The Public Interest

Extending the “No-fault” Idea

Jeffrey O’Connell

Summer 1974

IN his new book of essays, Coping, Daniel P. Moynihan has pointed out the merits of “thinking small” on the part of reformers. “After a period of chiliastic vision, we have entered a time that requires a more sober assessment of our chances, and a more modest approach to events.... [T]he here-and-now and the close-at-hand are the dominant facts of public life, and the proper study of those who would take part in it.” As an exemplar of a relatively modest but effective social and economic form, Moynihan later cites (in an essay entitled “The Automobile and the Courts”) the institution of so-called no-fault auto insurance laws.

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