I have delayed posting until I had some preliminary feedback from Belgorod State University as to my general plan, which is to teach many of the basics of business law (obviously at a pretty general level) but also spend time on the design of a legal system which would be encouraging to the growth of business. I hope to construct this design based on the good and bad in our system, as informed by your comments.
As you might have gathered by now, my communications have been painfully slow. I work through an English-speaking and very helpful person at the University, but the School does seem to work at its own pace. Right now, I await contact with an English-speaking professor at the law faculty, to measure receptivity to my concept.
Since my lectures are to be fully written here in the US, and sent to Russia to be translated (presumably as an aid to my oral translator and to the students themselves), I am anxious to get drafting. But I am hesitant to invest too much effort unless and until I get some feed-back.
The teaching format has been described to me as straight lecture, with an unwillingness (or lack of experience) on the part of the students to engage in classroom dialog or even ask questions. I am assured that after class there are ample opportunities to interact and that questions in that context are free-flowing, so I am practicing by drinking lots of vodka and then having my wife, also an attorney, pepper me with legal questions. I am a wine person, and have proven very inept at the exercise.
In business news here, there is much to ponder and much to consider in terms of carrying messages to the students in Belgorod:
*tax policy: what if anything is the real effect on business of raising (or cutting) taxes on earned income for the wealthy?
*information gathering by investors using expert consultants: how can you increase knowledge in the marketplace, seemingly a goal that should be universal, without giving unfair advantage to the person industrious enough and rich enough to pay for expert consultants?
*monetary policy: is it smart to relatively devalue to drive exports
*what do you manufacture? how important is it to grow local consumer consumption, vs hard goods, exports, infrastructure? once you think you know the answer, what if any role does government have in effecting that outcome, and how can it do so?
*retirement age: is 75 the new 65? (in France, 62 is the new 60…) what is the impact of retirement age on business models?
*patent suits: the Wall Street Journal reported recently that a company, formed to hold patents, had amassed about 38,000 of them and was in the business of collecting royalties or, for the first time, bringing suit against infringers who would not pony up; a good idea to allow such a free market result?
Posts to date have been helpful indeed but what I really need is for someone to take a shot at designing one section or area of an ideal business environment, pointing out what legal regulations could be useful to support identified and desirable business practices. Anyone brave enough to try his or her hand?