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View Diary: Nothing's Too Good for the Working Class (120 comments)

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  •  The MSM Detests Workers (38+ / 0-)

    It can't be much clearer from your dairy that the MSM has a profound dislike for anything that serves to improve the quality of life and its enjoyment by us ordinary people.

    I've pretty much stopped watching what passes for news programs that fawn over the playthings and possessions of wealthy celebrities (and even not so wealthy celebrities as long as they can grind them up in their "entertainment" mill).  What the MSM wants is an infantalized population that fails to engage life in the real world and sees unscripted personal experience as a threat to a consumptive lifestyle and FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy.  For the media, true authentic experience is anathema.  So, of course they detest retreats that combine leadership and entertaining experiences for a proletariate that just doesn't seem to know its place.

    •  Workers treated like an evil (23+ / 0-)

      to be tolerated only in functions that can't be offshored at the moment.  I can't get over how even wages are treated like a sin to be taxed at higher rates than returns on capital.

      Excuse me, your child is kicking my seat.

      by Inland on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 08:54:16 AM PST

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      •  Yes, that's because economic theory assumes (15+ / 0-)

        that "man prefers leisure and must be bribed to work."

        That is, instead of regarding wages as fair payment or compensation for energy expended on someone else's behalf, payment is perceived as a bribe--i.e. giving in to an immoral demand.  So, of course, paying less of a bribe is good.

        Economic theory is laced with moral assumptions.  The statement about leisure is actually correct, if leisure is defined as doing one's own thing--i.e. being self-directed--and work means doing what someone else wants.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:25:22 AM PST

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        •  What's the source of your quote? :) n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Won't it be nice to have a SMART President?

          by ibonewits on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 10:13:03 AM PST

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          •  Well, in my analysis of the economy, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmo, kyril

            I quote Lester Thurow.  Though, I don't think I got around to footnoting it appropriately.


            How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

            by hannah on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:35:36 AM PST

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            •  I should perhaps add that I've only recently (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              old wobbly, ibonewits, kyril

              transfered these admittedly terribly presumptuous musings from floppy disks to the web.
              And should probably admit that I haven't reread what I scribbled over a decade ago.

              There once were notes, but I'm pretty sure I threw them out.

              Anyway, my thesis was that the household is the well-spring of the economy.  Which may well account for why males, who were never into managing households, tend to be poor managers of the economy on the whole.  More recently, I've decided that males are more into managing/ordering people, rather than focusing on the materials that need to be allocated, processed, transformed and stored.

              How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

              by hannah on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:46:54 AM PST

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      •  If the republicans have their way, union workers (8+ / 0-)

        will stand right up there with trial lawyers as evil leeches.

        The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

        by nupstateny on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 09:35:52 AM PST

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        •  Trial lawyers are evil leeches (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Having worked with many a trial lawyer in regards to Phen-fen I have come to the conclusion that most are money grubbing lowlifes whose avarice is only matched by the worst fortune 500 CEOs.

          •  Smearing all with your observations of a few (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pd, bronte17, gustynpip, kyril, Dirtandiron

            Phen-fen is one of many mass tort litigations.  Some silicosis litigation had fraud involved - that would support your argument.  But this is not all, and the issues are complex.  

            Discussion here if you are interested:


            Also, not all trial lawyers do mass torts.  

            •  My Brother is a Trial Lawyer (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and he agrees that most trial lawyers are in it for greed...not altruism.

              In my case with Phen-Fen I was pressured by most of the lawyers I worked with to "fudge" data to push clients into the settlement.  Average settlement was for $200k, of which the lawyers were taking 50%.

              Please explain how this was fair to the client?  50%?  Wyeth was paying for all the testing so the lawyers had only a minimal outlay.

              •  Altruism not necessary (0+ / 0-)

                Ethical obligations, and the threat of sanctions or worse for their violation, should be enough.  

                50% sounds excessive under the facts you give.  Maybe it should have been much less, even 10%.  It depends on the facts.   In many cases, 40% is not excessive, considering risks to the lawyer.  Your experience with Phen-Fen may not be representative.

                With deregulation and captured regulatory agencies, mass torts may be about the only thing driving product safety.  Attorneys fees are part of the cost calculation, so even if excessive may have social benefits.  But of course the clients should get as much, and the attorneys as little, as possible.  

                The question is whether, given the system we have, the injured would get anything without "greedy" lawyers.  

                •  10%? (0+ / 0-)

                  10%....please, oh please, name a lawfirm that would take a contingency fee of 10%!

