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TANSTAAFL
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A wonderful post indeed. How did Barack Obama allegedly teach law at the University of Chicago, yet, to all appearances, learn nothing from Gary Becker? What a missed opportunity.
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Posner's political commentary is worthwhile reading but underscores why Hamilton got it right in Federalist No. 78.
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In closing another insightful post, Becker states that "in determining which decisions should be made by the political process in a democracy, it is important to remember that individuals have little incentive to be well informed on political issues. As a result, their votes may not effectively reflect their interests or much knowledge of the issues." Important to whom? Maybe Becker will tell us in a future post.
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Posner offers a rationale for voting that typifies his consequentialist viewpoint (and, perhaps, his yearning for a SCOTUS appointment in Obama's second term). Had such a mindset prevailed in 1776, all of us would remain subjects of the British Crown today.
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Good post by Posner. His assertion that banks are subject to lax regulation is unfounded. Banks are highly regulated and have been for many years, particularly commercial banks. Regulation of investment banks is catching up (e.g., Dodd-Frank), if it hasn't already. And Posner's call for more regulation fails to account for regulatory capture, a common regulatory failure acknowledged by Becker's accompanying post.
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Mao Zedong would admire the utilitarian zeal with which Posner advocates a market in human organs. And Posner's "general skepticism" about market efficiency is a stark contrast to his scholarly writings a few decades ago. His present equivocation suggests a futile yearning for a SCOTUS seat if Obama is re-elected.
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While not too great a surprise, given the evolution of his writings over the last 30 years, it nonetheless is disappointing to see Posner succumb to nihilism in this way.
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