Privatizing Public Lands

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1995 M03 23 - 264 pages
In the United States, private ownership of land is not a new idea, yet the federal government retains title to roughly a quarter of the nation's land, including national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges. Managing these properties is expensive and contentious, and few management decisions escape criticism. Some observers, however, argue that such criticism is largely misdirected. The fundamental problem, in their view, is collective ownership and its solution is privatization. A free market, they claim, directs privately owned resources to their most productive uses, and privatizing public lands would create a free market in their services. This timely study critically examines these issues, arguing 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. Lehmann's discussion is self-contained, with background chapters on federal lands and management agencies, economics, and ethics, and will interest philosophers as well as public policy analysts.

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Contents

1 Introduction
3
2 Federal Lands Past and Present
31
3 The Case for Privatization
56
4 Productivity Standards
81
5 The Productivity of Privatization
109
6 Rationalizing Economic Values
132
7 The Ethics of Privatization
156
8 Selfinterest and Collective Management
179
9 Marketization
201
Index
229
Copyright

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Page 153 - By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security ; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
Page 175 - I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Page 42 - ... to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
Page 2 - This land is your land, this land is my land, From California to the New York island; From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me.
Page 208 - There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more, From these our interviews, in which I steal From all I may be, or have been before, •To mingle with the Universe, and feel What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean— roll!
Page 154 - It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that, while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone.
Page 139 - Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.
Page 26 - ... all surplus water over and above such actual appropriation and use, together with the water of all lakes, rivers, and other sources of water supply upon the public lands, and not navigable, shall remain and be held free for the appropriation and use of the. public for irrigation, mining, and manufacturing purposes subject to existing rights.
Page 40 - ... harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources, each with the other, without impairment of the productivity of the land, with consideration being given to the relative values of the various resources, and not necessarily the combination of uses that will give the greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output.
Page 37 - No public forest reservation shall be established, except to improve and protect the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States...

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