While people often chide the United States for our torts system and personal liability laws, occasional stories from other countries remind us of how important liability can be to influence accident avoidance. Sharon Regoli Ciferno, 50, a teacher at Charles A. Huston Middle School in western Pennsylvania, was vacationing in Mexico when she fell off a hotel roof that used a deck ledge as a bench. Ciferno laughed so hard that she lost her balance in throwing her head back and fell off the roof.
She was not drunk. The hotel had simply elected to have a roof deck without a proper barrier. The shocking thing is that this may have been in compliance with local building codes which are notoriously lax in Mexico. However, in the United States, such codes are not necessarily controlling on tort liability. In the case of Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Avenue. In Kline a landlord was found liable for not taking precautions to protect tenants from crime in an apartment building in Washington. That case involved a tenant who remained on the property during years of decline of the neighborhood in Washington, D.C., but continued as an at-will tenant. She was aware of the crime in the area and the building. However, the court still held that the landlord was liable even though he met housing regulations. He still violated the implied warranty of habitability.
The liability system (like the building codes) are less stringent in Mexico. Such an obvious risk (particularly in an area where people would be partying and drinking) would result in potentially punitive damages for a hotel in the United States — regardless of the local codes.
Ciferno made it to a hospital in San Diego but died of her injuries.
She was with her family on vacation and was married and a mother of two teenagers.
82 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Teacher Falls Off Hotel Roof In Mexico After Laughing Too Hard”
She was not drunk. The hotel had simply elected to have a roof deck without a proper barrier. The shocking thing is that this may have been in compliance with local building codes which are notoriously lax in Mexico.
At what point does a person become responsible for their own actions?
More stringent building codes are not a panacea.
People need to be responsible for themselves especially when your standing at the edge of a roof without any railing system in place.
A little common sense goes a long way.
I’d vote (and help pay) for the elevator.
As a 35-year Paramedic, I’ve treated more cases of foolish human misbehavior than I can keep track of. I feel sorry for the family of this women, but she was an adult; she sat down on a low wall on a rooftop; she and she alone made the decision to turn her back to the sky with no safety barrier.
Our unrelenting, calculated march toward idiot-proofing the planet improves neither society nor behavior; it weakens it.
One year ago on my first trip to the Grand Canyon, my friends and I were a bit stunned to see a family wailing hysterically, where a 35-year-old woman fell off the South wall pathway and dropped 400 feet. The family was screaming at park rangers that there should be guard rails around the Canyon. Right.
In a saner world, we would all learn just a single iota from Amish societal mores.
Stop the juvenile, kneejerk reaction to blame somebody else for our own foolish decisions.
The woman at the Grand Canyon – as the woman on the Mexico rooftop – are the only ones to blame.
PatricParamedic – we lose 6-8 ppl a year at the Canyon and if the going to put up rails, I want an elevator to the bottom. 🙂
If the Mexican hotel allows roof-top access to its guests, then that hotel assumes responsibility for the safety of its guests while they’re on top the roof.
If the Mexican hotel refuse to take responsibility for its guests while they’re on the hotel’s roof, then the hotel ought to prevent its guests from gaining access to its roof. Or else posts signs clearly stating that roof is not safe and that the guests assume the risk of being up on the roof.
I honestly don’t see what’s so hard to figure out about that.
Diane – you can sue on their behalf. Good luck.
Diane, you are using your own mindset to determine what a different people think is good for them. I understand your opinion as to safety, but I leave it up to Mexico and its people to determine what is or is not safe. Nothing makes you travel to Mexico. Most of us do so because we wish to see a different culture. If that is your desire then why do you wish to change their culture to your own? If that is the case why travel?
Allan, your accusation against me on a charge of cultural imperialism sounds very much like something lunatic-left-fringe college professor might say.
FTR, I do not travel abroad at all. I do not seek to change Mexican culture to my own. Nor do I seek to exploit Mexican culture as an avatar of personal responsibility to be exported to The United States of America. But I have to wonder about you, Allan, on that last count.
Diane, you wrote in an hyperbolic fashion, “Allan, your accusation against me on a charge of cultural imperialism sounds very much like something lunatic-left-fringe college professor might say.”
