Monday, December 04, 2006

Grotesque does not know frontiers

I just read* about a judge that, in a case of manslaughter due to negligence while driving a vehicle, reduced the amount of damages to be awarded to the family of the 19 year old deceased by a factor of 7.5 --- exclusively because the dead teenager was born poor, and "obviously" he was not worth as much as someone else born to a richer family.

But it gets better. What were some of the reasons given by the plaintiffs as to why damages similar to those of other equivalent cases should have been awarded? Not because of the loss of life, nono. Because now, after adopting the kid and bringing him up, the investment of the parents would not be rewarded with their son's potential help after they retire and stop working.

Gross, man... absolutely gross.

And where did this happen, you ask? In the lovely country where I was born, Argentina. There is talk already about sanctions to be applied to the judges on the grounds of discrimination. But as much as I want proper punishment to become true and proper damages to be awarded in a non discriminatory manner, I also wish loss of life was considered to be more important than getting money from your sons when you're old. Is cash what matters the most, even when it comes to your kids being dead or alive?

Alas, this kind of thinking is so pervasively common these days. Have no decent job? Then you don't have health insurance either. Can't pay under minimum wage? Move the jobs to a more poor country (and still do not provide decent benefits to your slaves I mean staff). Poor country with a lot of oil**? Hmmm...

No, my friend. We are not any better.

* Know Spanish? Here is the link.
** Name at least three.

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