Are Most Lawyers Democrats Or Republicans?

When considering the rule of law, political bias shouldn’t matter — because law, by definition, is something determined by a set of facts, or at the very least by the general moral beliefs of our society as a whole. But the political bias of lawyers matters for another reason: It provides us with another way of gauging how closely intertwined law and economy really are. Would you be surprised if we said most lawyers give more money to the Democrats?

When Robert Mueller was compiling his report on potential Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possibility that the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump may have conspired with Russian officials to steal the election, many Republicans cried foul because some of the attorneys working with Mueller had donated to Democrats. 

Maya Sen, a political scientist at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) said, “The Trump administration surrogates [have found] an argument that’s really resonated. It’s that ‘Bob Mueller can’t really be trusted with this investigation and his investigation is inherently partisan because he’s amassed a team where many more members have donated more money to Democrats.”

But as it turns out — that’s just what lawyers are most likely to do. Should that really be a reason to call out the investigative process or results of any lawyer-led report to Congress? 

Sen said, “What’s interesting about it is that if Bob Mueller was throwing darts at a wall and the wall had names of elite attorneys [on it], and he was randomly choosing, he would choose a team where the people mostly donate to Democrats… According to our research, 68 percent of lawyers who’ve made any political contributions give more money to Democrats than Republicans.”

Should we start looking at political contributions as a factor when choosing lawyers? We obviously see political bias as an extremely important factor when installing Supreme Court justices. Then again, should we simply take money out of the equation by making it illegal for people in certain occupations to donate money to political campaigns? That wouldn’t do anything but make bias more invisible, but it would give us less of a reason to smear results based on political leanings, at the very least.

Sen goes on to explain that the trend toward liberal attorneys is relatively new from a historical point of view. Lawyers were conservative at least through the 70s. One of the reasons the trends changed might be the turn of the Civil Rights era. But that’s just speculation. Sen says that we really just don’t know for sure.

All we can really do is look at where the money goes.

Sen dismisses the aforementioned arguments made in the hopes of diminishing the Mueller report, though. He said, “Trump himself has given a lot of money to Democrats….Members of his family have donated in large numbers to Democrats, and members of his staff have donated in large numbers to Democrats.”

In other words, there are a lot of reasons why a person might donate to the Democrats — because even Republicans do it all the time.

Is Economic Law About To Catch Up With Big Tech Companies?

Some presidential contenders — Elizabeth Warren, namely — have been firing shots at big tech companies like Facebook and Google. She says they need to be broken up. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has been candid in his responses. He says his company will be ready to fight that battle when the day approaches (of course, that’s only if she or someone of a similar mind, like say, Bernie Sanders, is elected in 2020). 

As we all know, Trump is more “business friendly.” Even though that friendliness usually comes at everyone else’s expense.

But sometimes all a big name has to do is mention change for the process of change to begin. Former President Obama said as much when people asked him about his opinions on minimum wage. He thought the minimum wage should be higher — and as soon as those opinions were known, the fight for fifteen began in earnest. The federal government has done little for minimum wage, but state governments haven’t been waiting around doing nothing.

That’s why the recent California law passed recently is such a big deal. It forces big tech companies to stop treating their employees like contractors, and start treating them like, well, employees. Of course, tech companies seem to think laws are more of a suggestion than a certainty. If a law can successfully be flouted, then that law doesn’t matter. That’s exactly why Uber is being investigated five times over.

And not all is sitting well with the drivers who the new law applies to, either. They went on strike recently after Uber randomly decided to cut their pay by a massive 25 percent. That’s on top of the juggling going on within Uber’s corporate structure. Former CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted for his inability to nix the apparent sexual harassment that pervaded the company.

It’s difficult to see this kind of behavior from the leaders of big companies today and not compare it to the leaders of corporate empires yesterday. We’re thinking of those tech-heavy empires like Rockefeller, Dupont, JP Morgan, etc. The rampant corruption in the 1920s, in a lot of ways, was even worse. But that’s no reason not to hold big companies accountable now. 

Americans were quicker to make it to the polls back then, a massive response to the unreasonable leaders of those technological entities. And perhaps the recent wave of Democratic wins in Kentucky and Virginia are a sign of what’s to come: bigger turnout because more Americans want to see their leaders — and the corporate leaders who have them under their thumbs — held accountable for their illegal actions.

California Passed A New Law Aimed At Sports Players: What Does It Mean?

Senate Bill 206 was recently signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom. SB206 at first glance doesn’t really seem to represent the liberal bastion where it was conceived: it provides college athletes with the ability to make money by using their name, image, and likeness. It also allows them to participate in and sign endorsement deals. The NCAA does not allow these rules, which puts the organization at odds with California’s new law.

But what does it all mean?

