Simple Rules for a Complex World

Simple Rules for a Complex World 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 nostal

  • Title: Simple Rules for a Complex World
  • Author: Richard A. Epstein
  • ISBN: 9780674808218
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 naivetE But the conventional view, the noted legal scholar Richard Epstein tells us, has it exactly backward The richer texture of modern society aToo 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 naivetE But the conventional view, the noted legal scholar Richard Epstein tells us, has it exactly backward The richer texture of modern society allows for 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 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.

    One thought on “Simple Rules for a Complex World”

    1. "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. The ideal legal system minimizes administrative costs while maximizing incentives for welfare-improving interaction. Epstein's theory starts from a presumption of simplicity. The simplest legal system--complete lawlessness--has zero administrative costs. From this starting point, lega [...]

    2. What I especially appreciate about Epstein is the he can argue so clearly for his principled approach, without having to resort to ranting about specific examples. 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. x: "But how seriously can one take a legal system that devotes more of its intellectual ingenuity to identifying and correcting market failure [...]

    3. One of Professor Epstein's most interesting works, and all are well worth reading several times. This volume makes the case for simplified legal standards and eliminating the needlessly complex system currently being utilized by the Obama Administration to choke the American economy, and especially small businesses, and to give government a frighteningly intrusive and control over every aspect of our lives. Epstein makes an airtight case for a much simpler and more effective system of governance [...]

    4. When the health care bill runs to nearly two thousand pages, it's time to revisit this 1995 classic. Epstein, a University of Chicago legal scholar, argues against the idea that the complexity of modern life requires ever more legislation and expanding armies of lawyers. He shows how a renewed emphasis on a few key time-tested principles (property rights, contracts, torts, etc.) could cut through the thicket of rules that imposes enormous administrative costs on society and benefits only lawyers [...]

    5. An excellent, coherent legal framework defended in depth. Well worth the read, although I found it dense and sometimes difficult to follow with my limited legal background. I'd like to read it again after a year or two of law school--I'll probably get far more from it.

    6. This book was VERY heavy, even for me. But it was the most law-oriented book I've read, and so I learned a lot.

    7. Six simple premises to simplify current legal system; a libertarian perspective - autonomy, ownership, contract, keep-off(tort), take & pay

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *