Robert Bork

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pages: 128 words: 38,847

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age by Tim Wu

AltaVista, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, Donald Trump, income inequality, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, open economy, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Chicago School

McGee, Praeger, 1971. 87 “destroyed my dreams of socialism”: “Aaron Director, Economist, Dies at 102,” Douglas Martin, The New York Times, Sept. 16, 2004. 88 “only that value we would today call consumer welfare”: “Legislative Intent and the Policy of the Sherman Act,” Robert H. Bork, Journal of Law and Economics, 1966. 89 “a kingly prerogative”: Trusts, Speech by John Sherman to the U.S. Senate, 1890. 89 “Bork’s analysis of the legislative history was strained”: “Antitrust’s Protected Classes,” Herbert Hovenkamp, Michigan Law Review, 1989. 89 “prefer a system of small producers”: United States v. Aluminum Co. of Am., 148 F.2d 416 (2d Cir. 1945). 90 “a value will be announced as pertinent”: “Legislative Intent and the Policy of the Sherman Act,” Robert H. Bork, Journal of Law and Economics, 1966. 91 “oversimplified economics”: “Antitrust Made (Too) Simple,” Christopher R. Leslie, Antitrust Law Journal, 2014.

After a period of intense national debate, including a presidential election in 1912 where economic policy was a central issue, the nation rejected a monopolized economy and chose repeatedly over the decades to preserve its tradition of an open and competitive market. The goal of antitrust law must be understood as respecting that choice. Or as Louis Brandeis, the great prophet of a decentralized economy, put it, the antitrust laws answered a question: “Shall the industrial policy of America be that of competition or that of monopoly?” What happened? The law is currently suffering from an overindulgence in the ideas first popularized by Robert Bork and others at the University of Chicago over the 1970s. Bork contended, implausibly, that the Congress of 1890 exclusively intended the antitrust law to deal with one very narrow type of harm: higher prices to consumers. That theory, the “consumer welfare” approach, has enfeebled the law. Promising greater certainty and scientific rigor, it has delivered neither, and more importantly discarded far too much of the role that law was intended to play in a democracy, namely, constraining the accumulation of unchecked private power and preserving economic liberty.

.* But a broad political, legal, and intellectual consensus saw excessive economic concentration and monopolization as both economically dubious and politically dangerous. However, a new intellectual opposition to antitrust was brewing, in a different form than before, and in an unexpected place. It formed at the University of Chicago, the school founded by John D. Rockefeller, and in the person of a professor named Aaron Director, and a particularly brilliant student of his named Robert Bork. The Rise of the Chicago School Since at least Adam Smith’s day, economists have favored competition and condemned monopoly. For most of the twentieth century, antitrust enforcement was, therefore, broadly supported by the economic profession in its home country. As Donald Dewey writes, “not a single American-trained economist of any prominence questioned the desirability of antitrust in the interwar years.”


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

Austin Carr, “Reddit Co-Founder, The Band’s Ex-Tour Manager Debate SOPA, Anti-Piracy and Levon Helm’s Legacy,” Fast Company, April 19, 2012, www.fastcompany.com/1834779/reddit-cofounder-bands-ex-tour-manager-debate-sopa-antipiracy-and-levon-helms-legacy-video. Kurt Andersen, “You Say You Want a Devolution?” Vanity Fair, January 2012. Chapter Six: Monopoly in the Digital Age Much of the research on Robert Bork came from an interview with former secretary of labor Robert Reich, who was both a student and a research assistant to Bork in the 1970s. Robert Bork, Antitrust Paradox (New York: Basic Books, 1978). Barry Lynn, Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2010). Lee Epstein, William Landes, and Richard Posner, “How Business Fares in the Supreme Court,” University of Minnesota Law Review, vol. 97, no. 1, www.minnesotalawreview.org/articles/volume-97-lead-piece-business-fares-supreme-court/.

Time Warner’s is $61 billion. The balance of power in the world of entertainment has shifted to monopoly platforms. To understand how that happened, we need to look at the nature of monopoly capitalism and how an old and largely discredited form of robber-baron capitalism took on a new form in the digital age. CHAPTER SIX Monopoly in the Digital Age Competition is for losers. —Peter Thiel 1. Robert Bork did more than any individual in the twentieth century to embed the libertarian free-market principles of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman into the heart of the American economic and judicial system. Professor Bork’s class on antitrust law at Yale Law School was usually packed. In 1971, he had taught Bill Clinton and his soon-to-be wife, Hillary, as well as Robert Reich, Clarence Thomas, and Richard Blumenthal.

As the New York Times noted in his obituary, this stance cost him a seat on the Supreme Court: “He also wrote a fateful article for The New Republic in 1963—one that played a key role in his 1987 confirmation defeat—condemning the public accommodation sections of the proposed 1964 Civil Rights Act aimed at integrating restaurants, hotels and other businesses. Mr. Bork said he had no objection to racial integration but feared that government coercion of private behavior threatened freedom.” Google, Amazon, and Facebook are all monopolies that would be prosecuted under antitrust statutes if it hadn’t been for Robert Bork. From the Ford administration all the way through to the Obama White House, Bork’s principles as expressed in The Antitrust Paradox, encouraging mergers and calling for less regulation, have ruled the antitrust division of the Justice Department. Just a few years after Bork published his book, Reagan’s soon to be appointed head of the antitrust division, William Baxter, told the New York Times that he would “pursue an antitrust policy based on efficiency considerations.”


pages: 614 words: 174,226

The Economists' Hour: How the False Prophets of Free Markets Fractured Our Society by Binyamin Appelbaum

"Robert Solow", airline deregulation, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, starchitect, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

For years, Director taught the law school’s antitrust course with Edward H. Levi, later U.S. attorney general under President Ford. Levi would give four lectures, and then Director would give one. “Aaron Director would tell us that everything that Levi had told us the preceding four days was nonsense,” recalled one student. For some it was a religious experience. “We became Janissaries,” said Robert Bork, an early student who was one of the most influential popularizers of Director’s ideas.* Ronald Coase, a colleague who later won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work integrating economics into legal theory, also counted himself a disciple of Director, saying, “I regarded my role as that of Saint Paul to Aaron Director’s Christ. He got the doctrine going and what I had to do was bring it to the gentiles.”36 Director’s trademark was his skepticism that corporate behavior was anticompetitive.

The case presented a clear choice: competition was reducing the price of pie, but it was also threatening to reduce the number of competitors. The Supreme Court, in siding with Utah Pie, once again emphasized that the law was written to protect companies.38 Indeed, in 1936, Congress had reinforced the Sherman Act by passing the Robinson-Patman Act, which specifically prohibited large companies from charging lower prices to undermine local rivals. Robert Bork described the verdict as a violation of the laws of economics. The defendants, he wrote, “were convicted not of injuring competition but, quite simply, of competing.”39 Stigler, testifying on Capitol Hill, urged Congress to rewrite the laws of the United States. “I hope the subcommittee will reflect upon the fact,” he said, “that if all the prominent economists in favor of the Robinson-Patman Act were put in a Volkswagen, there would still be room for a portly chauffeur.”40 Director retired from the University of Chicago in 1965, moving to California, where he kept an office at Stanford.

An examination of judges’ rulings before and after attendance found a significant shift toward trust-the-market rulings.56 A. Andrew Hauk, a U.S. District Court judge in California, told the Washington Post the lessons he learned in Miami induced him to issue a ruling that ended a federal system of quotas for contracts with minority vendors. “More and more,” Hauk said, “life is best explained not by religion, not by law, but by economics.”57 To justify the insertion of economics into antitrust law, Robert Bork rewrote history. After graduating from Chicago, Bork had become a professor at Yale Law School — where his students dubbed his class on antitrust law “protrust” — and then served as Nixon’s solicitor general.58 After returning to Yale, he wrote The Antitrust Paradox, a popular 1978 book that asserted the original purpose of the Sherman Antitrust Act was to maximize consumer welfare. Bork insisted that nothing in the Congressional Record suggested legislators had wanted to impose higher prices on consumers to preserve small business or to prevent the concentration of political power.59 This was shoddy scholarship.


pages: 482 words: 149,351

The Finance Curse: How Global Finance Is Making Us All Poorer by Nicholas Shaxson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airline deregulation, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, Etonian, failed state, falling living standards, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, forensic accounting, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land value tax, late capitalism, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, wealth creators, white picket fence, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

As US solicitor general, Bork sacked the courageous special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal that would eventually bring down President Nixon in 1974, a dismissal that was later ruled illegal. Years later Senator Edward Kennedy would denounce him in these terms: Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.12 Bork denied these charges and his record was more nuanced than Kennedy’s picture suggests, but there is no doubting it: Robert Bork was a scary piece of work. Bork’s singular – and colossal – contribution to the game at hand was a little firecracker of a book published in 1978 called The Antitrust Paradox.

‘There can’t have been many house guests where Milton would have been accused of being too pro-government and too left wing.’ That particular night Director hosted twenty dinner guests, largely conservative thinkers, including not just Friedman but George Stigler, who would go on to make a name for himself attacking government regulation, the British economist Ronald Coase and a fire-breathing conservative lawyer called Robert Bork.1 The University of Chicago in those days was a bear pit, an arena of intense macho intellectual combat where academics were constantly struggling to outdo each other with clever theories about efficient markets – theories that often perched on toe-curling assumptions – to adopt unconventional, even anti-social positions usually supporting big business and attacking big government. Mathematical and logical elegance trumped the messy reality of life and the world.

‘It was one of the most exciting intellectual events of my life.’3 This violent attack on the foundations of legal authority – that laws should be subjected to economic cost–benefit calculations and rejected if they fail to pass muster – was a classic example of economics imperialism – a power grab by economics professors with ambitions to colonise as many areas of social and political life as they could get their hands on. It was also an extension of red-blooded neoliberalism, which argued that lawyers and laws should bow down to economists and economics, and everything had a price. The scale and success of this insurrection was made clear when in 1983 a group of Chicago-school economists was reminiscing about – one might even say gloating over – this power grab. There was a short exchange between Robert Bork, Richard Posner, an influential pro-monopoly jurist and economist, and Henry Manne, another influential (and corporate-funded) economist. Manne was an associate of the libertarian theorist James Buchanan, and they had joined with the conservative tycoon Charles Koch to penetrate academia by setting up think tanks to spread anti-government ideas. They pushed the anti-Veblen idea that wealthy property owners were the ‘makers’, while the poor and middle classes were the ‘takers’, out to fleece them.


pages: 417 words: 97,577

The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Bob Noyce, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, diversification, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, late capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, means of production, merger arbitrage, Metcalfe's law, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, passive investing, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, prisoner's dilemma, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, undersea cable, Vanguard fund, very high income, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

After the crisis, he, too, wrote a book saying there may have been flaws in his views on the perfect functioning of markets. We'll never know how much damage he caused. Yet if there is one man who is responsible for the revolution in antitrust thinking, it is Robert Bork. Most American baby boomers remember him for his highly charged Supreme Court nomination hearings in 1987. Other readers may remember him as the only man willing to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox at President Richard Nixon's orders in the Saturday Night Massacre. In the 1960s, Robert Bork published a series of highly influential articles that were hand grenades. His writing was brilliant, original, and entirely wrong. He attacked the state of antitrust policy in the United States. Most notably, he opened his article “The Goals of Antitrust Policy” with a phrase that became a classic: “The life of the antitrust law … is … neither logic nor experience but bad economics and worse jurisprudence.”55 To correct the misguided approach to antitrust laws, Bork argued that the one and only thing that should matter in antitrust is “consumer welfare.”