To the layman, it might sound like a way to make rich athletes richer — but contrary to popular belief, college athletes make little to nothing — if anything at all — and their schools generally profit substantially from these sports programs. The legislators want to give these impressive players the ability to earn their fair share, especially since not everyone will play professionally, at which point of course they would make significant income using those skills.

But the effort does not end there. Almost immediately after the new California legislation was signed into law, Pennsylvania State Representative Dan Miller and House Democrat Ed Gainey decided to use the precedent to position their own version of the bill, also called the Fair Pay to Play Act. 

Gainey said his bill will “capitalize on recent efforts in California to help balance the scales and allow our college athletes to sign endorsement deals, earn compensation for their name, image, and likeness, and sign licensing contracts that will allow them to earn money.”

Miller said, “The California success is sort of the ringing of the bell that we need to tilt this conversation into common sense reality. The future is starting in California. It’s time to roll. Let’s get Pennsylvania in play.”

Newsom believes that those paying attention to the issue should expect more nonpartisan efforts to be written and put into law, and soon. “I imagine you’ll see dozens more in the next few months,” he said.

“This is a nation-state, California. This is not a small, isolated state. This is a game changer.”

The NCAA is resistant to the slew of new laws. They released a statement following the California legislation, contending that lawmakers didn’t understand what effect their actions would have on the players or the sports. According to the statement, the laws would “make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field.”

But when has the playing field been level?

Sports economist Andy Schwarz said, “The belief that talent is fairly evenly distributed across the country is blatantly false. Alabama is probably a better path into the NFL, and that’s way more valuable for most athletes.”

Trump Still Arguing He Has Authority To Order Companies Out Of China

President Donald Trump is basing his arguments on a 1977 law that he says gives him the authority to order companies to leave China and prevent them from doing business with the rival country. But does he really?

The trade war between the United States and China is still going strong, although many signs point to the media’s hype over the confrontation may be a tad overstated (and not doing serious economic damage to either country, but we won’t know for sure for some time). China recently unloaded another layer of tariffs on nearly $75 billion in United States products. The escalations don’t seem any closer to calming down.

Trump tweeted: “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China including bringing …your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

Naturally, Trump’s political opponents — and just about everyone else — jumped at the opportunity to remind him that he completely lacks the authority to make such an order. He’s been justifying the argument ever since.

Before heading to the G7 summit in France, he said to reporters: “I have the absolute right to do that, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Why does he think he has the right?

Apparently the best he’s come up with is the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). He tweeted: “For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., trying looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. Case closed!”

The law was drafted in the somewhat tumultuous era following the Watergate scandal and war in Vietnam, and provide a president with the ability to declare a national emergency before choosing to regulate economic transactions due to threats to national security. 

Few people seem to understand how this gives the president the authority to do what he wants to do (because it doesn’t), especially since he hasn’t declared a national emergency. Even if he were to do so, he would still be forced to report his desired actions before Congress, and then expressly ask permission to implement them. It seems unlikely that even a Republican-controlled Congress would authorize the president to “order” American companies operating in China to leave the country.

The IEEPA has been used many times before, such as when President Carter used it to impose trade sanctions against Iran in response to the hostage crisis of 1979. 

Professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas tweeted: “One of the enduring phenomena of the Trump era is going to be the list of statutes that give far too much power to the President, but that many didn’t used to worry about — assuming there’d be political safeguards. Today’s entrant: The International Emergency Economic Powers Act.”

What Effect Is The Trade War Having In China And The United States?

We’ve all heard the many blown-up promises of the Trump Administration: he said everyone would love him and he’d improve relations with countries all over the world. He said he’d be great for the economy. He said a lot more. But we’ve also come to expect that most of what he says is one great big lie, drawn out over an extended period of time. Global stocks are all over the place today, in large part due to Trump’s recent threat of tariffs. This is good news for absolutely no one.

Trump announced a surprise hike on tariffs: ten percent on nearly $300 billion worth of goods stamped “Made in China.” This new round of the trade war will begin on the first of September. Why he did it is anyone’s guess, but China’s government predictably responded with threats of their own. Unfortunately the Chinese didn’t say exactly what they would do, save for retaliate. Ignorance is never good for the world economy, and it had a chilling effect on today’s markets in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

China’s currency lost value compared to the dollar, falling to 6.9520, the lowest since December 2018. 

On Thursday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 281 points because of the news.

Although the proposed tariffs aren’t huge in comparison to the GDP of either country, the real difference is in the mind of the investor. Maybe a year ago — or even a few months ago — investors may have assumed that the trade war would end quickly. But Trump shows no signs of wearing down, and neither do the Chinese. If this new status quo persists for too long, the economies of both countries will begin to crumble, and so too will the economies of smaller countries all over the world. 

