Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The world needs more mah-jong factories

Time for a joke.

Q: How much do you charge?
LAWYER: $500 for three questions.
Q: Crikey, that’s expensive isn’t it?
LAWYER: Yes it is. What’s your third question.

Famous for defending scum, lawyer Barry Hart has been brought before the Law Society for charging fees at $1000 an hour despite much of the preparation work being done by a junior lawyer who had been practising for only two months.

News lawyers are charging like wounded bulls is hardly news. Law is a restricted monopoly—made so by lawyers.  They interpret an impenetrable and ever-expanding library of laws—all written by lawyers. Their over-charging is reviewed—by other lawyers.

The only news here is his colleagues crying crocodile tears over his over-charging, all the while wishing they could charge like he does.

Mencken was right: with very few very noble exceptions lawyers are mostly scum themselves. They play both sides of the street while taking money to lie for a living—and that’s the good ones. The bad ones head straight to parliament. As Mencken once observed:

All the extravagance and incompetence of our present government is due, in the main, to lawyers, and, in part at least, to good ones. They are responsible for nine-tenths of the useless and vicious laws that now clutter the statute-books, and for all the evils that go with the vain attempt to enforce them. Every Federal judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of citizens has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mah-jong factory, we'd be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost half.

The world needs more mah-jong factories. Urgently.

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