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RICHARD A. EPSTEIN is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. His next book, Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law, was published in October 2011 by Harvard University Press.
The painful performance of the American economy in the past decade is not a function of bad luck. It is the product of flawed institutional design. Right now we are reaping the harvest of efforts to reinvigorate the progressive programs of the New Deal that stress high progressive taxes, large transfer payments, strong labor laws, and major barriers to free trade.