This semester, I have been studying Law & Economics with Robin Hanson at GMU. In class, we have been discussing the legal system, how it is structured, and other ways to structure it. Questions we’ve pondered include: why can one appeal on matters of law and not matters of evidence? Why are rules of evidence what they are? Should all contracts be enforced or what limits should be placed on them? Why are property taxes structured they way they are? Why common law in the US as opposed to civil law? Etc.
Simultaneously, I am evaluating a book for my course this summer: Trade-Offs by Harold Winter. Trade-Offs is a public policy-focused look at economic reasoning. In the book, he points out one of the dangers of public policy analysis (Page 5, original emphasis):
Even if there is agreement on the broad objective of maximizing social welfare, policy objectives…
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