Because consumer confidence is beginning to falter in both countries, China’s economy has already shown strong signs of slowing down due to the trade war. Sales of electronic goods and some vehicles are slowing down. While this pressure may eventually force Chinese President Xi Jinping to find common ground with Trump soon, no one should expect this outcome. 

China’s imports have also slowed to a crawl. Integrated circuits, industrial products, and military purchases are declining as the war drags on. Consumer spending even during a big Chinese holiday — National Day break — didn’t give investors much confidence. It was the slowest period since the holiday started in 2000.

It’s anyone’s guess what will happen next.

How Will Man-Made Global Climate Change Affect Our Future Economy?

It’s one of the greatest ironies of our time: so many of us are indifferent to the catastrophic effects of man-made global climate change because we’re so brainwashed into thinking today’s economy is more important than any future problems. It’s no surprise. It’s the same argument we heard when we asked people about their position on civil rights like gay marriage: “I think we should focus on the economy, that’s today’s problem. When we fix it, we can worry about gay marriage.”

Or here’s one better for you: “I think we should focus on the economy, that’s today’s problem. When we fix it, we can worry about slavery.”

The more times change, the more they stay the same. Humans are easy to manipulate; find something that excites them to passion, like the exaggerated or outright fall stories on Fox News, and you can pretty much convince them that anything is important (like building a financially and environmentally costly border wall). 

But what’s the ironic part? Well, man-made global climate change, left unchecked, will completely devastate the global economy. And faster than most of us realize.

People mistake the idea of climate change to think that it will affect every part of the world uniformly, which is part of the reason a couple of degrees of average warming doesn’t sound like a big deal. But that’s not how it works. One area might experience summers ten or twenty degrees warmer than average, causing catastrophic heat waves and droughts, tornadoes and wildfires. Other areas might experience cooler than average temperatures, leading to winter blizzards or springtime floods and landslides.

All of those things cost money! These extreme weather events have cost us in the neighborhood of $1.6 trillion since 1980 — and that’s a time before the effects of climate change were really well known or even in full swing. These effects have only grown, and they are growing exponentially.

Here’s the bottom line: scientists argue that a temperature increase of two degrees Celcius would slash the global gross domestic product by about fifteen percent, or 25 percent if the temperature rose by three degrees Celcius. Right now, if we continue to go about our business as we have been, these realities are inevitable. 
That’s nothing when you stop to consider the lives lost due to extreme weather, or the financial cost of the hundreds of millions who will be displaced from larger cities due to rising sea levels. That’s nothing when you stop to consider the impact on global food production. In fact, it’s nothing when you stop to consider what actual people will have to go through because of everyone who said this wasn’t a problem for today.

Teaching Your Children About The Economy

As our kids get older they ask very difficult questions to answer. Where do babies come from? Is there a god? What’s the economy? While we might not be able to help answer the first two questions, we can help you explain the economy to your children. The economy in the simplest of terms is all about money being made and then how that money is being spent. Here are some concepts that you can explain to your children about how the economy works:

There are two groups that make up an economy: buyers and sellers. For children, it is easy for them to understand that when we shop in a store that we are buyers and then the store is the seller. But it’s also important for them to understand that going to work makes us also sellers. We sell our time and knowledge to our employers who then buys it from us by giving us a salary.

When people in the country have more money they need in order to survive this is called a surplus. When people in the country don’t have enough money in order to survive this is called a depression. It’s important to also stress what the phrase “in order to survive” means. Can they survive without toys and video games? Can they survive without food and shelter?

Games that teach out to balance resources and money are great for kids to understand how the economy works. Games such as Pay Day, Powergrid, Monopoly and The Game of Life can show how expenses come up unexpectedly and how a slow economy can impact cash flow.

The best way to show them the impact of the economy as a whole is to show them the fluctuation in gas prices. Bring them to the gas pump and show them how much one-gallon costs. Write a list of all the prices that you see each month. If the price of gas goes up – which means the economy is not doing well – they can see how $2.50 will no longer be able to get them one gallon of gas. If the price of gas goes down – which means the economy is doing well – they can see how $2.50 can get them more than one-gallon of gas.

 

 

What Is The Difference Between Positive Law And Normative Law In Economics?

Both these principles deal with the economic analysis of law, a field which is most often discussed in terms of positive law and economics or normative law and economics. These concepts are discussed in theoretical terms so as to predict the development of various legal rules. Whether or not either of these analytic tactics make any sense or work when used in the real world is up to the individual to decide. The data supplied on the subject is endless.
Positive law and economics is used in an attempt to predict how legal rules and regulations will affect the efficiency of the economy or legal actions. Positive economics is often described as more objective, steeped in empirical fact. It is used to explain the behavior of those who write our laws or carry them out.

