I hadn't heard much about John Lott lately. He happens to be one of my top candidates for the worst statistician in the world. As is typical of our current crop of incompetence supporting conservative Republicans he is a big hero on that side of the aisle.
Last night I was flipping stations looking for something to listen to and I believe Mike "turd world nations" Savage had him on. Garbage finding its proper level I suppose. (Was a different radio clown garbage show, see comments.)
One of the stories John Lott told was of a court ruling against a store that had extended credit to a women only after she pledged previously paid for furniture as collateral for the new purchase. When the woman defaulted the store repossessed the new furniture as well as the furniture she used as collateral. The judge said they could not do that. John Lott's lesson from this story was that judges feeling sympathy for the poor woman (edited from original) has now prevented any others from getting a break and possibly being able to get credit to buy furniture.
John Lott is breathtakingly wrong. Judges don't decide who they will offer sympathy to. That is not their job. They rule on the law. It was against the law for the store to offer credit only on condition of having prior purchases used as collateral and then seizing the collateral in the event of default. Simpleton libertarian economics and tirades on "liberal judges" and unintended consequences have nothing to do with this.
The more I find out about John Lott the more the range of his ignorance expands.
I see John Lott is about to lose his case against Freakonomics.
When even shrill Michelle Malkin doesn't support you and finds you creepy....