Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Simple Rules for a Complex World

I long for simple rules that can order a prosperous, healthy society.  Here is a short video outlining 7 sets of simple rules that Richard Epstein says can do it.

Sets of rules
1. Rules that have to deal with individual autonomy
2. Rules with respect to first possession
3. Contract
4. Tort
5. Taxation
6. Eminent domain
7. Income inequality. Voluntarism solution.

Clear definition of where the rights and responsibilities for me and my neighbors lie.

First four sets of rules can be set up without a government.

Individual Autonomy

- every person owns his own body
- parents are guardians of their children
- two alternatives: arbitrary despot or no hierarchy

First Possession

- You acquire land by getting there first and claiming it


- voluntary, clearly defined transaction


- Sue to get what you need from contract breakers.


- flat tax is fairest

Eminent Domain

What do we spend our taxes on?
Public Goods - goods that if you provide it to someone you must provide it to others. A park. General Defense. Roads.

Income Inequality

Voluntary charity - charitable deduction of taxes
Maybe this is not enough to deal with income inequality
Redistribution Last -  Address the violations of the first 6 rules and do redistribution last

Wal-mart example - If it allowed negotiation of each transaction, the check out line would take a long time.  Instead, it is take it or leave it. Wal-mart sets prices so that enough people won’t leave them.

Regulation plays by the same rules. Instead of expensive regulation. Progressives want high transaction costs and a low number of transactions.

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