Ever since the days of Alexis de Tocqueville, Americans have understood that an outsider’s perspective can be a valuable source of honesty. We’ve been talking for years about how legal sharks are laying siege to the concept of personal responsibility — sometimes with ludicrous results. Here’s BBC business editor Jeff Randall, on his recent trip to America:

[I]n a country that’s litigating itself to destruction, just about all US goods and services have to be moron-proof. So great is the fear of legal action from rapacious lawyers and their aggrieved clients that products are increasingly packaged with printed messages that would insult the intelligence of a cow pat. One I saw recently was on a box of fish fingers. It said: “Contains fish” … how stupid do you have to be to believe that a behemoth burger, supersize fries and gallon of cola contain the same calories and nutrition as celery soup? But that’s not how US law operates.