'Sending a Message' Costs

Robin Hanson observes the damage to U.S. society caused by the ease of winning punitive-damages-by-jury. We’ve all experienced paranoid corporate hyper-protectiveness - being ordered off the field in a drizzle because you might slip on the grass and sue (sorry, our insurance contract requires this officiousness!)

More generally, we should consider whether ‘sending a message’ is worth all the consequences. I wish policymakers  understood this. But ‘raising awareness’ usually just makes us feel good. Anyway, supposing you had a sincere-technocrat government (like Clinton’s was reputed to be), there’s no forum those technocrats could visit to hear sincere and competent analysis - anywhere power takes consultation becomes clogged with what amount to lobbyists, the best of them appearing to offer quality information and reasoning, indistinguishable from the virtuous impartial academics.