My evidence that you were acting in that fashion is your own comment: “If the Mexican hotel allows roof-top access to its guests, then that hotel assumes responsibility for the safety of its guests while they’re on top the roof.”
Take note you weren’t talking about an American hotel in America , rather you were talking about a Mexican hotel in Mexico.
Off topic. Dick Gregory died. He was a wonderful comedian and civic activist. The media is ignoring the story.
That is so sad. She had a beautiful smile in her photo. So sorry for her loss to her family, friends, and students.
We all do stupid things. I’m scared of heights, so I would never go near the edge of a roof. How many movies (Pretty Woman, etc) have we seen the actors hop up on the roof railing, or lean over a roof? I just saw a video of some friends of friends get engaged on a mountain top, and they were right near the edge. My friend called out, “Remember where you are!!!” He was worried they would forget themselves in the moment and fall. It was very romantic and a bit terrifying for me to watch the video. But they were fine.
She made a mistake going near the edge, let alone sitting by it. She clearly forgot where she was on some level. So sorry for her loss. All of us do things we regret from time to time, but we just got lucky.
Building codes are very different in other countries. When my family was in Paris, my mother was panicky because she said the bars on the Eiffel Tower railing were wide enough for a toddler to walk right through. I was a toddler, so she put me on a leash. She was terrified to trust even holding my hand. Yeah, I was teased about those leash photos forever, but I’m happy she kept me safe. I wonder if they ever retrofit that railing to make the bars closer together.
Anytime I travel overseas, I’m struck by the difference in building safety. Even in Italy, the elevator shook the entire building of one of the grand old small hotels I stayed in. And the box was so tiny. I wasn’t completely sure it was entirely safe.
And those old ancient elevators!
About 30 years ago a friend was with a group in Europe and the elevator doors open but the car was not there.
One in the group died.
Oh no, that’s awful! Those old elevators are scary.
Your friend was recycling an episode of L.A. Law
Diana Muldaur said she learned she was being written out of the show when she opened the script. They wanted her to do the stunt and she told them no way, so they use a double. (It took, she said, about 10 takes).
Too bad there’s no requirement for in the legals system for Bar Association attorneys to disclose they have NO FIDUCIARY DUTITES to act in the best interest of their “clients” who are pay “their” lawyers outrageous sums believing otherwise.
Of course there should be railings on any roof where people gather. It isn’t just a matter of someone laughing too hard, but children tend to run around, not looking where they’re going, to say nothing of inebriated people. Liability laws keep people aware of dangers, especially those running commercial establishments. The hotel should be liable for the death. There is a law in the US regarding harboring an “attractive nuisance”. A rooftop without a railing would qualify for this infraction. Often a healthy dose of common sense would prevent many accidents, but insurers and zoning departments should be at the forefront of discovering and remedying dangers like this.
Louise – NYC is full of rooftops without railings. They are not considered an attractive nuisance. It is at least contributory negligence. She is the one laughing who fell off the roof.
I’m sorry she died, but I agree, it’s her job to maintain her balance.
Capstone Stable, my son informs me that before the insurance industry flexed its muscle on the subject professional roofers with many years of experience would occasionally forget where they were and walk right off the roof they were working on. He also claims that such accidents befell the most experienced roofers more frequently than the less experienced ones. Nowadays, most roofing contractors are contractually obligated by an insurance company to use fall-arresting equipment in addition to whatever building codes might require the same safety measures.
Again, it is benefit vs risk.
In some areas the benefits of risk reduction are so low that they cause costs to rise and danger to increase. It sometimes looks like a balloon. Compress one area and it pops out in another.
People that shill for the British Law Monopoly called the “BAR” , are miscreants and the bane of our society I spent my entire life planning my escape from the “building codes”. Now that I have, I can do as I please without the oversight of a government master.. I can actually now afford to implement my dreams!
There is talk of building codes here, if it comes I am willing to defend my right to do with my property as I wish with my life. If you want building codes. stay the hell away from both me and my property.
Yea right we need more “laws” to shift the blame of stupid peoples actions onto others.
“Attorneys” are one of the great evils of the 20th century. Helping protect the rights of citizens
is not even on their self centered radar……
Suppose it was a child–your child–who felloff a roof. Would you be so cavalier then?
