Timothy Sandefur: The right to earn a living


Last Friday’s meeting (December 10) of the Wichita Pachyderm Club featured noted Cato Institute scholar, Principal Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, and author Timothy Sandefur. He discussed his recent book The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law. A description of the book at Amazon.com reads: “America’s founders thought the right to earn a living was so basic and obvious that it didn’t need to be mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Yet today that right is burdened by a wide array of government rules and regulations that play favorites, rewrite contracts, encourage frivolous lawsuits, seize private property, and manipulate economic choices to achieve outcomes that bureaucrats favor. The Right to Earn a Living charts the history of this fundamental human right, from the constitutional system that was designed to protect it by limiting government’s powers, to the Civil War Amendments that expanded protection to all Americans, regardless of race. It then focuses on the Progressive-era judges who began to erode those protections, and concludes with today’s controversies over abusive occupational licensing laws, freedom of speech in advertising, regulatory takings, and much more.”

I haven’t had the opportunity to write coverage of Sandefur’s talk, but following is an audio recording of the event. Dion Lefler of the Wichita Eagle covered the story at Pachyderm speaker lauded for blasting judges.

Audio recording: Timothy Sandefur speaking to the Wichita Pachyderm Club, December 10, 2010.


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