Bargaining with the State examines the threats to liberty that arise through the power of government selectively to distribute benefits and favors to its citizens. For Richard Epstein, the preservation of individual liberty against government contractual power advances not only the short-term interest of the individual citizen but also the long-term overall social welfare.
"The problem of unconstitutional conditions is easy to explain but has resisted the efforts of more than a few brilliant scholars to solve.... Bargaining with the State does advance the scholarship on this difficult problem."--Daniel Farber, New York Times Book Review
"[This book] is an attempt to come to terms with the welfare state while trying to find a constitutional way of restraining its excesses.... [Epstein] demonstrate[s] that the post-New Deal regime violates a fundamental tenet of constitutional order, the prohibition of forced transfers from one individual to another."--Ellen Frankel Paul, Reason
"Epstein conducts his excursion into the legal-theory stratosphere with patience and an unpatronizing deference to the fact that, for the moment at least, the reading public still consists of a bare majority who aren't lawyers."--Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal
"In casting new light on this nebulous world of contracts, grants, subsidies, and tax exemptions, Epstein's book expands his audience's understanding of some of the tensions inherent in the modern welfare state. . . . The early chapters of Bargaining with the State provide more insights than one commonly finds in a single volume. As such, this book should be read widely by policy analysts and students of the American political and constitutional system."--Marc Eisner, American Political Science Review
"Mr. Epstein turns to a long-standing puzzle of constitutional law, the paradox of unconstitutional conditions. Both his libertarian admirers and his mainstream detractors may be surprised by his relatively pragmatic tone."--The New York Times Book Review
Hardcover published in 1993
File created: 4/26/2015