‘The American Illness’: How the legal system drags down our economy

Filed under: Utah |

The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

A friend of mine who teaches law at George Mason University in Virginia has edited a new book titled, The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law. This friend, Frank Buckley, collected essays from the finest economists and legal minds to discuss the intersection of law and our economy in such areas as corruption, business regulation and federalism.

Lean economic times provide a great opportunity to look at laws and policies that drag down our economy, and the book The American Illness points a big fat finger at the American legal system. American law is the world’s outlier – we have more lawyers, more litigation and more people in jail than any other country.

Of great concern is a legal system that encourages costly uncertainty into business affairs, weakens the economy and ships jobs overseas. While it’s hard to measure, we find that people in other countries sue less than we do and get by with far fewer lawyers. Of course, the real problem isn’t so much the number of lawyers we have so much as it is a legal system that gives excessive …read more

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