AOH :: PT-1078.HTM

Russell Roberts on Hayek and the social norms of trash privacy

Russell Roberts on Hayek and the social norms of trash privacy
Russell Roberts on Hayek and the social norms of trash privacy

I happened to speak to Russell on the phone after his email, and we 
discussed how this point applies broadly: if it were socially 
permissible to lurk outside someone's home and peek in the windows, 
people would spend more on thicker window coverings or move 
prancing-around-the-house-in-their-underwear activities into inner 
rooms, at some cost to themselves.

To go back to the post that started this discussion, what I fail to 
understand is why it is unreasonable to require that police secure a 
search warrant before going on "trash dives" in alleys or backyards.

Previous Politech messages: 


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Jonaathan Weinberg on 1984 and right to privacy 
in your trash
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 13:43:04 -0400
From: Russell Roberts  
To: Declan McCullagh  
References: <> 

True, we let strangers handle our trash and come take it away. But there 
is a strong Hayekian norm that it is impolite to go through your 
neighbor's trash. If that norm is destroyed, if our neighbors or the 
government are liklely to paw through our trash, we will all behave very 
differently with our credit card receipts and whatever intimate items we 
now throw away. We will guard them, shred them, keep them. And the cost 
will be high.

Russell Roberts
Professor of Economics
J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center
Department of Economics
4400 University Dr.
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA. 22030

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