Breaking the Vicious Circle is a tour de force that should be read by everyone who is interested in improving our regulatory processes. Written by a highly respected federal judge, who would go on to serve on the Supreme Court, and who obviously recognizes the necessity of regulation but perceives its failures and weaknesses as well, it pinpoints the most serious problems and offers a creative solution that would for the first time bring rationality to bear on the vital issue of priorities in our era of limited resources.
Reads like one of those intellectually exciting lectures for which some professors become so well known that their courses are fittingly oversubscribed every year. The style is clear and the analysis is dotted with the kind of provocative questions at the heart of this debate: how much regulation is enough, how much is too much, and the ultimate question, what is the dollar value of a life?
An eloquent meditation on how to regulate perilous activities in a world that cannot afford to reduce risk to zero.
Breyer takes the reader by the hand through what he calls a ‘vicious circle’ of skewed public perception, congressional reaction, and scientific uncertainty to show why the U.S. has been unable to balance the cost of regulating substances with the benefit of protecting the public… Breyer’s book gives the public an understandable introduction to the complexity of regulating health risks.
One of the more trenchant proposals yet for what might constitute the next leg on the endless journey toward legislative reform… A clear and thoughtful meditation on how to build a better government, by taking the nature of the press, politics and scientific knowledge into account.
[Breyer’s] discussion of the inconsistencies in our current approach to environmental regulation is a tour de force, confidently integrating science and policy in terms easily accessible to the intelligent layman… Breyer’s analysis surely can illuminate.
- 144 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- Harvard University Press
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