Free Markets Under Siege
Cartels, Politics, and Social Welfare
Автор(и) : Richard A. Epstein
Издател : New Zeland Business Roundtable
Място на издаване : Wellington, New Zeland
Година на издаване : 2004
ISBN : 978-1-87714-884-2
Брой страници : 99
Език : английски
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In this paper, Richard A Epstein, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, explains how there are substantial gains to be made from countries getting 'easy' policy decisions correct. Societies collapse and become impoverished when they do not accept the basic principles of freedom to contract and competition. Even in the developed world these principles have not been accepted in key areas such as agricultural and labour markets. Significant welfare gains could be achieved from liberalisation in both areas. Epstein explains how liberal economists, politicians and civil servants often spend much time discussing 'difficult' cases. While these issues may be important to particular groups in society, the implications of getting 'difficult' cases wrong is not serious. Thus policy-makers and their advisers, Epstein says, would do well to concentrate on the 'easy' cases. In his study, Professor Epstein uses evidence and analysis derived from the disciplines of both law and economics. Professor Geoffrey E Wood provides a commentary that elucidates Epstein's argument and shows how it can be further applied to policy issues relevant to the UK.
It was the failure to grasp this point clearly that led Friedrich Hayek, in The Road to Serfdom (1944), to be too gloomy about the fate of democratic institutions in western Europe and the United States. Socialism does not always lead to national socialism, so long as these critical minimum conditions for political freedom are respected across the political spectrum. Once this distinction is kept in mind, it becomes clear why we can properly count Franklin D. Roosevelt as a great American president on the political frontier even while taking strong exception, as I shall do, to the misguided economic policies that permeated his New Deal. Roosevelt’s contemporary competition in the category of world historical figures was Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Chiang Kai-shek. In that group, Roosevelt, along with Winston Churchill, stood tall as a beacon of liberty in a world that had plunged into disaster. Conrad Black (2003) may well be right to hail Roosevelt as a great figure, and even as the saviour of capitalism, but Roosevelt’s success on the political level should not blind us to his shortfalls on the matters of economic and legal policy, especially on the matters of agriculture and labor, which are the central theme of this lecture.
Richard A. Epstein
Richard Allen Epstein (born April 17, 1943) is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. He is also an Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, and the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Epstein became a permanent faculty member at NYU School of Law in 2010. Epstein was chosen in a poll as one of the most influential legal thinkers of modern times.
He received an LLD, hc, from the University of Ghent, 2003. He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1985 and a Senior Fellow of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Medical School, also since 1983. He served as editor of the Journal of Legal Studies from 1981 to 1991, and of the Journal of Law and Economics from 1991 to 2001.
His books include The Case Against the Employee Free Choice Act (Hoover 2009); Supreme Neglect Antitrust Decrees in Theory and Practice: Why Less Is More (AEI 2007); Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation (Yale University Press 2006); How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution(Cato 2006). Cases and Materials on Torts (Aspen Law & Business; 8th ed. 2004);Skepticism and Freedom: A Modern Case for Classical Liberalism (University of Chicago 2003): Cases and Materials on Torts (Aspen Law & Business; 7th ed. 2000);Torts (Aspen Law & Business 1999); Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty with the Common Good (Perseus Books 1998): Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Rights to Health Care (Addison-Wesley 1997); Simple Rules for a Complex World (Harvard 1995); Bargaining with the State (Princeton, 1993); Forbidden Grounds: The Case against Employment Discrimination Laws (Harvard 1992); Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (Harvard 1985); and Modern Products Liability Law (Greenwood Press 1980). He has written numerous articles on a wide range of legal and interdisciplinary subjects.
He has taught courses in civil procedure, communications, constitutional law, contracts, corporations, criminal law, health law and policy, legal history, labor law, property, real estate development and finance, jurisprudence, labor law; land use planning, patents, individual, estate and corporate taxation, Roman Law; torts, and workers' compensation.