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Eric Rasmusen
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About half of the Cruz contributions are from one family. I counted 6 others, but missed one or two, I think. I recognized only one name---a law professor (I hope this doesn't inspire persecution, but the persecutors probably don't read this page.)
What is the alternative to hiring a PhD as a law professor? Usually it's to hire someone who is equally lacking in practice experience but who clerked for a judge or two. Or, you might hire someone who has practice experience but wasn't doing very well: "Those who can't do, teach." Perhaps what law schools should do is actively recruit successful practitioners. This would require faculty and dean spending serious time persuading partners in big or boutique firms to be satisfied with the millions they've already made and to shift their ambition towards teaching and above-the-fray writing, and that changing to become a law professor is better than changing to become a judge.
This seems suicidal on the part of Twitter. These social media companies make their profits from network externalities. Here, it seems, there is opportunity for entry by a new twitter. The software cost must be trivial, and usually conservatives only want to talk to conservatives anyway, so this is like twitter giving away half its market. Or, if the new entrant is conservatives plus liberals and Twitter is just liberals, Twitter dwindles to zero market share because the biggest network wins.
There's no reason to be courteous to someone who betrays his country. I think justices like Stevens did that, and if some liberal thinks Scalia betrayed the Constitution to push his own agenda, I won't blame the liberal for saying Scalia doesn't deserve a respectful funeral. The same goes for funeral eulogies. It's disgusting when a jerk gets praised at his funeral. Better to bury him quietly and without comment which if honest will require condemnation.
Waxman decrying partisanship! What a joke! I think bipartisanship is way overrated, but what's funniest is seeing the most bitter partisans pretending they're bipartisan. It's similar with Obama--- zero attempt at bipartisanship, but lots of rhetoric. I don't think you see that on the Right. Ted Cruz is not bipartisan, but he doesn't pretend to be. Maybe the opposite happens, even. I don't remember Reagan boasting of how he wanted to foster bipartisanship,but he relied a lot on support from Democrats.
True, there is a double standard and there would be a lot of flack if one said something derogatory about Thurgood Marshall at his death, but there shouldn't be, nor should there here, except as vigorous political dissent. If somebody believes that Scalia violated his oath of office and put politics ahead of law, he should say that loudly, and condemn the dead man as a scoundrel. Other people, like myself, would disagree that Scalia was a scoundrel, but virtually our only hold on political justices is to convey to them that history will vilify them. When the next liberal justice dies, I hope conservatives will express their wish that he had been impeached instead for betraying the Constitution. Let's not pretend that someone is to be respected when he is a corrupt advocate for his own political views rather than a fair judge. And if someone wants to argue that Scalia was a bad judge--- let's go at it.
I would add another reason why government unions are bad: the government isn't maximizing profit, so there is no reason to think it would try to keep wages low and working conditions poor. It has some incentive, because voters who pay taxes don't like higher taxes, but that is equally balanced by the voters who work for the government like higher wages. Plus, of course, if there is still exist private employers, the government can't get away with paying substandard wages--- the government employees will simply leave. I wonder if anyone will ever propose that Congressmen unionize? But I guess their threat to go on strike doesn't strike enough fear into their employers.
It isn't a "duty" to avoid taxes, but only in the technical legal sense. Director and CEO are supposed to act for the good of the shareholders. That generally means they are supposed to maximize profits, though I, and I think most others, think that the director can sacrifice profits if the shareholders prefer something else (e.g., closing on Sundays). What the Freedman court holds is sound: that tax decisions fall under the business judgement rule. That means the directors can make stupid decisions, as long as it's not on purpose, to help themselves, or by being exceptionally lazy. In Freedman, their decision seems stupid, but innocent. Question: If the CEO and chief counsel have contracts that allow them to be fired without severance pay "for cause", and they advised on this decision (I don't remember those details), can the Board fire them for cause?