Ignacio Herrera Anchustegui, Competition Law Through an Ordoliberal Lens (March 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2579308 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2579308. 50. Robert H. Bork and Ward S. Bowman Jr, “The Crisis in Antitrust,” Columbia Law Review 65, no. 3 (1965). 51. Steven C. Salop, Symposium on Mergers and Antitrust. Economic Perspectives 1, no. 2 (Fall 1987): 3–12. 52. Milton Friedman, “The Business Community's Suicidal Impulse,” Cato Policy Report 21, no. 2 (March/April 1999). 53. Richard A. Posner, “The Chicago School of Antitrust Analysis,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 127, no. 4 (April 1979): 925–948. 54. http://keever.us/greenspanantitrust.html. 55. Robert H. Bork, “The Goals of Antitrust Policy,” American Economic Review 57 (1967): 242. 56. B.Y. Orbach, “The Antitrust Consumer Welfare Paradox,” Journal of Competition Law and Economics 7, no. 1 (2001): 133–164.

The economist John Maynard Keynes once said, “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” He should have included defunct law professors. The state we find ourselves in today can be traced back to the economists of the Chicago School. We would not have highly concentrated industries if it were not for Robert Bork and the Chicago School. Like all revolutions, an organized group of ideologues developed the ideas and spread them zealously. The Chicago School, led by Milton Friedman and George Stigler, was the vanguard of attack against antitrust laws. The great irony is that they decried monopolies and concentration of power, but in practice they created all the conditions necessary for them. Friedman and Stigler started out as proponents of antitrust, but they came to dislike any form of state regulation.


The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

Reagan had already elevated William Rehnquist to Chief Justice, and appointed Sandra Day O’Connor and Antonin Scalia to the high court. Powell was a ‘‘swing vote,’’ often casting the deciding vote in 5-to-4 104 THE AMERICA THAT REAGAN BUILT decisions.1 To tip the balance of power in favor of the conservatives, Reagan nominated Robert Bork, a District of Columbia federal appeals judge known for his articulate and outspoken convictions. If confirmed, Bork would be the nation’s 104th Supreme Court justice and a reliable vote for strict interpretation. The nomination set the stage for one of the biggest political battles of the decade. Robert Bork was born in 1927; he earned a law degree at the University of Chicago, and subsequently taught at Yale Law School. There he became one of the best-known conservative jurists in the country, opposing abortion and gay rights while favoring the death penalty.

Yet in his testimony, the judge said equal protection should apply to women.6 As he tried to moderate some of his positions to be acceptable to Democrats in Congress, Judge Bork alienated his supporters and further infuriated his detractors. All parties acknowledged that Robert Bork was one of the most astute legal scholars in the country; the American Bar Association gave him its highest rating, ‘‘exceptionally well-qualified.’’ But the credentials did not endear him to the Senate majority. After weeks of testimony, the Judiciary Committee voted 9 to 5 against confirming Bork. Most observers expected the judge to withdraw after the vote, but Bork decided to soldier on. Though he was disappointed in his wavering support in Congress and at the White House, Judge Bork thought that a crucial principle A Thousand Points of Light 105 of judicial independence from politics was at stake. On October 23, 1987, the Senate voted 58 to 42 against the nomination of Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.7 The day after Bork’s repudiation by the Senate, President Reagan vowed, ‘‘My next nominee for the court will share Judge Bork’s belief in judicial restraint.’’8 That nominee, Douglas H.

Since that time, he had been ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, chief liaison of the U.S. Office in China, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and as vice-president, heir apparent to the Reagan legacy. The hauteur of Democratic questions to Robert Bork was familiar to him. In the entire time he had been in Washington, the Democratic Party was dominant in the U.S. Congress, and Republicans succeeded only when they compromised and cooperated with the majority. Bush’s tenure as chairman of the Republican National Committee coincided with the Watergate scandal, and he was faced with the unenviable task of rebuilding morale in the dispirited party after the scandal. The same month Robert Bork was rejected, George Bush made his announcement to run for president. As a high school band played ‘‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’’ at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston, the candidate took the podium to declare that he had no plans to go off in ‘‘radical new directions.’’


pages: 452 words: 110,488

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead by David Callahan

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, business cycle, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, fixed income, forensic accounting, full employment, game design, greed is good, high batting average, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, job satisfaction, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, McMansion, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old-boy network, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Oldenburg, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

A 1985 Roper poll showed that large numbers of Americans thought yuppies were "overly concerned with themselves," a view that reflected a wider public discomfort with how the new individualism was evolving.15 But these sentiments had little traction in larger cultural debates. One reason was that no serious counterweight existed to the juggernaut of '80s materialism. Liberals were too busy worrying about Star Wars, the Contras, and Reagan Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork to attack the money culture. Also, somewhere along the line liberals had lost their ability to talk about values and their skills for moral storytelling. They spoke instead about "issues" and "constituencies." Among other things, this abdication allowed the right to successfully attack some parts of the new individualism while allowing other parts to flourish. Neoconservatives and the Christian right teamed up to mount sweeping attacks in the 1980s on those aspects of individualism that clashed with family values, mounting a cultural war against sexual promiscuity, drug use, feminism, homosexuality, and artists like Robert Mapplethorpe.

Even as conservatives warned us through the 1990s about the pathologies of single mothers on welfare and the dissipation of young people with drug habits picked up from their pot-smoking baby-boomer parents, they ignored the negative effects of intensifying competition for money and status across all sectors of society. One reason that the corporate scandals took America by surprise is that conservative diatribes about the "cultural war" directed attention away from the morally corrosive potential of extreme capitalism. Thus distracted, Americans weren't expecting the many ugly excesses that seem, in retrospect, to have been inevitable. For example, in his 1996 bestseller, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, Robert Bork bemoaned the decline of America culture within a framework better suited to the '70s than to the '90s. Bork charged that "the enemy within is modern liberalism," that the dangerous left-wing orthodoxies of "radical egalitarianism" and "radical individualism" were bringing out the worst in Americans. The sins that concerned Bork included crime and drugs and illegitimate children, as well as "feminism, homosexuality, environmentalism, animal rights—the list could be extended almost indefinitely."

Founded in 1943, it initially came to distinguish itself over decades for its genuine commitment to advanced scholarship, albeit with a moderate rightward tilt. As it happened, though, that tilt was not nearly right enough for those who controlled AEI's purse strings. In the mid-1980s, AEI's main contributors threatened to cut off funding unless it turned much more conservative. It did. These days, AEI has a $17 million budget and provides a home to some of America's most rabid right-wing ideologues, including Robert Bork, Newt Gingrich, and Charles Murray. AEI's twenty-five-member board of directors includes exactly one scholar, James Q. Wilson. The rest of the board is packed with corporate CEOs, including the chiefs of ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, State Farm Insurance, and American Express. These extremely busy men aren't there because they enjoy a good intellectual conversation. They are on AEI's board because their companies are among the dozens that donate handsomely to AEI, funding a steady stream of highbrow studies that trash government regulation, advocate repealing taxes on corporations and the rich, propose ways to dismantle America's social safety net—and even seek to rehabilitate social Darwinist ideas about the innate superiority of some groups of human beings over others, as AEI did when it supported Charles Murray's research for his controversial book on human intelligence, The Bell Curve.


pages: 450 words: 113,173

The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

The waning of a conservative quarter-century was clear by 1987, when the newly arrived Democratic majority in the Senate rejected the Yale Law School professor Robert Bork, a towering figure in American legal philosophy, for a seat on the Supreme Court. Their discomfort was understandable. Bork had had misgivings about the constitutional basis for civil rights law, noting its potential to endanger First Amendment freedoms, and he had argued this case powerfully, not just in law reviews but in the pages of the New Republic. Also, as Richard Nixon’s solicitor general, he had fired the Watergate special prosecutor in 1973 when his superiors refused to. But the opposition to Bork sounded immoderate and unhinged, never more so than when Ted Kennedy opened the hearings on July 1 by casting Bork as a positively Satanic figure: Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.

Quoted in Christopher Caldwell, “The French, Coming Apart,” City Journal, Spring 2017: 46–55. (Author’s translation.) “To be called African-Americans”: “Jackson and Others Say ‘Blacks’ Is Passé,” New York Times, December 21, 1988. a writer in Ebony magazine: Ibid. See also David Bradley, “The Omni-American Blues,” First Things, March 2017, 45–50. Bork had had misgivings: Robert Bork, “Civil Rights: A Challenge,” New Republic, August 31, 1963, 21–24. “Robert Bork’s America”: Congressional Record—Senate, July 1, 1987, 18518–19. “This is the most historic moment”: Ibid., 18519. This $50 billion “surplus” disguises: George J. Borjas, “The Economic Benefits of Immigration,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 9:2 (Spring 1995): 3–22. Cited in Borjas, We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative (New York: Norton, 2016), 157–58.

Its toolbox of reform measures had been advertised as a remedy to one heinous constitutional exception. Americans who felt that civil rights were justified by an especially shameful history also thought it was limited by that history. They would not have consented to it otherwise. Patterson was one of the few who understood that there were no logical grounds for limiting its work to desegregation. The Yale University law professor Robert Bork, in his own very different way, was another. Immigrant rights, children’s rights, gay rights, and the rights of the aged were not in the civil rights legislation, but they could easily be induced from it. The civil rights movement was a template. The new system for overthrowing the traditions that hindered black people became the model for overthrowing every tradition in American life, starting with the roles of men and women. 3 Sex The GI generation and its failures—The Feminine Mystique and male sexism—Playboy and male sexuality—Gloria Steinem, capitalism, and class—Roe v.


pages: 354 words: 118,970

Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black-Scholes formula, buy and hold, capital controls, computerized trading, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

“When the laws undertake”: Andrew Jackson’s veto message of the Second Bank of the United States, July 10, 1832. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/ajveto01.asp. In 1975 the country’s leading liberal politician: Stephen Breyer gives a full account of airline deregulation in Regulation and Its Reform, Harvard University Press, 1982. “sheer perversity”: Robert Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself, The Free Press, 1978, 185. “a land in which women”: Edward M. Kennedy, speech opposing the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court of the United States, July 1, 1987. Congressional Record, Senate, July 1, 1987, 18518. Milken also developed a client base: The 269-page brief by the celebrated trial lawyer David Boies in the case of FDIC v. Milken et al. (1991), in the Southern District of New York, lays out these arrangements in detail.

Kennedy assembled an ideologically diverse array of supporters of deregulation, including Nader and Milton Friedman; the main opponents were the airlines themselves and their labor unions. In 1978 the first Democratic president of the 1970s, Jimmy Carter, signed legislation abolishing the CAB entirely. Carter also deregulated trucking and railroads, and he signed the first of a series of major laws deregulating finance—giving banks, in the name of serving the consumer, the ability to pay much higher interest rates to their depositors. In 1978 Robert Bork, a protégé of Aaron Director’s at the University of Chicago Law School and a Republican law professor and government official, published The Antitrust Paradox, which argued that the only acceptable rationale for government regulation of the economy was consumer welfare. Therefore, Bork argued, the tradition of economic liberalism associated with Louis Brandeis was at best silly and at worst an indefensible form of welfare for undeserving small producers, at consumers’ expense.

