April 9, 2013

Lawsuits rotting in the courts in South Dakota

We constantly hear about how there's a shortage of foreign unskilled workers that threatens to leave crops rotting in the fields if Big Ag doesn't get to employ more illegal aliens. Hence, solving the stoop laborer shortage through a larger guest worker program has been a high priority of the Gang of Eight in the Senate.

For some reason, though, politicians are less enthusiastic about importing foreign lawyers to keep lawsuits from rotting in the courts. Instead, in South Dakota where lawyers are scarce in rural areas, politicians have come up with an incredibly brilliant theoretical breakthrough in how to deal with a shortage of workers: offer higher pay!
No Lawyer for 100 Country Miles, So One Rural State Offers Pay 
By ETHAN BRONNER 
MARTIN, S.D. — Rural Americans are increasingly without lawyers even as law school graduates are increasingly without jobs. Just 2 percent of small law practices are in rural areas, where nearly a fifth of the country lives, recent data show.... 
Last summer, the American Bar Association called on federal, state and local governments to stem the decline of lawyers in rural areas.
Last month, South Dakota became the first state to heed the call. It passed a law that offers lawyers an annual subsidy to live and work in rural areas ...
The new law, which will go into effect in June, requires a five-year commitment from the applicant and sets up a pilot program of up to 16 participants. They will receive an annual subsidy of $12,000, 90 percent of the cost of a year at the University of South Dakota Law School.

As we all know, the law of supply and demand does not apply to workers, but the Science of Economics will just have to make an exception to its exception in the case of lawyers.

37 comments:

Black Death said...

Amazing. One would think that these folks would consider themselves lucky NOT to have lawyers around. Perhaps a subsidy to lawyers to stay out of a particular area would be more appropriate.

stari_momak said...

Isn't it still the case that lawyers are somewhat protected even from competition fomr fellow Americans, in that they have to take the bar in each state in which they want to practice?

rightsaidfred said...

even as law school graduates are increasingly without jobs.

Connection?

Anonymous said...

"No Lawyer for 100 Country Miles"

That's like what, a two hour drive. Very inconvenient for the 200 people who live there.

And you need to see a lawyer at least once a month.

Anonymous said...

They need to get a mobile office in an RV and do a circuit thing.

Matthew said...

This is revolutionary. Next I propose we import more cheap politicians to solve the problem of legislation rotting in the capitols. If we paid them 1/20th what we paid current legislators think of all the legislation we could pass!

And then...we can import hundreds of thousands of more college students to Cambridge and New Haven and Princeton, to solve the problem of money rotting in the endowment funds - tens of billions of dollars of it, going unused each and every year!

pat said...

When I was a grad student in urban planning, arcologies were still discussed and entertained. That's the solution.

Everyone abandons the hinterland and moves into an ultra concentrated kind of city. A city in a single huge building.

Then all at once you no longer have the problem of the lack of doctors or lawyers in rural areas. No rural areas. You can finally close those post offices in Podunk.

Whatever happened to this great
idea?

Albertosaurus

Richard A. said...

Many of our politicians are themselves lawyers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' household survey, where we get our monthly unemployment stats from, also gives the unemployment rate for specific occupations going back to 1963. What I have seen on the internet is that lawyers for this recession have a very low unemployment rate about less than 1/2 the unemployment rate for engineers. In fact, the unemployment rate for engineers for this recession is almost double the rate when compared to the 70-71 recession. Yet the press of today claims there's a shortage of engineers but during the 70-71 recession they claimed there were unemployed engineers and scientists everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Hawks will not pick out hawks' eyes.

Eric said...

They need to get a mobile office in an RV and do a circuit thing.

Just as long as they come in pairs. You know what they say about lawyers - one lawyer in your town is too many, two is just right.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Whatever happened to this great
idea?


Isn't this basically Agenda 21?

eh said...

Isn't this basically Agenda 21?

Basically yeah, just with a slightly different motivation. I guess Pat hasn't been listening to his local conservative radio station. The host(ess) has been all over it.

anony-mouse said...

Now we'll find out how many of your readers are among those unemployed new law grads we've heard so much about.

Crawfurdmuir said...

@Eric - the version of the saying I have heard is that if there's one lawyer in a town, he'll starve; if there are two, both will prosper. In an adversarial legal system, you see, there have to be adversaries.

The interesting thing about the legal profession is that despite the ABA's efforts to restrict entry, there is still an oversupply of lawyers. The medical profession has done much better at suppressing overproduction of MDs, with the result that it is almost impossible for a physician NOT to make an income well into six figures. By contrast, there are many law school graduates that cannot find work as lawyers, and many others who cannot find work that pays very well. The latter scrounge along on jobs like those of public defender in county and state district courts, perhaps picking up a few real estate closings or debt collections on the side as a supplement. The number of people with law degrees who end up working outside the practice of law is comparatively high, whereas there are few MDs working at jobs that don't require one.

It doesn't surprise me that a measure such as the South Dakota proposal should arise. Politicians are mainly lawyers and often try to create opportunities for their less fortunate fellow professionals. Some wag has suggested, and I think there is an element of truth in it, that the pressure for "gay marriage" has a constituency in the legal profession from those of its members who look forward to the prospective opportunities offered by gay divorce.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

This is totally OT, but today I was wondering, "why are there so many Chinese people?".

This has been true for centuries, hundreds of millions of them.

The same, I suppose, could be asked of East Indians, but really, that is a grouping of substantially different peoples/nations. Until the Euros rolled around, the Indians had no concept of "India", just thought of things as local principalities, enthnys, and so forth.

But China has always been this big, humongous place teeming with, well, Chinese.

Anyone got any good ideas about this?

Nick Diaz said...

Steve Sailer, you are a moron. There IS a shortage of labor, and "paying more" means the cost will be passed on to the consumer. Do you really think you can quadruple the wage or your workers and charge the same for your goods? Think again.

Your "citizenist" economic theories are nothing more than populism, the same tried by Peron in Argentina and by Goulart in Brazil in the early 1960s, the kind of demagogery that is so commonplace in Latin America. It results in massive economic stagnation, as the costs of production rises dramatically, results in increased inflation as prices steep up and, eventally, as the more affluent classes decrease consumption, businesses go under and massive unemployment results. This has been tried over and over agan and Always has the same result.

You want the prosperous U.S of 1960 back, and you are looking for na easy fix answer. But there are no easy fixes. What you need to understand is that the affluence of post World War II Amerca was the result of a series of extremely fortunate circumstances which are not going to repeat again. The reason why a simple factory worker in the U.S back in 1955 could buy a house and a car had less do with economic protectionism than with the fact that there was a huge demand for American cars Worldwide, since they were the best and the only other countries that could make them laid in ruins. And the reason why someone lower than a factory worker, such as a janitor, could still have a decent life was due to the fact that the rest of the population was prosperous enough to pay them well, and not because they were necessarily scarce. Janitors and lawn mowers are not essential, and if people are not well-off economically they do without them. Restricting immigration has no impact. It is not the scarcity of people willing to do very low-end jobs that determine their wages, but how well-off people at higher end jobs are doing.

Noah172 said...

Idealistic young liberal Scots-Irish went south in the 60s to help po' black folk exercise their rights. I have a hunch that many of these Scots-Irish do-gooders later became attorneys and/or politicians (e.g. former Senator McLieberman): after all, lawyering is such a well-regarded profession among Members of the Clan (not the Klan). Surely such a group known for its sympathy to the poor and powerless and un-attorneyed would be willing to send its precious Jeremies and Melissas to Flyoverville in order to help Granny Gustavsen's with her will and settle the cow fence boundary dispute between Farmer Jorgensen and Farmer Gutknecht?

Anonymous said...

"Many of our politicians are themselves lawyers. "

america is ruled by lawyers, china by engineers.

"Until the Euros rolled around, the Indians had no concept of "India", "

well NSS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_India#Bh.C4.81rata

and scroll up.

Matthew said...

"Do you really think you can quadruple the wage or your workers and charge the same for your goods? Think again."

