Good lord! Dan Drezner, who pretends to have libertarian sensibilities, actually thinks that a system of fines for unpredictable, unintentional accidents will make the world a better place. He took a test; I give him an "F"!
(If you want to take the Moral Sense Test, do it now. Spoilers below)
Now, check this, from Dan:
I came across this Moral Sense test at Harvard.
It's an eight question test in which an action is described and then you are asked to award damages.
In the scenarios I was given, I awarded an average of $129 in fines. The average response of all test takers was approximately $72,000.
So, clearly, I'm a heartless bastard. [And you also like to make fun of short people!!--ed.] Or, I'm more willing to blame fortuna than people when bad but (largely) accidental things happen.
Dan! DAN! Walk away from those totalitarians at Tufts, and try to come towards the sound of my voice! THE PREMISE OF THE TEST IS THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD FINE PEOPLE FOR ACCIDENTS, AND TAKE THE MONEY AT GUN POINT FOR USE IN THE GENERAL FUND!
These are TORTS, not criminal offenses. It is important that the victims do not receive the payment. An average of $129? GOTT IN HIMMEL! I had an "average payment of $0.00! I thought that several of the scenarios (like the peanuts in the allergist's office) were clear negligence, and that there was a cause of action for a law suit. Any allergy sufferer knows, or should know, that peanuts can be deadly, and in an allergist's office one expects to encounter people with.....ALLERGIES!
But not a fine! Why put government in charge of collecting fines when one private person harms another accidentally? You are in favor of criminalizing private mistakes, when there is a private remedy. There is no deterrent effect here, and no pretense of making the damaged party whole.
Danny, Danno, Danton....I thought you were one of us.