The Right Coast

January 18, 2004
Epstein Reviews Sowell
By Michael Rappaport

Richard Eptsein has reviewed Thomas Sowell’s new book, Applied Economics. (Hat tip: Greg Goelzhauser.) While Eptsein praises Sowell for powerfully criticizing stupid regulations such as price controls, he believe that Sowell ducks the hard cases like public utility regulation and intellectual property, where one must address tradeoffs and the answers are not obvious.

This is not the first less than fully enthusiastic review that Epstein has given to a Sowell book. Epstein came close to panning Sowell’s Vision of the Annointed some years ago. It is, of course, a strength of the right wing intellectual movement that these criticisms are made. On this issue, I must admit that Epstein has persuaded me over the years that questions such public utility regulation and intellectual property are tough ones which have no simple solutions. Of course, there are also stupid solutions and sometimes – perhaps often – the political process produces those.