Why Socialized Law – like Socialized Anything – Is a Bad Idea
2014 02 12

By Logan Albright | Information Liberation

In order for a legal system to be just, it must treat everyone equally and fairly, giving special treatment neither to the rich nor the powerful, and protecting the rights of all individuals wherever they are being violated. Justice, as they say, should be blind. It’s a noble goal, but one that proves difficult in practice. We have all experienced frustration at the Justin Biebers and Paris Hiltons of the world receiving slaps on the wrist while the young, impoverished and disadvantaged members of minority classes are subject to much more severe, often life-destroying ramifications for their crimes.

This is a recognized issue with the current legal system, but there are disagreements over how it should be resolved. Noam Scheiber, over at the New Republic, has come up with the radical suggestion that the problem stems from wealth inequality among defendants, and their correspondingly diverse means for employing legal council. The lawyers of a Donald Trump will naturally, if you’ll excuse the pun, trump those of an inner city black kid, and hence the unequal outcomes we see in the courts. His recommendation for remedying this sad state of affairs is a complete socialization of the legal profession.

Much like Britain’s National Health System, a socialized system of attorneys would provide equal council to whomever required it, all at the expense of the taxpayer, of course. On the surface, such an idea may sound appealing. The equality it would promote seems in keeping with the values we expect of the legal system. Upon closer examination, however, it falls apart as such egalitarian pipe dreams always do, because of a lack of understanding of human nature and incentives.

The first thing to point out is that, historically, socialized systems have not eliminated the benefits of financial or political privilege at all, but have in fact exacerbated them. In the Soviet Union and Cuba, the policies intended to make everyone equal only brought poverty to the masses while concentrating wealth in a few chosen elites. These may seem like extreme examples, but public choice theory teaches us that the more influence government has over a process, the more sharply will political access be rewarded. As Mark Twain once observed, "History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes."

Additionally, we must consider the effect a socialization of lawyers would have on attorney supply. When all attorneys are doled out equally and salaried by the state, the wages they are able to command will necessarily go down. We already see this with district attorneys making far less than private defense lawyers, hence a lack of good DAs. With the incentives to invest large sums of time and money into law school decreased, we would also witness a far smaller stock of available lawyers. While many may view this as a good thing, the fact is that we do occasionally need these people to help defend our rights and an insufficient pool of available attorneys does not serve the interest of the common man.

What progressives often fail to understand is that, in a world of scarce resources, rationing is unavoidable. When the price mechanism is removed as an available rationing tool, we must instead ration based on time. What happens in a system of socialized law when there are more defendants than there are lawyers? Some will have to wait to have their day in court, potentially a very, very long time. The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial, and a system in which accuser and accused alike are forced to wait indefinitely to resolve their legal claims hardly seems like the fair application of justice we are after.

[...]

Read the full article at: informationliberation.com



Related Articles
The New Social Class Structure Of The United States
Corporate Socialism: GM Says No Way It Will Pay Back $10 Billion
Forced C-section ‘the stuff of nightmares’: Social Services Forcibly Remove Unborn Child From Womb
Russell Brand’s Fantasy of a Socialist Egalitarian Utopia - Red Ice Commentary
Russell Brand Calls For “Massive Redistribution of Wealth”, “Socialist Egalitarianism”
Witch Hunt: Under the pretext of promoting mental health, the DSM stifles dissent
Sweden’s health system ’worst in the Nordics’
England’s National Health Service: "Cruelty Became the Norm"
Corporatocracy: No Bid Government Contracts
US Government Lobotomized 2,000 WW II Veterans As ’Treatment’
The Facts Are In, More Government Means Less Growth
Government ‘Shut Down’ Doesn’t Prevent Opening of $2 Billion NSA Spy Center


Latest News from our Front Page

Gov’t Fear Factory: ISIS Is Here, Just in Time for Another 9/11 Anniversary
2014 08 23
The government has been doing a whole lot of talking lately about the 9/11-style threat ISIS poses on American soil, how ISIS is like ’nothing the Pentagon has ever seen’ and how ISIS is likely already here... and all just in time right before another 9/11 anniversary! Fancy that. Considering it’s on record where ISIS got a lot of its military ...
France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms
2014 08 22
President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that France had delivered weapons to rebels battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad “a few months ago.” The deliveries took place “a few months ago, when the Syrian rebels had to face both the armies of the dictator Bashar al-Assad and this terrorist group Islamic State,” Hollande told reporters on a tour of the ...
Brooklyn DA exposes hidden Child Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Jewish Community
2014 08 22
Comment: We all know that the sex abuse cases within the Catholic church have been plastered all over the media in the last 6-8 years, but when do you ever hear about the rapes, sexual molestation and child sex abuse cases within the jewish orthodox community? Is the media helping to cover it? Will they give the same treatment of ...
California’s Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water
2014 08 22
You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today. Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and ...
ISIS offered to swap Foley for ’Lady Al Qaeda’ - neuroscientist MIT-graduate
2014 08 21
An MIT-educated neuroscientist terrorist known as ’Lady al Qaeda’ was named on a ’laundry list’ of demands from ISIS captors holding James Foley named, it was revealed today. Petite mother-of-three Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving 86 years in a Texas jail after being arrested with plans for a ’mass casualty attack’ in the US, including infecting people with Ebola and a ...
More News »