This weekend, CBS News legal analyst (and attorney) Andrew Cohen wrote a brilliant opinion piece chastising the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its increasing efforts to limit the rights of victims. In the piece, Cohen writes:
Like the child who kills his parents and then begs for mercy because he is an orphan, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce now is begging President-elect Barack Obama to protect corporate interests in the nation’s civil litigation system as a way of restoring jobs and bolstering an economy shattered largely (as we now know) by corporate greed and misfeasance.
Talk about your gall.
Here is what the president of the Chamber’s legal arm wrote in an open letter to Obama: “We understand the critical necessity of revitalizing the economy by restoring American jobs, encouraging the growth of U.S. businesses, and protecting the savings and investments of millions of Americans. However, we are concerned that the potential expansion of legal liability significantly impairs these much needed steps toward a national recovery.”
The quote may be roughly translated this way: “Now that corporate America has helped screw everything up and led us into the greatest economic crisis since the Depression, we need to make sure that corporate America isn’t aggressively punished for its misdeeds or legitimately thwarted from misdoing them again.”
This is either an astonishing hypocrisy – Is corporate America unaware that the rest of us are in on the secret of the causes of the recession? – or the clearest indication there can be that Big Business is, always has been, and always will be about protecting Big Business.
I encourage everyone to take three minutes to read the entire text of Made in America: Corporate Gall.