In 1979 Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker as chair of the Federal Reserve Board, and Volcker took severe action to reduce inflation. The result was three years of unusually high interest rates, which sent the country into a recession and also pumped more energy into the bond markets. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, his administration signaled that it would continue the move toward deregulation that Carter had launched, only more so. Reagan’s Justice Department had a Robert Bork–like skepticism about antitrust enforcement, which further empowered the mergers and acquisitions departments at Morgan Stanley and the other Wall Street firms. Toward the end of the period of high interest rates, the savings and loan industry, which had lost its ability to attract deposits at its old modest interest rates, persuaded Congress to pass a major piece of financial deregulation, permitting it to acquire deposits in nontraditional ways, to offer adjustable-rate mortgages, and to make new and riskier kinds of investments—all while retaining federal insurance on their deposits.


pages: 486 words: 150,849

Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, always be closing, American ideology, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Burning Man, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, centre right, computer age, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate raider, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, hive mind, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, Joan Didion, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Picturephone, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seaside, Florida, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, wage slave, Wall-E, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, éminence grise

Both were born of extreme nostalgia, fetishizing and distorting bygone America, so both more easily achieved mass appeal in the everything-old-is-new-again 1970s and ’80s. Both purported to be based on objective principles that transcended mere politics or special interests, even while both were vehicles for big business and the right to recover, fortify, and expand their economic and political power. And both shared key promoters, of whom probably the single most important was Robert Bork. Bork was a founder of originalism in the 1970s, and in 1986 he was in the running for an open Supreme Court seat (as he had been in 1981). But Reagan made the safer choice from among the new generation of hard-right ideologues—Antonin Scalia, who as a result came to be the personification of originalism. A year later, however, Reagan finally did nominate Bork to fill the seat of—perfect—retiring Justice Lewis Powell.

Naderites had just successfully turned consumer into a kind of synonym for citizen, and consumer welfare into the all-American lodestar concerning business, so now Bork flipped it: Who cared how businesses behaved or how large they got as long as they sold their products cheaply? Exactly one year after Bork’s book was published, a pivotal Supreme Court decision quoted its key “consumer welfare” sentence, and since then federal judges have quoted the line in antitrust decisions dozens of times. Just like that, economic efficiency as measured by prices became “the stated goal in antitrust” exclusively. “Antitrust was defined by Robert Bork,” says the University of Arizona law professor and antitrust specialist Barak Orbach. I cannot overstate his influence. Any antitrust person would tell you the same thing….The Court started thinking they should have an economic framework, and they had Chicago’s work as very simple ideas they could use. The thing about this is that they were very simple. You read them, you understand them.

These are all the laws and regulations intended to make our economic system operate as well as it can, to referee the balance between making American economic life both as free and as fair as possible, optimizing those two goals in tandem rather than simply maximizing one. The main part of this other category of business regulation is antitrust, all the evolving rules spun out of our antitrust laws for more than a century—and, crucially, the interpretation of those laws by courts and judges, interpretations that Robert Bork and the Law and Economics movement so effectively changed in favor of big business. The word antitrust was coined back in 1890 when Congress passed the first such law. A trust was one of the shockingly large new corporations that had effectively eliminated competition by swallowing up competitors (and suppliers) and thereby controlling whole industries. The important point is that antitrust laws were never anticapitalist or antibusiness.


pages: 399 words: 155,913

The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur

American ideology, barriers to entry, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, housing crisis, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, minimum wage unemployment, positional goods, price stability, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wealth creators

Most of today’s critics share the Progressive assumption that government has an inherent right to control people’s choices and that individual freedom is merely a privilege granted by the state for its own purposes; thus, they view the decision as judicial interference with the legislature’s rightful power to restrict freedom in the purported interests of society. As James W. Ely has concluded, these critics attack the concept of substantive due process because of their “disagreement with particular applications of the doctrine,” and in the process they often ignore or misrepresent the long and respectable tradition of substantive due process theory.113 Robert Bork One of the chief critics of Lochner and its legacy is Robert Bork, who has developed an elaborate argument that substantive due process lies at the root of most of America’s constitutional ills.114 Bork contends that substantive due process made its first appearance in Dred Scott v. Sandford,115 the infamous case in which the Supreme Court declared that Congress could not forbid the spread of slavery into the western territories and that blacks could never be citizens of the United States.

And this assertion, combined with the supremacy clause, certainly does yield, as a logical necessity, the conclusion that no state may destroy the right of property in a slave.” Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959), pp. 290–91. 124. Dred Scott, 60 U.S. (19 How.) at 450. 125. Graber, Dred Scott, p. 64. 126. Bork, Tempting of America, pp. 44–45. 127. Ibid., p. 124. 128. Ibid. 129. Robert Bork, Slouching towards Gomorrah (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), p. 63 (quoting Irving Kristol). 130. Bork, Tempting of America, p. 139. In another place, Bork has claimed that “only a legal-positivist judge can be an adherent of the Framers’ original intent.” Robert H. Bork, “Original Intent and the Framers of the Constitution: A Disputed Question,” book review, National Review, February 7, 1994, p. 61 (1994 WLNR 3412460). 131. James Madison, “Sovereignty,” in Writings of James Madison, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: Putnam, 1900–1910), vol. 9, pp. 570–71.

Koller II, “The Myth of Predatory Pricing: An Empirical Study,” Antitrust Law and Economic Review 4 (1971): 105 (“the standard theoretical analysis in this area treats predation as a form of non-maximizing (irrational) behavior and thus 305 Notes for Pages 53–57 an unlikely occurrence in the real world”); James C. Miller III and Paul Pautler, “Predation: The Changing View in Economics and the Law,” Journal of Law and Economics 28 (1985): 495–502; and Robert H. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself (New York: Free Press, 1993), p. 154 (“predation by such techniques is very improbable . . . [and prohibiting price-cutting] would do much more harm than good”). 81. John S. McGee, “Predatory Price Cutting: The Standard Oil (N.J.) Case,” Journal of Law and Economics 1 (1958): 168. 82. See, for example, Kenneth G. Elzinga, “Predatory Pricing: The Case of the Gunpowder Trust,” Journal of Law and Economics 13 (1970): 223–40. 83.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

* * * — GIVEN ALL THIS, one might ask why the Big Tech firms haven’t yet been treated as monopolies by the federal government and broken up like Bell Telephone of yesteryear, and Standard Oil before that. Or at least transformed and constrained by the threat of regulation, like Microsoft was twenty years ago. Because of a forty-year shift in our economic thinking around antitrust policy.52 Or, more concisely, because of one man: Robert Bork. While infamous for being voted down by the Senate in his bid for a seat on the Supreme Court (and for firing Archibald Cox in the Saturday Night Massacre of the Watergate scandal years before that), Bork has achieved far more lasting importance for his work as the author of the 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox, which provided the legal rationale for Big Tech’s unimpeded global dominance and became the basis of a 1979 Supreme Court decision that is still being upheld today.

Academic papers don’t tend to go viral, but this one received a near-unprecedented level of interest from policy makers. In fewer than one hundred pages, Khan made the case that current interpretations of U.S. antitrust law, which is meant to regulate competition and curb monopolistic practices, are utterly unsuited to the architecture of the modern economy. For roughly four decades, antitrust scholars—taking their lead from Robert Bork’s 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox—have pegged their definitions of monopoly power to short-term price effects; so if Amazon is making prices lower for consumers, the market must be working effectively. Khan set out a simple but powerful counterargument: that it doesn’t matter if companies such as Amazon are making things cheaper in dollars if they are using predatory pricing strategies to dominate multiple industries and choke off competition and choice.

Technology companies have so far avoided such specialized restrictions, even as they’ve become some of the largest and most concentrated companies in the world.22 This is due in part because the opacity of their business model makes them hard to even understand, let alone regulate. But it’s also because regulators who might curb their power are working with an outdated model of monopoly power, one that hasn’t been revisited in forty years. Indeed, the last time we had a major reset of antitrust policy in the United States was when Robert Bork published The Antitrust Paradox in 1978. Bork held that the major goal of antitrust policy should be to promote “business efficiency,” which from the 1980s onward came to be measured in consumer prices. It was a shift that took the United States away from antitrust policy predicated on the welfare of the “citizen” and toward one that clearly served the laissez-faire politics of the Reagan administration.


pages: 159 words: 42,401

Snowden's Box: Trust in the Age of Surveillance by Jessica Bruder, Dale Maharidge

anti-communist, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, cashless society, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Occupy movement, off grid, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Robert Bork, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, web of trust, WikiLeaks

They passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), requiring agents who wanted to spy on Americans or foreign nationals to get permission from a new judicial body, the FISA Court. Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter issued executive orders — in 1976 and 1978, respectively — aimed at tightening regulation of the intelligence agencies. Not everyone was thrilled by the changes. “Periods of sin and excess are commonly followed by spasms of remorse and moralistic overreaction,” harrumphed famed conservative Robert Bork, who’d served as Nixon’s solicitor general, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “The repentance of the hungover reveler is standard comic fare.” But Bork needn’t have worried; the age of regret didn’t last long. Soon the sense of urgency sparked by the Church Committee faded. Meanwhile, the FISA Court, operating in the shadows with closed-door sessions and classified opinions, got a reputation for rubber-stamping surveillance applications.

pp. 89–90 Church Committee reveals overreaching NSA programs: Katelyn Epsley-Jones and Christina Frenzel, “The Church Committee Hearings and the FISA Court,” PBS Frontline, May 15, 2007, pbs.org. p. 90 Cointelpro, “a sophisticated vigilante operation”: US Senate, Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities, book 3, Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1976), 2. p. 91 Bork harrumphs: Robert J. Bork, “‘Reforming’ Foreign Intelligence,” Wall Street Journal, March 9, 1978. p. 91 classified opinions: Cora Currier, Justin Elliott, and Theodoric Meyer, “Mass Surveillance in America: A Timeline of Loosening Laws and Practices,” ProPublica, June 7, 2013, projects.propublica.org. p. 91 secret court would authorize 33,942 warrants: Evan Perez, “Secret Court’s Oversight Gets Scrutiny,” Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2013.


pages: 283 words: 81,163

How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas J. Dilorenzo

banking crisis, British Empire, business cycle, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Norman Mailer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, wealth creators, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

Looking closely at the “monopolies” the Sherman Act was intended to break up reveals how much perception overwhelmed reality. Standard economic theory holds that to be a monopoly, a business must restrict output in order to push up prices. Although this definition of monopoly was not well developed in 1890, some scholars believe that it was nevertheless what Senator Sherman and his colleagues had in mind in promoting antitrust legislation. Robert Bork, who taught antitrust law at Yale Law School for more than fifteen years and is a frequent critic of antitrust regulation, stated in the Journal of Law and Economics that “Sherman demonstrated more than once that he understood that higher prices were brought about by a restriction of output. . . . Sherman and his colleagues identified the phrase ‘restraint of commerce’ or ‘restraint of trade’ with ‘restriction of output.’ “8 Senator Sherman may have said this, but the facts contradict the contention that the trusts were reducing output and raising prices.

DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003); and Charles Adams, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). 5. William Letwin, Law and Economic Policy in America: The Evolution of the Sherman Antitrust Law (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965), 67. 6. Robert Gray and James Peterson, Economic Development in the United States (New York: Irwin, 1965), 57. 7. Sanford D. Gordon, “Attitudes Toward Trusts Prior to the Sherman Act,” Southern Economics Journal 20 (June 1963): 158. 8. Robert Bork, “Legislative Intent and the Policy of the Sherman Act,” Journal of Law and Economics 9 (October 1966): 16. 9. Thomas J. DiLorenzo, “The Origins of Antitrust: An Interest-Group Perspective,” International Review of Law and Economics 5, no. 1 (June 1985): 73–90. 10. Congressional Record, 51st Congress, 1st Session, House, June 20, 1890, 4, 100. 11. New York Times, October 1, 1890, 2. 12. Ibid. 13.


pages: 202 words: 66,742

The Payoff by Jeff Connaughton

algorithmic trading, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Flash crash, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, naked short selling, Neil Kinnock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, short selling, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, two-sided market, young professional

Biden’s campaign felt derivative; he wasn’t as bad as Gary Hart (who would stand with his hand in his suit pocket in imitation of JFK), but he was consciously trying to be a generational leader. As the pundits said, the Kennedys quoted the Greeks; Biden quoted the Kennedys. To be fair, the Kennedy legacy was tough to compete with. That same summer, Lewis Powell retired from the Supreme Court, and President Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to take his place. It was a polarizing choice, since many believed that, if confirmed, Bork would create a majority that might overturn a number of previous Court decisions on matters relating to personal liberty, particularly Roe v. Wade. Senator Ted Kennedy made his infamous In-Robert-Bork’s-America speech, which galvanized both Bork’s opponents and supporters. Biden, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, would chair the confirmation hearings, and his performance was widely expected to be like a first primary election for him. If he performed well, his name recognition and status among Democratic primary voters might skyrocket.


pages: 298 words: 95,668

Milton Friedman: A Biography by Lanny Ebenstein

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, stem cell, The Chicago School, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, zero-sum game

He is a greater admirer of Frank Knight and Aaron Director. Director was a significant figure in his own right. Melvin Reder emphasizes Director’s role among Chicago economists, writing in 1982 that in conducting his own work on the history of economics at the University of Chicago, he was “struck by the many strong expressions of intellectual indebtedness both of Chicago economists and legal scholars (such as Edward Levi and Robert Bork) to Aaron Director.... Director appears to have exercised a great deal of influence upon the principal figures in Chicago economics from the 1930s to the present.”39 According to Coase: “Director was extremely effective as a teacher, and he had a profound influence on the views of some of his students and also on those of some of his colleagues... both in law and economics.”40 Stigler wrote in 1974 that in “forming most present day policy views of Chicago economists, Director and Friedman have been the main intellectual forces.”41 Milton and Rose’s friends at Chicago outside economics were the university’s elite, including Ed and Laura Banfield in political science, Daniel and Ruth Boorstin in history, and Edward and Kate Levi in the law school, among many others.

.), “The Fire of Truth: A Remembrance of Law and Economics at Chicago, 1932–1970,” Journal of Law and Economics (April 1983), is the transcript of an exceptional gathering of thirty former University of Chicago students and former and current faculty focusing on the contributions of Aaron Director and Ronald Coase to the field of law and economics. Among the participants are Milton and Rose Friedman, Stigler, Wallis, Becker, and Robert Bork, in addition to Director and Coase. There is much history and exploration of the development of ideas. A number of obituaries were written on Director’s death in September 2004. These include Richard M. Ebeling, “Aaron Director on the Market for Goods and Ideas,” Freeman (November 2004), and Adam Bernstein, “Aaron Director Dies at 102; Helped Fuse Economics, Law,” Washington Post, September 14, 2004.


pages: 98 words: 25,753

Ethics of Big Data: Balancing Risk and Innovation by Kord Davis, Doug Patterson

4chan, business process, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Occupy movement, performance metric, Robert Bork, side project, smart grid, urban planning

It is valuable across many business functions, ranging from designing new products and services (learning no one likes pineapple-flavored toothpaste) to building better supply chain and manufacturing models and processes to reduce costs (zip-code-level forecasting capabilities), and opening up whole new entire markets (on-demand discount offerings for last-minute hotel property cancellations). It is increasingly difficult to “opt out” of the expansion of business operations into our lives. One can choose not to subscribe to a grocery store reward program—and accept the loss of the discounts those programs can provide. Although there is no requirement to join a social network, there can be a stigma attached to not doing so. In 1987, Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court was hotly contested, in part by using his video rental history as evidence in support of arguments against his confirmation. His reputation as a qualified candidate for the Supreme Court was being assessed, in part, by making judgments about the movies he watched. The resulting controversy led to Federal legislation enacted by Congress in 1988. Called the Video Privacy Protection Act, the VPPA made it illegal for any videotape service provider to disclose rental history information outside the ordinary course of business and made violators liable for damages up to $2,500.


pages: 261 words: 64,977

Pity the Billionaire: The Unexpected Resurgence of the American Right by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, big-box store, bonus culture, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, financial innovation, housing crisis, invisible hand, Kickstarter, money market fund, Naomi Klein, obamacare, payday loans, profit maximization, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, union organizing, Washington Consensus, white flight, Works Progress Administration

., Don’t Tread on Us: Signs of a 21st Century Political Awakening (Los Angeles: WND Books, 2010). * Of course, 1928 was not a Depression year. But Louisiana was so poor even before the crash, and Huey Long would soon become such an archetypal Depression figure, that we include this episode as an honorary example. * A curious echo of Mellon’s dictum about hard times forcing people to “live a more moral life” occurs in Robert Bork’s mournful meditation, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, in which he briefly considers “a deep economic depression” as one way of bringing about “moral regeneration.” The idea is immediately discarded for “lacking broad public support.” See Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), p. 336. The Galbraith quote appears in The Great Crash: 1929 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955), p. 199


The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design by Michael Kearns, Aaron Roth

23andMe, affirmative action, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, general-purpose programming language, Google Chrome, ImageNet competition, Lyft, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, p-value, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, personalized medicine, pre–internet, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, replication crisis, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, short selling, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, superintelligent machines, telemarketer, Turing machine, two-sided market, Vilfredo Pareto

Of course, to build a recommendation system, you need data, so Netflix publicly released a lot of it—a dataset consisting of more than a hundred million movie rating records, corresponding to the ratings that roughly half a million users gave to a total of nearly eighteen thousand movies. Netflix was cognizant of privacy concerns: it turns out that in the United States, movie rental records are subject to surprisingly tough privacy laws. The Video Privacy Protection Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1988, after Robert Bork’s video rentals were published in the Washington City Paper during his Supreme Court nomination hearings. The law holds any video rental provider liable for up to $2,500 in damages per customer whose records are released. So, just as the state of Massachusetts had done, Netflix removed all user identifiers. Each user was instead represented with a unique but meaningless numeric ID. This time there was no demographic information at all: no gender, no zip code.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

In each country, a particular incident will initially raise the issues at stake in dramatic fashion and drive public demand, similar to what has happened in the United States. A federal statute was passed in 1994 prohibiting state departments of motor vehicles from sharing personal information after a series of high-profile abuses of that information, including the murder of a prominent actress by a stalker. In 1988, following the leak of the late Judge Robert Bork’s video-rental information during the Supreme Court nomination process, Congress passed the Video Privacy Protection Act, criminalizing disclosure of personally identifiable rental information without customer consent.6 While all of this digital chaos will be a nuisance to democratic societies, it will not destroy the democratic system. Institutions and polities will be left intact, if slightly battered.

a subsequent August 2012 apology: Laura Bashraheel, “Hamza Kashgari’s Poem from Prison,” Saudi Gazette (Jeddah), last updated Tuesday, August 21, 2012, http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20120821133653. murder of a prominent actress by a stalker: “The Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and the Privacy of Your State Motor Vehicle Record,” Electronic Privacy Information Center, accessed October 13, 2012, http://epic.org/privacy/drivers/. leak of the late Judge Robert Bork’s video-rental information: “Existing Federal Privacy Laws,” Center for Democracy and Technology, accessed October 13, 2012, https://www.cdt.org/privacy/guide/protect/laws.php#vpp. Texas lawsuit: “Harris v. Blockbuster,” Electronic Privacy Information Center, accessed October 13, 2012, http://epic.org/amicus/blockbuster/default.html; Cathryn Elaine Harris, Mario Herrera, and Maryam Hosseiny v.


pages: 154 words: 47,880

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert B. Reich

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, Gordon Gekko, immigration reform, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, job automation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

President Woodrow Wilson explained the danger of excessive economic and political power in his 1913 book, The New Freedom: “I do not expect to see monopoly restrain itself. If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it.” In subsequent years antitrust enforcement waxed or waned depending on the administration in office. Yet after 1980 it all but disappeared. The new view, popularized by Yale Law School professor, and subsequently judge, Robert Bork was that large corporate size produced economies of scale, which were good for consumers, and anything that was good for consumers was good for America. Political considerations became irrelevant. Power was no longer at issue. This was exactly the message that America’s emerging corporate oligarchy wanted to hear. They used the façade of Bork’s pinched academic analysis to justify killing off antitrust


pages: 596 words: 163,682

The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind by Raghuram Rajan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, data acquisition, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial repression, full employment, future of work, global supply chain, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

In the critical sector of information technology, media, and communications, the Economist magazine found the top four firms now accounted for nearly 50 percent of the revenue.49 Concentration has been made easier by a more lax antitrust environment, as argued by my colleague Sam Peltzman.50 Right until the early 1980s, antitrust authorities were quite active in preventing mergers that increased industry concentration substantially. The legal scholar Robert Bork (yes, he of the failed Supreme Court nomination) argued in his book The Antitrust Paradox in 1978 that it is possible that rising concentration in an industry may reflect gains in market share for more efficient players rather than growing monopolization.51 He urged antitrust regulators to focus on whether the consumer was better off rather than whether industry was dominated by a few firms. In a sense, Bork pushed for a focus on outcomes such as whether the customer got a better price rather than whether the industry structure and processes would allow it to be monopolized.

Of course, average size would also increase if small firms no longer enter. 48. See Sam Peltzman, “Industrial Concentration under the Rule of Reason,” The Journal of Law and Economics 57, no. S3 (August 2014): S101–20. 49. “Too Much of a Good Thing,” The Economist, March 26, 2016, https://www.economist.com/briefing/2016/03/26/too-much-of-a-good-thing. 50. Sam Peltzman, “Industrial Concentration.” 51. Robert Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War With Itself (New York: Basic Books, 1978). 52. “AT&T and Time Warner Are Cleared to Merge,” The Economist, June 16, 2018, https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21744068-more-consolidation-will-follow-consumers-ought-worry-att-and-time-warner-are-cleared?frsc=dge. 53. Grullon et al., “Are US Industries Becoming More Concentrated?” 54. See John Van Reenen, “Increasing Differences Between Firms: Market Power and the Macro-Economy,” paper presented at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, August 2018, https://www.kansascityfed.org/~/media/files/publicat/sympos/2018/papersandhandouts/824180729van%20reenenpaper.pdf?


