This timely and controversial book presents powerful theoretical and empirical arguments for the repeal of the anti-discrimination laws within the workplace. Richard Epstein demonstrates that these laws set one group against another, impose limits on freedom of choice, unleash bureaucratic excesses, mandate inefficient employment practices, and cause far more invidious discrimination than they prevent. Epstein urges a return to the now-rejected common law principles of individual autonomy that permit all persons to improve their position through trade, contract, and bargain, free of government constraint.
Epstein has convinced me…that the abuses of the anti-discrimination laws are so intimately connected with misconceptions in the laws themselves that any benefits from them will always be far outweighed by the harm they do.
Forbidden Grounds covers not only laws on racial discrimination but also sex discrimination, age discrimination and disability discrimination. Never has the whole range of anti-discrimination laws been subjected to such a thorough and penetrating critique. No one who writes on this subject again can be taken seriously if he [or she] does not confront the analysis presented here by Epstein.
Richard A. Epstein is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Law and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of, among other books, Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain; Simple Rules for a Complex World; Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law; and The Dubious Morality of Modern Administrative Law.