Wendy's "Chili Finger" Hoax A Sign of Societal Decline

Just as suspected, the alleged "chili finger" at a San Jose Wendy's fast food restaurant was no more than a hoax. While questions regarding the severed digit are still being investigated, there are some questions not being asked, or at least, not in the open.

For instance, why would Anna Ayala even attempt such a stunt, and what does this incident tell you about American culture?

Unfortunately, this story is indicative of a national epidemic that has been sweeping across our country for years. The litigious nature our society is a disease that is desperately seeking a cure, lest the demise of civilization. With the United States Congress infected with a plethora of lawyers, it is an uphill battle to achieve sensible tort reform.

President Bush has sought tort reform, most notably with medical liability reform which has received harsh criticism from Democrats in Congress. Frivolous lawsuits are crippling health care, and jacking up the prices for the rest of us. Doctors are leaving their practices because liability insurance is out of the world. All this, and much more, is due to proletarians like Anna Ayala, who wish to abuse the system, and take advantage of the litigious society we live to try to earn a fast buck at the expense of a businesses, and consumers.

Indeed, the culture of today is one that says you need to make tons of money, and Americans are cast a lazy, so naturally, people try to "get rich quick," rather than earn their way (this is not to say some of the youngest generations of Americans are not hard working). There is, however, a lack of respect for hard work and "paying your dues," that is more and more lost as new generations come to the fore. Needless to say, the demands of our society can prompt such outrageous behavior such as this "chili finger" hoax, attempted by a woman who is no stranger to filing frivolous lawsuits. The problem is that people are not seeing the ill of this avenue, they are selfish and inconsiderate, and are unwillingly to roll up their sleeves and do things "the old fashioned way."

Tort reform is a necessary action, and thankfully, some steps have already been taken. But how can we alter the psyche of leech-like Americans who believe they can sue their way to happy life? Perhaps nothing--you can't teach an old dog new tricks, right?

Wendy's restaurants in the Bay area are claiming to have suffered a $2.5 million loss, as well as the number of Wendy's employees laid off due to slow sales. This one case is the microcosm that accurately reflects the macrocosm on the national level. Liberals will tell you the war in Iraq is our only problem, and that we ought to redirect the funding for the war towards "creating jobs" or some other asinine suggestion. Ironically, they never suggest tort reform. The war on terror, eh, forget it, as long as I can sue anyone whenever I want for whatever I want, life is good.

Tort reform will only get us so far. It is clear we've been in the midst of a societal decline that needs its own reform. We need to get back to a society that values morality and respect. People like Anna Ayala are a disease to our society. While it is true that Americans pride ourselves that we live in a country where we can do and say what we want reasonably without worry that does not mean that everything ought to be up for grabs. Just because you can do something, does not mean you should. Just because you can hire a lawyer and sue someone for everything they own and then some, does not mean you should. If our culture permits such actions to continue, we will soon not be able to do so much as lift a finger without being sued. Parents will have to worry about disciplining their children for fear the child could make one phone call and put their parent on trial. Neighbors will not be neighborly, for fear they might offend them. Employers will be weary of firing an employee, because it is just too easy to make up a sexual harassment claim, or a wrong termination suit for it to be worthwhile. This is the path we are heading down.

An example must be made, and Anna Ayala will be that example. A felony complaint has been filed against her, and with luck, she will be punished in accordance with the law. Hopefully, this will send a message to the people who spend their lives waiting for their "lucky break," where they can be "so lucky" as to sue a company or person so that they may score it big with a huge settlement.