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

In 1995 George Gilder wrote, “Bohemian values have come to prevail over bourgeois virtue in sexual morals and family roles, arts and letters, bureaucracies and universities, popular culture and public life. As a result, culture and family life are widely in chaos, cities seethe with venereal plagues, schools and colleges fall to obscurantism and propaganda, the courts are a carnival of pettifoggery.” In 1996 Robert Bork’s bestseller, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, argued that the forces of the sixties have spread cultural rot across mainstream America. In 1999 William Bennett argued, “Our culture celebrates self-gratification, the crossing of all moral barriers, and now the breaking of all social taboos.” But if you look around upscale America, it’s not all chaos and amoralism, even among the sexual avant-gardists at the Arizona Power Exchange.


pages: 324 words: 80,217

The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, charter city, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, ghettoisation, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hive mind, Hyperloop, immigration reform, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Islamic Golden Age, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, megacity, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Oculus Rift, open borders, out of africa, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, QAnon, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social web, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, women in the workforce, Y2K

The culprits in this account include the Democratic Party reformers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who broke the power of the party bosses and unwittingly made dealmaking and compromise that much harder; Newt Gingrich, who transformed the early-1990s Republican minority into something much more like a parliamentary party, ideologically zealous and centralized around his leadership; Fox News and talk radio, which ratified this shift by holding Republican politicians to impossible standards of ideological purity; the rise of similar ideological enforcers on the left, from the Bush-era netroots, to MSNBC, to the activist left of the late Obama years; and then the politicians of both parties who saw advantage in consistently breaking the informal norms that kept Washington working, beginning with the Democratic defeat of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 and escalating through nomination battles thereafter, all the way to Mitch McConnell’s pocket veto of Merrick Garland, the slow death of the filibuster, and whatever happens next. But the deeper problem, according to this diagnosis, is that the American Constitution, in its very design, tends to break down when ideological conflict grows too intense. All those Madisonian checks and balances and veto points require some form of cooperation, but with ideological parties cooperation becomes increasingly impossible, and no branch has the kind of buck-stops-here position that the prime minister’s office occupies in many parliamentary systems.


pages: 550 words: 124,073

Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism Through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen, David Soskice

Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, implied volatility, income inequality, industrial cluster, inflation targeting, invisible hand, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, means of production, mittelstand, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, passive investing, precariat, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban decay, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, working-age population, World Values Survey, young professional, zero-sum game

In the EU, competition policy has emerged as one of the most important functions of the Commission, with a powerful Commissioner for Competition (even if its highly technical nature draws little attention in the social science literature) (Cini and McGowan 1998; McGowan 2010). In the United States, antitrust law, of course, builds on the Sherman Act of 1890 and the Clayton Act of 1914, but there is broad consensus that consumer-centered competition policies have been notably strengthened since the late 1970s, marked by the publication of Robert Bork’s The Antitrust Paradox in 1978 (see Hovenkamp 2015). FIGURE 4.4. Inflation rates before and after adoption of inflation targetingl. Notes: Dates inflation targeting was first adapted: 1) Reserve Bank of New Zealand, April 1988; 2) Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish central bank), January 1993; 3) Reserve Bank of Australia, March 1993. The United States had no formal inflation target over most of this period but did adopt a target of 2 percent in January 2012.


pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

In 1987, what had once been the dramatic sideshows of politics became the main event: the candidate and his humiliated wife under the hot lights, the nominee at the televised hearing table talking through and around and against his own past, the ideologues and interest groups on each side of every question large and small mobilizing for total war, the daily excavation of old and recent sins in the life of a politician, the momentum building to a crescendo, the reporters a pack of wild dogs outracing one another on the blood scent of some powerful but wounded quarry. In 1987, there was Gary Hart, there was Robert Bork, and there was Joe Biden—the last two happening at the same moment. Inside the campaign, the two weeks after the Kinnock story were a frantic nightmare, every day a new shock. But in retrospect, the dénouement looked as mechanical and inevitable as an ancient sacrificial rite at the center of a tribal culture. The candidate vows to carry on and tries to ignore the baying of the hounds. The media keep drawing more blood.

“I’m angry with myself for having been put in this position—for having put myself in this position,” Biden announced to the firing squad of cameras. “And, lest I say something that might be somewhat sarcastic, I should go to the Bork hearings.” With that, Biden went to the Senate Caucus Room on the third floor and took his seat as chairman of the Judiciary Committee hearings that would lead to the defeat of Judge Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court and begin Biden’s political rehabilitation. Connaughton was shell-shocked. His hero had been exposed as a phony, reduced from White House material to national joke in two weeks. “His strength, he claimed, was his ability to speak and move people,” Connaughton said. “Then, when it appeared he was borrowing other people’s words, that completely undermined it.” Now Connaughton didn’t know what to do: his life was suddenly directionless.


pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin

affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, plutocrats, Plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

A new “right” became widely (and often indignantly) defended across the American landscape. And yet, Prosserʼs four categories are far from universally accepted. Nor have we begun to see more than a glimmer of their implications for the electronic age. Although much of the legal activity surrounding privacy is taking place in the turbid realm of torts, there has also been some legislation by statute. For instance, when Judge Robert H. Bork was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, some journalists obtained his video rental records, presumably to learn if he had kinky tastes. Outraged by this intrusion, Congress passed the Video Privacy Act, outlawing this narrowly specific invasion of privacy. As yet, there is no comparable protection for books or periodicals, or even our medical histories. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives individuals access to their records and limits disclosure of credit files.

Even as we plunge into the electronic age, legal scholars keep hedging, backtracking, and disagreeing over the constantly shifting borderline between the essential interests of the individual and the practical needs of an urban state. This chaos is especially noteworthy when we compare it to the way certain other rights, especially that of free speech, are treated as quasi-religions essences and defended with rulings that are fierce in their sweeping, uncompromising clarity. Robert Bork is among the many jurists who have called privacy a “derived” right, not a basic one, like free speech. What does tend to come through many recent privacy decisions is the following: 1. The “right to be let alone,” to go about our lives free from unreasonable interference by external forces, has become somewhat accepted as a guiding principle of common law. 2. A ruling of “unreasonable interference” is more probable if the plaintiff faces actual harm or active obstacles to exercising personal sovereignty.


Culture of Terrorism by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, David Brooks, failed state, Farzad Bazoft, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, union organizing

Treasury Secretary James Baker commented that “President Reagan has granted more import relief to U.S. industry than any of his predecessors in more than half a century.” Lindley Clark, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 24, 1987. In short, not a limited state, but a more powerful one, which serves the wealthy and privileged. 3. Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of constitutional law at the University of Southern California, speaking for a group of lawyers opposing the nomination of Judge Robert Bork, reflecting the views of civil libertarians rather generally; Bernard Weinraub, NYT, Aug. 29, 1987. A principle that emerges with still greater clarity is that where there’s business versus anyone, business wins. On Bork’s muddled thinking and “fake” scholarship, see Ronald Dworkin, New York Review, Aug. 13, 1987; Arthur Schlesinger, WSJ, Sept. 24, 1987. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of his hearings was his bland dismissal of his academic work, as not to be taken seriously, an interesting attitude towards the profession, and towards integrity. 4.


pages: 401 words: 109,892

The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets by Thomas Philippon

airline deregulation, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, commoditize, crack epidemic, cross-subsidies, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, gig economy, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, intangible asset, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, law of one price, liquidity trap, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Their doctrine was supported by the structure-performance-conduct paradigm of Edward Chamberlin and Joan Robinson in the 1930s. It viewed the market as a structure influencing the conduct of businesses and the performance of the industry. This set of ideas and principles came to be known as the Harvard School of antitrust. The Chicago School brought a counterrevolution in the 1970s which tried to put economic efficiency at the center of antitrust policy. Robert Bork’s highly influential book, The Antitrust Paradox, marked a shift in policy in 1978. As IO economists John Kwoka and Lawrence White (2014) explain, “the skepticism and even some hostility toward big business that characterized the initial period of antitrust have been replaced by current policy that evaluates market structure and business practices differently.” For instance, an idea from the Chicago School is that high concentration does not necessarily imply market power as long as the threat of entry is real, that is, as long as the market is contestable.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Roosevelt put it in an address to Congress in 1938, “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.” But right around the time that all those jobs were offshored to China, the government started to change its mind on the monopoly threat. In his seminal 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox, Robert Bork, the failed Reagan nominee for the Supreme Court, argued that corporate mergers benefited consumers by providing lower prices and promoting greater business efficiency. The government should stop focusing on ensuring competition for competition’s sake, he thought, and instead focus on consumer welfare. Washington concurred, and in time it became easier both for companies to buy up their supply chains and for them to buy up their competitors.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

The key was earnest profession of a good no one could dispute: making America the best-connected nation on earth by bringing the wonder of the telephone into every American home. Appropriating the most appealing rhetoric of the Independents, and arguing persuasively that the Bell system could get the job done more effectively, Vail turned his monopoly into a patriotic cause. There is a long-running debate in the field of antitrust theory as to what should matter when judging the conduct of a monopolist. Robert Bork, the onetime federal judge and notoriously rejected Supreme Court candidate, is famous for arguing that the corporation’s intent, whether malign or beneficent, should be irrelevant.24 Yet as Bork himself knew, for most of the history of antitrust, attitude is everything, even if market efficiencies are supposed to matter most. This was something Vail seemed to understand intuitively: that antitrust, perhaps all law, is ultimately pliable by perceptions of right and wrong, good and evil.

Danielian himself was drawing on a three-volume FCC document entitled Telephone Investigation: Special Investigation Docket, Report on Control of Telephone Communication, Control of Independent Companies (1936–37). 22. The settlement is discussed in Mueller, Universal Service, 130. 23. The government reaction to the agreement is covered in Brooks, Telephone, 136. 24. Bork’s opinion on the irrelevance of corporate intent can be read in Robert H. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox (New York: Basic Books, 1978), 38–39. 25. This quote is in Theodore Vail, “Some Observations on Modern Tendencies,” Educational Review vol. 51, February 1916, 109, 129. 26. Mueller, Universal Service, 146. CHAPTER 4: THE TIME IS NOT RIPE FOR FEATURE FILMS 1. For a more detailed account of this initial meeting (and an excellent history of the rise of the American film industry), see James Forsher, The Community of Cinema: How Cinema and Spectacle Transformed the American Downtown (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2003), 30–32. 2.


pages: 462 words: 129,022

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, greed is good, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, late fees, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, two-sided market, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working-age population

They focused their attention on the latter, in the belief that the likelihood that any noncompetitive practice could survive was, in any case, low. 67.The Supreme Court seemed to buy this argument in Brooke Group Ltd. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 509 U.S. 209 (1993). Even at the time that these arguments were first put forward by Chicago lawyers, for instance by Robert Bork, they were skewered by economists such as Nobel Prize winner Oliver Williamson in “Review of The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself by Robert H. Bork,” University of Chicago Law Review 46, no. 2 (1979): 10. Developments of economic theory since then have reinforced these conclusions. It’s ironic that at the same time the US has made it difficult to win a predatory pricing case within the country, it’s easy to win the analogous case when charging foreign companies with unfair trade practices, charging prices below costs. 68.Currently, the burden falls on the plaintiff (the party claiming that the firm is acting in a noncompetitive way) to show that the anticompetitive effects outweigh the efficiency gains.


pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega

Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, Donald Davies, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, market design, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, peer-to-peer, performance metric, pirate software, Robert Bork, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

They need to know what is being sold and, so they think, to whom. People have different instinctual reactions to the existence of these databases. Some welcome them and see the efficiency as a net gain for society (Brin 1998). Others fret about how the information might be used for other purposes. We have laws protecting the movie rental records of people because the data became a focal point during the Senate confirmation hearings of Robert Bork (Etzioni 1999). Times and mores change, and no one knows what will be made of this information in the future. Cigarette smoking was once widespread and an accepted way to push the pause button on life. Now, companies fire people for smoking to save medical costs. What will the society of the future do with your current purchase records? A store selling clothes might try to placate customer worries by announcing a privacy policy and pledging to keep it locked up, a strategy that often works until some breach happens.


pages: 403 words: 119,206

Toward Rational Exuberance: The Evolution of the Modern Stock Market by B. Mark Smith

bank run, banking crisis, business climate, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, compound rate of return, computerized trading, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, income inequality, index arbitrage, index fund, joint-stock company, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market clearing, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, price stability, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, stocks for the long run, the market place, transaction costs

Had it not been for the Fed’s timely intervention, it seems quite likely that the stock market panic of 1987 could have provoked a broader financial panic, which would have done great damage to the overall economy. In the days following the crash, many people rushed forward to offer explanations for what had happened. The market break was said to be the result of the failure of the Senate to confirm Robert Bork to the Supreme Court (showing Reagan to be a lame duck), mistaken Fed monetary policy (either too tight or too loose), or concerns about the ever-present budget and trade deficits. Donald Trump said that there were “too many things wrong with the country” and claimed that he had sold out all his stocks before the crash.7 One explanation that received a great deal of attention involved proposed legislation to disallow tax deductions for interest paid on money borrowed to finance corporate takeovers.


pages: 717 words: 196,908

The Idea of Decline in Western History by Arthur Herman

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, David Attenborough, European colonialism, George Santayana, ghettoisation, hiring and firing, Joan Didion, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile

America’s perceived failures are in fact the failures that nineteenth-century intellectuals attributed to their own industrial civilization. The crucial difference is that these criticisms are now embedded in the fabric of mass culture. We live in an era of pop pessimism, with all the problems and limitations that cultural perspective tends to create. Contemporary pessimism does not surface just in gloomy tracts like Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind or Robert Bork’s Slouching Toward Gommorah. We see it popularized in futuristic films like The Road Warrior, Total Recall, Waterworld, and Escape from New York, whose implicit messages are all derived from cultural pessimist models. They present a future in which traditional standards of barbarism and civilization are deliberately inverted. “Normal” civil society has become repressive, decadent, devoid of creativity, and profoundly antinatural: its technologies have led it to the brink of destruction, if (as in The Terminator and The Road Warrior) they have not already destroyed it.

But it should remind us of a salient point: that the cultural pessimist uses the historical pessimist in order to gain a secure foothold in popular culture. Without Jacob Burckhardt’s gloomy vision of the European future, Nietzsche’s nihilist vitalism would have seemed ludicrous. Without an Oswald Spengler pronouncing the bourgeois West extinct, the German revolution of the Right would have lacked its sense of historical inevitability. When an Arnold Toynbee or Paul Kennedy or Kevin Phillips or Robert Bork solemnly writes our civilization’s epitaph, the cultural pessimists gather to celebrate at the wake. Do we conclude, then, that anyone with misgivings about the direction of modern society should keep silent, or that such misgivings are fanciful or the result of self-delusion? Certainly not. The effects of rapid industrialization in the nineteenth century were in fact deeply disruptive and inflicted pain on large numbers of people.


pages: 461 words: 128,421

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

According to students who were there, Levi would spend the first four days of the week explaining existing antitrust law, after which Director devoted the fifth to explaining why none of it made any economic sense. At first Levi bridled, but eventually he was won over by Director’s relentless economic logic. So were the students. “A lot of us who took the antitrust course or the economics course underwent what can only be called a religious conversion,” said Robert Bork, who studied law at Chicago in the early 1950s. “It changed our view of the entire world.”18 Many of Director’s students went on to make his economics teachings the focal point of their careers. An academic movement had been launched. Director’s main message was that things happened in the business world for a reason, and that when one looked hard enough one would usually find Adam Smith’s invisible hand at work—even at General Motors.


pages: 265 words: 93,231

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

Asperger Syndrome, asset-backed security, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, forensic accounting, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, John Meriwether, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, medical residency, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Robert Bork, short selling, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, too big to fail, value at risk, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

And that banks that used it were really just banking on being able to rip off poor people even more than they could if they charged them for their checks." Eisman asked, "Are any regulators interested in this?" "No," said Sandler. "That's when I decided the system was really, 'Fuck the poor.'" In his youth, Eisman had been a strident Republican. He joined right-wing organizations, voted for Reagan twice, and even loved Robert Bork. It wasn't until he got to Wall Street, oddly, that his politics drifted left. He attributed his first baby steps back to the middle of the political spectrum to the end of the cold war. "I wasn't as right-wing because there wasn't as much to be right-wing about." By the time Household's CEO, Bill Aldinger, collected his $100 million, Eisman was on his way to becoming the financial market's first socialist.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

While it was originally intended to apply to a broad range of public and private databases to parallel the HEW report, the Act was amended before passage to apply only to government agencies’ records.4 Congress never enacted a comparable comprehensive regulatory scheme for private databases. Instead, private databases are regulated only in narrow areas of sensitivity such as credit reports (addressed by a complex scheme passed in 1970 affecting the handful of credit reporting agencies)5 and video rental data,6 which has been protected since Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental history was leaked to a newspaper during his confirmation process in 1987.7 The HEW report expresses a basic template for dealing with the informational privacy problem: first, a sensitivity is identified at some stage of the information production process—the gathering, storage, or dissemination of one’s private information—and then a legal regime is proposed to restrict these activities to legitimate ends.


pages: 467 words: 149,632

If Then: How Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, anti-communist, Buckminster Fuller, computer age, coronavirus, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, game design, George Gilder, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, Howard Zinn, index card, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, land reform, linear programming, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, packet switching, Peter Thiel, profit motive, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

Haldeman that “an amazing number of people around Harvard and MIT are extremely upset at the prospect of McGovern’s nomination” and named “one particular” individual that the Nixon campaign ought to reach out to: Ithiel de Sola Pool.24 By October, Pool had been named an honorary vice chair of Democrats for Nixon.25 He joined Scholars for the President, with fifty-four other academics, including Irving Kristol, Milton Friedman, and Robert Bork, and signed a letter published in the New York Times on October 15, supporting the Committee for the Re-election of the President.26 While Pool avowed Nixon, Popkin’s persecution at the hands of the Nixon Justice Department became a national political cause. As the New York Times reported on November 1, the grand jury had become entangled “in an almost impenetrable thicket of legal objections raised by a group of doggedly recalcitrant witnesses.”


pages: 918 words: 257,605

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

Be the Friction This promise of democracy reflects an enduring lesson that I absorbed from Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago as a nineteen-year-old undergraduate wedged in the back of a seminar room and straining to hear his instruction of the Chilean doctoral candidates who would soon lead their country to cataclysm, marching under the Friedman-Hayek flag. The professor was an optimist and a tireless educator who believed that legislative and judicial action invariably reflect the public opinion of twenty to thirty years earlier. It was an insight that he and Hayek—the two have been described as “soul mates and adversaries”—had crafted and transformed into systematic strategies and tactics.70 As Hayek told Robert Bork in a 1978 interview, “I’m operating on public opinion. I don’t even believe that before public opinion has changed, a change in the law will do any good… the primary thing is to change opinion.…”71 Friedman’s conviction oriented him toward the long game as he threw himself into the distinctly nonacademic project of neoliberal evangelism with a steady stream of popular articles, books, and television programs.

Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014), 571. 69. Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 573. For a wise and elegant defense of democracy, see also Wendy Brown, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (New York: Zone, 2015). 70. Roger W. Garrison, “Hayek and Friedman,” in Elgar Companion to Hayekian Economics, ed. Norman Barry (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2014). 71. Friedrich Hayek, interview by Robert Bork, November 4, 1978, Center for Oral History Research, University of California, Los Angeles, http://oralhistory.library.ucla.edu. 72. Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (Cambridge, MA: Polity, 2000); Fernand Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), 1:620. 73. Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, 614–15. 74. Roberto M. Unger, Free Trade Reimagined: The World Division of Labor and the Method of Economics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), 8, 41 (italics mine). 75.


pages: 581 words: 162,518

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by Adam Winkler

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, desegregation, Donald Trump, financial innovation, glass ceiling, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, obamacare, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, yellow journalism

Fighting the Second Bank’s fight, Webster was able to defeat the nomination, humiliating Taney, who became the first cabinet nominee in American history rejected by the Senate.37 It is tempting to believe that Washington today suffers from unprecedented rancor and partisanship, especially when it comes to the judicial confirmation process. Critics often point to the Senate’s 1987 rejection of Robert Bork, an outspoken conservative nominated by President Ronald Reagan, as the turning point. Yet politics in the 1830s was equally divisive, if not more so, and Webster was one of the most aggressive partisan warriors. Unsatisfied with merely embarrassing Taney by defeating his cabinet nomination, Webster in 1834 organized a Senate censure of both Taney and Jackson. Nonetheless, when a seat opened up on the Supreme Court, Jackson submitted Taney’s name again.


pages: 589 words: 167,680

The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism by Steve Kornacki

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, computer age, David Brooks, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, illegal immigration, immigration reform, mass immigration, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

“Too often,” he told a New York audience in mid-October, “on social issues, my party has painted an image of America slouching toward Gomorrah. Too often, my party has focused on the national economy, to the exclusion of all else, speaking a sterile language of rates and numbers, of CBO and GNP. Too often my party has confused the need for limited government with a disdain for government itself.” Slouching Towards Gomorrah was also the title of a recent polemic by Robert Bork, whose 1987 Supreme Court nomination was scotched after Democrats branded him a dangerous ideologue. To the right, Bork would forever be a hero, and it was customary for Republican office seekers to pay homage to his martyrdom. Bush’s signaling was clear. He was looking for ways to defy the Puritan caricature voters were now attaching to Republican politicians. It was the bargain his bandwagon signed up for.


Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

Finally, no account of big progressive money in Hollywood would be complete without mention of Norman Lear, who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, thanks to his hit sitcoms of the 1970s, such as All in the Family and Sanford and Son. Lear is no ordinary Hollywood political donor. Although he has given nearly as much money to the Democrats as Geffen or Spielberg has, he made his biggest mark by founding People for the American Way in 1981. The group was formed to push back against the evangelical right, and it emerged as the leading opponent of Reagan’s judicial appointments—for example, Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Lear has also given c08.indd 176 5/11/10 6:24:52 AM left-coast money 177 money to a variety of progressive organizations, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council. The liberal leanings of some of the entertainment industry’s most successful leaders help explain why Democrats are awash in Hollywood money (and why they rarely criticize the trashy, violent, and just plain dumb cultural products coming out of that town).


Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, affirmative action, airline deregulation, Alistair Cooke, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, death of newspapers, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, energy security, equal pay for equal work, facts on the ground, feminist movement, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shock, open borders, Potemkin village, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, traveling salesman, unemployed young men, union organizing, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, wages for housework, walking around money, War on Poverty, white flight, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The book’s unique contribution, however, was this recommendation: “Funds generated by business… must rush by the multimillions to the aid of liberty” to “funnel desperately needed funds to scholars, social scientists, writers and journalists who understand the relationship between political and economic liberty”—a “counterintelligentsia” that would produce “a reservoir of antiauthoritarian scholarship on which to draw.” Otherwise, conservatism was “destined to remain the Stupid Party and die.” The Times case study of the new counterintelligentsia was the American Enterprise Institute. In 1970, it had employed twenty-four people on a budget of less than $1 million. It now employed more than five times that on a budget of $7 million. Distinguished fellows included Robert Bork, a former solicitor general of the United States, whose students at Yale Law School nicknamed his course on anti-trust law “Pro-Trust”; a former president of the American Political Science Association; and the most recent former president of… the United States. They published eight periodicals, produced “a ready-made set of editorials sent regularly to 105 newspapers and public affairs programs carried on more than 300 television stations, and centers for the display of AEI materials in some 300 college libraries.”

This was radical even among conservative Republicans; so much so that the right-wing group that spawned the movement Brown was joining, the National Taxpayers Union, was alarmed. They had won approval in twenty-six out of the thirty-four state legislatures the Constitution required to convene such a convention by organizing under the radar. Now that Brown had flushed the idea into the open, other conservatives came out of the woodwork to denounce it. Robert Bork said constitutional conventions were “the last resort of foundering nations, not the casual practice of a successful one.” Barry Goldwater called the idea “a tragic mistake.” President Carter, for his part, called it “extremely dangerous.” Brown harbored ambitions to do what Ronald Reagan had: challenge a sitting president from his own party. Carter advisors dismissed him as an attention-starved fool.

