How McDonald’s coffee cup lawsuit affected the legal system?

McDonald's coffee cup

The film ‘Hot coffee’ is a documentary that looks into law reforms in the United States. It focuses mainly on tort reforms that have changed the course for the judiciary within the country. The film was made by Saladoff, who has had over 25 years in the medical malpractice industry of the legal system.

This film looks at how the legal system was severely affected by a spirited campaign that ultimately led to a weaker civil judiciary. It assesses the impact of the right wing crusade on the ultimate fate of the civil laws that govern the country. The film Hot Coffee shows the need to abolish tort reforms to protect the American public.

Hot Coffee focuses mainly on the Liebeck v. McDonald’s case and also known as “mcdonalds coffee cup lawsuit“. In the film, it presents a case of greedy clients who sought to manipulate the judicial systems so as to earn millions in the process. Looking at it further, the audience comes to understand the underlying truth of it all.

From one angle, it shows how the American public was duped into supporting anti-tort reforms that promoted its evils. It shows how major corporations were able to turn the public against tort reforms, by portraying their apparent shortcomings. It looks at the details of the case which the American public never came to fully understand in its entirety.

The case was about an aging 78 year old woman who spilled coffee on her lap while trying to put cream and sugar. She was at the moment seated at the passenger side of a parked car. The coffee caused second and third burn degrees on hap lap and the jury ultimately awarded her $2.7 million. The public however, believed that she spilled the coffee while driving.

Major corporations within the United States have worked had to push their agenda for tort reforms at the expense of the general public. There have been several cases in which the public has been duped to believing that all of them are frivolous lawsuits brought against large companies. However, the tort laws are supposed to be in the interest of the public. Companies have funded tort reforms so that they can be able to shield themselves from expensive lawsuits and compensation.

The torturous stories presented in the film, such as Jamie Leigh Jones’ show how companies have worked hard to alleviate any liability that would be laid on them. Thus it allows these companies to be able to escape responsibility with just a slap on the wrist. Tort reformers argue that unlimited money judgments affect corporates, and disrupt the American society, but this is not reason enough to remove liability. The punitive measures are meant to protect the public from negligence from the corporations themselves.

The tort reforms being pushed forward will cause more harm than good for the American public. The legal system is meant to protect the public from such exploitations. Frivolous lawsuits exist have damaged the reputation of many companies, but in a few of them, the cases are founded on strong evidence, thus need to ensure that the plaintiff gets justice.

The film Hot Coffee presents a strong case for why the American public should not support tort reforms. Viewing the cases presented in the film, one is able to understand the overall impact of these cases. We also get to analyze the case from a critical point to understand the information.

Moral values and our responsibility

Have you ever thought about values morals? How are values and morals similar? And what do you know about moral values? In his article entitled “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Peter Singer outlines the principle that states “if it is within our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything comparable importance, we ought, morally to do it,”.  He builds this principle on the assumption that, “Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad”.  According to Singer, “most people will agree on this, although one may reach the same view by different routes,”. Thus, the paper argues that donating money to take care of cases such as famine and poverty as a way of preventing a bad thing such as death from occurring is not only an act of charity but it is also a moral obligation that each person must consider engaging in regularly. This should be done, not because one feels like it but because it is their responsibility to do so.

One of the more fundamental arguments that Singer outlines in this text is that; should an individual witness a child drowning; they should not wait for other people to respond. Instead, said individual should arrest the situation and rescue the child while expecting nothing in return. Singer uses this scenario to illustrate how the principle of stopping bad things from happening while being sure not to sacrifice something of more importance should work. To him, getting his clothes muddy is insignificant when compared to the possible death of the child as a result of drowning. He applies the analogy with the aim of explaining to his audience how donating to charities responsible for providing shelter, and providing assistance to the poor and those affected by famine is of moral importance can aid in changing the society.

It is logical to assume that saving a drowning child will appear as the moral responsibility of any adult. Singer utilizes the use of a child as the main character in the analogy to outline the state of helplessness. He uses the child to represent the state of helplessness in which people faced with poverty and famine are always in. According to him, it is natural that just like him every adult out there would jump into the pond irrespective of getting their clothes muddy to save the child. Singer compares this to the drive that makes people contribute in charitable facilities. He insists that just like we are obliged to save the drowning child even if it means making our clothes dirty, we should replicate this in giving for charity. According to the principle, it is a moral requirement for individuals to give money to charity and not giving is morally wrong. However, people are not required to give to charity to the extent that their giving creates a worse scenario than it is supposed to prevent.

