Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Dec 14 2004

Liability Insurance Is Killing Local Economy

It's a good thing Google is helping more libraries go digital. There are a lot of brick-and-mortar libraries struggling to keep the doors open. The combination of falls in local sales tax and higher liablitiy fees is straining many communities.

This month I had to find a company to do some heavy work on a tree in our front yard. We carry homeowner's insurance, but the company we hired to do the work must have their own liability insurance, and the company they lease cranes from must also have liability insurance. And liability insurance has gone skyward in recent months. The businesses who decide to stay in business have to pay insurance premiums that are so high that they finally have to pass costs on to customers. The sluggish state of the economy means that many people will just let things go and not pay to have them done by local businesses. So the local sales tax base is hurt. The business owners are stuck. They can no longer operate without liability insurance and they can no longer afford to pay the premiums for that insurance. It all affects the ability of local government to provide services to the community.

What Americans did for so long with volunteers was gradually replaced with a tax-and-spend system of government. Now we are realizing we can't rely on such a plan anymore. It seems like a perfect time to let volunteers back into the libraries, fire departments and other local civic positions. It might have saved our local budgets several years ago. But now that we've become a sue-happy society, I don't know if we can reverse the trend toward high liability insurance that communities and local businesses must carry. Is it too late to let citizens help run their own local communities? I do believe we're going to find out in the next few years. Meanwhile, the real cost of decades of lawsuits have come home to roost. And they're pooping all over the cities and towns of our country.

posted at: 06:32 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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--Senator Everett Dirksen
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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!