[snip] In Cook County during 2001 businesses filed 137,890 lawsuits, while individuals filed just 26,938–and guess who’s whining about tort reform? The figures come from an October 4 Public Citizen press release. The disparity is even greater in areas where lawsuit abuse is most often alleged. “Claiming that it is inundated with class action lawsuits, the insurance industry has led the charge for federal legislation that would restrict the rights of consumers to bring such cases. Yet in Cook County, Ill., insurance companies filed about 8,000 lawsuits in 2002–35 times the number of class actions filed there by individuals that year. . . . In fact, insurers file so many suits–mostly ‘subrogation’ suits designed to recover the expense of covering their own policy holders–that last year they asked to be exempted from a model lawsuit ‘reform’ law that would limit citizen access to the courts and that they otherwise support.”

[snip] “The most important criterion to determine a company’s social responsibility is whether it should exist at all,” writes Paul Hawken in Conscious Choice (October), in a blistering criticism of the “closed, proprietary, and secret” workings of the socially responsible investment industry–part of a larger report from his Natural Capital Institute. Among his targets is the 33-year-old Pax World Funds, which professes commitment to pollution control, recycling, alternative energy, and diverse independent corporate boards–yet invests in General Motors (Hummers), Pepsi Bottling Group (plastic bottles with negligible recycled content), Apache Corporation (oil and gas exploration and development), and at least two outfits whose boards consist entirely of white men.