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> Isn't "post-factum civil litigation" an even better mechanism for enforcement?

I'm completely in favor of more civil litigation, but I'm reminded of something Ronald Coase,[1] wrote half a century ago: "The fact that actions might have harmful effects on others has been shown to be no obstacle to the introduction of property rights. But it was possible to reach this unequivocal result because the conflicts of interest were between individuals. When large numbers of people are involved, the argument for the institution of property rights is weakened and that for general regulation becomes stronger." Ronald Coase, The Federal Communications Commission (1959).

In that paper he was talking about property rights in spectrum, but the principle is generalizable. Legal action is a great way for a few individuals to enforce claims against a few other individuals. When large numbers of peoples' rights are violated, however, general regulation becomes a more efficient mechanism for enforcement.

[1] An economist whose theories are a bedrock of modern conservative thinking.




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