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Can't We Just Outlaw Stupidity?

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June 18, 2011 – Comments (25) | RELATED TICKERS: SWK , SHLD , EMR

One of my hobbies is woodworking. I build furniture, cabinets, decorative pieces mostly, some yard projects like pergolas, and have even built a few structures like sheds and garages. The common denominator in all of them though is they require the use of sometimes dangerous power tools: chop saws, table saws, drills, reciprocating saws, nail guns, etc.

You need to have a healthy respect for the danger they impose because it's all too easy to become complacent when you've got a saw blade spinning several thousand times a minute just waiting to slice off an appendage, and not necessarily with a smooth cut.

Maybe because I was taught proper safety procedures when I was young, but I've never had a serious injury. Whacked my thumb with a hammer more times than I care to remember, but I still have all 10 digits I was born with and the requisite number of limbs.

The point of this post is that not everyone has been so lucky. Or smart. In fact, some people are just plain stupid. And now Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD), Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR), Ryobi, and other table saw makers have to pay the price. Make that, consumers will have to pay the price. 

Inventor Steve Gass made an pretty awesome safety device that upon sensing that a spinning blade has touched flesh, it immediately stops the blade. It has the potential to save hundreds if not thousands of careless woodworkers and weekend warriors from losing limbs or digits. 

 

Gass tried to sell the licensing to his patented technology to the tool makers but for whatever reason -- most likely price -- every single one balked. Gass ended up making his own table saw, the Saw Stop. He's had some middling success selling them on the market, most likely because they are super expensive. Of course, you might like to think that saving yourself from losing a few fingers is worth the extra upfront expense.

Apparently not. One of the drawbacks of the Saw Stop is that it disables the saw. As in completely inoperable until you replace the Saw Stop device. It's a great device that ultimately ruins your tools.

But let's not let free choice get in the way of government's desire to regulate safety. Since we apparently can't outlaw stupid -- yes, that cup of McDonald's coffee is hot, so you might not want to put it between your legs where it might spill -- the government is mandating the toolmakers install Gass's technology.

Throughout hearings that were held, proponents of the tough, new regulations invariably were those who were seriously injured by the tool. Yet as critics have properly noted, to a man the outcomes were all the result of their own stupidity. The saws themselves were not defective, but rather the safety devices the manufacturers installed -- the blade guards, riving knives, etc. -- were removed and then the person put their hand, arm, or whatever into the path of the blade, whether to catch a piece of falling wood, grab a piece of wood, or whatever. It was their own stupid actions that led to the injury. But for those of us who practice safe woodworking, we'll end up having to pay the cost. 

The Consumer Products Safety Commission Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum has directed her staff to draft a new tablesaw safety regulation package, which will be released for public comment in September. So the regulations are coming, and so are higher prices for tools. Table saws anyway. Gass estimates the Saw Stop will add about $100 to the price of a saw, but manufacturers say it's going to cost a lot more than that. Plus, if the device is triggered, it's going to cost you big bucks to replace it.

Realize, there is no other option available. Saw makers will have to install the device on each and every saw they sell. Say buh-bye! to all the low end saws. There just won't be a market for them anymore. They'll fail ot exist.

I give credit to Gass for developing this incredible technology. It is truly remarkable and you'd think at least on some of their high-end saws manufacturers would have installed the device on a few models. What I begrudge him, though, is trying to win in the court room (or the regulator's back room) what he could not achieve in the marketplace. 

The Saw Stop is an awesome advance in safety. But that does not mean the government should mandate every tablesaw come with it regardless of cost, the decimation of affordable, low-end tools, and future expenses from having to replace the device once its triggered.

It just might be easier -- and cheaper -- to outlaw stupid. 

25 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 18, 2011 at 6:15 PM, dwot (61.86) wrote:

I would not mind seeing this kind of thing for schools.  Our shop teacher is so careful with the kids.  He has everything they are not supposed to be using unplugged. 

I think if the device is triggered it is a mute point as then it has done its job.  False triggering could be an issue...

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#2) On June 18, 2011 at 7:40 PM, whereaminow (22.35) wrote:

Thanks for the great post. 

Like all regulations of safety, this will actually prevent competition in the development of advanced safety providing technologies in woodworking.  Rather than allowing the market to develop naturally, where other entrepreneurs, over time, could step in and compete with Gass, the government will force all to use Gass' expensive technology now.  No competition = no downward force on prices. 

