The most sensible legislative response to the financial collapse of September 2008 would have been to do nothing until the causes of the collapse were fully understood. Richard Posner is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School
Larry David look-alike and Colleague Over-Turning Federal Sacred Cow, Dope Smoking Advocate, Abortion Loving* and Trust Multi-Millionaire Richard Posner** of the Federal 7th District Right Here says that spending more money than we take in is bad - two years after everyone else with a room temperature IQ said the same thing and were called Tea Baggers!
Judge, You go,Boy!
What else you got?
1. Never spread Mayonnaise that has been left out unrefrigerated in the sun for three days on your lunch time banana . . . it's bad.
2. George Armstrong Custer should not have split his forces nor employed California Joe, prior to his attack on Little Big Horn.
3. I refuse to buy stock in a carburetor company.
4. A used condom is just that . . .walk away.
5. When the gas indicator says empty do not floor it.
6. Never eat anything larger than my head.
7. Do not rent anything with Paulie Shore.
8. It is no coincidence that blond hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe, probably as an alternative means for women to advertise their youth, as their bodies were concealed under heavy clothing. I happen to be bald.
9. I should not have clouted my boy Mike to that job with the Secretary of State! Red China should not have allowed that You Tube video to go viral.
10. Partial Birth Abortion? Never felt a thing! But, it's gotta hurt like hell. . .it ain't me Babe!
Judge Posner, Folks! He'll be here all of his life! Genius.
*. . .if doctors were not threatened with prosecution, what of their patients? Had anyone suffered injury or been denied an otherwise legal abortion? Over the past year, the law on partial-birth abortion in Indiana had not been enjoined, so that state offered a laboratory of sorts. In the course of the year, there had been no shift away from D&E abortions; in fact, the number had increased. As Judge Easterbrook summed it up, quite tellingly, the "plaintiffs do not contend that in any of the states where a partial-birth abortion law is in effect, even one woman has been injured or denied an abortion because of the law."
For Judge Richard Posner, who wrote the dissent, the whole apparatus of argument his colleagues brought forth was specious. It was at least conceivable to him that the D&X procedure could be better for a particular woman, because it might reduce the amount of her bleeding or the dangers of infection from fetal parts left behind. To deny the choice in that case could be, for that woman, an "undue burden."
But Judge Posner's claim did not really rest on empirical tests, for the procedure was too rare to have been the object of a systematic study. For Judge Posner, the case turned on axioms. He began with the right of women to choose abortion, and anything that burdened or qualified that right was presumptively suspect, wrong, unconstitutional. In one of the curious sidelights of the dissenting opinion, Judge Posner expressed a deep concern for abortionists, who "are frequent subjects of picketing and other harassment and occasionally of physical assaults." But he had no such solicitude for the one whose assault is the object of the surgery: "From the standpoint of the fetus . . . it makes no difference whether, when the skull is crushed, the fetus is entirely within the uterus or ifs feet are outside the uterus."
The American Medical Association had testified that the D&X procedure was not strictly necessary for the health of the mother; still, there were opinions on either side. Judge Posner expressed a muted contempt for the experts with whom he disagreed, and he wondered what the courts would have made of a legislative finding of fact, in the South, in the 1950s, that blacks as a group were "slow learners."
**Posner's political and moral views are hard to summarize. His parents were affiliated with the American Communist party, and in his youth and in the 1960s as law clerk to William J. Brennan he was generally counted as a liberal. However, in reaction to some of the perceived excesses of the late 1960s, Posner developed a strongly conservative bent. He encountered Chicago School economists Aaron Director and George Stigler while a professor at Stanford. Posner summarized his views on law and economics in his 1973 book The Economic Analysis of Law.
Today, although generally considered a figure of the right, Posner's pragmatism, his qualified moral relativism and moral skepticism, and his affection for the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche set him apart from most American conservatives. Among his other influences are the American jurists Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Learned Hand.
Along with Robert Bork, Posner helped shape the antitrust policy changes of the 1970s through his idea that 1960s antitrust laws were in fact making prices higher for the consumer rather than lower, while he viewed lower prices as the essential end goal of any antitrust policy. Posner and Bork's theories on antitrust evolved into the prevailing view in academia and at the Justice Department of the George H.W. Bush Administration.
He famously opposed the right of privacy in 1981, arguing that the kinds of interests protected under privacy are not distinctive. He contended that privacy is protected in ways that are economically inefficient.
He has written several opinions sympathetic to abortion rights, including a decision holding "partial-birth abortion" constitutionally protected in some circumstances.
Breach of contract
He has written favorably of efficient breach of contracts. Breach often leads to a worse result for society: if a seller breaches a contract to deliver building materials, the buyer's workers might go idle while the buyer looks for a replacement. The lost production is a cost to the company and its workers and, as such, is a social cost. An efficient breach would be a situation in which the benefits are higher than the costs, because the seller is better off for breaching even after paying damages to the buyer (for instance, if some third party had a much greater need for the building materials, and was willing to pay a price high enough to both out-price the original receiver and offset the realized costs of breach of contract).
He has characterized the U.S.'s "War on Drugs" as "quixotic". In a 2003 CNBC interview, he discussed the difficulty of enforcing criminal marijuana laws and asserted that it is hard to justify the criminalization of marijuana compared to other substances.
Posner engaged in a debate on the ethics of using animals in research with the philosopher Peter Singer in 2001 at Slate magazine. He argues that animal rights conflicts with the moral relevance of humanity, and that empathy for pain and suffering of animals does not supersede advancing society. He further argues that he trusts his moral intuition until it is shown to be wrong, and that his moral intuition says "it is wrong to give as much weight to a dog's pain as to an infant's pain." He leaves open the possibility that facts on animal and human cognition can and may change his intuition in the future; he further states that people whose opinions were changed by consideration of the ethics presented in Singer's book Animal Liberation failed to see the "radicalism of the ethical vision that powers [their] view on animals, an ethical vision that finds greater value in a healthy pig than in a profoundly retarded child, that commands inflicting a lesser pain on a human being to avert a greater pain to a dog, and that, provided only that a chimpanzee has 1 percent of the mental ability of a normal human being, would require the sacrifice of the human being to save 101 chimpanzees."
When reviewing Alan Dershowitz's book, "Why Terrorism Works: Understanding the Threat, Responding to the Challenge", Posner wrote in The New Republic, September 2002 that "If torture is the only means of obtaining the information necessary to prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb in Times Square, torture should be used—and will be used—to obtain the information. ... no one, who doubts that this is the case, should be in a position of responsibility."
In a dissent from an earlier ruling by his protege Frank Easterbrook, Posner wrote that Easterbrook's decision that female guards could watch male prisoners while in the shower or bathroom must stem from a belief that prisoners are "members of a different species, indeed as a type of vermin, devoid of human dignity and entitled to no respect.... I do not myself consider the 1.5 million inmates of American prisons and jails in that light."
Posner supported the creation of a law barring hyperlinks or paraphrasing of copyrighted material as a means to prevent what he views as free riding on newspaper journalism. His co-blogger Gary Becker simultaneously posted a contrasting opinion that while the Internet might hurt newspapers, it will not harm the vitality of the press, but rather embolden it.