Louise – if it was my child, they would never get near the edge of the roof.
Paul, that’s a hateful display of personal responsibility, and I ask you cease that immediately!
slohrss29 – did I trigger you? Must you go to your safe place? 🙂
InalienableWrights, have you experienced any difficulty acquiring homeowner’s insurance? Many mortgage lenders require such insurance to protect their investment. Many insurance companies require compliance with contract terms well in excess of code requirements. Government regulation is not the only type of regulation in this country. Contract agreements between consumers and corporations often regulate the behavior of consumers. Of course some homeowner-builders can do without a mortgage or insurance much as the hearty pioneers did way back when. But the rest of need bank loans and insurance.
“Government regulation is not the only type of regulation in this country.”
Diane, there is a difference between voluntary and involuntary adherence to regulation.
That’s true, Allan. Nobody forces us to sign a loan agreement that requires homeowner’s insurance. But the alternative for most people is to go altogether without housing. BTW, I have no complaint against safer housing no matter from which way the regulations came.
“I have no complaint against safer housing no matter from which way the regulations came.”
Diane, I am sure you do have complaints whether or not it is voluntary. Every time you get an insurance premium that seems to be higher than you would like that is in part due to so called “safer”. Every time you pay taxes you probably complain that they are high whether those taxes are income tax, sales tax, FICA tax, property tax, phone tax, cable tax, hotel tax, sin tax, etc. Then you have things like the Obamacare taxes that are hidden but severely tax the young and healthy. All of these taxes are explained using some version of it’s “safer” or “better” or “fairer”, etc.
The offshoot of “safer” is that we take from Peter to pay Paul so what might be safer for Peter might be less safe for Paul.
Take note, however, that when the “safer tax” is voluntary people expect value and if they don’t get it they can drop the “safer tax”. This is not a call to abandon all taxation or all “safety”, rather it calls for more judicious use of our resources.
By the way, if anything causes people to go without housing it is precisely those regulations that, likely without thinking too deeply, you support.
Allan, a portion of the federal excise taxes on gasoline, tires and other auto parts go to making cars and roads safer. I have no complaint against that.
If the quotation marks around the term “safer tax” imply that voluntary regulations are “taxes,” then wouldn’t that make them “voluntary taxes?” There is a way to avoid paying the federal excise taxes on gasoline, tires and other auto parts. You just walk or ride a bike. Does that make those taxes “voluntary?” What would become of our auto industry and our auto workers under that voluntary tax avoidance regime?
BTW, the 1934-35 Duesenberg model SJN “Twenty-Grand” sedan by Rollston was as highly valuable as it was highly unsafe long before the advent of both government and insurance-company regulation of automobile safety. Why would anyone go back to that model for “personal responsibility?”
Diane, you miss the point. Bridge and toll taxes to go into Manhattan are now $15.That tax was supposed to support the infrastucture of these entry points to make them safer and more utilizeable. Is that where the money is going? Not really. A lot of that money has been misspent and didn’t make things any safer, nor did that mispent money make the traffic any better. Your answer is for the working population that pays $15 per day to cross these barriers is for them to ride bicycles.
The question in this instance is not as you put it “voluntary” rather it is the proper use of money for public goods.
“Why would anyone go back to that model for “personal responsibility?”” You confuse the difference between personal responsibility and that responsibility where another person is involved and may be injured. Government is a very poor manager of private funds (It’s lousy with public funds as well, but government needs funds to permit it to exist). There is an appropriate place for goverment, but I think that eludes your understanding in this case. You have to separate injury to oneself from injury to another and then you cannot declare a right to be a right if it involuntarily obligates another party. Start by using the Constitution as your guide.
Allan, I am not claiming that safe housing is a Constitutional right. I am, however, claiming that private enterprise has a social responsibility to build safe housing; and that the government also has a social responsibility involuntarily to obligate private enterprise to build safe housing via building codes and to provide safe workplaces for construction workers also via building codes or OSHA regulations.
Honestly, Allan, I don’t see how my understanding of social responsibility eludes your understanding of personal responsibility on the part of private enterprise. Is private enterprise only responsible to “itself,” but not to its customers who comprise a society that buys products and services from private enterprise?