Of course, this phenomonen has been understood for at least 300 years, and probably longer.  But you don't become a regulator through the exercise of intellect.  No one ever says "I want to be a regulator when I grow up."  No one would ever want to be a regulator.  A government regulator uses violence to compel buyers and sellers to behave in accordance with the regulator's wishes.  Such behavior is not normal.  It is narcissistic and very likely psychotic.  They replace consumer sovereignity with bureaucRAT sovereignity.  All in the name of that shadowy figure referred to as the "public good."

David in Qatar

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#3) On June 19, 2011 at 6:02 AM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

I am curious? What is the total cost of the severed limbs and thumbs?

The first thing that comes to mind is the loss of work on the construction site. Everybody gathering around the stupido, nobody working while the foreman realizing he hasn't got a first aid kit on hand and has to ruin someones $7.00 shirt, and now everybodys not working until the ambulance comes so even if they are illegals that has to cost at least $200 per incident.

But not enough to make it worth buying a protected saw on the jobsite.

But then there is the ambulance, the gauze, the gas, the whatever else they do billed out for $2k per ride, or whatever, but the guy making $350/week can damn well pay that out of his own pocket. I'm not going to help him for his stupidity.

And frankly the damn ambulance rides are probably cheaper than putting safety into all the saws used by the stupidos and not-stupidos combined, and cheaper is obviously always better.

Heh heh, except to lefty of course.

Then there is emergency room visits. $5k, $10k, $15k who the F knows anymore. Aftercare, rehab, learning to tie shoe laces, use buttons, who gives a sh*t what a lifetime of care might cost. I'm not paying for this stupido.

Unless he actually has insurance with my carrier.

But WTF, no way is my increase in insurance costs going to cost me $100 when I buy my saw, so I'm better off with a small insurance increase and without the safety device.

And frankly, the guys on the hot dog trucks usually aren't carpenter hobbiests, so that ain't a problem. Usually.

Plus I certainly don't want to hear any "I was tired nonsense" from el stupido. If he wanted to be rested and safe he should have joined a Union and gotten a shovel to lean on all day. Besides a Union would have just held him back from getting ahead. I mean lets face it that guy was busting his a**, always taking the extra hours, staying a little longer to finish up, doing the extra to make sure he didn't get fired if there was a slow down, rushing to get the extra work done on time, and taking side jobs on weekends for side money. Yesterday he was a hard working, two thumbed American, proving himself, getting ahead, earning respect, a real catch for a Lady.

Today, we can all see how stupid that was.

Best wishes,

Steven

 

 

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#4) On June 19, 2011 at 8:13 AM, dbjella (< 20) wrote:

devoish 

Do you live in a bubble? 

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#5) On June 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM, vriguy (74.07) wrote:

You cannot outlaw something that many people exhibit much of the time, and everyone is guilty of at least some times.

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#6) On June 19, 2011 at 1:23 PM, TSIF (99.96) wrote:

 No you can't outlaw Stupid, but you can't Regulate it either.

Regulation is adding costs and the sum of the cost is far greater than any savings.  Especially considering that for every regulation we have that is suppose to add safety, someone finds a way around it.  Someone will find away around this one as well. Probably those on the job site who will find a way to disable it because their workers have too many hot dogs and too much imagination. 

Costs go up for everyone, not just the cost of the product and not just the insurance. I do agree that where there is demonstated value, the buyer should consider taking advantage of the cost adder.  Construction sites are good examples where the cost of the improvement can be amortized over the use the tools take.  Same in a school which could use added attention.  But you can't regulate in stupidity.  It will just morph into something even stupider.

It would be nice in this example TMFCop is using if the device tripping didn't require a major expense to reset.  Airbags, however, are similar if they trip.   In the case of an accident the vehicle probably needs much more than an airbag, but not always. In the case of a tablesaw if we saved a hand/finger/career, etc then we would not begrudge the cost to fix it, but if we are down on the job site because someone decided to test the safety device with a hot dog to see if it works, then we might be a little more upset.

Maybe there is room for innovation in the safety area and this product could be made cheaper or repaired/reset easier, but if we regulate it into all devices we've lost some of the incentive to innovate and you can be assured that "stupidity" will find away around it.

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#7) On June 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

If you are opposed to all Government mandated safety regulation on principle, then there is no point in our discussing the merit of any safety regulations.

