Personal Infamy

Miami Corruption Political Discussion Ambulance Chasing Self Indulgence

Your imaginary personal injury lawsuit

You were rear ended yesterday, but inadvertently forgot to call EMS so that you could be transported to the ER in a cervical collar. You also forgot to have someone take a photo of you on the stretcher.

Today you want to sue.

You will develop significant neck and back pain tomorrow, and visit a physical therapist.

He will prescribe physical therapy and you will go. You will complain of continued recurrent neck and back pain.

The pt makes it better for a couple days, but it always comes back. You have good days and bad days. On the bad days, the pain is 10 out of 10.

You’ll have a couple MRIs which may show a herniated disc at L5-S1 (reading an MRI is rather subjective, have your attorney pick the radiologist for you). You will also have irregular cervical lordosis consistent with muscle spasms and ongoing pain.

You will do all the recommended PT, but it won’t help. You’ll have a prescription for Vicodin or Percocet, but you’ll complain that you don’t like it and it makes you cloudy. Still, you’ll say, you have to take them for the pain.

Your doctor (picked out by your attorney) will recommend surgery. A diskectomy, or a lumbar fusion under fluoroscopy. The surgery is estimated to cost $65,000.00. You don’t want to get epidural steroid facet injections because of the recent reports that the steroids are tainted. That makes surgery the only option going forward…

Also, It hurts to sit in a chair, which makes you unemployable. How can you work an office job without being able to sit?

If you were married, you would say that you used to have sex twice a day, but now you can only do it once every couple of weeks because of the pain and the influence of opiates. Your wife would, tearfully, say the same thing. You also can’t do the usual chores around the house like mowing the lawn. You had to hire help.

You will then sue, seeking to recover for your past medical bills, the cost of your prospective future surgery, your lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, and the pain and suffering associated with this tragic, permanent injury. Your testimony will be very moving. Your lawyer selected doctors will back up everything you say.

Your wife, if you had one, would bring a claim for loss of consortium, and she’d cry on the witness stand talking about what a great man you used to be.

How could anyone tell if you were lying about the whole thing?

Private Equity = Class Warfare

Shocking, I know.

But I just had to mention it. Because it is outrageous and it is ongoing.

This article in the NYT, discusses the bankruptcy of a large publisher

The publisher has struggled financially for years, laden with debt that was taken on when Education Media and Publishing Group, an Irish private-equity concern, borrowed heavily to finance the acquisitions of Houghton Mifflin in 2006 and Harcourt in 2007.

Basically, these arch capitalists buy the company out with borrowed money, then leverage it to the hilt, borrowing against future earnings. Then they just take that money and leave.

And inevitably, the company can’t invest, and goes bankrupt. And then workers get laid off totally unnecessarily, and the pension fund gets looted.

Honestly, I think this is just a roundabout way to steal from workers. You pull out all future earnings, and then let that bankrupt the company, and use the bankruptcy as a justification to deny these people their pensions.

It is destructive and it should be illegal. Too bad the PE pirates write the laws.

Activism perpetuating capitalism

Ok here’s something that pisses me off. A trust fund girl from my high school is out being a Greenpeace activist. Before that she was traveling all over the world.

So obviously she is being bankrolled by her parents. To the extent that she is resisting capitalism, she is relying on it even more. I guess it’s better than being an outright plutocrat, but you’re not gonna make a difference when your activism is fueled by the evil you’re resisting.

Trustafarians suck.

Recognition!

So a relatively high trafficked blog, of which I am a periodic reader, has linked to one of my six month old posts that I wrote during my free time as a plaintiffs personal injury attorney.

I am basking in the glow of recognition.

As a life recap, I wrote most of the very lengthy pieces when I was more or less idle, working for a PI attorney who didn’t have enough work. I was subsequently laid off, which was terrifying, but then managed to get a job on the defense side.

Things are going well. I like my coworkers and have been given 25% raise since starting. Far less than I expected, given that I graduated in the top 5% of my class at UM, but I can’t complain. I am getting great experience, and, dare I say it, I am happy. A happy lawyer. With a decent standard of living.

When Law School makes sense

If you can get a full ride at a top 20 law school, then going to law school is worth it. You get a healthy dose of elitism, and the study of law allows you to endure any kind of writing, as legal writing is the worst kind of writing in the world.

Otherwise, it is a financially ridiculous move. Only works out if you want to delay adulthood for another 3 years. Which I definitely did.

Also, it turns out that public interest law is basically a myth, what with all the severe cutbacks in state spending. The only way to get one of those do-gooder jobs is basically through patronage and/or nepotism at this point, which seems to be a profoundly hypocritical state of affairs. I’m sure those jobs are emotionally satisfying, but they rely on a system that only deepens the very problems that public interest lawyers seek to alleviate. I therefore see all forms of public interest law as the velvet glove that covers the iron fist — providing a patina of legitimacy to a system of exploitation and coercion.

