Privatizing Public Lands

Privatizing Public Lands

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This work critically examines the thesis that public lands would be more productive if they were private, or, failing that, managed as if they were private. The author argues that there is no sense of 'productivity' for which it is true that greater productivity is both desirable and a likely consequence of privatizing public lands or 'marketizing' their management. The discussion is self-contained, with background chapters on federal lands, management agencies, economics, and ethics.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 262 pages
  • 162.6 x 243.3 x 20.8mm | 627.04g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • line figures
  • 0195089723
  • 9780195089721

Back cover copy

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.show more

Review quote

The most stimulating discussion of these issues since Stroup and Baden and will no doubt spark controversy from both fans and opponents of privatization. * Choice *show more

About Scott Lehmann

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