James W. Ely, Jr. reviews The Right to Earn A Living
Author: Timothy Sandefur
Timothy Sandefur has authored a provocative defense of economic liberty and a wide-ranging assault on legal doctrines that impede the right to earn a living. His analysis is grounded on the conviction that the right to pursue a trade is an aspect of one’s constitutionally protected liberty. To develop his argument, Sandefur examines a wide array of topics—the rise of business corporations, antitrust laws, the contract clause, due process, anticompetitive entry barriers, agricultural price-fixing schemes, the dormant commerce power, commercial speech, expansive tort liability, and regulatory takings of property…. To restore economic liberty to its pre–New Deal status, much less to reach Sandefur’s desired level of economic freedom, would require a sea change in popular and judicial attitudes. Indeed, he concludes that “it is only cultural and social change that can revive the freedom of economic choice” (p. 293). Such a dramatic shift does not seem imminent, but perhaps this rewarding volume will stimulate renewed interest in the importance of economic freedom.