Past Event

Sophisticated Sabotage

The Intellectual Games Used to Subvert Responsible Legislation

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

Wealth Inequality Event
Group Shot, L- R Reece Rushing, Thomas O. McGarity, Richard J. Lazarus, C. Boyden Gray, E. Donald Elliot, debate the merits of cost-benefits analysis with respect to responsible regulation.

Sophisticated Sabotage: The Intellectual Games Used to Subvert Responsible Regulation

September 10, 2004
In Sophisticated Sabotage, Thomas O. McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, and David Bollier attack the analytic models – both economic and scientific – that are now common in regulatory decision-making. These models, the authors argue, are deliberately designed to undermine strong health, safety and environmental protections.

• Audio: Sophistocated Sabotage
• Video:  Sidney Shapiro | Richard Lazarus | Thomas MGarity | Don Elliott | C. Boyden Gray | Discussion/Q&A

 Thomas O. McGarity  Sidney Shapiro  Richard J. Lazarus
Thomas O. McGarity, professor of law at the University of Texas and president of the Center for Progressive Regulation, “This book is meant to be a strong warning against overuse of quantitative techniques and it is meant to advocate non-use of quantitative cost-benefit analysis. We are not Luddites. We are not saying that one shouldn’t use science.” Sidney Shapiro, professor of law at Wake Forest University and scholar and board member of the Center for Progressive Regulation, “We’re actually not against the very careful, restricted use of these methods. What we are against is the extent to which these methods have been misused by many commentators to make claims against government regulation, which simply are not supportable.” Richard J. Lazarus, professor of law at Georgetown University, (moderator quoting from Sophisticated Sabotage) “These foundations seek to rewrite the history of the laissez-faire market and smother its output of human tragedy with bland, benign abstractions…To debate the merits of these claims; we have an absolutely spectacular panel.”
 E. Donald Elliot  C. Boyden Gray  
E. Donald Elliot, partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, adjunct professor at the Yale Law School, and former general counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency, “No one believes that cost-benefit analysis should be an absolute, rigid, mechanical way and you should never have a rule that has a high cost of life saved.” C. Boyden Gray, partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, co-chairman of Citizens for a Sound Economy, and former counsel to President George H.W. Bush, “What I believe this is all about is how you go about it; not whether you do it – not whether we try to protect the public health and the environment, but how we go about it.”  

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