Diane, it is funny how in my business I had to meet OSHA regulations. Unfortunately that didn’t meet the needs of the employees and to some workers those regulations were painful. The solution of course was to build two things, one OSHA compliant and the other what was needed for the employee to work. That was an obligation the government didn’t pay for so prices had to go up and suddenly the poorest and most needy couldn’t afford the new price.
I believe in certain regulations, but as we can see here with the statue destruction the left loves to over-regulate anyone productive in society. That is counterproductive.
“Honestly, Allan, I don’t see how my understanding of social responsibility eludes your understanding of personal responsibility”
Your understanding of social responsibility is your unique understanding of what social responsibility is. No-one else can completely understand what that term means in your mind. The market place is a much better adjudicator of many problems that exist. It should be illegal to sell toothpaste that tastes bad. If that is the case people won’t buy bad tasting toothpaste. No law is needed.
LOL. It’s true, Paul. When are you going to stop being right about things?
“private enterprise has a social responsibility”
Diane, Perhaps a moral responsibility, but where is it written that it has a social responsibility? The states pass laws that involve state property which is what you are referring to. That is a state or local responsibility not a federal one and each state need not be identical. Can you define social responsibility so that the term is not vague? Of course not. It is just a buzz phrase to get people to sign onto a contract to give up their rights.
“to build safe housing”
Can you define safe housing? Of course not. Another buzz word. In some areas housing is so expensive that some might live in their cars. Is that safe? Yet those people see housing that is safer yet not as safe as you would like so they have to live in the unsafe car or in a cardboard box on the street. These things are relative where safety to you means a denied opportunity for someone else.
“and that the government also has a social responsibility “
Where in the constitution are the words “social responsibility” used? That is still another buzz phrase that is meaningless.
You are loaded down with meaningless desires that can be put into law in more specific fashion. Then one can debate the laws merits or lack of merit. These buzz word phrases are meaningless.
Leet me add one more thing. In some areas the roof of a building might be safer than other places in the street, but though the roof is reasonably safe so people don’t fall off there may be some other items that require care. To correct such problems might cost a fortune so the roof is closed down. Who benefits and who loses?
Allan, in this particular context, social responsibility for private enterprise would be defined as making or selling products or services that are safe for the consumer to use; and providing safe workplaces and safe working conditions to the employees of private enterprises.
Those are not figments of my imagination, Allan. Consequently, my use of the term social responsibility is not a meaningless buzz phrase. Meanwhile, the notion that safe housing and safe working conditions cannot be defined is directly refuted by existing building codes, existing bank and insurance contracts, and existing OSHA regulations.
P. S. The words marriage, spouse and family do not appear in The Constitution. Does that mean that marriages, spouses and families are meaningless buzz phrases? If, so, then I might understand your difficulty grappling with term social responsibility better than I have thus far.
Diane – marriage, family and children can be deleterious to the safety of the home. Those things not mentioned are left to the states.
Diane, the terms you use are very non-specific so one can agree something is reasonably safe or disagree on its safety. Your definition of social responsibility is based upon an unknown degree of safety and therefore the use of that term doesn’t tell us very much either.
I don’t claim anything is a figment of your imagination rather that what you consider safe is your perception of safety not necessarily mine or anyone else’s. So yes, your use of the term social responsibility, without explanation, is a meaningless buzz phrase. Yes safety can be defined, but you haven’t done that in your use of the word safe nor in your use of the term social responsibility.
“P. S. The words marriage, spouse and family do not appear in The Constitution. Does that mean that marriages, spouses and families are meaningless buzz phrases?”
It is the way you use terms that create meaningless buzz phrases. The Constitution sets out the responsibilities of the Federal Government and protects the rights of individuals in the Bill of Rights. Therefore states have Constitutions and they set the tone for the meaning of marriage, spouse and family as long as there is no conflict with the federal Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
When is personal responsibility eliminated from the equation? Had the local building codes required a waste-high railing, someone would eventually sit on the railing and fall off. Seems like a knee-jerk reaction to find fault everywhere else first, rather than with the individual.
