Patterico's Pontifications

4/4/2009

When in Doubt, Reach for the Friedmans

Filed under: Economics — Jack Dunphy @ 12:44 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

In case you haven’t seen the recent lively exchange between Fox News’s Neil Cavuto and Congressman Alan Grayson (D, Fla.), I present it here, courtesy of YouTube.

Recent events have many times inspired a reach for the top of the bookshelf to pull down some old favorites, chief among them Milton and Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose: a Personal Statement. The Friedmans warned against the concentration of economic power so cavalierly endorsed by Rep. Grayson. Indeed, in the very opening pages of the book we find this paragraph:

Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, it reduces the area over which political power is exercised. In addition, by dispersing power, the free market provides an offset to whatever concentration of political power may arise. The combination of economic and political power in the same hands is a recipe for tyranny. (emphasis mine)

I suspect we wouldn’t find the Friedmans’ book on Rep. Grayson’s shelves. More’s the pity.

–Jack Dunphy

Spring Break!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:35 am

Expect little to no posting from me for the next week, as I spend time with family.

Hopefully Karl and Jack Dunphy will be able to contribute items.

I leave you with this: my three-year-old nephew reciting the pledge of allegiance. And dancing.

Be sure to leave a comment over there so his mom knows you visited.

Follow-Up to Post About Possible Jury Misconduct

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:49 am

Remember DRJ’s post about the juror who sent a note to the judge during a civil trial asking: “What is the maximum amount that can be awarded?” It turned out that the jury was favoring the defense, and the woman who sent the note favoring the plaintiff was in the minority. Still, the defense (Ford Motor Company) settled for $3 million out of fear caused by the note.

A follow-up story is here:

Ford says a jury note to the judge — that asked, “What is the maximum amount that can be awarded?” — fraudulently induced the car company to settle with Rosa Martinez, a Brownsville woman who was paralyzed from the neck down after a 2002 rollover wreck in a Ford SUV.

. . . .

Martinez’s lawyers argued that guessing wrong about a jury’s intent is no grounds for reversal. However, the Supreme Court said in a 9-0 decision that Ford may question jurors under oath to determine if the note was sent in an attempt to induce a settlement.

“Discovery involving jurors will not be appropriate in most cases, but in this case there was more than just a suspicion that something suspect occurred — there was some circumstantial evidence that it did,” the ruling said, noting that several jurors objected to sending the note and others did not know that it was sent.

This seems right. If there is an indication that a juror actively engaged in misconduct, it should be investigated.


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