Monday, January 10, 2005

Administrative courts

Dale Franks is upset about the costs of our system of torts. The way I see it, our system of torts serves administrative duties for our entire economy, especially when other parts of the economy screw up in their administration of the law. If the social security administration doesnt pay you enough, you can still turn to the legal system and sue for benefits (while you may not be constitutionally entitled to such benefits, you can use legislation to justify claims); when the SSA does not administer laws properly, the justice system steps in and uses its own peculiar method of administration to potentially reverse and rectify the administrative decisions of the SSA. Similarly, when GE's legal department does not administer the law properly, they may be sued and possibly have the decisions they made regarding administration of laws reversed by another administrative institution (the courts).

That said, the fact that the total costs of this administration of our economy come to approximately 2 26/110% or about 2.24% of our GDP puts the torts system at a level that is a bit less efficient then Medicare and a bit more efficient then Social Security according to Mallabys numbers. All the SSA does practically is print and mail checks, and the tort system manages our economy more efficiently.

In addition, a commenter, bushluv, makes a good point: defensive medicine seems to be a counter example to the theory that additional litigation does not provide additional safety.


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