...It took an ambiguously defined property right (when can telemarketers call you), defined it clearly (telemarketers can call you whenever they want to), and provided a low-cost way of reallocating the property right (register on the DNC)....That's one way to look at it. But I look at it differently. My phone is my property. You don't come onto my property without my permission. The government, in this case, is merely enforcing my negative right to be free from trespass.
...Based on the registration numbers, a majority of Americans want to be free from telemarketing calls. So why not make the default rule "no calls" and make the telemarketers get your permission? Leaving aside the logistical problems (Would calling you to ask you if you want to be called count as a telemarketing call?), the ...rule [adopted by the FTC] is efficient because the transaction costs of reallocating are so munch lower for consumers than for telemarketers, especially because the FTC made registration so easy....
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Todd Zywicki at The Volokh Conspiracy posted recently about the national do-not-call registry. Zywicki defends the do-not-call (DNC) registry on economic grounds; that is: