ON-Lion Letter
The painful performance of the American economy in the past decade is not a function of bad luck.  It is the product of flawed institutional design.  Right now, we are reaping the harvest of efforts to reinvigorate the progressive programs of the New Deal that stress high progressive taxes, large transfer payments, strong labor laws, and major barriers to free trade.

This combination of public finance and market regulation has proved a potent force for disaster, according to Bradley Prize recipient and noted legal scholar Richard Epstein's forthcoming Encounter Broadside, Why Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable.

Epstein is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.  He is also the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and a senior lecturer at The University of Chicago Law School.

High marginal tax rates expose the political system to strong factional strife that stifles initiative, adds uncertainty, and reduces overall revenues.  To these multiple ailments, Epstein argues in the Broadside that the best recipe is a return to the flat tax of the classical liberal tradition.

The government has committed itself to substituting state mandates for voluntary arrangements in labor and real estate markets, disabling both by retarding job formation and roiling real estate markets.  To these multiple ailments, Epstein argues that the best recipe is a reinvigoration of free markets that do not upset voluntary arrangements on the supposed grounds that they are unfair, one-sided or exploitive.

Just change these two levers, he concludes, and we can find an effective classical liberal antidote to excesses of the modern progressive age.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.
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