So I am curious. If this device could prevent all but the one most recklessly stupid saw injury, and would cost the stupid and unstupid alike one cent for each saw, but the partys involved could not reach an agreement on their own would you still be against a governemnt mandate?

But lets pretend that is not the case with you.

We already understand that some of the safety devices currently mandated onto table saws are kept in place and used by you, because you are safety conscious. We also know that these devices are often broken and discarded because they are flimsy and inconvenient to use. We call that stupid.

If some saws came with the flimsy safety devices for a few dollars less than those that came with them, we would call choosing the ones without them stupid, and you and I would choose to buy the ones with the safety devices we use because we are smart and have a few extra dollars to spend on a saw. You and I call that choice. And you and I consider having choice and being safe good things.

Right now, there is an incredible new safety device that I cannot use. I don't have the choice, or the safety that choice offers. And that is a bad thing.

And I think it would be stupid of me to let your  economic principles stand in the way of my safety.

And whether you accomplish not using it, either by disabling this device or standing in the way of its availability, I think it is stupid of you not to make use of this safety device.

So while it is true that "you cannot outlaw stupid", rarely does anyone realise how stupid they have been until after their injury happens.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#8) On June 20, 2011 at 12:55 AM, catoismymotor (32.76) wrote:

I'll keep it short:

 

1) You can't educate iron into gold./ You can't fix stupid.

2) If you are not free to make mistakes you are not free.

3) Legislating common sense is legislating control.

4) Darwin/Natural selection keeps the true checks and balances of life.

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#9) On June 20, 2011 at 1:17 AM, Acesnyper (< 20) wrote:

The idea of outlawing stupid would pretty much empty congress...

 

I like this idea.

 

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#10) On June 20, 2011 at 8:15 AM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

I'll keep it short:

1) You can't educate iron into gold./ You can't fix stupid.

Good thing this is not about iron and gold. If you could fix stupid, safety devices would not be needed.

2) If you are not free to make mistakes you are not free.

Ok, but I am still smart enough to want this safety device on my saw.

3) Legislating common sense is legislating control.

Seems to me anyone with an ounce of common sense would want to have this device available to them.

4) Darwin/Natural selection keeps the true checks and balances of life.

Ultimately, I agree that natural selection will eventually select against many of those who think that accidents will never happen to them. But my common sense tells me I still want to reduce my risks.

Best wishes,

Steven

 

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#11) On June 20, 2011 at 9:20 AM, catoismymotor (32.76) wrote:

Re #10:

I would also want the safety doohickies on my risky widgets. It only makes sense. My objection has to do with making them manditory by law. In my opinion it is not the law's job to save me from myself. I know on this point we differ. I see no reason to channel Dennis Miller over the issue.

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#12) On June 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM, CluckChicken (34.34) wrote:

"Like all regulations of safety, this will actually prevent competition in the development of advanced safety providing technologies in woodworking."

 - This is about one of the dumbest things I have heard. I am currently working at a company that is very well known for its safety practices (many of the safety regulations have been developed by them) and its safety consulting business does well. In no time during this company's very long history has a safety regulation stopped them from developing some new safety procedure or technology, even for things they do not make.

Besides this SawStop was developed after all the dozens of other safety features have already been mandated on table saws (you know those features that people remove).

The auto industry has done well even though they have hundreds of safety features mandated for their products and new ones are being developed seemingly yearly.

Innovation in safety procedures and products will always continue no matter the number of safety procedures and products are mandated.

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#13) On June 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM, TSIF (99.96) wrote:

Devoish, normally I do well with these type of debates, but I'm not following most of your points.  Maybe, I'm just not mentally up for the challenge right now.  In particular, however, just so you can clarify. 

No one is saying you can't have the safety device if you want to pay for it. It is estimated at $100 more and people just aren't paying the extra on a regular basis. If you feel it adds to your own personal comfort then buy it, no one is stopping you.  Being against regulation doesn't mean someone is against the item in question, just the forcing of it across everyone. 

A hobbiist who only uses his/her saw a few hours from time to time, who is alert and safety conscious and knows their risk/reward, should have the option not to pay the extra $100.  There are those hard core against regulation and those that are hard core for it.  There are others who feel regulation has it's place, but you can certainly create some gray lines when you take that path.