“While people often chide the United States for our torts system and personal liability laws,”
It’s a balancing act where we have potentially gone too far in some areas causing the risk to become greater because costs make us take less safe avenues.
There is another consideration, human nature. In the past it has been found that safety items such as seat belts (a good idea) make the individual feel safer so he takes more risks and drives faster. I believe that is called risk compensation.
In earlier years I spent a lot of time in Mexico. I would worry about things like fire so while there I would ‘risk compensate’ and pick the hotel carefully and though some might think it crazy I would not go above the floor that the fire trucks could reach. I always walked the halls to the exits that were available. That is something I don’t regularly do in the US.
Very interesting. Thanks for the well-thought post. I have also read boxing gloves do the same thing, bare knuckle brawling that opens up a nasty cut will stop a fight instead of protecting soft tissue and allowing the brain to be continually subject to severe and repetitive g forces. Have we removed so much danger from our daily lives that we don’t recognize it straight away anymore? DSS makes an interesting point, after all the awareness and knowledge we gather in life, it is very upsetting to think you would go out this way.
I am sorry she is dead, but she is the one who was laughing to hard and fell off the roof. Do we blame the joke teller? I think it is assumption of risk. Personally, I would not sit that close to the edge. I want a railing at least waist high.
There is something exceedingly sad and gross about deaths that occur in the course of stupid accidents. There’s a certain horror in the idea that that’s the way you might go.
DSS – so who do you blame? I worked with a lot of defendants’ attorneys before I was a teacher so that is my bias. It’s an opinion, does not make it right or wrong. It will never be tried in an American court, probably. However, if I was defending, I would go with assumption of the risk and she is at least partially to blame since she did the laughing. No one says she was pushed over. Whether we also lay it on the joke teller is another matter.
I have a female cousin who laughs so hard she cannot stop. They have to get her husband to calm her down. Then she starts up again. At a soiree like this she would wear Pampers, because she always seems to wet herself when she is laughing. 🙂
If the place isn’t guilty of any building code infractions, will it just be ruled an accident? Don’t know how liability works to down there. I guess sometimes the overwhelming impermanence of life presents a hardcore illustration. I am thinking that lady expected death to be the last thing she would encounter while up there.
slohrss29 – I am sorry for the lady, her family and friends. I have no idea what the liability is in Mexico and neither does JT. She might have carried special insurance in Mexico to cover her and that could be litigated in the US. However, she did go out happy.
Geez, I didn’t even think about that end of it. Didn’t know there was such a thing. I guess she is still covered by her life insurance policy? I haven’t had the chance to travel out of the country in about 17 years, and never even thought about that at the time. It is very tragic.
slohrr29 – when we used to go to Rocky Point, there was a place right across the border to get insurance for your vehicle. American insurance does not cover your vehicle in Mexico, go figure. 😉 It was cheap and good coverage, so we would always get it. If nothing else, it is comfort.
Thanks for getting back Paul, I would not have thought of that. I guess all US based insurances work the same way when it comes to international coverage.
WHERE in Mexico did this happen? I’ve read three news stories about it but none say where it happebed.
Larry Silverstein was there and said ‘pull her’.
DSS – sure it wasn’t Gloria Allred?
Safety measures and compliance requirements incorporate costs. You’re more inclined to allocate resources to these costs when certain appetites are sated beforehand. More productive and affluent societies are safer societies. Bracketing out natural resource rents and the hypertrophy of the share payable to the most affluent decile, real domestic product per capita in Mexico is similar to that of the United States ca. 1942. That’s Latin American normal. The U.S. had many fine features in 1942, but it was also dirtier, smellier, less healthy (although less infected with obesity-related illnesses), and less safe from accidents.
DSS, my son tells me that insurance companies have significant influence over building codes and construction practices not to mention automotive safety.
The construction workers who built the hotel may very well have had fall-arresting equipment of one kind or another. If so, said safety equipment may have been contractually required by either or both an insurance company and a lending institution.
On the other hand, maybe some of those construction workers fell to their deaths while building the hotel.
Diane, there is an equation. Risk vs benefit. In the US our risk aversion frequently surpasses the benefit.
