The United States Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary Chambers in cities and towns around the country were designed to be trade organizations, calculated to promote networking and to assist businesses in constructive ways. The Chamber has morphed into a giant lobbying mouthpiece for the largest corporations in the country, manipulating think tank reports, many of which are less than scholarly or are unreliable. It is spending the vast resources of its members to foment (promote) the economic political agenda of one party. In doing so, the Chamber is seeking to deny to the individual citizens of this country their constitutional rights to redress their grievances in court and to deprive citizens of their right to a jury trial.
Ironically, the Chamber’s campaign deals with so-called lawsuit abuse, and its ads use the slogan: “DON’T FEED THE TRIAL LAWYERS.” It neglects to advise the reader that businesses and corporations rank as the largest consumers of the services of trial lawyers rather than injured people. Business sue businesses all of the time for the silliest reasons. It neglects to tell the reader that most states already have fixed their tort laws by providing penalties against lawyers and litigants for the so-called frivolous lawsuit. And it neglects to tell the reader that the Tillinghast Towers Perrin report on which its fallacious campaign relies has be discredited as lacking in scholarly methodology and skewed by data that has nothing to do with the tort system. Indeed the report’s own authors have admitted that "the costs tabulated in this study are not a reflection of litigated claims or of the legal system."
Ironically, the Chamber relies upon a report that says it is focusing upon the tort system when it is really focusing upon the insurance system. Why else include the cost of insurance company CEO’s excessive compensation as a cost of the tort system? So if the Chamber wants to do a public service to its members, it should be attacking the excesses of insurance companies and HMO's.
Should the Chamber prevail in its wish to do away with the tort system, it will leave us with a court system equipped to deal only with the judicial requirements of big business. It will not succeed in doing away with the costs that the tort system addresses, like the medical expenses and lost earnings of the victim. Nor will it provide suitable alternatives for maintaining people who may end up on public assistance or who will no longer be meaningful contributors to our economy.
The Chamber of Commerce inflames its campaign by telling the reader not to “feed the trial lawyers.” But it still wants to feed the trial lawyers of corporate America. It wants to feed the executives who are grossly overcompensated while often defrauding stockholders and consumers. And it wants the judicial system reserved for its members, forgetting about “we the people.”
So in this great country of ours, so long as the U.S. Chamber and its subsidiaries want the Constitution for themselves, we say it is time to boycott these organizations and their members.