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Products => Dodgy Technology => Topic started by: cdev on November 28, 2018, 09:57:32 pm

Title: Full length online book on the "Law and Economics Movement" - inc. criticism
Post by: cdev on November 28, 2018, 09:57:32 pm
Off topic warning - this is not about electronics at all.

This PDF contains some of the key works on this cult like law and economics movement which is now extremely influential- (to the point of changing everything, without people's knowledge of this being done) as well as some well deserved criticism of it. (

In order so that this thread doesn't become something I don't want it to be I'm just going to leave further interpretation to whomever reads it. I'm not going to add any more. Just let me say this, the first paper in it has been the most downloaded paper in law for a very long time. Its hugely influential.

But, should anything be allowed to change the rules behind peoples backs the way it has?


Here is another very readable piece about the Law and Economics Movement.

Something I find terrifying about it is the thought that if incomes fall in the future, the cost in financial terms, the maximum liability of companies will fall, (since its based on lost wages)  leading to situations where its "more efficient" to injure people, especially poor people than pursue affordable safety related modifications.  We're already there in a sense. (

We just don't know it.

Title: Re: Full length online book on the "Law and Economics Movement" - inc. criticism
Post by: SiliconWizard on December 02, 2018, 05:36:00 pm
One of the first sentences introducing the question of "social cost" is as "interesting" as it is disturbing. I'll quote:
We are dealing with a problem of a reciprocal nature. To avoid the harm to B would inflict harm on A. The real question that has to be decided is: should A be allowed to harm B or should B be allowed to harm A? The problem is to avoid the more serious harm.

This approach looks both ideologically oriented and fundamentally amoral on several levels. The more obvious one would be to consider health on the same level as business. Another one I can think of is to willingly ignore the causal chain, making the initial victim a potential aggressor by defending itself. Whereas the financial cost outcome is one thing, the reasoning is fallacious from the start.
What is interesting is that many people don't seem to have the slightest problem with that kind of reasoning.

Just a first thought.
Title: Re: Full length online book on the "Law and Economics Movement" - inc. criticism
Post by: cdev on December 02, 2018, 06:27:44 pm
By harm they mean "money" in raw dollars.

So anything that makes anybody more money is framed as "better" than anything that makes anybody less.

Nobody ever voted for this change, anywhere. But its been done and is being done, because "otherwise people would just vote to change things they wanted changed" - basically.

Title: Re: Full length online book on the "Law and Economics Movement" - inc. criticism
Post by: cdev on December 02, 2018, 06:41:51 pm
How much a person's health matters is based on their income and lost service to their employer. If in fact the percentage of employed drops as experts say it will, large areas of the globe will be populated by people with very little if any incomes. So their lives may not be valued highly enough for the purpose of these analyses to 'justify' pollution controls, or any other "trade barriers".  Since there are no lost wages or anything of that nature. Pain and suffering awards are limited to values that make it unlikely any attorney would take cases ($250k for example in Calif - has not changed in a very long time) Plus federal laws, often enacted in response to international treaty requirements to preempt national laws for these little known treaties, will in many cases result in no case being allowed to be filed in any court. Similar to ERISA sec 514 (?) preemption for people with certain kinds of health plans (employer provided plans which are the ones that most working Americans have, they cant afford individual plans.) Also, health insurance often has what are called subrogation clauses, meaning that should somebody sue, their health insurer gets first crack at anything they might win to pay them back for what 'they' spent.

Many of these HMOS are not good places to get health care. Example of what I mean (

None of these problems get discussed in the US media, ever.

This is all happening as more and more evidence emerges about things like endocrine disrupting chemicals. (Hugely expensive impacts on health and building up in the environment, nobody knows what the long term impact will be but its clear lots of cancers (prostate, breast, etc.) are increased greatly by them. Also morbid obesity/metabolic syndrome/diabetes/insulin resistance in a dose-related relationship.)

Thank goodness electronics has shifted away from CRTs, because hit CRT containing devices probably caused a lot of exposure to plasticizers, many chemicals in plastics, also teflon contains EDCs.

See and for links to papers.

There are a great many situations like this in various areas. Mercury in the environment too. Also as temps rise the amount of existing mercury that vaporizes will rise.. The cost calculations need to go back to sane ones thats not dumping all these problems on people everywhere, just as FTAs are globally taking away governments abilities to help them or fix intnl trade deals (binding laws) that cede away policy space irreversibly.  Emasculating democracy.
Title: Re: Full length online book on the "Law and Economics Movement" - inc. criticism
Post by: MrMobodies on December 02, 2018, 06:42:41 pm
Calabresi and Malamed then consider the four
combinations that arise from the two possible entitlements (e.g., the polluter has the right to
pollute or the pollutee has the right to no pollution) and the first two means of protection of the
entitlement (liability or property right) and show why one method is chosen over the others even
though in the absence of transaction costs all four would yield identical results.

In the UK I spoke to someone a long time ago who worked in the building trade and he told me that companies have to pay a lot of money to dump certain kinds of waste such hazardous waste and some find it cheaper just to pay the fine if they are caught. They are let off lightly whereas an individual caught doing it, just dumping household waste and nothing hazardous, would be not only fined but can be jailed for it. Now they are going after home owners and fining them if they trace their waste back to them and checking that their waste carrier is properly licensed.

Anything with to who has the right to pollute and who doesn't?
Title: Re: Full length online book on the "Law and Economics Movement" - inc. criticism
Post by: Simon on December 03, 2018, 10:24:46 am
You are responsible for ensuring that you use an authorised waste disposal company. It's to stop the "I never knew he was the local gypsy/crook that would dump it at the end of the street" excuse. People think that if they can palm the responsibility off elsewhere that is ok. You know the "don't ask too many questions".