Normative law and economics is a little bit different. Although the former principle will sometimes try to explain how those rules and regulations develop, normative law and economics will actually attempt to use the predictions and explanations of economic consequence in order to recommend new policy. Here, this principle is used in order to increase or maintain efficiency. Normative economics is often described as more subjective, steeped more in a value system. This makes it almost impossible to prove or disprove, which leads to endless argument.

The idea that economic analysis of law can influence judicial opinions isn’t a new concept. It’s relatively routine in the United States and is becoming more routine in Europe as well. Education in the subject is just as common.

These principles are just as often criticized for their real-world value. Rational choice theory presents the case that normative law and economics analysis almost disregards the fundamental human rights that are so important to this country and its historical growth, and relates concerns that these rights could be encumbered.

Another criticism occurs in the form of pareto efficiency. This critique relates that any activity made in order to increase efficiency is just as likely to result in a decrease in efficiency. In addition, what one group might view as an optimal result can differ from another group.

Economic Law When Applied To India

India was recently labeled as the world’s sixth largest economy, narrowly beating out France. That said, India is also holds one of the world’s biggest populations and so it certainly has a lot of growing to do yet. That’s why entrepreneurs and corporations alike around the world are watching its potential for business ties in the future. But what should we know about economic laws on the books in India?

Some of the most important laws have been around since 1872, and we still need to watch out for them when doing business in or with the country. The Indian Contract Act of that year is responsible for outlining the rules and regulations that determine how a contract can be executed or enforced. Here are a few more!

The Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1923 determines how compensation is paid out to workers who were injured on the job.

The Payment of Wages Act of 1936 determined the minimum salary for those working in industrial occupations. The factories Act of 1948 went on to regulate the labor in similar occupations.

Mothers benefitted from the Maternity Benefits Act of 1961 which set limitations on time off from work during and after a child’s birth.

Bonuses are a regular part of Indian industries, but these payments are strictly regulated by the Payment of Bonus Act of 1965.

India restricted the growth of certain types of businesses with the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act of 1969.

The Indian Patents Act of 1970 determines when a patent is or is not protected under law. The Copyright Act of 1975 does the same for copyright protections. Then there is the Trademarks Act of 1999 and the Designs Act of 2000.

Gratuities are regulated under the Payment of Gratuity Act of 1972.

Competition is becoming more and more important to the Indian economy, and so the Competition Act of 2002 led to the creation of a commission with a mandate to promote competition while protecting consumer interests by managing trade freedoms.

If you set your sights on business in India, then you have a lot of work to do. The laws overseeing economy in India are similar in nature, but different in practice. The devil is in the details, as they say.

Economic Law Gone Wrong: How We Good Outcomes Arise From Bad Laws

Law is big, burdensome, and overwhelming for many of us–and that’s even before we forget that in the U.S. alone there are more than fifty separate governments keeping track of what we can and can’t do. Sounds ridiculous, right? State government and federal government must all work with one another, and they all have different laws making it virtually impossible to do so. Some of those laws are missteps trying to achieve similar goals, but we can learn from the mistakes and still move forward because they inspire competition. Here’s how.

Here are a few questionable laws:

  • Californians were barred from ordering goose liver pate as an appetizer.
  • Music therapists in Georgia must be licensed, the requirements for which are determined by already-licensed music therapists. Think about that.
  • Students in Tennessee are barred from wearing saggy pants so as not to disrespect their elders.
  • Interior designers in Connecticut must be licensed.
  • Retailers in Connecticut must provide you with a free product if that product rings up for a higher price than labeled.
  • Virginia motorists cannot drive if they are not wearing shoes.

The economic effects of these laws aren’t all that savory. In California you can smoke up instead of appetize yourself. In Georgia your competitors determine how easy it is for you to obtain a music therapy license you probably shouldn’t need in the first place. Students in Tennessee will probably find other ways to disrespect their law-making elders. Artsy folks in Connecticut will probably sell their designs regardless of laws trying to bar them from doing so. Retailers won’t start giving Connecticut shoppers free merchandise. Instead, they’ll change the signage to reflect that prices could be higher than they appear.

It’s actually because of these absurd laws that state governments so effectively compete with one another. States with bad policies must in turn respond to those with good ones. If one state passes laws legalizing a recreational marijuana industry, the other states are forced to do so as well or fall behind. That’s because at the end of the day, the consumer decides where and on what to spend money. Each dollar is a vote, and we vote every day.

Bad decision-making on the part of businesses is reflected when people in turn refuse to shop at those businesses. When decision-making on the part of governments goes the wrong way, the reality is reflected at the polls–when people cast a more literal vote to push that government out the door. That’s how laws change over time and mold our society into an economic success. Laws aren’t concrete. They’re experiments. And experiments are like to change over time, the same way our laws and the economy that fuels our country ebbs and flows.