What really happened was that his online trading account reflected the commission for the trade in the overall value of his assets. This was to ensure that when he sold his shares he would do so at a higher price that would also cover the cost of the commission and he would earn back the difference. But Joe forgot about that.
Joe was furious and tried to sue his information sources and they rebutted with the excuse that the information they provided was for "informational purposes only and not for trading purposes or advice." They won in the lower courts, but Joe was persistent and continued his case to the highest court in the land.
On the bench of the Supreme Court were several that also dabbled in the stock market and lost big in the crash of 2008. They heard Joe's case and the memories of their losses flooded back. They sided with Joe and the phrase "informational purposes only" became outlawed, thus negating that phrase's cushion from justice throughout the country.
"Any information cannot be communicated without suffering the consequences of its dissemination." the chief justice wrote in his opinion. "The authors of disclaimers therefore must indicate directly in writing the exact risk posed by the information they disseminate."
During oral arguments a justice posed the question "What about the disclaimers themselves? Would they too require their own disclaimers?"
"No your honor, this would basically require no disclaimer at all. This would negate the value of any disclaimer as disclaimers would be too risky. Those who produce products or services that require disclaimers will face the full force of justice for that which they produce with negative consequences."
"What of the customer who fails to follow directions on the product?"
"A completely free market operates under the will of nature, which utilizes the full force of natural selection. Our society must not be allowed to be weakened by slowing down to the pace of the slowest and weakest among us."
One justice leaned forward, his eyes widened: "If someone burns or injures themselves or others because they choose not to consider safety it will be entirely their responsibility and not the product?"
Yes your honor, the product is merely the intermediary and has no power unto itself to choose its activity. The public however, has chosen to defer responsibility from those who smoke or use guns, buy toys with small parts for children too young, prescribe medications with hazardous interactions, use controlled substances or invest in companies. Our government has chosen to hold the intermediary responsible for injury because it's easy for the public to deny their own responsibility, and as a mob, take action against a scapegoat.
The chief justice leaned back in his chair. Something was happening in his mind. His expression caused a wave of realization to spread across everyone present. This case was about wording on all disclaimers that said "...for informational purposes only..." but everyone was thinking about why producers of products or services are not allowed to fail purely under the weight of the free market?
The lawyer defending the online trading company thought about why he stopped eating Peanut Butter altogether. He chimed in: "There are too many recalls and too many people can get sick from the mass distribution of one tainted innocuous product."
"That's a market signal." the plaintiff council responded. "as bad as that seems, it's a natural pressure on the producer to maintain a wholesome, healthy product. If the producer can cut production corners by way of a disclaimer on his product, the risk of catastrophe increases. These disclaimers have artificially relieved the market pressure on producers, while at the same time allowing a political bureaucracy to be created as a generic all-encompassing risk manager that has the power to cherry-pick which businesses are allowed to succeed based on some arbitrary rules that may or may not affect the consumer at all."
The second justice leaned into the conversation "so what you're saying is the Food and Drug Administration was not created out of necessity for public health to monitor products consumed by the public? That the public should take responsibility for their own choices? What about those incapable of comprehending the hazards of their choices?"
"Those people should not be here according to nature, your honor. As much as it seems callous and inhumane, every other species on this planet knows to choose a healthy mate, to look after their healthy young, and leave the infirm to the predators" said the defense council. Suddenly his eyes widened and he could not resist saying "and we are close to solving that with abortion but we still have health care."
The chief justice sat up and said "We have heard enough to make a ruling. Thank you for your time."
Joe got justice, but it wasn't really the justice he was looking for. All disclaimers and required product warning labels were allowed to be completely removed from products. Lawn Darts came back on the market, as well as a plethora of dangerous chemistry sets, adhesives, solvents, insecticides, dangerous modes of transportation, etc. Age restrictions were removed from all media products, and substances that were once controlled are now not. The culling of the human species through self-determination, after so many generations of coddling the weak was going to be epic.