Risk

Let me start by saying that the (many) criticisms I have of the United States are made, not just to complain and winge, but in the hope of making a difference – of finding a better way.

I hate the idea that no one in the US is allowed to take a risk. Every time something happens that could possibly injure someone in the future, a law is passed to make it illegal to take part in that “risky” behavior. This is obviously very closely connected to insurance, liability and litigation. And the laws are one size fits all, with no leeway for exceptional circumstances, or even conditions that don’t quite fit the criteria. There is no room for individual discretion.

The result is that no one is allowed to think for him- or herself. It may well be that a large number of Americans are incapable of thinking for themselves and should, therefore, have laws that protect them from themselves. But there are also quite a few of us who are quite capable of weighing up a situation, estimating the risks and deciding whether it is a risk one is prepared to take.

How about baby cribs and cots? My entire generation, and that of my children survived the unspeakable dangers of cots with slats and drop sides. I know several grandmothers who would like to pass cribs on to the present generation, only to be told that those heirlooms are now illegal.

What prompted this post is that I have come across information about crowd funding. For the past 80 years, the government has thought that only the rich should be allowed to invest in start-up companies. Apparently, the risk is too great for the rest of us. Things are changing, and crowd-funding should be legal later this year, but as of now, an intelligent person with a few hundred dollars to spare cannot invest in a new business. Sure, we will probably lose that money, but it could be the next Google. If anyone can go and throw away their money at a casino, (and claim the loss against tax!!!!!!), why can they not make a modest investment in a company that seems to have promise?

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