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Privatizing Public Lands

by Scott Lehmann

  • ISBN: 9780195089721
  • ISBN10: 0195089723

Privatizing Public Lands

by Scott Lehmann

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 03/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780195089721
  • ISBN10: 0195089723
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Description: At the present time, the United States federal government retains title to roughly a quarter of the nation's land, including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and several hundred million miscellaneous acres. Managing these properties is expensive and often contentious, and few management decisions escape criticism. Some observers, however, argue that this criticism is misdirected, that the fundamental problem is collective ownership itself; the solution, therefore, would be a move toward privatization of such property. A free market, it is claimed, directs privately owned resources to their most productive uses, and privatizing public lands would create a free market for their services. This timely study critically examines these claims, interrogating the concept of productivity. Lehmann argues that there is no way of understanding "productive" so that greater productivity is at once desirable and a likely consequence of privatizing public lands or "marketizing" their management. The discussion is fully self-contained, with background chapters on federal lands and management agencies, economics, and ethics. It will interest philosophers, public policy analysts, and all those concerned about the future of land use in the United States.
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