Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Ten Commandments and the Supremes;
the pre-emption of "etched in stone"

There is only one reason I can come up with for the split decision by the U.S. Supremes on public displays of the Ten Commandments, and it doesn't involve drive-in theatres showing old Charleton Heston movies.

I figure they (actually, Justice O'Connor, the swing voter) thought it would be really easy to get courthouses in Kentucky to remove the framed lists of the Ten Commandments, but it would be very costly to get Texas to blast or hoist out their granite copy. I certainly hope they/she didn't make the decision because the granite copy cost more to produce than the framed copies --- that would mean they/she don't/doesn't understand the importance of looking beyond sunk costs!

The incentive effects from the decision?
Look for more granite displays of the Ten Commandments.

Furthermore, if this simplistic hypothesis is correct, when any issue might be in doubt, look for more etched-in-stone pre-emptive, claim-staking strategic moves.

Don't the Supremes ever think about the incentive effects of their decisions?

I'm mostly an atheist, but I still think the 10 commandments have great historical value when discussing or celebrating the law, even if not all the reindeer are included.
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