact of life.
As we have advanced in our medical science, the spectre of early death due to injury or illness has mostly dissipated, thanks to mechanization replacing much of manual labor and the erradication of childhood diseases, etc. Someone recently wrote that a hundred years ago, it was typical for a family to hold a funeral for a loved one--as likely to be a child as an elderly parent--in the family home. The origin of the "sitting room" in the Nineteenth Century derives from this practice. It was even common for a parent to pose with the dead child's corpse upon his or her knee as if the child were still alive, something that would be "creepy" by today's standards.
Nowadays, people seldom come into personal contact with death, both because untimely death is far more rare and because the funeral services industry arose to supplant the family-centered funerary rite.
We have come to the point where we do not accept death or serious injury as "the will of God," and so we look for others to blame. Thus has arisen the cursed legal profession and its insistence that there are always deep pockets around to pay to assuage our pain and loss.
A "tort" once was limited to those who willfully caused harm (or at least knowingly refused to address an unacceptable risk). Now, there is the assumption of a "tort" whenever anyone is hurt--even for non-serious injuries.
Ultimately it is going to radically transform our economy into something inferior to what we once enjoyed. In fact, it's already happening.

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