Allan, some of us have more money with which to work than others of us. Consequently, the price of housing in many American communities frequently surpasses the benefit of housing in general. Meanwhile, construction contractors are far more numerous in places with more money than places with less money. Places with more money can afford to have tougher building codes than places with less money.
It keeps the riff-raff out as well as the fly-by-night contractors. All of the foregoing observations are folded into the risk/benefit analysis in just such a way as to ratify the fallout from income inequality. Poof. Voila. Nothing to see, here. Keep moving. Keep moving.
Diane, prices reflect what people are able to pay. The following sentence does not make that much sense “Allan, some of us have more money with which to work than others of us. Consequently, the price of housing in many American communities frequently surpasses the benefit of housing in general. ”
The seller tries to get the highest profit and the buyer tries to save the most money. If the buyer is less affluent he will pay for less. The problem is the externalities, not that the rich people are causing housing prices to rise for poorer people. What is more true is that less rich people are voluntarily trying to live more like rich people and in the middle of this transaction there are costs unassociated with the actual housing desired (such as regulations, zoning, taxes, etc.).
“It keeps the riff-raff out as well as the fly-by-night contractors.”
Tougher codes can do good or they can line the pockets of government officials or private companies. Look at your history book for long haul vs short haul railroad fees. There was a disparity in fees so laws were created. Look it up and see who won and who lost.
“Keep moving. Keep moving.” That is a logic problem. A better thought is to stay put until one truly understands what “Risk vs benefit.” means in the broadest way.
Allan, you stated that risk aversion in America frequently surpasses benefit. What I should have stated is that the higher prices for “upscale” housing do not reflect the benefit of housing in general so much as those higher prices reflect the desire for conspicuous consumption; and that that results in safer housing developments for “upscale” homeowners than for ordinary schlubbos–unless the government intervenes to regulate minimum safety requirements for low-cost housing developments.
Meanwhile, the safety risks for homeowners are much the same for low-cost and high-cost housing. It’s only when the comparative property values are factored into the risk/benefit analysis for banks and insurers that the benefit that banks and insurers earn from low-cost housing falls short of the balance point for their bottom-line. Why put the onus for risk on the backs of poorer homeowners when calculating the potential reward to banks and insurers?
What is wrong with conpsicuous consumption? It provides jobs, an incentive for rich people to keep the economy going, it sometimes adds beauty and culture, etc? Why are you the judge of conspicuous consumption? To a Chinese farmworker virtually everything you have is conspicuous consumption. It is a perception particular to the individual.
As far as safety regulations go, it is the same for both rich and poor housing. However, many regulations don’t provide safety rather do make the price of housing rise so people have to live in less safe housing.
“” onus for risk on the backs of poorer homeowners when calculating the potential reward to banks and insurers?”
I don’t really get the point of this question. When someone loans money to another they want to earn a profit and get their money back. Thus the banks think of all the risks that have to be covered plus all the overhead and then tack on their profit. Why do you think this is predjudicial to less affluent owners other than the fact that they have less money?
Allan, I did not state that there is anything wrong with conspicuous consumption; only that it accounts for high-cost, high-price housing.
Safety regulations in housing are not the same for high-price and low-price housing. But the safety risks facing construction workers and homeowners are the same for high-price and low-price housing. That is the very issue that your risk benefit analysis sweeps under the rug by focusing only on the risks facing private enterprise versus the benefits earned by private enterprise.
Surely you can figure out a way to factor the risk/benefit equation for consumers into the risk/benefit equation for producers and service providers. Otherwise the observations about personal responsibility for consumers are a shell game in which private enterprise has no social responsibility to their customers.
“Allan, I did not state that there is anything wrong with conspicuous consumption; only that it accounts for high-cost, high-price housing.”
Your statement indicates there is something wrong with conspicuous consumption because it creates higher prices and less affluent people need lower prices.
“Safety regulations in housing are not the same for high-price and low-price housing.”
Are you actually saying that safety laws are tailored so that the construction of low income housing has lower safety standards?
“ But the safety risks facing construction workers and homeowners are the same for high-price and low-price housing. “
I don’t know that is true or not. The laws, however, are the same.
