Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chapters 6 and 7

First, if you have not read Coase, I highly recommend that you do. Okay, now for the moral arguments. For example, Frank writes on page 96, "In such cases, the Coase framework says that the law should place the burden of adjusting to the externality on the party for whom it would be less costly." So, what about smoking in restaurants? One can argue that smoking laws are justified because it is more costly for nonsmokers to have to breathe in smoke-filled air than for a smoker to "suck it up" (no pun intended) and refrain from smoking for an hour or two. Of course with this example, who we forget about is the property owner and his or her right to determine his own policy and we forget that nobody is forced to eat anywhere.

Responding to an earlier post about discrimination, while I agree it is not nice or moral to be mean-spirited to people who share other views or have a different set of morals, if we really believe in property rights then a businessowner should have to right to discriminate against whomever he or she wishes based on whatever criteria they decide. See two of my essays on if you are interested in this topic:

In chapter 7, I agree with Frank's statement, "The underlying principle is that when the economic pie grows larger, everyone can have a larger slice." And I agree with the willingness to pay principle for the clock; however, not for his reasons. Bottom line: the lawyer is doing something more productive than the woman and that is why he is getting paid more (rewarded) by the market. Therefore, if he buys the clock, it's a reward due to that fact. Any objections to this? Just curious about your thoughts...

1 comment:

  1. I really like your justification of the richer lawyer. If that woman wanted an expensive clock she would do something that earned her enough money for the clock, just because she really likes it doesn't mean she should get it. But when frank say : "The underlying principle is that when the economic pie grows larger, everyone can have a larger slice." - he has no justification for this, the idea that a larger economic pie leaves everyone better off is bogus. it just means that there is more, not that everyone gets more.