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How The Rule Of Law Promotes Prosperity

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The rule of law is another way of saying that laws, as they are written, are applied equally to everyone. If you break a law, it doesn’t matter how powerful, wealthy, or connected you are: you face the consequences. When followed, the rule of law leads to a more just and prosperous society.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is the rule of law important?
  2. What are some threats to the rule of law in the United States?

Additional Resources

  • Read “The Legal Origins of American Exceptionalism” by Michael McConnell. Available here.
  • Listen as Michael McConnell discusses “The Legal Origins of American Exceptionalism,” available here.
View Transcript

The term “rule of law” is often used in political and economic contexts, but seldom explained. 

The “rule of law” is another way of saying that laws, as they are written, are applied equally to everyone. 

If you break a law, it doesn’t matter how wealthy, connected, or powerful you are: you face the consequences. 

When followed, the rule of law leads to a more just and prosperous society. 

Civil disputes are more likely to be resolved peacefully. 

And in business, people are more willing to enter into contracts if they have a high degree of confidence that those contracts will be honored – or that they will be compensated appropriately if they’re broken. 

The rule of law in politics can be seen around the world when there are peaceful transitions of power following election. 

It even governs behavior between countries as well, as in the case of World Trade Organization disputes or mutually agreed upon free trade agreements. 

And while it can be tempting to bend the rule of law in specific instances that seem especially unjust, the benefits to society are maximized when we follow the law as it is written