* * * IN JANUARY REPUBLICANS MET AT the Tidewater Inn for their annual retreat. For the second year in a row, they left in a warm glow of unity after passing a slate of resolutions that leaned far to the right. They overwhelmingly rejected the proposal of the radical National Taxpayers Union to call a constitutional convention for a balanced budget amendment—but overwhelmingly endorsed a bill drafted by Milton Friedman and Robert Bork to achieve the same result through the normal legislative process; and Washington conventional wisdom on fiscal policy ratcheted several clicks to the right. George Will gloatingly compared the Maryland resort to where the Bolsheviks plotted their overthrow of the Romanov dynasty: “Comes the revolution, the Tidewater Inn here will be regarded as America’s equivalent of the Smolny Institute.” Irving Kristol’s face smiled out from the cover of the February 13 issue of Esquire.


pages: 494 words: 132,975

Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott

"Robert Solow", airport security, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, collective bargaining, complexity theory, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, if you build it, they will come, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, New Journalism, Northern Rock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, pushing on a string, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

Nash (1945– ), American historian, authority on Herbert Hoover, and author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945 (Basic Books, New York, 1976). 18 Nash, Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, p. 26. 19 George Joseph Stigler (1911–91) who, after researching for the Manhattan Project, became a leading member of the University of Chicago School of Economics and protégé of Frank Knight, who won a Nobel Prize for economics in 1982. 20 John Jewkes (1902–88), professor of economic organization at Merton College, Oxford. 21 Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902–94), former Marxist Viennese-born British scientific philosopher and advocate of the hypercritical liberal democratic tradition that forms the “open society.” 22 Dame (Cicely) Veronica “C. V.” Wedgwood (1910–97), English historian and biographer of leading figures of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly the English Civil War and the Thirty Years’ War. 23 Aaron Director (1901–2004), former leftist radical whose teaching at the University of Chicago Law School influenced leading right-leaning American justices, including Robert Bork, Richard Posner, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist. 24 Milton Friedman and Rose D. Friedman, Two Lucky People: Memoirs (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998), p. 158. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid., p. 159. After 1957, when his children were old enough to be left alone in the United States, Milton Friedman, often accompanied by his wife, Rose, made the annual Mont Pelerin meeting his summer vacation.


pages: 465 words: 134,575

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces by Radley Balko

anti-communist, call centre, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, desegregation, edge city, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, moral panic, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan

Under Turner, it became an enforcement office. Underlying all of this focus on pot was a surge of cultural conservatism into positions of power in the new administration. The late 1960s and early 1970s had seen the emergence of a movement of conservative intellectuals. Periodicals like Commentary, The Public Interest, and occasionally National Review were featuring think pieces from people like Robert Bork, Ernest van den Haag, James Q. Wilson, and James Burnham. Where someone like George Wallace openly appealed to base prejudices, and the Moral Majority might openly cite the Bible as an authority when discussing public policy, the right’s emerging tweed caucus intellectualized the culture wars. They made essentially the same points that Nixon political strategists had made among themselves in memos and behind closed doors, only with more erudition, and more for public consumption.


pages: 470 words: 130,269

The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas by Janek Wasserman

Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, Internet Archive, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, New Journalism, New Urbanism, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, price stability, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game, éminence grise

By dint of his efforts, Hoover became the primary location for Austrian School correspondence—Haberler’s and Machlup’s respective papers also ended up there, as did the archives of the IHS. Meanwhile Heritage invited Hayek to Washington on several occasions for conferences and the conferral of a distinguished fellowship. Hayek was feted at a Heritage Foundation conference on constitutional economics in 1985, which included conservative stalwarts Robert Bork, James Buchanan, William Niskanen, Mancur Olson, Gordon Tullock, and others. In Washington, he shared stages with old friends from Vienna (Haberler and Machlup) and Chicago (Milton Friedman and George Stigler). He participated in several conferences at AEI that Haberler helped organize. Cato paid the salary of his English-language secretary in the late 1970s, and he was its guest of honor at a 1984 conference titled “Planning America: Government vs. the Market.”


pages: 518 words: 143,914

God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, David Brooks, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus

“The enemy in America” he argued, “is the tyrannical and indifferent majority: the good people, the churchgoers, the typical Americans.”9 But Neuhaus and Novak eventually broke with their radical past, dismissing the 1960s as a “slum of a decade.” They feuded with their former comrades, and moved smartly to the right, in due time finding a comfortable home in the bosom of the conservative establishment. The guests at Neuhaus’s ordination ceremony to the Catholic priesthood included Buckley and Robert Bork, the right’s leading judicial thinker; George W. Bush referred to him simply as “Father Richard.” Novak is now a cardinal in the Papal College of neoconservatism, the American Enterprise Institute. (When he first arrived at the AEI, some of the economists and social policy people seemed at a loss as to what to make of a scholar of religion, wondering if he was there to say grace; now they defer to him.)


pages: 475 words: 134,707

The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra

If a company gets big by innovating and competing, its harms emanate not from being a monopoly but from practices that themselves deserve our regulatory attention. If we focus on breaking up Facebook as a cure-all, we will distract ourselves from legislating and regulating the root causes of the harms created by the Hype Machine. Since the 1970s, U.S. antitrust law has been dominated by a “consumer welfare” perspective—defined by Yale law professor and appellate judge Robert Bork and promoted by the Chicago School of Economics—that narrowly interprets consumer harm from uncompetitive markets as the result of higher prices (and secondarily from restricted output and reduced quality). But this narrow view misses Facebook entirely. Facebook is free. Consumers aren’t harmed by Facebook’s ability to charge higher prices because Facebook doesn’t charge consumers to begin with.


pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, MITM: man-in-the-middle, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

As a member of the law school faculty, Director helped found the Chicago School of thought on antitrust law, which claimed the American application of antitrust laws to break up large companies was often misguided and restrained economic growth, and these ideas became the foundation of Ronald Reagan’s weakened antitrust enforcement in the 1980s. Director’s students at the Chicago law school included future outspoken federal judges Robert Bork and Richard Posner, whose conservative views later had wide influence. Hayek was ultimately given a position on the university’s Committee for Social Thought, not in its economics department. It is possible that the economics faculty, fully understanding how influential he was in redirecting their theoretical work, did not want to acknowledge him. But the more extremist and overtly political turn the Chicago economics department had taken under Director and Friedman’s influence disturbed the old guard, whom Friedman nevertheless ever after cited as his admired mentors.


pages: 924 words: 198,159

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill

air freight, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, Columbine, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, stem cell, urban planning, zero-sum game

which bluntly questioned “whether we have reached or are reaching the point where conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime.”19 A series of essays raised the prospect of a major confrontation between the church and the “regime,” at times seeming to predict a civil-war scenario or Christian insurrection against the government, exploring possibilities “ranging from noncompliance to resistance to civil disobedience to morally justified revolution.”20 Erik Prince’s close friend, political collaborator, and beneficiary Chuck Colson authored one of the five major essays of the issue, as did extremist Judge Robert Bork, whom Reagan had tried unsuccessfully to appoint to the Supreme Court in 1987. “Americans are not accustomed to speaking of a regime. Regimes are what other nations have,” asserted the symposium’s unsigned introduction. “This symposium asks whether we may be deceiving ourselves and, if we are, what are the implications of that self-deception. By the word ‘regime’ we mean the actual, existing system of government.


pages: 519 words: 155,332

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--And Those Fighting to Reverse It by Steven Brill

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, future of work, ghettoisation, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of radio, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, old-boy network, paper trading, performance metric, post-work, Potemkin village, Powell Memorandum, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

Whatever the reason, and it is probably a combination of all of these changes and more, politics has become uglier than the relative civility that prevailed in Allen Drury’s Washington. The players on opposite sides and even many on the same team don’t like each other, and they do little to hide it. Some, mostly Republicans, date the beginning of the ugliness to the Democrats’ fierce opposition to Robert Bork, a brilliant judge whom the Democrats attacked relentlessly as they blocked President Reagan’s bid to appoint him to the Supreme Court in 1987. More observers, including many Republicans, date it to the rise of Newt Gingrich, whose ascendance began at about the same time as the Bork war. In 1974, Gingrich was a restless history professor at West Georgia College. His first foray into politics had been working for liberal New York governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1968, when Rockefeller lost the Republican nomination to Richard Nixon.


America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism by Anatol Lieven

American ideology, British Empire, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, income inequality, laissez-faire capitalism, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, moral panic, new economy, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, World Values Survey, Y2K

Richard Deveson (New York: Arnold, 1995), pp. 166ff; David Blackbourn, The Long 19th Century: A History of Germany 1780-1918 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), introduction; Klaus Epstein, The Genesis of German Conservatism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966). Sean Hannity, "The Battle over Competing Visions of the Family and Family Values," speech at United Families International Conference, November 21-22, 2003, at www.unitedfamilies.org. See also Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (New York: Regan Books, 1997); D'Souza, What's So Great About America, also raises the question of whether "an open society, where such criticisms are permitted and even encouraged, has the fortitude and will to resist external assault." 228 N O T E S TO P A G E S 28-33 45. Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth Century America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), p. 35. 46.


pages: 495 words: 144,101

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns

anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, creative destruction, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

He was among a handful of senators who voted against the bill, a sweeping piece of legislation intended to address the intractable legacy of racial discrimination in the South. Goldwater’s vote was based on principles he had held for years. A firm supporter of state’s rights, he was alarmed at the expansive powers granted the federal government under the act. Following the analysis of his friends William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, he also believed the act was unconstitutional because it infringed on private property rights. In the scrum of electoral politics such distinctions were academic. Goldwater’s vote went down as a vote for segregation. Rand understood his action differently because she shared his individualistic perspective on rights and his belief that private property was sacrosanct. Unlike Goldwater, Rand was unimpressed with the doctrine of state’s rights, which “pertains to the division of power between local and national authorities. . . .


The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East by Andrew Scott Cooper

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Boycotts of Israel, energy security, falling living standards, friendly fire, full employment, interchangeable parts, Kickstarter, land reform, MITM: man-in-the-middle, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, unbiased observer, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Yom Kippur War

American television viewers watched in disbelief as news anchormen broke into regular late night broadcasting to report that President Nixon had fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, abolished the Watergate task force, and conducted a purge of his own Justice Department. Nixon accepted the resignation of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and sacked Richardson’s deputy, William Ruckelshaus, for disloyalty when both men refused Nixon’s order to fire Cox. (The number three Justice official Solicitor General Robert Bork fired Cox.) The calls for Nixon’s resignation came on a day when the country still lacked a vice president—nominee Gerald Ford had only begun the process to win congressional confirmation—and while the secretary of state was in Moscow conferring with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev on the war in the Middle East. King Faisal’s decision to cut off fuel supplies was bravely played down by a White House in the midst of chaos.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

See also Methaven's “ultraminimal state” and its Facestate project: Andrea Hyde, “Metahaven's Facestate,” Walker Art Center, December 13, 2011, http://www.walkerart.org/magazine/2011/metahavens-facestate. 41.  The confusion this sows is readily apparent in both attempts to curtail Google under the rubric of a trust “monopoly” and in the awkward rationales for why Google is actually not a monopoly. See judicial “originalist” Robert Bork's back-bending “What Does the Chicago School Teach About Internet Search and the Antitrust Treatment of Google,” Robert H. Bork and J. Gregory Sidak, Journal of Competition Law & Economics 8 (2012): 663–700. 42.  In a way, geopolitical reality is only catching up with the anticipations of the science fiction that has already explored the proliferation and institutionalization of data havens and data infrastructures, “community clouds,” cloud-based microreligions and macrostates, and others.


pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Joan Didion, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

When it comes to the intelligent designer, Behe suddenly jettisons all scientific scruples and does not question where the designer came from or how the designer works. And he ignores the overwhelming evidence that the process of evolution, far from being intelligent and purposeful, is wasteful and cruel. Nonetheless, Intelligent Design has been embraced by leading neoconservatives, including Irving Kristol, Robert Bork, Roger Kimball, and Gertrude Himmelfarb. Other conservative intellectuals have also sympathized with creationism for moral reasons, such as the law professor Philip Johnson, the writer William F. Buckley, the columnist Tom Bethell, and, disconcertingly, the bioethicist Leon Kass—chair of George W. Bush’s new Council on Bioethics and thus a shaper of the nation’s policies on biology and medicine.33 A story entitled “The Deniable Darwin” appeared, astonishingly, on the cover of Commentary, which means that a magazine that was once a leading forum for secular Jewish intellectuals is now more skeptical of evolution than is the Pope!


pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, industrial cluster, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mega-rich, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

Specter opposed Reagan’s spending cuts on Social Security, unemployment benefits, child health care, food stamps, and programs for the poor, and he fought against a ban on abortions and a constitutional amendment legalizing school prayer. National Review put Specter on its cover in 1983 as the “Worst GOP Senator.” But what most infuriated the hard-core Right was his vote in 1987 in the Senate Judiciary Committee against Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Specter’s no vote helped defeat Bork. The New Right smoldered. In 2004, the hard-core Right decided to purge Specter by challenging him in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary and intimidating other Senate RINO moderates. “If we beat Specter, we won’t have any trouble with wayward Republicans …,” asserted Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, a militantly anti-tax, anti-government right-wing group.


Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker

addicted to oil, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bob Geldof, buy low sell high, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, drone strike, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, South China Sea, stem cell, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Luttig joked as he entered the conference room to find a committee waiting for him. “I want my lawyer.” Everyone chuckled. Because he had served as a judge since 1991, Luttig’s record as a conservative was clearer, and most of the questions were designed to get a sense of who he was as a person. But it was not enough to evaluate candidates. The confirmation of Thomas and the failed nomination of Robert H. Bork made clear that Supreme Court selections had become another battleground in the political wars. By filibustering Bush’s appointments to lower courts in his first term, Senate Democrats had already demonstrated an appetite for the struggle. Bush was determined to be ready as his father had not been. Rove and Gonzales invited four conservative lawyers to lunch to ask them to coordinate outside interest groups for a confirmation fight: Boyden Gray, the White House counsel to Bush’s father; Jay Sekulow, counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a group formed by the televangelist Pat Robertson; Edwin Meese III, the attorney general under Ronald Reagan; and Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the conservative Federalist Society.

., two minutes before Bush even finished speaking, a well-connected conservative lawyer named Manuel Miranda sent out an e-mail message denouncing the choice to his expansive list of activists. “The reaction of many conservatives today will be that the president has made possibly the most unqualified choice since Abe Fortas, who had been the president’s lawyer,” Miranda wrote, referring to one of Lyndon Johnson’s choices for the Supreme Court. Within hours, other conservatives expressed disappointment, including William Kristol, David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Robert Bork, and Rush Limbaugh. While conservatives had been uncomfortable with some of Bush’s decisions before, like No Child Left Behind, Medicare, and Social Security, this was the first time they revolted in such an overt, unrestrained way. Cheney jumped in to defend the president’s choice, calling Limbaugh to vouch for Miers despite his own doubts. “I’m confident that she has a conservative judicial philosophy that you’d be comfortable with, Rush,” Cheney said.


pages: 613 words: 200,826

Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles by Michael Gross

Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Bernie Madoff, California gold rush, clean water, corporate raider, Donald Trump, estate planning, family office, financial independence, Irwin Jacobs, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, oil rush, passive investing, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Right to Buy, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Predators' Ball, transcontinental railway, yellow journalism

“I know it sounds not normal,” says Susie. “Other people have a lot of kids and they have animosity. Ted just didn’t. He’s logical … he’s really easy to get along with, he’s really funny, really great with kids, very generous, very giving in all ways. It’s not odd to us.” In his interview with the Times, Field was in full roar, comparing the religious right in America to Nazis, and defending his campaign against Robert Bork, a Ronald Reagan appointee to the Supreme Court, calling him “the most dangerous kind of monster.” That kind of talk and the kind of music Interscope promoted had put Field in the sights of then vice president Dan Quayle, who met with the daughter of a Texas state trooper who’d been shot by a fleeing suspect who was driving a stolen car and listening to Tupac Shakur’s Interscope album, 2pacalypse Now.


pages: 430 words: 109,064

13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson, James Kwak

American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Satyajit Das, sovereign wealth fund, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

Company annual and quarterly reports; GDP data from Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 1.1.5, available at http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Index.asp. Figures are as of September 2009. 82. “Officials Fear Systemic Risks of Bailout,” Marketplace, October 21, 2009, available at http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/10/21/pm-systemtic-risk/. 83. The origins of the Sherman Act of 1890 are unclear and remain controversial. See Robert H. Bork, “Legislative Intent and the Policy of the Sherman Act,” Journal of Law and Economics 9 (1966): 7–48; and George J. Stigler, “The Origins of the Sherman Act,” Journal of Legal Studies 14 (1985): 1–12. Thomas Hazlett argues it was a political compromise designed to provide Republican legislators “with a cosmetic defense on the trust question, in anticipation of the upcoming consumer-to-industry transfers in the McKinley Tariff,” and “it was not thought to do more than codify and federalize the common law.”


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Dreyfuss, ed. (Ox-ford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 131-32. 22 “Chicago school” analysts argued that a monopolist possesses a fixed amount of market power and therefore can extract only a fixed amount of monopoly profit from consumers, whether from one market or several. On this basis, they concluded that leverage of monopoly power from one market into another is impossible. See, e.g., Robert H. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself (New York: Basic Books, 1978); Richard A. Posner, Antitrust Law: An Economic Perspective (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976). More recent economic analyses have demonstrated several mechanisms by which market power in one market can be used to harm competition in another market. As Steven Salop and Craig Romaine put it: Post-Chicago economic analysis has suggested that there are a number of limiting assumptions required for this single monopoly profit theory to apply.


Virtual Competition by Ariel Ezrachi, Maurice E. Stucke

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, cloud computing, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate governance, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, demand response, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, double helix, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Firefox, framing effect, Google Chrome, index arbitrage, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, light touch regulation, linked data, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, Milgram experiment, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price discrimination, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, yield management

Department of Justice, March 2008). 6. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776). 7. Unilateral Conduct Working Group, Report on the Objectives of Unilateral Conduct Laws, Assessment of Dominance/Substantial Market Power, and State-Created Monopolies (Moscow: International Competition Network, May 2007), http://www.internationalcompetitionnetwork.org/uploads /library/doc353.pdf. 8. See, for example, Robert H. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself (New York: Basic Books, 1978); Richard A. Posner, “The Chicago School of Antitrust Analysis,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 127 (1978): 925, 933. 9. Posner, “The Chicago School of Antitrust Analysis.” 10. Justin Fox, The Myth of the Rational Market (New York: Harper Business/ HarperCollins, 2009), 89–107. 11. As President Reagan told the nation, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”; Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address (January 20, 1981), http://www.reaganlibrary.com/reagan/speeches /first.asp. 12.


pages: 511 words: 132,682

Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants by Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Chrome, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, mortgage debt, Network effects, out of africa, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price anchoring, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, winner-take-all economy

Coleman, “Efficiency, Utility and Wealth Maximization,” Hofstra Law Review 8, no. 3 (Spring 1980): 509, 521, https://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/hlr/vol8/iss3/3; and Jeanne L. Schroeder, “The Midas Touch: The Lethal Effect of Wealth Maximization,” Wisconsin Law Review 1999, no. 4 (1999): 687, 754–60. 31.George J. Stigler, “Economics or Ethics?,” in The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, ed. Sterling M. McMurrin (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 1981), 143, 176; see also Robert H. Bork, The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself (New York: Basic Books, 1978), 119 (reasoning profit-maximization assumption is “crucial” to the Chicago School’s theories); Richard A. Posner, Economic Analysis of Law, 3rd ed. (Boston: Little, Brown 1986), 3 (“The task of economics . . . is to explore the implications of assuming that man is a rational maximizer of his ends in life, his satisfactions—what we shall call his ‘self-interest’”); Robert A.


pages: 1,061 words: 341,217

The Price of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal by William D. Cohan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bonfire of the Vanities, David Brooks, fixed income, medical malpractice, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, union organizing

The only three Duke lacrosse players on the 2006 team who were not part of any lawsuit were Matt Danowski, the son of the Duke lacrosse coach; Kevin Mayer, who had been “passed out” at the party, according to Evans, McFadyen, and others; and Matt Zash, one of the three cocaptains who had lived at 610 North Buchanan and told his friends that he “doesn’t split dark wood.” (Nifong observed that Zash’s lack of involvement with the lawsuits “is interesting if it shows nothing other than restraint on his part.”) Incredibly, their attorneys and publicist—Bob Bork Jr., the son of Robert Bork, the unsuccessful Supreme Court nominee—commandeered the National Press Club in Washington, one block from the White House, to announce the lawsuit. At the same time, they also launched a website to accompany the filing of the lawsuit. “This is kind of a media center,” Bork said, “and Durham isn’t. Sorry.” The players’ attorney, Chuck Cooper, described the people who came out against the lacrosse team in the days after March 13 as an “angry mob” and said the players were “reviled almost daily in the local and national press.”


pages: 498 words: 145,708

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R. Barber

addicted to oil, AltaVista, American ideology, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, Celebration, Florida, collective bargaining, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, G4S, game design, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, McJob, microcredit, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, presumed consent, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, spice trade, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, X Prize

In Damon Linker’s review of Neuhaus entitled “Without a Doubt: A Catholic priest, a pious president, and the Christianizing of America,” in The New Republic, April 3, 2006. The book Linker reviewed is Richard John Neuhaus, Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth (New York: Basic Books, 2005). Neuhaus’s controversial First Things Symposium included contributions by Robert H. Bork, Charles W. Colson (who calls for “some kind of direct, extra-political confrontation”), and Robert P. George. 6. In Jihad vs. McWorld. 7. See Paul M. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (New York: Vintage Books, 1989). The limits of the creolization argument, discussed below, are evident in the fact that Kennedy’s assessment of Japanese domination proved to be exaggerated, while the United States turned out to be a more difficult leader to overtake than he had suggested. 8.


pages: 520 words: 164,834

Bill Marriott: Success Is Never Final--His Life and the Decisions That Built a Hotel Empire by Dale van Atta

Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, financial innovation, hiring and firing, index card, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, profit motive, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, urban renewal

Paul Blythe, “A Million-Dollar Mercedes Is a Big Deal,” Winchester Star [Virginia], May 15, 1982, and, “So Fine: Introducing the World’s Most Expensive Car,” May 6, 1983. 4. Bill Marriott, Regional Representative, Youth Speech, “Letters from David,” Suitland Maryland Stake Conference, June 12, 1994. 5. Michael S. Rosenwald, “Marriott’s Youngest Son Makes His Mark; Fast Rise of Hotel Firm’s Global Sales Chief Prompts Speculation About Succession,” Washington Post, October 29, 2007. 6. Bill Marriott, Note to Carolyn Cullers, August 23, 1979. 7. Robert H. Bork, Jr., “The price of their toys,” Forbes, October 28, 1985. 8. Blanche T. Sullivan, “From Hot Shoppes to Hotels & Hot Cars,” Low-country Monthly [South Carolina], October 2007. 9. Bill Marriott, Remarks at Bill Shaw’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration, Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, Virginia, October 21, 1999. 10. Liz Hamson, “Family values,” Property Week, March 21, 2003. 11.


pages: 920 words: 233,102

Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State by Paul Tucker

Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, conceptual framework, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, short selling, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stochastic process, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game