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eBook Simple Rules for a Complex World ePub

by Richard Epstein

eBook Simple Rules for a Complex World ePub
Author: Richard Epstein
Language: English
ISBN: 0674808207
ISBN13: 978-0674808201
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 17, 1998)
Pages: 378
Category: Social Sciences
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 181
Formats: doc lit docx txt
ePub file: 1778 kb
Fb2 file: 1260 kb

Richard Epstein has written a brilliant book here. His thesis, at heart, is that the world operates more efficiently and productively when legal rules are "simple" than when they are complex

Richard Epstein has written a brilliant book here. His thesis, at heart, is that the world operates more efficiently and productively when legal rules are "simple" than when they are complex Professor Richard Epstein does a very convincing job in this book of articulating a legal system which is far more practical and comprehensible than the regime we currently enjoy. In the tradition of the law and economics approach, Epstein's major theme is that the administrative costs associated with so much contemporary and complex law far exceed any incremental benefit in the social incentive structures they create.

Simple Rules" is Richard Epstein's overview of legal theory for non-lawyers. Richard Epstein explains how simple concepts of law have been subverted by complex rule-making, resulting in economic inefficiencies driven by ambiguity, defensive tactics, and poor allocation

Simple Rules" is Richard Epstein's overview of legal theory for non-lawyers. It presents a theory of law animated by a basic idea of a tradeoff between administrative costs and incentive effects in a legal system. Richard Epstein explains how simple concepts of law have been subverted by complex rule-making, resulting in economic inefficiencies driven by ambiguity, defensive tactics, and poor allocation.

In this book, Epstein demonstrates ho. These rules are backstopped by two more rules that permit forced exchanges on payment of just compensation when private or public necessity so dictates.

In this book, Epstein demonstrates how. The first four rules, which regulate human interactions in ordinary social life, concern the autonomy of the individual, property, contract, and tort. Taken together these rules establish and protect consistent entitlements over all resources, both human and natural. Epstein then uses these six building blocks to clarify many intractable problems in the modern legal landscape.

Richard Epstein writes extensively concerning the law. His works include Simple Rules for a Complex World (1995), Bargaining with the State (1993) and Forbidden Grounds: The Case Against Employment Discrimination Laws (1992). Библиографические данные. Simple Rules for a Complex World. Richard Allen EPSTEIN.

That's why Richard Epstein's new book. Epstein's relentlessly logical arguments tell us why we should return to the tried-and-true rules.

SIMPLE RULES FOR A COMPLEX WORLD Richard A. Epstein Harvard University Press, 1995. xiv + 361 pgs. Richard Epstein's excellent book is packed full of arguments which continually engage the reader, even if they do not always compel assent. At times, Epstein compromises with the state more than he should. Nevertheless, this book ranks among the firmest defenses of private property ever written by an American academic.

In his book Simple Rules for a Complex World (1995), Epstein consolidated much of his previous work and argues that simple rules work best because complexities create excessive costs. Complexity comes from attempting to do justice in individual cases. Complex rules are justifiable, however, if they can be opted out of. For instance, drawing on Gary Becker, he argues that the Civil Rights Act and other anti-discrimination legislation would be better if they were repealed

Richard Epstein believes, however, that the conventional view has it backward

Richard Epstein believes, however, that the conventional view has it backward. What Mr. Epstein has accomplished, then, is not the fabrication of a framework but the distillation of one.

Richard Epstein has written a brilliant book here. His thesis, at heart, is that the world operates more efficiently and productively when legal rules are "simple" than when they are complex. Professor Richard Epstein does a very convincing job in this book of articulating a legal system which is far more practical and comprehensible than the regime we currently enjoy.

Too many laws, too many lawyers--that's the necessary consequence of a complex society, or so conventional wisdom has it. Countless pundits insist that any call for legal simplification smacks of nostalgia, sentimentality, or naiveté. But the conventional view, the noted legal scholar Richard Epstein tells us, has it exactly backward. The richer texture of modern society allows for more individual freedom and choice. And it allows us to organize a comprehensive legal order capable of meeting the technological and social challenges of today on the basis of just six core principles. In this book, Epstein demonstrates how.

The first four rules, which regulate human interactions in ordinary social life, concern the autonomy of the individual, property, contract, and tort. Taken together these rules establish and protect consistent entitlements over all resources, both human and natural. These rules are backstopped by two more rules that permit forced exchanges on payment of just compensation when private or public necessity so dictates. Epstein then uses these six building blocks to clarify many intractable problems in the modern legal landscape. His discussion of employment contracts explains the hidden virtues of contracts at will and exposes the crippling weaknesses of laws regarding collective bargaining, unjust dismissal, employer discrimination, and comparable worth. And his analysis shows how laws governing liability for products and professional services, corporate transactions, and environmental protection have generated unnecessary social strife and economic dislocation by violating these basic principles.

Simple Rules for a Complex World offers a sophisticated agenda for comprehensive social reform that undoes much of the mischief of the modern regulatory state. At a time when most Americans have come to distrust and fear government at all levels, Epstein shows how a consistent application of economic and political theory allows us to steer a middle path between too much and too little.

