There was a time in our history that a man's word was as good as gold. Unfortunately, those days are all but gone. If you are making a deal with someone now, you sure as hell better have every aspect of that deal covered by a well written contract.
I believe the main cause for this change is circumstance, is the ever increasing rejection of the concept of personal responsibility. People today are just too willing to blame their problems on someone/something else. I could cite endless examples of this, but what is the point. Everyone reading this knows exactly what I am talking about.
All of you have only to look at your own circle of friends/relatives/acquaintances to see a real life example. A good example for me was when I broke my ankle in a freak Paintball accident a couple of years ago. Several of my close friends were shocked that I chose not to sue the Paintball club where it happened.
I asked them why would I? The response was that it was their fault. I was running, hit a wet spot in the grass, slid a few feet, and came to an abrupt stop when my foot meet a tree root. Is it their fault that trees have roots?
Until people are willing to take responsibility for there own actions, whether it be in their professional or personal lives, this country will continue down the ugly path on which we now find ourselves.