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Posner Chapter 12 The Economic Approach to LawI Introduction A AThe last chapter of Part IV paves the way by recasting the wealth-maximization approach to law in pragmatic terms B Posner sets up his plan for looking at Alaw and economics 1 AI am first going to describe the most ambitious version of this ambitious effort and then use philosophy to chip away at it and see what if anything is left standing 2 Posner does chip away at it but leaves nothing standing II The Approach A AThe basic assumption of economics that guides the version of economic analysis of law that I shall be presenting is that people are rational maximizers of their satisfactions 1 Posner begins to define wealth maximization in a number of fields Beginning with the individual and then of course the legal field 2 AIt should go without saying that nonmonetary as well as monetary satisfactions enter into the individuals calculus of maximizing indeed money for most people is a means rather than an end and that decisions to be rational need not be well thought out at the conscious level B ASince my interest is in legal doctrines and institutions it will be best to begin at the legislative including the constitutional level I assume that legislators are rational maximizers of their satisfactions just like everyone else
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