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    The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes (Paperback) By (author) Stephen Holmes, By (author) Cass R. Sunstein

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    DescriptionAll legally enforceable rights cost money. A practical, commonsense notion? Yes, but one ignored by almost everyone, from libertarian ideologues to Supreme Court justices to human rights advocates. The simple insight that rights are expensive reminds us that freedom is not violated by a government that taxes and spends, but requires it - and requires a citizenry vigilant about how money is allocated. Laying bare the folly of some of our most cherished myths about rights, this groundbreaking tract will permanently change the terms of our most critical and contentious political debates.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Cost of Rights

    Title
    The Cost of Rights
    Subtitle
    Why Liberty Depends on Taxes
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Stephen Holmes, By (author) Cass R. Sunstein
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 256
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 210 mm
    Thickness: 17 mm
    Weight: 290 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780393320336
    ISBN 10: 0393320332
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: POL
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: KFFD1
    LC subject heading:
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.0
    BIC subject category V2: JPVH
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    Libri: I-PL
    Ingram Subject Code: PL
    BISAC V2.8: POL004000
    B&T General Subject: 650
    DC22: 323.0973
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC21: 323.0973
    BISAC V2.8: POL040000
    B&T Approval Code: A42205000
    BISAC V2.8: POL024000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAW086000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 27750
    B&T Approval Code: P47500000
    BISAC V2.8: BUS064000
    Edition
    New edition
    Edition statement
    New edition
    Publisher
    WW Norton & Co
    Imprint name
    WW Norton & Co
    Publication date
    07 June 2000
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Review text
    Offering nuanced ideas, Holmes (Political Science/Princeton and New York Univ. Law School) and Sunstein (Law/Univ. of Chicago) defend modern liberalism in the attention-getting guise of arguing for taxation. Liberalism is at heart a system of rights designed to promote and protect individual welfare and self-development. Yet rights are also a "public good." Their well-being is dependent upon the willingness of the community, through government, to protect and enforce them. In turn, the community must also be willing to give a portion of its collective assets in the form of taxes to the government so that government may carry out its enforcement responsibilities. In other words, rights cost money. A truism to be sure, but one, the authors argue, ignored by most everyone. Liberals, for instance, worry that focusing on the cost of rights may lead to further cuts in budgetary allocations for the protection of rights. Conservatives avoid looking at such costs as it may reveal how dependent private wealth is, in the form of myriad protections of private property, on government and taxpayers' contributions. Nevertheless, thinking of rights in terms of cost may reveal much. Arguments over competing rights are often arguments over money; spending more on one right may mean spending less on another. So how public resources are allocated can substantially affect the scope and value of rights. This leads to questions, all examined by the authors, of who decides what resources are spent to protect what fights for the benefit of what groups of individuals. We might want to examine if government spending on rights protection benefits society overall or too often only those groups with strong political influence. Holmes and Sunstein conclude with a call for greater democratic accountability in such spending and more public debate over the priority of rights. Sure to hearten some and irritate others, this work is a valuable contribution to our ongoing debate on rights and justice. (Kirkus Reviews)
    Back cover copy
    All legally enforceable rights cost money. A practical, commonsense notion? Yes, but one ignored by almost everyone, from libertarian ideologues to Supreme Court justices to human rights advocates. The simple insight that rights are expensive reminds us that freedom is not violated by a government that taxes and spends, but requires it - and requires a citizenry vigilant about how money is allocated. Laying bare the folly of some of our most cherished myths about rights, this groundbreaking tract will permanently change the terms of our most critical and contentious political debates.