All a few of us are saying, and I believe TMFCop is trying to present is that there are some examples, however, where regulation adds costs and overall doesn't help.  Nearly everyone drives or is exposed to drivers.  This area is less clear.  The rampant sueing and regulation for things that have more discretion is less clear, but I think this is one example where we can be over regulated.

You won't convince a hard core non-regulation person.  Nor a hard core person who is for all regulation.  But the ground in the middle has some areas where discussion can be interesting.

CluckChicken.  I agreed with TMFCop in his comment IF/When there are cases where the regulation is so specifically defined that a corporation/entity has a clear advantage in meeting the regulation and others don't.  This can happen when patents are extremely specific or the market size is too small to encourage other entry.   The market is driven by reward and I think tablesaws may not have the attraction as automobiles to innovators.  The other regulations with table guards do not seem as specific and leave areas for entry. The SawStop appears to be a very specific application.

When competition warrants, there will be more entrys, but there are times where it is more difficult and regulation can impede innovation or competition in some areas.

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#14) On June 20, 2011 at 12:03 PM, MegaEurope (21.46) wrote:

People are complaining about regulation that hasn't been proposed, much less adopted.

Have a little faith in the American lobbying system - the tool makers are multi-billion dollar corporations, with vastly more political clout than an entrepreneur and a couple of people missing thumbs.

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#15) On June 20, 2011 at 12:08 PM, MegaEurope (21.46) wrote:

Also, in the spirit of #8's bumper sticker slogans, I'll add:

If you outlaw cutting hotdogs, only outlaws will cut hotdogs.

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#16) On June 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM, TSIF (99.96) wrote:

#14.  Lobbyists vs. Politicians...I have no faith either way. In this case this was an "Example" of regulation that might be colliding with rationale.  If not the table saw, then something else, especially if McDonald's continues to sell more variety of coffee. 

#15,  True, but unless you have a really big mouth, the hot dog will be very hard to eat.  You might indeed have more outlaws or sell less hotdogs.

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#17) On June 20, 2011 at 2:52 PM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

TSIF,

Right now "low end" saws cost $150. Saw manufacturers claim that adding a Saw Stop device will add $160 to the price of the saw (Gass says $100).

So worst case dollar-wise a cheap saw with a great safety device would cost me $310. But not one manufacturer is willing to meet Gass' price, so I cannot purchase a Saw-Stop protected device for less than the $2500 it costs Gass to attach them in his garage.

And I agree with you that there is a lot of middle ground. Perhaps it is reasonable to demand the saw manufacturers just make it possible to attach the Saw Stop device, and then leave it up to Gass to sell it to me. Depending upon the cost added to each saw, maybe there is an added cost low enough that this idea makes sense, even to those protecting my rights, for Gov to step in. Like when I pay for lighthouses, even though I don't use them, or when Ben Franklin succesfully petitioned Philadelphia to tax for the New Worlds first hospital. I don want to use a hospital or a Saw Stop device, but I think I want them both to exist.

But right now, market forces are effectively making that device unavailable for me to choose, and like I said, thats a bad thing.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#18) On June 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM, CluckChicken (34.34) wrote:

"When competition warrants, there will be more entrys, but there are times where it is more difficult and regulation can impede innovation or competition in some areas."

 - Safety innovation has never been hampered by regulation. If it was then you wouldn't have companies like UL or DuPont that develop safety processes and products for all types of things all the time.

I will say that saying you have to use StopSaw would be a very strange regulation but one saying that table saws are "required to have a feature that stops a blade when it starts to cut flesh" would be very likely and more along the lines of how safety regulations are writen.

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#19) On June 20, 2011 at 3:33 PM, TSIF (99.96) wrote:

Devoish,

Thank you for the clarification.  Normally in this example the StopSaw would be a "feature" that was regulated by supply and demand.  It sounds like in this case the novelty of the item and the limited source is affecting the supply side and confusing the pricing.  It takes longer for consumer demand to work in these cases.  Someone (saw supplier) has to be willing to make the effort and find a way to balance the supply/cost/sourcing side with the consumer demand or find a way to lower the pricing.   Or other solutions from other innovators need to be created. Once that happens the market will drive other suppliers if the demand warrants.  Regulation might get you there faster, but regulation, in my opinion is not the way a free market works best....even one whose consumers need to be able to count to ten!

CluckChicken, Thank you for your points, but regulation spawns/drives companies such as UL and Dupont.  While rare, there have been cases where a regulated solution strongly favored an individual supplier.  Purchase specs and contracts often do this as well, so it's not unique. I do agree that in the long run that innovation will win out, but I don't agree that in the short run that it can't create a competitive advantage.