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Obama's right in this case. Rational actor theory implies that if the price of something goes up, the quantity demanded goes down. Iranian leaders want to hurt Jews. Does anyone really contend that they will be no more aggressive against Jews if the price--- the potential punishment--- falls? It isn't contrary evidence that they act anti-semitic even though they suffers some economic cost. Nothing in life is free. They will "buy" some anti-semitism even if the price isn't zero. And, of course, the price we've ever imposed or threatened to impose on them is small, perhaps even trivial. The question is whether if they faced annihilation, or even, say, the killing of just 5,000 of their people, for terrorism they'd still sponsor it. The rational actor model says no. Presumably whatever model is the competitor says they'd go ahead anyway. An example where the rational-actor model worked very well is Libya. After Iraq, Qaddafi suddenly started behaving himself.
Or, from a Calvinist, "But because I remember that account of the talents received must be made to him ­-- who neither respects the multitude, neither yet approves the wisdom, policy, peace, nor antiquity, concluding or determining anything against his eternal will, revealed to us in his most blessed word ­--I am compelled to cover my eyes, and shut up my ears, that I neither see the multitude that shall withstand me in this matter, neither that I shall hear the opprobrium, nor consider the dangers which I may incur for uttering the same. I shall be called foolish, curious, despiteful, and a sower of sedition; and one day, perchance (although now am nameless) I may be attainted of treason. But seeing that it is impossible, but that either I shall offend God, daily calling to my conscience that I ought to manifest the known verity; or else that I shall displease the world for doing the same; I have determined to obey God, notwithstanding that the world shall rage thereat."
A list of 5 books would be more useful than a list of 25. It is also important to consider what books one is likely to actually force oneself to read over the summer. I saw Genealogy of Morals on a couple of these lists. I wonder why that's the Nietzsche to recommend. Isn't it one of the least philosophical of his books-- more sociolory or psychology? And Zarathustra is more fun to read. BL COMMENT: Your impression of the Genealogy is mistaken; indeed, there's a book advertised in the right hand column of this blog that would clarify this! Zarathustra is, indeed, "fun," but an awful place to begin since its form--as a parody of the New Testament--raises a host of interpretive difficulties. I had an earlier discussion of the topic vis-à-vis Nietzsche here: http://brianleiternietzsche.blogspot.com/2004/12/where-should-beginner-start-with.html
Notice how this rejection of science has considerable policy importance, unlike the rejection of evolution. People are dying in Africa because Europeans think GMO food is dangerous.
The idea really was silly. "Let's start a new law school.But we need to find a market niche, some angle no other law school has thought to exploit. Hmmmm.... I know! Let's hire left-wing faculty!"
Good for you, working on an amicus brief! (whether you're right or wrong on the substance; securities law isn't something that I keep up with)
Skimming over the opinion (which looks worth reading), I was thinking, "What a mess for a court to sort out!" and "How will the court sort it out, if it isn't a partnership?" The problem with ill-defined partnerships is that both sides have done some performance, often very hard to value in dollar terms, with hard-to-measure expectations of what the ultimate benefits are going to be (and at the time of the case, the benefits may not have been received yet). I suppose that's why the law in general says that a partnership, unlike a contract, can be formed even if the parties have been vague about it. The other reason might be that trust is so important in partnerships that it would be a waste of time to be as detailed as is required in arms-length contracts; you've got fiduciary duty instead. And a third reason is that unsophisticated people often make important (to them) partnerships with each other, but their important contracts are usually with sophisticated people (e.g. bank mortgages, car credit purchases). Of course, reasons (2) and (3) don't apply in the present case, but (1) does apply and maybe that's why there's no size limit for where a written document is required. Another reason might be that we've got an Ayres-Gertner penalty default here; the law tells the sophisticated parties: if you're going to behave like babies and not have a written agreement, we're goingt o punish you by *treating you* like babies. All that said, I wonder how all the conflicts in the case settled out. The plaintiff lost on all his claims, but I would think that if he lost on contract or partnership, then he'd have some good claims left for reliance and restitution. I didn't look closely at the facts, though, except to note that the lawyer party is a perjurer and the judge didn't trust his word, so maybe performance was all by one party and losses could be left where they fell.
