An economy is a structure not merely of exchanges of goods and services but of options for an improved life. Economic rights, then, refer to the options available to the rightholder. These rights may be imposed by the private economy, which means by the host of private individual negotiations between buyer and seller. These rights may also be imposed by law to defend existing negotiations or to rearrange them for groups lacking economic options but possessing the political power to secure them. In this perspective, law operates to defend or change the distribution of economic options by either subsidizing or regulating that distribution. The effect of federal subsidy is shown in this chapter and of regulation in the next. Subsidy means the direct transferrence of federal funds into the hands of local governments or private individuals in order to improve their share of options, thereby adding new resources to a community's pool of options.