Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In defense of lawsuits

They're not so bad, argues former New York Times writer Anthony Lake in that New York Review of Books piece, which is worth reading in full. Here's a good point in response to conservative critics of America's supposedly over-litigious culture:

This country is notoriously lacking in safety nets that are taken for granted in other advanced societies. Medical care is guaranteed by the state, by one method or another, in Canada and all European countries; in the United States upward of 40 million people have no medical insurance. Around 46 percent of employed Americans get not even one day of paid sick leave—which is guaranteed by law in 145 other countries. Lawsuits are often a substitute for safety nets.