Notably, Singer makes an argument that it does not matter whether the drowning child is far away or closes. Proximity or location shouldn’t be something that discourages humans from helping each other. To him, the act of giving should neither be limited by distance nor should it confine itself to the geographical location. Singer makes his stand by stipulating that he does not have to say much about distance and proximity. He outlines that the act of giving is not entirely dependent on the location or the distance because one does not need to know an individual to give money. Additionally, he states that the act of giving does not rely on the notion that a person is the only one entitled to do something nor does it specify that an individual is the only one among a million people doing the charity. The act of charity is a personal burden that each person must, without being influenced by the geographical location or the distance, carry. In the analogy of the drowning child, it is expected that every adult just like Peter will jump into the pond save the child irrespective of their geographical location and distance since it is the moral thing to do. Hence, geographic range, as well as location, should not be a hindrance to charitable work in the aim of preventing a potentially bad such as poverty in the community. Thus, according to the author charity as a moral requirement of every individual is not governed the proximity of the victim. In the drowning child analogy, an adult would not stop to help a child primarily because they come from a different geographical area. As outlined in the case, the distance, as well as the geographical location of a person in need of help, should not be a fundamental determining factor when giving out charity.

Apparently, the argument by Singer that donating money to charity should be an obligation guided by a moral perspective, gives rise to an objection. Some people do not like to donate money to charitable organizations since they cannot see the tangible effect of their money. Hence, due to lack of moral stimulation people tend to shy away from contributing money to these organizations. However, when showcasing his arguments, Singer forgets to put this situation into play.

Despite, supporting this argument by utilizing the drowning child scenario the author does not put into consideration that mostly the moral stimulation of seeing the person in need of charity is the key motivator for individuals to get involved in charity.

For example, just like Singer, most people would feel the urge of helping a drowning child. This is not always the case when donating money for charity to charitable organizations thus; people lack the motivation to give money. Notably, based on the notion that these charitable organizations are generous in, for example, paying their employees, most people lack the trust that their money will carry on the charity work it was intended. These factors exist when people are deciding on donating their money to charitable organizations.


Government Impact on Economic Growth

Monetary policies play significant roles in national struggles to improve development and growth in an economy, through expenditures and growth profile variations. Fiscal policies represent one of the major policies of the government that impact economic accomplishments by increasing taxation revenue and controlling cost levels. Based on the model developed by Keynesian, fiscal policies that can be expanded targets to fuel the economy by increasing costs or reducing taxes or both. If the plan fails, the government is expected to incur losses thus failing to achieve the projected rate of economic growth. Government expenditure signifies economic growth engine by contributing to the productive increase in a country’s economy, specifically, if the cost is utilized correctly on important distinct economic divisions. An economic recession may arise if there is a deficit in state’s budget. Some policymakers support the idea that government expenditures help boost economic growth while some are against it. The supporters of this idea argue that public goods like infrastructure and education aid the growth of the economy. On the other hand, the non-supports claim that the government is large and maximum expenditures slows economic growth. Therefore, government spending has both advantages and disadvantages.

Economic growth refers to the potential development of a country’s output or GDP. Economic development offers the insight to understand why growth rates differ from one country to another over time. This research paper evaluates the different effects of government in the economy. The study bases its explanation on theoretical arguments, recent literature reviews, financial evidence, and specific country examples. Additionally, it explains the process of data collection, findings, discussions, analysis and a conclusion.

The economic literature, particularly models of macro-economy warrants the presence of a link between GDP and government spending. The relationship of GDP and expenditure has attracted attention from various researchers and economists for numerous years and has been an intensely controversial subject. Economic theories in many instances do not instantly generate suitable solutions concerning government expenditures and economic performance. Certainly, most economists support the idea that low government spending in some cases boosts economic growth. According to Wagner’s Law of increasing states activities, expenditures of government grows incessantly, in its relative or absolute size, by communal achievements. With increasing rates of industrializations, there is an active improve in economic performance. Economists in support of Wagner’s theory believe that effective government involvement through saving and spending stimulates the need for services and goods in addition to financial stability and growth.

