« on: February 23, 2006, 12:11:24 AM »
Yalee, that is an awesome no-frills post following this virtual melee.
By the way, how is Yale Law (assuming that you're in law school there)?
A few comments:
aloha737pilot: I'm Catholic. Most Catholic churches, at least the vast majority (or all) of the churches I've visited, have respectable, attentive, calm, and intellectually invigorating yet also reasoned priests.
giffy: I understand your concern regarding taxes. If you have discounted the Laffer Curve, I suggest you revisit it. It helps clear up the basic counter-intuititiveness of reducing taxes for the richest tax payers; but, of course, it doesn't admit of indisputability.
Overall, I praise your efforts, Chris, to fight for what you believe in. Jesus said not to be luke-warm, if I recall correctly..
I believe debt is a big issue. Baby-boomers are not (and were not) necessarily out to get us. I do agree, however, that poor foresight and lack of appropriate priorities here will hurt us and our generation.
In terms of the cost of law school, it is both exorbitant and, in some ways, reasonable. Adam Smith's writings on the determinants of wages can inform this discussion. Moreover, on its face, the situation of most neophyte lawyers juxtaposed with that of most other workers - firemen, janitors, teachers, roofers, etc. - admits of the former not only having far more debt but also having far more long-term income potential, job flexibility, power, prestige, and so on. See the virtual equilibrium here? I believe that it takes hard work to become a lawyer. Yet it also produces quite ripe fruit.
(The previous comments does not suggest that one should not fight for qualitative improvements in the legal education system. Rather, it provides a context for outspoken concerns regarding the system and an appreciation of opportunities, which I assume exists.)
In some ways, as has occurred throughout recorded history, those who attain power will attempt, unintentionally or in a premeditated manner, to maintain and increase their power. In the case of law, professors will earn tons of money without needing to teach most efficaciously, choosing instead to publish texts etc., and will have these choices honored by their sponsoring institutions. Insofar as market competition is unreactive, the allocation of resources in exchange for pay may be a non-zero-sum game. You may not get what you pay for. Likewise, any attempt at achieving a legal meritocracy may be proportionately thwarted. As you say, similar (law)people will be rewarded by similar predecessors and the cycle to some extent will continue. Yet is this fully inappropriate? Good question.
On balance, I enjoyed reading the vociferous argumentation here presented - even with its ad hominem bent. For those who have what clearly is a "correct" stance, I would encourage you to ask yourself questions about your stance while purposefully presupposing that the opposite stance (if such exists) is correct. This sort of process, dialectical/self-socratic in a sense (if there is such a thing), can help one to readily disentangle complex issues in a usefully disinterested way.