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@Dentman - So true... In fact, we are one of four states in the country with this antiquated contributory negligence rule. If you are deemed 1% at fault in a car wreck, you have no right to recover anything for property damage or injuries... Thank your GOP legislators for cowing to the insurance lobby for that one. Time and time again, bills have been introduced to defeat it, but alas, the almighty dollar is too strong for us simple constituents. Insurance companies love NC, we have just about every anti-consumer insurance law there is. Also, there is no third-party bad faith here, so an insurance company can treat you however they want, denying, delaying, whatever, unless you are their policy holder, and often even then.
@Jim Heim: The IMF and the EU came together to form the Cyprus bank money grab, and they are headquartered in DC, and the US holds the largest share of voting rights of all the members by more than double the second place share (Japan). How can you realistically say that won't happen here? It already did. The US banks were bailed out exactly the same way, but the cash grab was from Quantitative Easing... remember that? QE1, QE2, QE3, etc. The US government bought bad, securitized mortgages for completely inflated prices. At the same time we were lending money to banks at basically zero interest, so adding in for inflation, we are PAYING banks to borrow money. That loss is to the tax base and taxpayers. Cyprus doesn't have a big enough government to float that type of scam, so the IMF suggested they take the money on deposit in the form of a tax. But guess what? Bond holders, stock holders, etc., are asked to pay nothing. The people who had actual dollars are being penalized while the people who are gambling are not. I often agree with you on these message boards, but saying the Cyprus problems can never happen here ignores recent history.
@ DaveyNC - Exactly... We think we're different from Cyprus, but when the US government lends money to banks at 0%, and then borrows it back from those banks at 2-3%, who do we think is paying that? We have this banking system with TBTF banks, and bonuses going to the directors and managers who caused the crises of which they all think they deserve to be bailed from underneath. It really is ridiculous...
As for the insurance rate structure in NC, and the actual topic of this thread, the problem with letting the free market allow prices for risky people to climb is that then your own insurance company has to pay the claim because the high-risk drivers will opt not to get insurance, and hit you as an uninsured motorist. So either they do it the way they're doing it, or leave much more "risk" in the system in the form of low-risk drivers having uninsured motorist claims filed from damage caused by high-risk drivers. This system is better because it does get more premiums into the pool, and then they usually only sell the high-risk drivers the minimum 30K policies required under the Financial Protection Act. Insurance companies do not like unknown risk.
So everyone on this board should bump their polices up, and also include MedPay.
We do have a cap on punitive damages in NC for medical malpractice claims:
North Carolina has a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases filed on or after October 1, 2011. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-21.19 (Westlaw 2012) (as amended by SB 33). The cap applies in two ways: the total amount of non-economic damages awarded to any plaintiff against all defendants is limited to $500,000, and the total awarded to all plaintiffs against any one defendant for care arising out of the same professional services is limited to $500,000. The act does not state whether related defendants share a single cap. Beginning in 2014, the $500,000 cap will be modified every three years based on changes in the consumer price index. Id. There is an exception to the damage cap for cases of disfigurement, loss of use of part of the body, permanent injury, or death, if the acts or failures that caused the injury were committed in reckless disregard of the rights of others, grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional, or with malice. Thus the exception requires both a high level of severity and a heightened level of culpability. The new law also clarifies that lawsuits against hospitals and nursing homes based on theories of corporate liability like negligent credentialing or negligent supervision are medical malpractice actions subject to the damage cap. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-21.11(2) (Westlaw 2012).
Punitive damages against a defendant are limited to three times compensatory damages or $250,000, whichever is greater. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1D-25 (Westlaw 2012). The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of his statute. Rhyne v. K-Mart Corp., 358 N.C. 160, 594 S.E.2d 1 (2004).
I enjoyed reading this opinion letter. I completely agree with the author's point regarding the need for statesman/woman politicians to bridge the rancor spewing from either side of the aisle. I'm not sure if it's Simpson or Boles, but the need is there.
On a slightly different note, I see two very disturbing issues regarding this fiscal debate.
1. It is far too easy for these politicians to hijack the stock markets. Think of how many of these lobbyists and politicians have shorted the market with their inside information over the last few days? We trusted them to do their jobs.
2. I seriously think the GOP is considering letting the tax cuts expire, and then acting to "cut" taxes on Tuesday. That is embarrassing. Talk about leadership. They all signed the Norquist pledge, and their "morals" are so high that they punish the nation to stroke their own egos that they didn't go back on their pledge. To even consider this option betrays the American trust.
Congratulations Mr. Capel. You have been a friend to many, including our family, and we wish you the best in all! I will make a special trip up your new road in your honor.
Thought this was pretty funny:
Andrew - The concept of good does not exist without the concept of bad. Other animals on the earth do not confine themselves to the moral framework we choose. Why are we different? From where did that originate? Survival? Maybe you didn't have space or time, but your argument that morality is derived from "universally preferrable behavior" lacks syllogistic coherence. Another way to look at it (perhaps from a faith-based perspective) is that because we are depraved by nature, we are thus aware of our sin and it nags at us such that those who yield to it without self-control are considered abberant. Who is on the board of directors of universally acceptable behavior? The guy who talked about Confucianism is right to an extent - the ultimate government would be a benevolent dictator. If you were right about "universally preferrable behavior," and the absence of God, we would have a benevolent dictator (or several scattered amongst the nations). Everyone would buy into it. But we don't, and there are endless examples of people giving in to the tangled web of depravity.
@Andrew - I hear what you're saying, believe me. I still maintain that atheism is a faith statement, and I'm surprised you won't yield that point. I just want to know which tenants of Deism you want to keep, and which you want to reject. If you toss out everything that we have in this country that came from the Judeo-Christian history and teaching, how do you begin to build a civilization blind to those tenants? What laws should govern people? Are you in favor of considering some behavior "wrong," or criminal? Should we have a Nietzschean world of the ubermensch, will to power, etc.? How do we get "beyond Good and Evil" in a civilized society? Specifically, what framework, or litmus test, do you use in forming legislation that affects the majority of the people? Most civilized cultures pull those principles from a faith-based religion, or set of principles acknowledging right and wrong within a "morality" framework. What is your suggestion? Specifically. I am all for a separation of church and state "that must be kept high and impregnable," in the sense that Congress shall not write any laws to establish a particular religion, or promote an particular religion. But your letter specifically addresses my broader question, when you say "To me, this misses the point. Even if states have the legal right to condone religion, it is still morally wrong for them to do so." From whence do you derive the word "morally?"
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. And really, that sort of conviction is certainly a"faith" unto itself. While the article raises some interesting and important subjects, the author's credibility is compromised by exhibiting the same faith premise he seeks to undermine.
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