The share of income going to the owners rather than the workers has been rising significantly, so yes, you can increase wages without increasing prices or costs.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Some wag has suggested, and I think there is an element of truth in it, that the pressure for "gay marriage" has a constituency in the legal profession from those of its members who look forward to the prospective opportunities offered by gay divorce.

Perhaps, but I think it is so that older homosexuals can marry and import foreigners to do the jobs that American twinkies won't.

Anonymous said...

"why are there so many Chinese people?"

Far Easterners are more conformist than other racial types. This probably facilitated the creation and maintenance of the Chinese empire. On average through the centuries there has been more unity and less war in NE Asia than in Europe, the Middle East or India. Since the fall of Rome all attempts to unite Europe have quickly met with failure. And even the Romans weren't able to conquer the Germanics.

In NE Asia native conformity allowed for the creation of an enormous empire and then that empire, over centuries, created a common identity among its subjects.

Anonymous said...

Idealistic young liberal Scots-Irish went south in the 60s to help po' black folk exercise their rights.

Ironically, few to none have gone east in the ensuing decades to advocate for equal rights to Gentiles under the Zionist regime.

Anonymous said...

"Ex Submarine Officer said Until the Euros rolled around, the Indians had no concept of "India"

Hindus always had the considered the subcontinent as one whole nation united by cultural practices, not by race. Its a myth created by Euros that Hindus never saw themselves as one single nation before their arrival.


http://sankrant.org/2003/10/why-india-is-a-nation/

Anonymous said...

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/03/31/California-Now-Has-Negative-Net-Worth-of-127-2-Billion

This for real?

Anonymous said...

Steve Sailer, you are a moron. There IS a shortage of labor,

There is no shortage of labor in the Central Valley, of for the US for that matter. One might make the argument that there are shortages of certain high skill labor, such as this example in South Dakota. But immigration reform is not about this. Immigration reform is about importing millions of Mexican and Central American peasants. And we have plenty of unemployed to work manual jobs. It would be easier for the government to cut back welfare bennies and let the farmers and others bid for this surplus labor.

Your "citizenist" economic theories are nothing more than populism, the same tried by Peron in Argentina and by Goulart in Brazil in the early 1960s, the kind of demagogery that is so commonplace in Latin America.

I am glad you mentioned the Latin American hall of economic fame. One reason many of us are so adamant against this round of immigration reform is that we don't want to become another Latin American nation.

Remember you cannot have a police state without the police. And you cannot have a third world country without the third worlders.

Anonymous said...

"Until the Euros rolled around, the Indians had no concept of "India"

This is a myth created by the Euros.

http://sankrant.org/2003/10/why-india-is-a-nation/

ben tillman said...

What I have seen on the internet is that lawyers for this recession have a very low unemployment rate about less than 1/2 the unemployment rate for engineers.

Which is ludicrous. Lawyers working as cashiers at Whataburger or Walmart count as employed lawyers. The real unemployment rate for lawyers is something like 25%.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Do you really think you can quadruple the wage or your workers and charge the same for your goods? Think again.

The tradeoff seems to be we either pay them more to work, or we pay them more not to work.

ben tillman said...

Steve Sailer, you are a moron. There IS a shortage of labor....

Ben Tillman's homeboys from Edgefield -- Bonham, Bowie, and Travis -- faced a REAL labor shortage at the Alamo. There was no price that could purchase additional labor; in fact, no price or offer of employment could even be communicated to potential fighters.

Aside from extraordinary situations like this, there is no such thing as a labor shortage.

Anonymous said...

Bitch and whine about lawyers . . . until a business partner robs you, or some incompetent doctor maims you, or you're accused of a crime you didn't commit.

South Dakota has the right idea. My great-grandfather, who grew up on a cattle ranch near Rapid City, would approve. People from that era could actually think for themselves.

Risto

Anonymous said...

Isn't this program by South Dakota to recruit lawyers like the plot of Northern Exposure to recruit doctors to Alaska?

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Bitch and whine about lawyers . . . until a business partner robs you, or some incompetent doctor maims you, or you're accused of a crime you didn't commit.

