Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health / Edition 1

Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health / Edition 1

by Richard Revesz, Michael A. Livermore
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195368576

ISBN-13: 9780195368574

Pub. Date: 04/16/2008

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

That America's natural environment has been degraded and despoiled over the past 25 years is beyond dispute. Nor has there been any shortage of reasons why-short-sighted politicians, a society built on over-consumption, and the dramatic weakening of environmental regulations.

In Retaking Rationality, Richard L. Revesz and Michael A. Livermore argue convincingly

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Overview

That America's natural environment has been degraded and despoiled over the past 25 years is beyond dispute. Nor has there been any shortage of reasons why-short-sighted politicians, a society built on over-consumption, and the dramatic weakening of environmental regulations.

In Retaking Rationality, Richard L. Revesz and Michael A. Livermore argue convincingly that one of the least understood-and most important-causes of our failure to protect the environment has been a misguided rejection of reason. The authors show that environmentalists, labor unions, and other progressive groups have declined to participate in the key governmental proceedings concerning the cost-benefit analysis of federal regulations. As a result of this vacuum, industry groups have captured cost-benefit analysis and used it to further their anti-regulatory ends. Beginning in 1981, the federal Office of Management and Budget and the federal courts have used cost-benefit analysis extensively to determine which environmental, health, and safety regulations are approved and which are sent back to the drawing board. The resulting imbalance in political participation has profoundly affected the nation's regulatory and legal landscape. But Revesz and Livermore contend that economic analysis of regulations is necessary and that it needn't conflict with-and can in fact support-a more compassionate approach to environmental policy. Indeed, they show that we cannot give up on rationality if we truly want to protect our natural environment.

Retaking Rationality makes clear that by embracing and reforming cost-benefit analysis, and by joining reason and compassion, progressive groups can help enact strong environmental and public health regulation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195368574
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/16/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
262
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Reason and Compassion     1
Decisions Are Made by Those Who Show Up
The Case for Cost-Benefit Analysis     9
The Walls Go Up     21
Missed Opportunities     31
Winning the Good Fight (Sometimes)     47
Eight Fallacies of Cost-Benefit Analysis
All Unintended Consequences Are Bad     55
Wealth Equals Health     67
Older People Are Less Valuable     77
People Cannot Adapt     85
People Always Want to Put Off Bad Things     95
We Are Worth More than Our Children     107
People Value Only What They Use     119
Industry Cannot Adapt     131
The Sum of All the Fallacies     145
Instituting Regulatory Rationality
Regulatory Hurdles     151
Shaky Foundation     163
Rethinking OIRA     171
Balancing the Scales     185
Epilogue: Self-Fulfilling Prophecies     191
Acknowledgments     195
Notes     197
Index     237

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