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Full-Text Articles in Law

Social Welfare, Human Dignity, And The Puzzle Of What We Owe Each Other, Amy L. Wax Dec 2003

Social Welfare, Human Dignity, And The Puzzle Of What We Owe Each Other, Amy L. Wax

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Proponents of work-based welfare reform claim that moving the poor from welfare to work will advance the goals of economic self-reliance and independence. Reform opponents attack these objectives as ideologically motivated and conceptually incoherent. Drawing on perspectives developed by luck egalitarians and feminist theorists, these critics disparage conventional notions of economic desert, find fault with market measures of value, debunk ideals of autonomy, and emphasize the pervasiveness of interdependence and unearned benefits within free market societies. These arguments pose an important challenge to justifications usually advanced for work-based welfare reform. Reform proponents must concede that no member of society can ...


Legal Transitions: Some Welfarist Remarks, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2003

Legal Transitions: Some Welfarist Remarks, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

This essay offers a sympathetic, utilitarian critique of Louis Kaplow's famous argument for legal retroactivity in his 1986 article, "An Economic Analysis of Legal Transitions." The argument, very roughly, is that the prospect of retroactivity is desirable if citizens are rational because it gives them a desirable incentive to anticipate legal change. My central claim is that this argument trades upon a dubious, objective view of probability that assumes rational citizens assign the same probabilities to states as rational governmental officials. But it is subjective, not objective probabilities that bear on rational choice, and the subjective probabilities of rational ...


Authors' Welfare: Copyright As A Statutory Mechanism For Redistributing Rights, Tom Bell Dec 2002

Authors' Welfare: Copyright As A Statutory Mechanism For Redistributing Rights, Tom Bell

Tom W. Bell

Copyright exhibits means and ends remarkably similar to those of social welfare programs. Yet discussions about copyright do not tend to echo discussions about welfare. This paper examines that interesting contrast. It begins by comparing social welfare policy to copyright policy, uncovering several material parallels. Both welfare and copyright primarily aim to correct the market's failure to sufficiently support a particular class of beneficiaries. Both encourage rights-based claims to the entitlements that they create, too. The welfare system and the copyright system each uses statutory mechanisms to redistribute rights - rights to wealth in the first instance, rights to chattels ...