Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives Author: Heller, Michael A. ISBN: 9780525565505 Imprint: Anchor Books Year: 202202

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For high-­profile cases, people arrive a day or more ahead of time, armed with camping chairs, sleeping bags, ponchos, and extra batteries for their smartphones. Folks in line tend to look out for one another–­Supreme Court police officers refuse to monitor the line. If you have to go to the bathroom, those around you will hold your place. And they will also be on guard for people cutting in or adding friends. If someone does that, they are harangued with cries of “no cutting” and “back of the line.” As the time to enter the Court approaches, though, a strange thing happens. Many of the disheveled people nearest the front of the line exchange their spots with gray-­suited men and women. A little later the well-­dressed enter the courtroom and take the best seats while those farther back in the line are not even admitted. As the time to enter the Court approaches, though, a strange thing happens. Many of the disheveled people nearest the front of the line exchange their spots with gray-­suited men and women. A little later the well-­dressed enter the courtroom and take the best seats while those farther back in the line are not even admitted… What is going on? Welcome to the line-­standing business. Companies are paying line-­standers, sometimes homeless people, to arrive days ahead, secure a spot at the front, and then wait and wait and wait. At the last minute, by the Court entrance etched with the words equal justice under law, the line-­standers give way to paying clients who have the money to get in first but not the time or patience to wait. The same transformation is happening in lines for new passports at the local federal building or building permits at City Hall. Paid line-­standers are a booming business in the private sector as well

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