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THE DEATH OF COMMON SENSE How Law Is Suffocating America By Philip K HowardHave rules replaced Thinking This is the question that corporate lawyer Philip Howard asks of American law throughout his work He argues that rules are simply not enough and that they cannot supercede human judgment He believes that the excess of government regulations does not only not protect Americans but in fact can even immobilize them and their ability to take action Howards book makes an undeniable point that common sense has been lost in American law and he pleads for a freedom from rules yet he lacks in the way of solutions to the problem that he makes so clear Howards undeniable point proving the weakness of big government is reached by relating endless stories of illogical and inefficient governmental bureaucracy First the example of New York City laws forbidding Mother Theresa from opening two multi-storied homeless shelters unless she were to install elevators in the renovated buildings Also Howard questions the US department of Defense spending 22 billion dollars to process paperwork for 2 billion dollars worth of travel Other examples of ludicrous government control include a 33-page manual describing the qualification and uses of a hammer and contract bidding procedures that inadvertently but obviously encourage corruption Howard clearly makes his point that the abundance of rules interferes with common sense and this makes it difficult for citizens to retain any power to make their own decisions But then again who would seriously dispute thatThe second section of Howards book explains how the routine of the law has brought us to the point where people argue not even about right and wrong but about whether something was done the right way He sees government playing a referee role more often then it finds itself being the decision maker Howard again concludes with the same principle by emphasizing the dangerous side effects caused by using government to solve every problem
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