Exactly. I listen to doctor friends lament their eternal fear of lawsuits and silently think that this is just as it should be for someone who is taking my or my loved ones' lives in their hands.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

This is a myth created by the Euros.

http://sankrant.org/2003/10/why-india-is-a-nation/


Kinda a sensitive topic there for you?

Well, to keep the peace, let's follow the model suggested by Charles James Napier to a bunch of Indians:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours. "

I'm a Euro, I guess, so I'll believe my myths and you can believe yours.

Fair enough?

sunbeam said...

Ex Submarine Officer wrote:

"Kinda a sensitive topic there for you?

Well, to keep the peace, let's follow the model suggested by Charles James Napier to a bunch of Indians:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours. "

I'm a Euro, I guess, so I'll believe my myths and you can believe yours.

Fair enough?"

You know I'd like to ask you to step back from the problem a second, and view the widow burning phenomena as a detached scientist would.

View Indian society of the time as a system that could be described by mathematics: energy flows, capital flows, consumption of resources, remaining economic benefit of the widow to society...

All this in context of what was even then a high population, low resource per capita area.

So widow burning served no purpose? I've got several theories as to what this was actually about, and the purpose it actually served, no doubt different from what an Indian of the time would have believed.

There have been numerous posts on this blog talking about how Orientals (for example) think differently about cheating, trust, and businesses.

The widow burning thing would be an interesting topic for the freakonomics guys.

But analyzing things like this require you putting all your human elements in the happy box, and trying your best to function as a pure intellect.

Anonymous said...

Ex Submarine Officer said... "I'm a Euro, I guess, so I'll believe my myths and you can believe yours.

Fair enough?"

You can keep believing your myths, as long as you don't propagate them as well known facts.

Turning a voluntary practice of a minority group amongst the Hindus, into a "custom of burning widows" is not hard work for the colonizers & their progeny who deny nationhood to Hindus.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/article441843.ece

"The stone records the sati of Dekabbe, daughter of the king of Nuganadu, who decided to join her husband in death upon finding he had been killed. The stone records the efforts made by her family and friends to dissuade her from this extreme step, only to be rebuffed. Dekabbe donated her land, cattle and jewellery to a temple before jumping into the pyre."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sati_(practice)

" The act of sati is said to exist voluntarily; from the existing accounts, many of these acts did indeed occur voluntarily. The act may have been expected of widows in some communities, and the extent to which social pressures or expectations constitute compulsion has been much debated in modern times. However, there were also instances where the wish of the widow to commit sati was not welcomed by others, and where efforts were made to prevent the death."

Anonymous said...

"But China has always been this big, humongous place teeming with, well, Chinese.

Anyone got any good ideas about this?"



My cheap and unthought-through theory:

Most places in the world that have been the heartland of any ancient civilization were built around large rivers or other sources of fresh water (that flood plain in Thailand, for instance).

To a degree unmatched elsewhere in the world, as far as I am aware, Chinese civilization developed around two large and roughly parallel river valleys, the Yangtze, third longest river in the world (about 4,000 miles) and the Yellow River, sixth longest in the world (about 3,400 miles). The Yellow river was the original core of Chinese civilization.

The Yellow River and Yangtze were connected around the year 600 by the Grand Canal, which is about 1,400 miles long, a rough approximation of the distance between the two rivers. Completely inland and protected from weather and piracy, the canal was very important to Chinese government and civilization. For many centuries it may have been the most developed transportation structure in the world.

So the Chinese had the benefit of two river valleys around which to build their civilization, not one.

Anonymous said...

""Until the Euros rolled around, the Indians had no concept of "India"

This is a myth created by the Euros."



Well, maybe, but I'm confused because Indians in silicon valley are always telling me that India isn't a single nation but an entire civilization, like Europe. I've heard this again and again.

My suspicion is that Indians have different opinions on this. Some more "Hindu nationalist" types think there is of course only one India. Those who don't consider themselves hardcore Hindu think of things the other way, "each state has its own language, just like countries in Europe have their own language". (There are, what, 33 different official languages?)