Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - June 13, 2010
Some links from tonight's show:
- "The Tank Man", a fine and highly-recommended documentary about the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989
- The government wants you to give away your ideas and hard work, but will it pay you for them?
- Bill Gates gives Haiti a magnificent gift for earthquake relief
- It's illogical to press charges against researchers, but people are thinking about doing it anyway
- India grows despite having the world's most stifling bureaucracy
Some people will counter that the courts will take too long to get to the cases. But that just shines a spotlight on the fact that the legal system itself isn't working correctly -- not that we should go to extra-legal means (and by that, I mean steps that have no sufficient legal authority) to solve the problem.
If the government can start issuing orders about how much a company owes in damages without going through a judicial process, then what is to stop the President from confiscating a controlling interest in BP? The threat alone of a massive set of liabilities against BP could be enough to push the company into bankruptcy. Just because we're (rightly) angry at the behavior of a company for causing damage doesn't mean we should authorize our government to act outside the law. The rule of law means that we decide the rules first, then punish or reward people (and companies) according to those rules -- not decide that we want to punish and then go about setting the rules.