The Keynesian theory developed by John Maynard Keynes a British economist also gives a basis for the relationship between government expenditure and economic performance. Keynes believes that economic performance/growth of a country depends on increasing demands. Therefore, financial expenses of any state are not restricted to benefit-cost analysis. Based on Keynes argument government spending improves economic progress by introducing procuring control into the economy. Governments should reverse financial downturns by asking money from private companies and paying the debts via numerous programs of expenditure.

Various studies regarding government and economy have been conducted over the past years up to today. Under this section, different data from collected from the scholarly journals will be highlighted. Cooke studied the fundamental link between government expenditure and economic growth (GDP) in Sweden between 1960-2001. From his research, he realized that there is a strong relationship between GDP and government spending. In 2014 Olulu and his colleagues investigated the functional relationship of the expenses and financial progress in Nigeria between 1990 and 2004. From their results, the relationship between spending and monetary growth is inversely proportional. Additional comparative data collected to determine the relationship between government and economic growth is as shown in figure four. The figure represents the general performance of the United States and Europe.

Government expenditures in Sweden have been categorized into three parts investments, consumption, and transfers. Transfers refer to redistribution of resources other sectors in the country from public sectors, for example, pension systems, benefits of unemployment, etc. Investment expenses deal with constructing and acquiring long-term assets like hospitals, roads and buildings. Interest expenditures result from the debts accrued by the government. In 2001, sixty-percent of expenditure was transfers. Figure one shows the transfers, interests, and investments. Over the years, the economy of Sweden has increased significantly. Heightened economic reallocation stimulated the growth of the Sweden economy.

Figure four shows a comparative analysis of the United States and Europe expenditures. The diagram illustrates that the USA spends almost fifty-percent of Europe’s income. Big government sectors are associated with enormous government debts and taxes. The US economic progress over the past decade depicted a 50% increase more than Europe. Secondly, unemployment in the US has significantly decreased, thus having fewer expenditures than Europe. Many variables of policies play an impact on economic development. For example, over-structured job market possibly causes the high rates of unemployment in Europe. Feeble development estimated can be an aftermath of elevated levels of tax rather than government expenses/spending.  However, with the existence of these many limitations, there is a relationship between greater government expenses and deteriorated economic growth.

In Nigeria, the recurring budget expenditures have a stable development. The development expenses were steady between 2004 and 1990. Capital costs developments, on the other hand, are inconsistent. High rates of costs are observed in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and in between 1990-1996, 1998-1999 the rates were constant. Monetary spending was very low thus the there was hardly any remarkable economic growth.

The expenditures of a government should be decreased. Currently, most countries have portrayed a fast increase in spending rates. Rates expenditure various countries have increased due to the need of investing more in national defense. States must employ a suitable fiscal plan centered on smaller government divisions. Economic restraints must be regarded as chances to develop a financial virtue from the financial needs. Many expenses of a government have negative fiscal impacts. To know if the government uses money responsibly, returns from foreign and local investments are high. In case the government’s return rates are lower than those of private organizations; economic growth will be slowed. The results for most countries indicates high spending rates with reduced economic growth.

The principle factor of the difference in expenditure and growth does not depend on the government size but how government investments are managed. Deficits and taxes decline economic progress. Some countries go to extreme extents of borrowing money from private companies and invest in less productive programs leading to delayed repayment, and thus debts pile up. Economic policies must concentrate on lowering the levels of spending and participate in successful projects.

The results acquired from different academic books are not enough to provide us with all the solutions/answers we need in about the topic at hand. Distinguishing factors that lead to economic decline may not be an easy task because economic growth is altered by various factors from time to time and country to country. Due to globalization, it is important to manage the spending of every country. Currently, it is very easy to capital and jobs to migrate to a foreign market. Sound policies returns are excellent, and the result of bad policies are costly. To further highlight the growth levels in the selected countries, governments should ensure that necessary capital management and expenditure are keenly managed to enhance the capacity of productivity.