Law Roundtable

Law Roundtable

Exploring the region between Law and Economics.

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Ideas (David Friedman)

"I am an academic economist who teaches at a law school and has never taken a course for credit in either field.”


December 16, 2016, 1:43 am, 1703077
A Trump advisor named David Friedman has been announced as his choice for ambassador to Israel. At least one news story on the event had my picture and I have just gotten an invitation from the Indian embassy to a Hanukkah event.
Not me. ...


December 10, 2016, 5:43 pm, 1701485
Recent news stories claim that Russia attempted to influence the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump. How accurate the claim is I don't know. What seems clear is that the reaction of Americans is that doing that is wrong, cheating, meddling in our affairs. That is ...


December 10, 2016, 5:43 pm, 1701484
A few weeks ago I had a debate on anarchy with James Scott, a writer whose books I find interesting. Robert Ellickson was moderator cum participant. It has now been webbed.
I have read two of Scott's books. One, The Art of Not ...


November 19, 2016, 5:43 pm, 1695794
An advantage of the present system that I have not seen discussed is that it reduces the problem of vote fraud. Stealing votes is easiest in a state dominated by a single party, the sort of place where the Republican poll watchers probably work for the Democrats or ...


November 19, 2016, 3:43 pm, 1695784
A Still Better Shower
The conventional controls for a shower or sink consist of one for hot water, one for cold. Getting your preferred mix is a process of trial and error adjustment, repeated every time you take a shower or wash your hands.


November 13, 2016, 11:43 am, 1693662
1. The Nightmare. A wild man who offends all our allies and enemies and everyone else and declares war on Kyrgystan to punish it for being too hard to spell.
2. Promise Keeper/Paladin of the Right.  Trade barriers up, immigration down, many illegals expelled. ...


November 9, 2016, 7:43 pm, 1692535
This was not my least bad among the possible electoral outcomes. But now that it has happened, it is worth looking at whether anything good might come of it. I see three possibilities:

1. Trump might turn out to be better than I expect. Judging by the ...


November 8, 2016, 9:43 pm, 1692115
I have been saying for some time that the least bad outcome there is any reasonable chance of getting from this unfortunate election is Hilary Clinton in the White House but both houses of congress held by the Republicans. It occurred to me that one possible way of ...


November 4, 2016, 5:43 pm, 1690546
I am currently working on a book on legal systems very different from ours, one chapter of which deals with the Plains Indians. One of my sources is an account by someone who was captured by Comanche, spent three years as their slave, and eventually escaped. It ...


November 1, 2016, 9:43 pm, 1689252
Quite a long time ago, I published an article on the legal system of 18th century England. On paper, it was our legal system–indeed, where our system came from. But there were no police, no public prosecutors, and criminal prosecution was almost entirely entirely private, usually by the ...