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Sunstein Analysis

Decent Essays
A New Way of Looking at Old Thing Though the Great Depression had a devastating effect for the nation, Cass Sunstein believes that the depression revealed a great truth to the American public: laissez-faire is a myth. This understanding surpassed the “liberty from government” and “liberty through government” argument that the left and right quarrell over when laissez-faire is mentioned. In his book, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s unfinished Revolution--and Why We Need it More Than Ever, Cass Sunstein attack the idea of laissez-faire economics by several claims: 1) government is not opposed to government, 2) there is no natural property rights and 3) conditions that created unemployment, poverty and starvation are not god-made but man-made.…show more content…
Sunstein references realist Robert Hales who believes that if people are homeless and starving, it is not a result of god’s will or nature but rather as result of unacknowledged government intrusion in the form of property laws. He believes that there is a misunderstanding of this relationship. If a person wants to eats, there is no law that restricts from eating food, but certain barricades exist that prevent the person from reach the food, such as needing land to cultivate food and requiring money for resources. If one does not have land or resources then they are forced into hired-work and are at the mercy of landowners. (Sunstein,22) This situation, Sunstein argues, is created by man-made not nature made. Sunstein also cites Hales’ belief that within the definition of ownership lies other unstated privileges of the owner taken into consideration by the government such as the “privilege to operate, a right not to operate and a right to keep others from operating and a power to acquire all the rights of ownership in the product.” (Sunstein, 23) These privileges are protected by the government and entitled him to exercise power over other people without any regard to public…show more content…
They want to legitimatize government intrusion on the idea that government intrusion already exist in the current situation. Showing that there was a shift in thinking and as well constitutional changes does not prove that whether laissez-faire was a myth or not. It proves that the New Dealers were successful in spreading the rhetoric that it was a myth. If the ideas of good economic were to exist in a three dimensional plane, Cass Sunstein wants the readers to believe that those who support the idea of Laissez-faire were only looking at the issues from a one or two dimensional model of the situation. Opponents of new dealers were not resentful of the existence of government or were the first to call on the government intervention in the areas that the government were more apt to guard certain freedoms better than the individual. With bestowal of the power, however, the framers specifically delineated its region and radius of
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