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The Three Coins of a Lawmaker

Module by: John Bosco. E-mail the author


The currency that a Lawmaker gets to "spend" during the process of making a law consists of three (3) coins. The names of the three (3) coins are:

  1. Affirmative Regulation
  2. Deregulation
  3. Negative Regulation

Each coin has three sides: two outsides and a middle. The coins have three sides because a Lawmaker has three focuses (foci). One side is for a Lawmaker who focuses on the Source doing conduct. Another side is for a Lawmaker who focuses on the Recipient receiving conduct. The middle is reserved for a Lawmaker who focuses on the entire flow of conduct from Source to Recipient through circumstances. Each side holds 1) a Lawmaker's opinion, 2) the vehicle used by the Lawmaker to convey the opinion and 3) the metaphor that helps explain the opinion.

A Lawmaker engages in lawmaking by "applying" one of the three coins to a flow of conduct from Source to a Recipient through circumstances. The three (3) coins are the only things that a Lawmaker can "spend" in making a law.

It is helpful to keep these four objects in mind. Three coins and one flow of conduct from Source to Recipient through circumstances. The process of Lawmaking involves these four objects.


The doctrine of Occam’s Razor holds that the simplest solution is often the best solution. Therefore, if three (3) coins are sufficient to give our minds a high fidelity model of the lawmaking process then there is no need for any more. In short, any additional "coins" would be counterfeit.

John Bosco
Project Director
The Legal Literacy Project

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