You are totally losing me because you seem to be conflating regulations that are based upon law, regulations based upon private insurers and regulations based upon private contractors. I would answer the last sentence in your paragraph, but the answer would have to be overly long didactic response to push you into a better use of your terms. They all work together, but you are very non specific.
“ Surely you can figure out a way to factor the risk/benefit equation for consumers into the risk/benefit equation for producers and service providers. “
The consumer is an integral part of the risk / benefit of the producer. The producer produces a product to satisfy the consumer’s need. The consumer picks between producers to find the best product for his needs. That ultimate result is that the producer produces what the consumer wants. The government is there to make sure the contract between the two is upheld according to the law and to make sure that one party isn’t cheating the other. (Read Milton Friedman Free to Choose. It will take less than three hours, but you will have a more complete understanding of economics and in the end will likely agree with him.)
“Otherwise the observations about personal responsibility for consumers are a shell game in which private enterprise has no social responsibility to their customers.”
If the producer produces what the consumer wants (requirements: competition and government enforcement of contract) you might not find it socially responsible but the buyer does. Why should your vision of social responsibility dictate the life of your neighbor (as long as it doesn’t directly obligate or injure you)? Take pornographic material purchased by an adult. You might not consider the publication of pornographic material socially responsible. Suddenly your phrase “socially responsible” is meaningless because what is “socially responsible” is in your mind and is different than is what is in another’s mind. (Again, read Free to Choose. It deals with almost every situation that we have had an encounter with one another.)
She threw her head back, during a fit of laughter, and fell off of a roof? What was she doing so close to the edge of a roof. . .so close to the edge that she was capable of tumbling over whatever defective barrier that the hotel had in place? While I feel sorry for her and for her family, who must be devastated by this this tragic and senseless loss, I can’t help but think, after reading the words. . .Mexico, on vacation, adult tumbles off of rooftop, during a fit of laughter. . .that alcohol was, in some way, involved. I know that the story claims that she wasn’t drunk, but my gut tells me that alcohol–at some level, in her system–contributed to this occurrence.
You are probably right on the alcohol. A certain person I know, a very good friend of mine, was at a bar one night, and it had one of those stripper poles on the actual bar. This usually very well-behaved and intelligent young lady, who was also a very talented dancer a decade earlier, decided to show how easy it was to spin around the pole, thus proving that most strippers are but talentless strumpets when it comes to the actual art of dance. And, she had been drinking rather heavily. Sooo, when the barkeep’s back was turned, she struck!
Unfortunately, there was something slick on the pole, and the slender and petite, but gallant, young lass slipped down, upside down at the time, and whacked her back on the edge of the bar. She had to spend several months in a rehab hospital with old people. She would have been out faster, but the rehabbers were twits who twisted her knee in addition to her back. Thankfully, she made a full recovery!
Of course, I did not personally witness any of this, and it may just be an urban legend. . .
On the other hand, we should have a requirement of common sense.
Self preservation would suggest that a place is dangerous and lead to extra caution.
Our tort laws often suggest that we are careless children in need of a nanny.
Or a society that looks out for dangers to public safety. How would you feel,if you or a loved one were involved in a serious accident that could have been prevented with a dose of common sense? I’ll bet you’d be one of the first to sue.
I guess you assume that all of us have no pride in feelings of personal responsibility and analysis. Some of us will take a moment and think, and not just jump into a knee-jerk response like the rest of your lot.
You are probably not aware of this, but that is why we practice self-discipline and analytic thinking. That’s what keeps us human when things present a nasty challenge to us and our thinking.
Well said. I might add, similarly to BamBam above, that “nanni-ism” is pretty much expected. I am still shaking my head that in my area you can overdose on heroin, and the government of some branch will dispatch a team to treat you on the spot. I think I also recently saw that librarians will be required to dispense nalaxone (I think that’s what it is…) since libraries are great hangouts for these individuals. I guess this all loops back around to the people who want to depend on government in lieu of personal responsibility–and freedom–will allow also allow the government to do the “hard thinking” and dispensing of knowledge for them as well.
Slohrss29, banks and insurance companies have significant regulatory power over the behavior of Americans by means of contracts. The alternative remedy is to go it alone without loans and insurance.
Does that mean that banks and insurance companies are nannies who deprive Americans of their personal responsibility?
During the great restructuring of the U. S. economy from roughly 1970 through 2000 or thereabouts, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector of our national economy grew by leaps and bounds. Vast sums of money entered the stock and bond markets. Some portion of that wealth that was in the hands of banks and insurance companies was re-invested in safety measures for both construction workers and homeowners as well as the consumers of various commercial properties such as hotels and resorts, for instance. This was done for the sake of the bottom-line interests of banks and insurance companies. I, for one, am not complaining about that. But some of you seem to be lodging a complaint on that count.
P. S. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Trump. I presume that he’d tell you all about it.
During the great restructuring of the U. S. economy from roughly 1970 through 2000 or thereabouts, the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate sector of our national economy grew by leaps and bounds. Vast sums of money entered the stock and bond markets.
The share of gross sales and value-added attributable to the insurance business has changed little in the last 70 years . That attributable to the real estate business hit a plateau around about 1985. That attributable to finance hit a plateau around about 1998. The grown in the medical sector has been of greater significance.
But some of you seem to be lodging a complaint on that count.
We cannot do anything about your reading comprehension issues.
The acceptance of personal responsibility on the part of those who can afford voluntarily to submit to contractual regulation of their behavior at the behest of mortgage lenders and homeowner’s insurance companies ought not to be given as an argument against government regulation of the behavior of those who cannot afford to be contractually regulated by private enterprise.
Diane, Where the risk is contained solely to one individual and within one individual’s property why do you believe government regulation of risk is less expensive? The only reason why in a functioning market govrnment regulation would seem less expensive is because you are not aware of the costs of government action.
Again, Diane, voluntary vs involuntary regulatory power.
If one wants insurance one has to pay a premium so the insurer makes money, can provide benefits for a loss and for the administration of such insurance. If one wishes to remove some of those regulation one can, but they will have to pay a higher premium for the coverage. That is why people accept certain regulations of insurers that they would prefer not to have.
I get that, Allan. Those who cannot afford to be contractually regulated by banks and insurance companies have to take personal responsibility for the fact that they cannot afford to be contractually regulated by private enterprise.
But how is that an argument against government regulation that establishes a minimum requirement of social responsibility on the part of private enterprises who seek to profit from people who cannot afford to be contractually regulated by banks and insurance companies?
Diane, I’m having a hard time interpreting your statements involving the economics behind your suppositions.
When you have a financial transaction there is a contract. That contract lays out everyone’s responsibility and if one fails to live up to the contract the problem created is adjudicated by the courts. If a bank is involved there is yet another contract whose provisions can also be adjudicated by the courts. The regulations are within the contracts that are interpreted based upon the law.
You want “social responsibility” or another vague and undescribed contract created by government. We have that as well and those exist in the laws and regulations of society (some of which create bad problems). The question that really exists is which government should have control over what type of rules, federal, state, county, city, etc. and what type of rules should exist? Where government agencies most need to act is in the area of public goods where everyone can benefit and that benefit doesn’t deprive another of the benefit. We both can use the same road or park. It also needs to act where one person’s benefit hurts another individual. All too frequently government has acted to soley benefit one party by placing an obligation on another.
Allan, free markets are comprised of people who further comprise a society. Without such a society, free enterprise would be limited to self-sufficient economics based upon whatever one could produce by oneself, for oneself. No trade, no commerce, no contracts, no regulations, no taxes. It would be a sorely impoverished society. The anarchists might love it. Or not. Where would the surplus wealth come from?
Thus, my suppositions, Allan, are the one’s you’re palming up your sleeve. The law and the courts that interpret the law are the products of government. The government routinely adjudicates contract disputes between one private enterprise versus another private enterprise. Ergo the government routinely imposes “social responsibility” upon private enterprise.
Given that private enterprise requires employment of labor and that labor benefits from safe construction practices as well as safe buildings in which to live or to work, or to conduct business transactions, for that matter, it should follow that governments can and should impose still further “social responsibilities” upon private enterprises in our society. Otherwise, the insistence upon personal responsibility only for private citizens shirks the burden of social responsibility for private enterprises.
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