Timothy Clark's column (EU avoiding the root of Greece's problems," Jun 12) showed great insight. Many European countries cannot wake up from the something-for-nothing lifestyle and are facing economic disaster and the U.S. is headed in the same direction. But Clark left out one of the major factors: the "lottery mentality" has mutated into something much worse — the "lawsuit mentality."
A poisonous form of capitalism has infected our judicial system, where court actions are a source of income instead of a vehicle for justice. Only a lucky few can win a lottery, but the lucky many can get huge settlements from any lawsuit, justified or not.
New ideas, products and jobs are suppressed because frivolous, ridiculous lawsuits are awarded millions of dollars on the grounds that a company was negligent in somehow not preventing acts of complete stupidity. People are afraid to try anything innovative. They have no energy and no longer have confidence in the principle of hard work bringing success and rewards.
The U.S. court system is the laughing stock of the world because no other country offers the Golden Fool Award — where a person's lack of obvious common sense can be a financial bonanza. Our economy will never recover until strict limits are placed on punitive awards.
Donald B. Gunderson
Salt Lake City
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