The New York Times, July 27, 2009 by Chris Elmendorf and Ethan J. Leib
We suggest a more modest role for an assembly of ordinary citizens: breaking budget stalemates. Here’s how it would work. If the Legislature and the governor fail to adopt a budget four weeks before the deadline for the new fiscal year, a group of randomly selected citizens—one from each legislative district—would be convened to resolve the stalemate.
The New York Times Freakonomics, July 9, 2009 by Jennifer Collins, Ethan J. Leib, and Dan Markel
To crudely sum up our various conclusions, we basically claim that the state should exercise substantial caution and indeed hostility to most attempts to distribute these benefits or burdens based on one’s family status. This is a controversial stance, but we conclude that in many circumstances there are simply too many costs to the criminal justice system when it gives special treatment based on one’s family ties or responsibilities.
The New York Times Freakonomics blog, August 11, by Ethan Leib
Perversely, if you take care of your friends when they most need you, you may be disqualifying yourself from accepting their largess…. There’s a lot to say about why we don’t want the law getting too involved in our friendships. But this is a simple way to help protect friends and encourage the care they can provide for one another—and more cheaply than Medicare, to boot.