HHS has written proposed regulations to comply with the Hobby Lobby decision, and they are up for public comment via the web: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=IRS-2014-0029 HHS is seeking to make eligibility for exemption as narrow as possible by allowing only for-profit, non-public, narrowly held corporations to even apply for it. Thus, they are maintaining that a nonprofit that is not specifically religious (i.e., a church) is ineligible, and so are publicly traded narrowly held corporations, and so are widely held corporations. I am writing a paper to submit to them as a comment on why all corporations ought to be eligible, provided that the corporation can provide evidence of sincere religious objections (which *does* knock out 99% of corporations).
From teh abstract, it looks like the study has a significant flaw, that makes it *under*-estimate the costs of the new law. The flaw is a selection effect: if they are looking only at IPO's, they are missing the companies that had the highest issuance costs, because those companies decided not to have an IPO at all.
"Thus, RULLCA creates an odd situation in which LLCs are bound by contracts that they did not execute and to which they seemingly are not parties. This result is reinforced by Section 17701.11(a) which provides "A limited liability company is bound by and may enforce the operating agreement.”" That seems quite natural, though maybe it isn't the usual law--- I don't know. Is a corporation bound by its articles of incorporation? Is it bound contractually? Not contractually, I think--- that would require other parties to the contract, and only allow contract damages, not injunctions.
Which paper of yours is that? It sounds interesting.
I'll have to read the papers, but the debate does sound strange. Shareholder primacy doesn't mean maximizing dollar profits, but even if it did, certain charitable donations and political spending do increase dollar profits. Nor can one assume that corporations only lobby for bad social policies; a strong argument can be made that businesses should be encouraged to help fight inefficient regulation and provide a countervailing power to political grandstanding that hurts not just shareholders but employees and customers. It's a solution to the problem that made Schumpeter think that capitalism's very success doomed it because it encouraged intellectuals who would kill the defenseless goose that laid the golden eggs.
' scholars _deny_ that "law is needed to explain the social origins and foundations of firms" I’m not sure what explaining and firms mean, but I’d be in that camp. It’s tricky defining firms (can a firm consist of one person with no employees?) but what everyone thinks of are groups of people cooperating in making money. Surely that started with the sole proprietorship, someone in a primitive society hiring labor and buying materials in exchange for part of the output, before money and before writing. It’s an easy step to partnership---- the pay is a share of the output rather than a fixed amount. Also, illegal firms operate outside of the law. Think of mafia gangs operating a large variety of enterprises, or the heroin manufacture, wholesale, and retail trade.
It sounds like a grotesque committee compromise, not tepid except on average. Of course, the denominational leaders oughtn't to be making statements on either divesting from Israel or on whether Israel should be a country, but I guess it's safer for their members' souls than if they try to advise on religious matters.
Were there supposed to be some titles of books? I'm reading Richard Hooker's Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity now, which is very good, and is about much more than just whether bishops are OK. He talks a lot about the interaction between revelation and reason, and how to tell what's context dependent and what's not. I read Luther's 95 Theses for the first time last month. They're actually still very relevant. See http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/history/95theses.htm .
You'll like this: "A better statement of what we may regard as the theory of corporations that is prevalent in England could hardly be found than that which occurs in Sir Frederick Pollock's book on Contracts. He speaks of 'the Roman invention, adopted and largely developed in modern systems of law, of constituting the official character of the holders for the time being of the same office, or the common interest of the persons who for the time being are adventurers in the same undertaking, into an artificial person or ideal subject of legal capacities and duties.' There follows a comparison which is luminous, even though some would say that it suggests doubts touching the soundness of the theory that is being expounded. ' If it is allowable to illustrate one fiction by another, we may say that the artificial person is a fictitious substance conceived as supporting legal attributes.' It will not be news to readers of this journal that there are nowadays many who think that the personality of the corporation aggregate is in no sense and no sort artificial or fictitious, but is every whit as real and natural as is the personality of a man. This opinion, if it was at one time distinctive of a certain school of Germanists, has now been adopted by some learned Romanists, and also has found champions in France and Italy. Hereafter I may be allowed to say a little about it…. Maitland, The Corporate Sole, 16 L. Q. Rev. 335 1900
Many countries have cut back substantially on government ownership of businesses--- and not just the Communist ones. That is evidence that governments can shrink.
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