Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What's in your wallet?

Bear with me while I explicatea very subtle and important aspect of the crunchy approach to contract law and responsibilities. Bruce Frohnen writes,
Lest we forget, corporations are granted by the state huge advantages that often harm innocent investors and even bystanders seeking to recover damages. The current code allows lawyers to hide behind limited liability even in
partnerships, and allows developers to form shell corporations for each subdivision they build, avoiding liability for wrongdoing even as they sell themselves as "in the business for 50 years."

So, a man's word ought to be his word, and that ought to be carved in stone tablets carried down from the mountain. I'll buy that. But perhaps not with a credit card, since Rod approvingly cites an Allan Carlson essay which says,

Contemporary Republican leaders need to do better — much better — toward social conservatives. They must creatively address pressing new family issues centered on debt burden. And they must learn to say "no" sometimes to Wall Street, lest they squander the revolutionary political legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Based on this, I would posit that Crunchy Contract Law actually recognizes two types of legal agreements: contracts between corporations and people, which are "crunchy" contracts, and thus binding in all instances, and contracts between people and corporations, which are "soggy" contracts and open to discussion.

Now some would protest that this is arbitrary, but that's typically simple-minded mainstream thinking. Credit-card agreements are "soggy contracts" because credit cards are used by "consumer-vatives" to fill their oversized suburban houses with aesthetically pleasing but insufficiently costly Ikea furniture, and Internet pornography. This credit card debt is therefore "blood money" and the right of the credit card companies to expect cardholders to live up to their agreement is forfeit. As for the cardholders, it is important that they repay their debts--by prayer and fasting, that is. Repaying them in the form of cash money might require them to spend time working, away from children who would thus be deprived of the strong role models needed to inculcate critical values, such as the deferral of gratification.

In Crunchstitutional Law, we refer to this as the principle of "Heads I Win, Tails, You Lose."


Blogger Bubba said...

Like the genuine article, your satires make my head spin.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Rayne said...

I know what you mean, Bubba. After the parody, we're TWICE removed from reality and TWO standard deviations away from rational thought.
The book is getting justly panned in reviews and in ratings (such as Amazon.com); one by Bernard Chapin is especially funny.

10:09 PM  

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