                  In the case of Phen-fen, the settlement was decided.  Wyeth had agreed to pay X amount based on certain criteria from derived from echocardiograms.  If you had X amount of Mitral Regurgitation, Aortic insufficiency, or pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary hypertension always opted out of the settlement and sued separately) you recived X amount of $.  What upset me about the whole deal was that the lawyers set up the testing and when the client was positive (met minimum amounts of AI or MR) the lawyers would tell the client that they could get a settlement of X minus 50%.  What the lawyers didn't tell the client was that if they went to a local cardiologist and had the same test done they could get 100% of the settlement and that Wyeth would repay the cost of the exam.

                  Tell me how this was fair?  Tell me how these lawyers were doing right by those who were injured by Wyeth?

                  And as far as product safety...please name one deregulation incedent that has happened in the last 10 years that has hurt the American one.

                  I have been involved in cardiac and general ultrasound product development for over 12 years and I have yet to see a decrease in the regulatory environment.  If anything, it has been increasingly difficult to release new platforms and new product.  510K approval has become increasingly difficult to achieve, and HIPPA regulations are so variable between facililies as to be a joke.

                  So you can tell me that Trial Lawyers are the last backstop to consumer protection...but I have yet to see a single peer reviewed study that says that Tort has really made a difference in patient care.

          •  You lack perspective (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, Dirtandiron

            and anecdotes are not data.

            Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

            by boadicea on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 11:57:34 AM PST

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            •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

              How much anecdotal stories does this blog take as gospel!

              If I had an anecdote that fit into your world view it would be a recomended diary.

              Let's take John Edwards as an example...he made millions off of OB-Gyns who just happen to have the bad luck to have a patient who had a child with Cerebral Palsy.  What was his percentage on those settlements?  Did he just take his expenses and a small fee for his troubles?

              Contingency fees are just as immoral as any CEO bonus plan.

              Oh..and if you think Edwards was me two white papers that link Cerebral Palsy to method of birth.

              •  Typical Lawyer Bashing Example (4+ / 0-)

                Trotted out by tort deformers.

                Trouble is, it just ain't true for most trial lawyers.

                Thank a Trial Lawyer If...

                Some of them make a lot of money doing it.  More of them make an upper middle class income  doing it (warning, pdf file linked).


                In the current report it will be shown that the median salary of private practitioners is $120,192, although the average (mean) is $192,340. However, 72 percent of all private  practitioners make less than the mean of $192,340. In fact, as shown on the next page, 25 percent make less than $77,108. There is a small percent, about two percent of private practitioners, who made one million dollars or more in 2005. If these two percent are excluded from calculating the mean, the mean income would be $167,721.

                Nothing wrong with making a decent living. Don't let the CEO cult convince you there is.

                Is there greed and  questionable ethics in law, as in any other profession?  Absolutely.

                But the service rendered to us as a society by trial lawyers far outweighs the discomfort of a industrial execs who will treat quality management as just one more line item in the budget if they can.

                FTR, I'm not a lawyer.  Just someone who knows that if I ever have need of one, I'm gonna look for the most zealous advocate I can find.

                Just like the fright wing crooks do as soon as they find themselves facing a subpoena, no matter how they smear lawyers when they're riding high.

                Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

                by boadicea on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 12:35:10 PM PST

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                •  I don't have a problem with lawyers (0+ / 0-)

                  who don't take contingency fees.

                  Tell me...what service do trial lawyers really provide?  Are fewer patients dieing due to malpractice?  Fewer car accidents?  Are drugs safer?

                  Show me where the outcomes are better due to litigation and I will write a diary expounding on the virtures of trial lawyers.

              •  I don't like lawyer bashing either (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kyril, Dirtandiron

                Luckily I have not had need of their expertise in negotiating the legal system.

                From my thoroughly non legal perspective though, contingency fees are necessary to allow people who have been harmed to gain representation in court when they do not have the resources to engage an attorney on an hourly basis.  Where such access to representation is common, even the threat of possible action in order to procure justice may be sufficient to gain mitigation when one does not look upon a solid case as somehow winning a lottery.

          •  That's ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

            I know doctors who deserve to rot in hell for their malpractice and nonpractice, but that doesn't mean that every doctor should be tarred and feathered.  

            The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

            by nupstateny on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 05:05:52 PM PST

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    •  Worker raises hurts their shares (5+ / 0-)

      so keeping workers down helps the investor class, like all the well-paid UNION tv "news" people.

    •  MSM are UNION members. Writer's guild, Aftra (14+ / 0-)

      and other unions I may not be familiar with.

      And there was Carol Costello, UNION AFTRA TV contract, demanding to know why the UAW didn't give back everything to keep their jobs.

      •  Depends on the publication. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I worked for several newspapers and magazines in my life, and we never had a union.

        Of course, this was in Texas, where unions are few and far between. The only unions I've encountered were the ones for the printers who actually produced the publications I wrote.

        Writers and editors? Not so much.

        "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

        by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Dec 29, 2008 at 02:13:27 PM PST

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