Tag: Discrimination

Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
Read More »

50 Years of Mischief: The Triumph and Trashing of the Civil Rights Act »

The Civil Rights Act was not a perfect law—no law is perfect–but it did embody two principles of the long civil rights movement: First, the individual (not the group) is the measure of justice. Secondly, nondiscrimination is mandatory for the government and worth pursuing in our private lives. If policymakers had enforced the Civil Rights Act in good faith, time might have eroded the tendency to view others as members of a group, rather than as individuals.

The Economics of Offensive Trademarks »

My fellow blogger William Shughart recently gave a good critique of the Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to rescind protection of the Washington Redskins’ name. I agree with him that whether some people view a trademark as offensive should not be a criterion for determining whether it should be protected. If a large number...
Read More »

Gary S. Becker, R.I.P. »

I first met Professor Gary Becker (1930-2014) about 15 years ago, when he came to Oxford, Miss., to present a public lecture at the University of Mississippi sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. My coauthor and then-colleague Bob Tollison and I breakfasted with him early on the morning of Dr. Becker’s visit, after...
Read More »