American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism: The Worker, the Family, and the State

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Overview

Since the fall of communism, laissez-faire capitalism has experienced renewed popularity. Flush with victory, the United States has embraced a particularly narrow and single-minded definition of capitalism and aggressively exported it worldwide. The defining trait of this brand of capitalism is an unwavering reverence for the icons of the market. Although promoted as a laissez-faire form of capitalism, it actually reflects the very evils of selfishness and greed by entrepreneurs that concerned Adam Smith.

Capitalism, however, can thrive without an extreme emphasis on efficiency and personal autonomy. Americans often forget that theirs is a rather peculiar form of capitalism, that other Western nations successfully maintain capitalistic systems that are fundamentally more balanced and nuanced in their effect on society. The unnecessarily inhumane aspects of American capitalism become apparent when compared to Canadian and Western European societies, with their more generous policies regarding affirmative action, accommodation for disabled persons, and family and medical leave for pregnant woman and their partners.

In American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism, Ruth Colker examines how American law purports to reflect--and actively promotes--a laissez-faire capitalism that disproportionately benefits the entrepreneurial class. Colker proposes that the quality of American life depends also on fairness and equality rather than simply the single-minded and formulaic pursuit of efficiency and utility.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A comparative analysis of the legal models of Canada and Australia jarred Colker constitutional law, Ohio State U. College of Law into a new perspective on the presumptions of the US legal system. She emphatically contends that the law must take a leadership role in mending the tattered social safety net, by re-balancing laissez-faire economics with the protection of individual rights. Legal arguments are personalized with case studies of those dealing with discrimination and workplace inequities. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814715635
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Series: Critical America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Colker is a Distinguished University Professor and the Heck-Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law at the Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University. She is the author of Hybrid, The Disability Pendulum, and American Law in the Age of Hypercapitalism, all available from NYU Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Tattered Safety Net 1
2 Affirmative Action 27
3 Disability Discrimination 62
4 Family and Medical Leave 100
5 Sexual Orientation Discrimination 155
6 Unprotected Workers 182
7 Medina's Story 207
Notes 221
Index 245
About the Author 251
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