≡ Menu

Go, Spitzer, Go!

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s rate of filing headline-grabbing lawsuits has surpassed the rate at which Richard Posner writes books – no mean feat. Yesterday Mr. Spitzer announced a civil suit against the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. The accusation is that this company fraudulently withheld from physicians negative information about its antidepressant drug Paxil.

I don’t know if this case has merit. It’s a question of fact. But I do know that Mr. Spitzer’s energy at filing lawsuits that push the envelope is impressive. Here are some other suits that I’m eager for him to file:

– a suit against the U.S. government for fraudulently passing off Social Security as a pension fund, and the FICA extractions from workers’ paychecks as something other than a tax;

– a suit against non-profit foundations such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Ford Foundation for using the trusts’ funds to promote causes that emphatically run counter to the causes that the founders of these foundations believed in and wished their foundations to support;

– a suit against the U.S. government and various state governments for enforcing minimum-wages that price many unskilled workers out of the job market; because the ill-consequences of minimum-wage legislation fall disproportionately on minorities and young people, discrimination should be among the charges listed in this lawsuit;

– a suit against teachers’ unions for hijacking K-12 education and turning it into an institution whose primary and overwhelming object is the creation of enormous rents for teachers and school administrators;

– a suit against cotton farmers, sugar farmers, corn farmers and all other farmers who gorge themselves every year on billions of dollars transferred to them by the special protections and subsidies supplied by government – dollars grabbed directly out of the pockets of the overwhelming majority of Americans, many of whom are fraudulently kept in the dark about the special privileges farmers receive.

This list could extend, in small-font type, from my office in Fairfax, VA, all the way to Manhattan.

Of course, I know that no one, including the intrepid Mr. Spitzer, will file such suits. In fact, any one of these suits stands less of a chance of surviving a motion to dismiss than the latest Mary-Kate and Ashley flick stands of winning the Palme d’Or at the next Cannes Film Festival. Still, it’s fun to fantasize…..