The shadows of future generations

Abstract

This Note addresses the twin problems of political short-termism and intergenerational equity. Although scholars have discussed these concerns extensively, few scholars have developed proposals to modify democratic institutions - particularly legislatures - to better consider posterity's interests. This Note critiques one such proposal by several environmental ethicists for including posterity-oriented legislators in present-generation legislatures. It then proposes a system that ties the long-term outcomes of legislators' policy preferences to their pension plans by creating a new commodities market that values the decisions legislators make and their effect on posterity.

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