  I would also hope the "wording" or "requirements" would avoid a single source or single patent holder, but I don't doubt that it happens from time to time, for a period of time until innovation wins out.  The timeframe, however, would vary by supply/demand/market size. In this case there are probably fewer possible solutions to the problem statement.  Perhaps regulation would make the marekt size large enough that others might be willing to tackle the problem, but in this case it doesn't appear regulation is needed.  Back to the original question.   I think we agree in principle, just differ on possible corner cases.

Thanks, 

TSIF

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#20) On June 20, 2011 at 10:49 PM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

TSIF,

Actually you have hit on a couple of the issues. Basically Gass has proposed requiring saws to be equipped with a safety device that does what his does, as well as his does it. Plus he has a Government enforced moat - the patents he owns on his invention.

A regulation less detailed, perhaps saying that 'all saws have to be equipped with an ability to prevent lacerations deeper than 1/8th inch, that cannot be disabled and still allow the saw to operate', would probably be better.

Because it has come to this point.

Rather than writing an extreme right political post attacking Government on an investing website, a post about Black & Decker... see my blog.

 

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#21) On June 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM, TMFCop (84.11) wrote:

And this is what happens when we allow politicians to regulate safety: King County, Washington, now requires swimmers -- swimmers! -- to wear life vests when they're in the water  or face an $86 fine.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/King-Co-requires-life-vests-for-swimmers-1432255.php 

Right wing political screed? I think not. I choose to decide the level of risks I'm willing to accept and don't need activist do-gooders making the decision for me. 

Playgrounds have swingsets removed because they're "too dangerous," warning labels are put on pen caps advising they can obstruct airways so keep them out of your mouth, and fat people sue Burger King for making them fat. 

Portland, Oregon, dumped 8 million gallons of water because security cameras caught sight of a guy urinating in a reservoir. Considering animals defecate -- and die! -- in them daily, the infintesimal amount of urine in the body of water was not even enough to think about. The supervisor said he just didn't want to deal with the few dozen people who would complain. Nice. 

So, no, I don't need a disabling device mandated for my table saw. Let Gass try to sell his safety mechanism in the marketplace, that's his right. And it's the manufacturers' right to not add it to their machines if they don't want to. You want one? Pay up for it then, but don't stifle innovation because you want the government to get the price lower for you.

For years cars only came with round headlights because that's all the government allowed. It was a mighty struggle to get rectangular ones and they was only made legal in the U.S. in 1975. Why? Stupid regulations and the people who wrote them. 

If proponents of government involvement in every facet of our life had their way, we wouldn't be able to walk out of our house because the world is a dangerous place. But then again, so is the inside of the house too -- bathrooms are particularly hazardous to your health (maybe that's why the guy was urinating in the reservoir).

The only solution obviously is to hire more lawyers. Sue those big bad businessmen out of existence. Lawyering, now there's a growth business for you! 

Rich 

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#22) On June 21, 2011 at 10:06 PM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

Actually Rich, I would suggest that you are being stupid about safety, and while most people have enough common sense to want be safe, you are foolishly fighting to take a chance you don't have too.

Can you see that even as you are accusing government of stifling innovation, in this example it is markets stifling Gass' innovation? And that you are ok with it because it is "markets" doing the stifling? Yet if Government did it, it would be a bad thing to you? But either way you personally are still stuck with the bad thing you refer to as "stifling innovation"?

To write a post accusing every injured person of being "stupid" is pretty extreme. In some lines of work a moment of being "stupid" means a physical injury. In your line of work a moment of being "stupid" means not fact checking the statement that everyone who testified in favor of the Saw-stop device had been injured by a saw.

If proponents of government involvement in every facet of our life had their way, we wouldn't be able to walk out of our house

That is a pretty extreme place to go when you started talking about a saw.

Sue those big bad businessmen out of existence.

Thats also a pretty extreme place to go, when nobody else is suggesting putting anyone out of business.

American Government has been regulating business since 1780. It has been responding to safety concerns presented by its citizens since 1780.

You are correct that you "can't outlaw stupidity". But in this case, I would like not to suffer because of yours.

In some other case we might agree that Government is going to far. Perhaps in your no swimming example above it would have been better for the local Gov to require telling (educating)swimmers that 17 have drowned in the last 4 years in the areas they are requiring the life jacket be worn.  And telling them that this years rivers are going to be more turbulent and faster than any recent year. But is it ok to hear the reasons why some chose mandating life preservers over eduction before I lock in my opinion? Of course some extremists go so far as to expect Gov to not even measure the snowpak and be able to inform swimmers, because they do not want to pay any tax for the service and all gov't intervention is bad. I probably cannot get on that train with you if thats where you are going.

Best wishes,

Steven

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#23) On June 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM, whereaminow (22.35) wrote:

It doesn't take long to figure out that Regressives think their fellow man is a mindless rube.

Government doesn't protect you from anything. 

David in Qatar

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#24) On June 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM, TMFCop (84.11) wrote:

Steven,

You don't have to suffer because I don't want the government mandating some favored product provider. Go out and buy the SawStop, no one's stopping you. Yet your position is foisting extra costs on me and every other safe woodworker out there.

I guess to some, I am an "extremist" because I think every regulation government passes ultimately falls victim to the Law of Unintended Consequences. Like squeezing on a balloon, when you push in one area it pops out another. 

So requiring all table saws to come installed with a safety device that completely disables it once activated will price out of the market the low end of the saw line. Those with limited means will have to do without. If they do fork over the money for it, they'll be stuck if the device is ever triggered since replacing it is an expensive proposition.

Your solution forces those with lesser means to pay higher costs so you don't have to.  

In reality, I find its the regulators who are the extremists. They simply provide growth opportunities for trial lawyers. Like the 16-yr old who climbs a utility, gets electrocuted, and falls and injures himself. TECO now has to defend itself for not preventing stupid kids from climbing utility poles or warning them of the dangers of doing so.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/civil/lawsuit-claims-power-pole-for-teen-climbers-paralysis/1171956

Or the woman's family who sued a "Polar Bear Plunge" organizer because she ended up dying from hypothermia. Mind you, she didn't participate in the plunge, she just went to visit and watch. She ended up drinking too much afterwards, passing out, and freezing to death. Some how the organization is responsible for drawing her to the spot and causing her to die.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/02/parents_blame_polar_bear_plung.html

Or the family of a man who was hit by a train that's suing the train operator and a canoe company (!) after he tried to jump off a train trestle into the river below. The canoe company in particular should have known that people often climb the trestle and jump off so it should have done "something" to stop their son from doing it.

http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/springfield-news/family-of-man-hit-by-train-suing-railroad-canoe-company-848161.html?cxtype=rss_local-news

I could go on (there are just soooo many examples), but the point is, you can't regulate stupid.

And it happens that companies have to defend themselves from these idiotic lawsuits time and again, and some just go out of business as a result. CKE Restaurants, the owner of the Carl's Jr. chain, is not building any new restaurants in California -- but hundreds in Texas -- because of lawsuits and regulations. 

http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_18140563?nclick_check=1 

In short, I believe Benjamin Franklin said it best, "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Rich 

 

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#25) On June 22, 2011 at 7:56 PM, devoish (98.37) wrote:

First of all Ben might tell you security and safety are not the same things.

se·cu·ri·ty

The state of being free from danger or threat - the system is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills - job security


The safety of a state or organization against criminal activity such as terrorism, theft, or espionage - a matter of national security


Definition of SAFETY

1: the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss

2: a device (as on a weapon or a machine) designed to prevent inadvertent or hazardous operation

Second, and you will have to think about this. The fact that adding safety as an increased cost of a saw means some people will be unable to buy one is a flaw of capitalism and markets, not Government.

While you have a bunch a seemingly ridiculous lawsuits I can offer a bunch of less ridiculous ones, but the fact of the matter is that people have a right ot sue when they feel wronged. the sued have a right to defend themselves. The decision is rendered by a hopefully neutral third party. Let me know how many of those suits are not even allowed to continue by the thrid party.

But until you have a better idea, even the best system is less than perfect. I'm sorry if I am not in favor of Steven or Rich deciding based upon an article in a paper.

In the case of the Sawstop device, the system - capitalism - has failed to make its safety avalailable on a saw that costs $350, as all participants agree is could have. So now the back-up system is on. Just like when Philadelphia's capitalists failed to provide a hospital for the city. And Ben Franklin lobbied that everyone should share in the cost and give up a little freedom and pay tax money to get one.

Best wishes,

Steven

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