At one level, I don't mind seeing people receive legal help, and as I watch poor people being railroaded into prison because of the horrible tactics used by prosecutors as well as the hard fact that public defenders are terribly overworked, I agree that at all legal levels, the poor are getting the shaft. Unfortunately, what we see here is just another clueless suggestion from people who are becoming increasingly clueless themselves.
First, and most important, we need to ask why people in a society that supposedly is free actually need as much legal help as is necessary. Notice that the Progressive NYT never asks that question, given that these people actually believe that the "solution" to our problems is the massive expansion of the state. (A day never passes without the NYT editorializing for the growth of government and further intrusion into our lives.)
While the editorial addresses legal help in the civil arena (as though the help poor people get in the criminal area of law is adequate), nonetheless there is a much larger issue here that needs to be addressed, and that is the proliferation of laws and the increasing use of the courts to solve what used to be small disputes or problems. The Washington Post has highlighted a growing practice in Texas for students who misbehave in class to be made subject to criminal law. That's right, criminal law.
No doubt, people like Bill O'Reilly probably are applauding (O'Reilly's "solution" to everything is expansion of the police state), but as I read through this article, I am horrified at the consequences of what the authorities are doing. For example, a fourth-grade boy got into a fight on the bus and here is how the government handled it:
The child was ordered to do eight hours of community service and take classes in anger management and decision-making, at a cost of $370, Smith said. “I’m a single parent,” she said. “Four hundred dollars? I have two other boys.”Yes, anger management. The ultimate bureaucratic solution to everything. And these people are serious.
At the federal level, laws are expanding and Congress is demanding that even more people go to prison. As the economy goes further into the tank, we are going to see demands for more criminalization of business failures and even more families destroyed as fathers (and sometimes mothers) are sent away for long prison terms because Congress and Obama want to blame anyone but themselves for the unfolding tragedy.
And what does the NYT do in the face of this? Oh, it comes up with a scheme to employ unemployed law school graduates. Yeah, that will work.