Although Professor Black does notnmake this point, the sociological modelnof law is always the norm, while thenjurisprudential model is the exception.nIn Western societies, law was nothingnbut a seamless fabric of myth, religion,ncustom, and power until the 11th century.nThe great revolution in law begannthen when academic lawyers worked tonestablish a system in which legal outcomesnwould not be based entirely onnstatus, custom, and private power.nThat we have not succeeded entirely innmaking law no respecter of personsndoes not mean that we have not succeedednat all. For example. West Virginiandoes not have capital punishmentnexactly because we recognize that it isnimpossible to apply capital punishmentnfairly.nBut at the end of the day mynphilosophical and historical quibblesnwith Professor Black are minor. In onenhundred pages. Sociological Justicentells a practicing lawyer more aboutnhow to win multimillion-dollar lawsuitsnor save a criminal client than any othernsingle volume of its size I have evernread.nRichard Neely is a justice of the WestnVirginia Supreme Court of Appeals, angraduate of the Yale Law School, andnauthor of The Product LiabilitynMess: How Business Can BenRescued From State Court Politics.nEconomic Mannby Jeffrey A. TuckernTime and Public Policynby T. Alexander SmithnKnoxville: University ofnTennessee Press; 288 pp., $29.95nEconomists, with justice, are accusednof holding a narrow, onedimensional,nand somewhat pedestriannworid view. Noneconomic factors canndetermine how well a society is organized,nsay the critics. An efficient pricensystem won’t solve all of society’s problems;nthere are also cultural and moralnproblems that can undermine society,nand these have no economic fix.nAccording to Professor T. AlexandernSmith, that criticism better applies tonthe way economics is done in modemn36/CHRON[CLESntimes than to the actual or alleged limitsnof economics itself But given the inherentntrappings of the profession, it sometimesntakes an outsider to explore thenfarther reaches where economics andnculture intersect. Smith is a politicalnscientist who has done just that in hisnpath-breaking new book. Time andnPublic Policy. He takes an insight fromn”Austrian” economics—that all actionnimplies a “time preference”—andnspells out its far-reaching implicationsnfor culture and public policy. He recognizesnthat many social and culturalnproblems have no economic fix, but henshows how intervention with the freenmarket can severely undermine healthynsocial and cultural norms. His conclusionsnbolster the case for a free societynand responsible individualism.nEconomists usually ignore the rolenof time as a factor in human choice. Innthe most commonly-used model inneconomics — “general equilibrium” —naction occurs within a timeless world.nAnd the models that do factor in timentend to homogenize it by assumingneveryone acts on the same time horizon.nIn the real wodd, of course, this isnnot the case.nWhatever differences exist in individualntime-horizons, this we know: allnindividuals, by the very fact that theynact within the passage of time, choosento satisfy desires in the more immediatenas opposed to the more distant future,nother things being equal. That is to say,na bird in the hand is always better thannone in the bush. Since the Fall, mannacts within a world of scarcity; we can’tnhave everything at once, so we mustnrank our goals in the order in which wenwant to obtain them. This is whatncreates what is called “time preference,”nthe general desire to meet endsnsooner rather than later.nEveryone has time preferences, butnthe rates can vary. Some people andncultures have habits that delay gratificationnby putting off current consumptionnfor greater future rewards. Theynhave a long-run orientation: a low timenpreference. These groups tend to savenmore and be more prosperous; saving,nafter all, is the precursor to capitalninvestment and economic growth.nOther individuals and cultures practicenand promote more immediatengratification, consuming now rathernthan later. They are more orientedntoward the short term: they have a highnnntime preference. These groups, whichnconsume more and do not delay gratification,nare relatively less prosperousnsince their habits work against saving,ncapital investment, and economicngrowth.nThe social rate of time preferencen(the aggregation of individual rates) isnprimarily a function of such things asnculture, habit, self-control, and regardnfor posterity; and these derive fromnreligious beliefs or social values heldngenerally. They can be influenced bynmedical technology and life span; ifneveryone died at age 30, the social ratenof time preference would likely bengreatly heightened. They can also beninfluenced by government policy.nThe free market, as Smith shows,nnecessarily rewards a long-run orientationnover short-run orientation. Theninterest rate is the most obvious example.nThe person who has no money yetnwants a car as soon as possible (i.e., hasna high time preference) must pay interestnon a loan. The person who puts offnbuyiiig a car until he has the moneyn(i.e., has a low time preference) paysnno interest. The more people put off’nbuying in the present, the lower theninterest rate, because it reflects thensocial rate of time preference.nSo it is with the regard for capitalnresources, which under a free marketnpay a return equal to the social rate ofntime preference. The businessmannwho invests in a new company has tonpay out wages and rents long before henrealizes a profit; this requires a low timenpreference because he delays presentnconsumption for a future higher return.nThe lower the time preference,nthe longer the processes of production,nand the higher the eventual reward fornwaiting. Thus the free market has anninherent mechanism that rewards lowntime preference and fosters long-runnthinking.nAll of these virtues tend to be rewardednby the market, creating whatnSmith calls Economic Man: he isnforward-looking, conserves resources,nand in doing so promotes the good ofnsociety.nIn contrast. Political Man operatesnoutside the market and faces an exactlynopposite set of forces on his timenpreference. In the political sphere,nthere is no return on capital, no penaltynfor quick consumption and waste,nand ho incentive to delay gratification.n