So unless your family is connected, you’ll go in wanting to police corporate fraud, and wind up having to represent corporations in order to pay off your loans. And it will take you a long time to pay off your loans. I believe the term is debt peonage.

Based on all of the foregoing, I have concluded that law school and the legal profession tends to transform liberals into either (a) conservatives or (b) marxists who pretend to be conservative. This is all a moot point anyway, because expressing political opinions in a sincere way is bad for your legal career.

I guess this is Christmas

Christmas is where two of the three pillars supporting American capitalism (and american society) intersect. It is a potent combination of christianity and consumerism. While there is clearly tension between each, on christmas they are forgotten and we all revel in our shared ritual. In so doing, we justify and reinforce our way of living.

The third pillar, militarism, may make a small appearance with xmas for the troops and soforth, but it has its own holidays.

Tonight, we worship at the shrine of the retail outlet and the virgin birth. Amen!

Broward County, Florida

A land of big avenues and small dreams. American Capitalism on autopilot. A grid. Sliced, diced and isolated. Yet, uniform.

Tiene Ocupado

Wishing I was on my soapbox for Occupy Wall Street, but instead I’m a damn corporate lawyer.

Since the media is trying to make sense of these protests because they have nothing else to write about, let me add something original and fresh, because I have nothing else to write about.

This is about justice.

Asking for a policy agenda from these protesters, as many commentators have, is stupid. This is about mass discontent, popular anger, and economic exploitation. We want justice. We want retribution. We want these corrupt speculators to stop extracting money. We want it all to stop and grind to a halt. Start lending money to businesses that make things. Stop expecting 20% on your money. Allocate capital in a way that serves everyone’s interests. You fucking greedy parasites.

Everyone is angry about this. This is a profound failure of capitalism, coupled with a profound failure of our democratic system. Asking a mob of angry protesters for some kind of solution is ridiculous. The problem is that nobody acts like there was really a problem. Back to business as usual.

It is fucking offensive. And I wish that these protesters were more aggressive. They should be sitting in the lobby of Goldman Sachs, preventing these scumbag speculators from getting to their high speed trading desks. They should be fighting against these institutions and trying to disrupt the way that they function. This is direct action, in pursuit of justice.

Anyone who is trying to start a career in this economy is completely outraged and disillusioned. We want justice. Not mealy mouthed bullshit.

The conundrum.

We are in a deeply depressed economy.

There is deep and severe unemployment, job insecurity and wage stagnation.

There is also a vast pool of idle capital, parked in cash and government treasuries, earning a zero rate of return.

Finally, wealthy individuals who have assets are unable to get a safe ROI of even four percent on their money.

What is the solution?

The government borrows the vast excess capital and uses it for infrastructure investment. This increases demand and lays the foundation for future competitiveness and productivity. It also creates jobs and increases wages, which in turn results in greater personal consumption.

Once the market picks up, so do govt borrowing costs. ROI increases as well.

Why don’t rich people want the government to engage in deficit spending? I don’t get it. Its the only way I see that can allow American capitalism to continue perpetuating itself.

These poor sods with 2-10 million net worth think that this austerity is keeping them safe, but they are wrong. It is ensuring that they can’t get a reliable roi and is killing their gains on compound interest. Also, it is eroding the very pillars of the market system.

Trust me when I say you don’t want a decreased workforce. If people aren’t in the system they have no stake in that system and they can be co opted.

Wasn’t it easier to trick people into working a low wage job, with the “ill be rich and famous fantasy”? You rich people can have that system back with a burst of deficit spending, with the added bonus of getting a decent safe roi. Don’t you live off of compound interest??

What the hell man?

Prosperity!

Just realized that in my lifetime, the golden age of American Capitalism was ska music and SUVs.

Reel Big Fish and the Ford Excursion. Never gonna get more prosperous than that.

White collar blues

So you acquired a soul-munching fake economy white collar job and it sucks? Maybe you should take a moment to consider the value and satisfaction derived from honest labor, and realize that in this late stage capitalist economy, success and happiness move in opposite directions.

“The central problem to be addressed is clear enough. Compound growth for ever is not possible and the troubles that have beset the world these last thirty years signal that a limit is looming to continuous capital accumulation that cannot be transcended except by creating fictions that cannot last.”

“While multiculturalism can accommodate the ideal of equality between most self-identified social groups, the one persistent divide that creates the greatest difficulty is that of class. This is so because class is the foundational inequality necessary to the reproduction of capitalism.”

“The role of the capitalist is to use money to command the labour or the assets of others and to use that command to make a profit, to accumulate capital and thereby augment personal command over wealth and power.”