A popular type of consumer transaction is called "No Contract." Businesses lure consumers with the "no contract" assurance - a promise that consumer can walk away anytime, without any commitment. This scheme is increasingly common in cable and phone services, health clubs, security services, and other transactions that used to require minimum duration. What is a “No Contract” contract?
The past several weeks have given rise to two First Amendment cases of great interest, each of which involves the extent to which the state can seek to control the messages that ordinary people and firms deliver to the public at large.
Constitutional lawyers tend to study constitutions as sets of legal rules and judicial decisions. But written constitutions are also products, with different design features: they can be more or less detailed, innovative, or ambitious; they can be produced in a more or less inclusive manner; and they can have a short-term expiration date or be designed for the long haul.
My last column for Defining Ideas, “Franklin Delano Obama,” stressed the dangers of Franklin Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights,” which was long on rights but short on any articulation of their correlative duties.
A treaty satisfies what we call International Paretianism if it advances the interests of all states that join it, so that no state is made worse off. The principle might seem obvious, but it rules out nearly all the major proposals for a climate treaty, including proposals advanced by academics and by government officials.
Eighty years ago, Franklin Roosevelt rode into office at the height of the depression. In many ways, the election of 1932 has much in common with the current campaign. The economic record from 1929 to 1933 was grim.