Xor
Addresses the legal system with an eye toward "necessary and sufficient" rules. Valuable in helping me get a handle on how to approach fixing the stifling complexity of our current system.
Felhann
This is not a book for folk who believe in simple (ie; naive) behaviours: our government controlled economies are complex and it requires sophisticated rules in order to ensure unscrupulus, powerful individuals and groups (political;,administrative and corporate) are kept in check. The author admits to being influenced positively by Frederick Hayek (The Road to Serfdom). Hayek, unfortunately, was a brilliant idealist, a Monrail Thinker, a simpleton 'Preacher': suckered lots of folks especially the high academics. The most useful parts of the text were the Introduction and the Conclusion - the remainder was quite technical (legal stuff) and of little interest to me. The text is at this point in time dated and would only be useful to academic scholars who were interested in the development of a particular line of political economic theorising and policy-making from the mid 1970s. The author does write well. I enjoyed reading the parts I did read - though I was continuously on the alert for the inevitable 'Hayekisms'.
Vrion
Prof. Richard Epstein has written a brilliant book here. His thesis, at heart, is that the world operates more efficiently and productively when legal rules are "simple" than when they are complex.

In order to elaborate this thesis, he spells out just what he means by "simple," proposes a handful of simple rules himself in various areas of law (property, contracts, torts), and shows how they play out in action (in, e.g., labor contracting, employment discrimination, and products liability). In each case he argues, with much success, that it just wouldn't be efficient to try to improve on the results provided by the "simple" rules.

I especially recommend this book, and Epstein's work generally, to law students. Epstein's knowledge of the law is thorough and deep; One-Ls will find it useful to keep it handy for the whole year.

So why only four stars? Partly because I think cost-benefit analysis is neither an adequate defense of liberty against the regulatory State nor an adequate foundation for law; and partly because Epstein's reliance on such analysis leads him toward (though he stops short of actually arriving at) positions I regard as non- or anti-libertarian.

This review isn't the place to critique consequentialism; for a more or less standard and (I think) decisive critique, the reader is referred to W.D. Ross's _Foundations of Ethics_, which, after sixty-odd years, is still one of the most judicious works on ethics ever written. Suffice it to say that I think we can increase efficiency by pursuing justice, but not vice versa; consequentialism and its subspecies utilitarianism seem to me to be not so much ways of answering moral questions as of never raising them. The "maximization" of happiness is one ground of moral obligation, but not the only one. (And in general, I simply fail to understand recent libertarian interest in an ethical school founded by a man who regarded natural rights as "nonsense" and imprescriptible natural rights as "nonsense upon stilts.")

More serious, from a libertarian point of view, is that Epstein comes within inches of allowing a positive role for antitrust law. Now, mind you, he doesn't _quite_ do so. Indeed he calls for the repeal of the Sherman Act and related legislation, and he opposes the use of government power to distinguish between "corporate combinations that increase market competition" (p. 125) from those that do otherwise. (Note that his understanding of "competition" is thoroughly Chicago-school, a point for which Austrian theorists have quite properly taken him to task.)

Yet his only ground for this latter opposition is merely that government agencies can't _tell_ which are which. Some corporate mergers, he says, may actually increase efficiency. Well, what about those that don't? Is he opposed in principle to such "inefficient" mergers? Would it be okay if the government stepped in to kill a merger that _was_ clearly "inefficient" by Epstein's standards? Or does he think there would be something morally wrong with outlawing certain uses of people's justly acquired property merely because somebody can think of a more "efficient" use?

Unfortunately Epstein's consequentialist approach prevents him from giving the standard libertarian answer. It seems that, for him, the rights of property and trade are dependent not merely on their promotion of "happiness" but, more specifically, on their service to the aggregate good -- where, most significantly, this "good" is apparently defined quite independently of justice.

So I have to knock off one star for inadequate moral foundations. But don't let that stop you from reading the book: Epstein's cost-benefit approach is solid as far as it goes. It just doesn't go far enough.
Rayli
Professor Richard Epstein does a very convincing job in this book of articulating a legal system which is far more practical and comprehensible than the regime we currently enjoy. In the tradition of the law and economics approach, Epstein's major theme is that the administrative costs associated with so much contemporary and complex law far exceed any incremental benefit in the social incentive structures they create. Whether he is dicussing contracts, torts, products liablility, or anti-discrimination laws, Epstein makes an intellectual, yet common-sense case as to how they should be reformed, or, in the case of anti-discrimination laws, why they should be abandoned. Epstein makes no bones that the complexity of law, while driven in part by a legal system which benefits from such complexity, is also the product of sincere efforts by well-intentioned individuals to create a legal system that can produce an individually fair result in almost any set of circumstances. This is, perhaps, the biggest obstacle to the adoption of the legal principles outlined by Epstein in "Simple Rules" - a narcissism shared by so many judges and lawmakers which has always seemed to prevent them from fully coming to grips with their own limitations.
Ienekan
I found his ideas for changing the system to be boring.
Weiehan
Epstein is a brilliant guy with a great idea - simple rules are better for society than complex rules. At least, that's what I think he says. This book is NOT for the masses. Here's a sample from page 30: "Although I have from time to time been of different minds on this proposition, I have now made peace with myself and believe that these consequentialist theories--that is, those which look to human happiness--offer the best justificatory apparatus for demarcating the scope of state power from the area of individual choice." Huh? Mr. Epstein, would you consider a comic book version for the rest of us?
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