Williams on the Rule of Law

quotes economics rule of law

15 Jan 2014

Walter E. Williams writes:

Laws, or rules that govern a free society, should have similar features. There should be a “rule of law.” The rule of law means laws are certain and known in advance. Laws envision no particular outcome except that of allowing people to peaceably pursue their own objectives. Finally, and most important, laws are equally applied to everyone, including government officials.

Twenty-five years ago, during a dinner conversation with Nobel laureate Friedrich A. Hayek, I asked if he could propose one law that would help restore, promote, and preserve liberty. Hayek answered that the law would read: Congress shall enact no law that does not apply equally to all Americans. Hayek’s suggestion would do untold wonders in fostering the liberties envisioned by our Founders. But I’m betting that most Americans would greet Hayek’s proposal with contempt after they realized it would mean Congress could not play favorites.