How Democrats Stifle Labor Markets

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA) introduced a major revolution in labor law in the United States. Its reverberations are still acutely felt today, especially after the recent, ill-thought-out decision in the matter of Browning Ferris. There, the three Democratic members of the National Labor Relations Board overturned well-established law over the fierce dissent […]

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The Truth About Campaign Finance Reform

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

One regrettable feature of modern politics is that presidential campaigns now run for the better part of two years, which gives ample time for all sorts of crackpot ideas to make their way to center stage. It is a sign of the times that Bernie Sanders has made enormous headway on the Democratic side of the ledger, […]

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Lessons from the Uber-de Blasio showdown

by Liya Palagashvili

Providence Journal

The recent showdown between the ride-sharing service Uber and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio provides a vibrant illustration of what we economists call “public choice” — basically, the study of politics through the lens of economic theory. Read the full article on the Providence Journal Online.

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When Bureaucrats Do Good

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

This past week, the Federal Trade Commission by a 4 to 1 vote issued a one-page statement outlining its “Enforcement Principles” regarding “Unfair Methods of Competition” under Section 5 of the FTC Act of 1914 (the “Statement”). The Statement was announced by FTC Chairwoman, Democrat Edith Ramirez, and received the support of Republican Commissioner Joshua Wright, a distinguished pro-market […]

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Don’t Strangle Uber!

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

The tech community is rightly on edge because of a 12-page decision that Stephanie Barrett, a California hearing officer, filed in Berwick v. Uber Technologies earlier this summer. Ms. Barrett awarded Barbara Berwick $4,152, most of which was for reimbursable expenses for mileage and tolls, for the two month period that she worked for Uber in 2014. It was […]

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Hillary Clinton’s Upside Down Tax Reforms

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

In her recent speech at NYU Stern School of Business, Hillary Clinton put forward a suite of proposals for responding to what she termed “quarterly capitalism,” which leads corporate executives to favor short-term income at the expense of sustainable long-term growth. The single most important feature of her speech is what she did not mention—removing or weakening taxes and regulations that […]

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Obama’s Disastrous Iran Deal

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

In his famous 1897 essay, “The Path of the Law,” Oliver Wendell Holmes said that to understand the law, it would be necessary to adopt the perspective of the famous “bad man,” the one “who cares only for the material consequences” of his actions, but “does not care two straws for the axioms or deductions” […]

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The Folly of “Fair” Housing

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

This past week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a long and convoluted final rule, entitled “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (Final Rule). This rule sets out the new terms and conditions which all local governments will be required to meet if they receive federal funds to advance their local housing programs.

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Raisin’ a Raw Deal

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decisions on Obamacare and same-sex marriage, public attention has been unfortunately drawn away from Horne v. Department of Agriculture, which deals with the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, under which the government stabilizes crop prices, like those of raisins.

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AIG v. FRBNY In The Crosshairs: It’s Time To Rethink Fannie And Freddie

by Richard Epstein

Forbes

The recent decision in the U.S. Federal Court of Claims by Judge Thomas Wheeler is the latest, but by no means last, decision on the highly contentious claims that Starr International has brought against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), charging the FRBNY with conducting an illegal bailout of AIG in September 2008.  The decision […]

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