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Anuncio de los artículos posteados el: 22/10/2016

22 Oct 2016 

Private Investment Protects Environment Where Government Fails

The Institute for Humane Studies, an essential educational foundation in Arlington, Va., just launched a new Web site entitled A Better Earth. The site aims to educate college students, graduate students and others on alternative methods of environmental preservation -- methods less hostile to free markets and free enterprise.

The new Web site is important, because the environment seems to be the one area where even avowed free marketeers can't quite bring themselves to trust private enterprise over government intervention.

Profit-seekers and corporations are too greedy and self-interested, the thinking goes, to give much thought to preserving wildlife, forests and wilderness.

But is that really so? Are governments really better at preserving the environment than private enterprise?

The biggest polluters on the planet are governments, not corporations. The U.S. government immunizes itself from most all of the environmental laws it demands of private corporations. And it is by far the bigger polluter.

Overseas, the countries most hostile to market forces tend to be the countries with the worst pollution habit. We found after the fall of communism, for example, that the dirtiest governments of the 20th century weren't the capitalist corporate giants of the West, but the Soviet Union and the countries of the Eastern Block -- governments where the notion of private property and free enterprise were nonexistent.

A little reflection should reveal why that would be the case. Think for a moment about things that are "private" versus things that are "public."

Given the choice, would you rather use a private bathroom or a public one? If forced to bed down on a given night, would you rather sleep in a private home or in public housing? If a loved one were ill, would you rather he be taken to a private hospital or a public one?

Economists call this phenomenon "the tragedy of the commons." We take better care of things we own, things that are ours. We're far less careful and cautious with things someone else owns. And we're least respectful of those things owned by the "public."

Consider forests. Every summer we watch the news as thousands of acres of publicly owned lands go up in flames. Ever wonder why privately owned forests don't burn as often? Why do these fires always seem to start in national or state parks?

The answer is that land owned by the government is generally unkempt. Regulations and pressure from environmental groups keep much of our parks system untouched.

Private forests, on the other hand, are owned by people and businesses with a vested interest in keeping them intact. So private forests are thinned and pruned of underbrush, and proprietors set control fires to keep detritus from feeding larger fires later. Likewise, timber and paper companies know that if they don't plant a tree for every tree they fell, they won't be in business for long.

The best example of the tragedy of commons occurs in the oceans. Why is it that we regularly hear about how we're running out of various species of fish, but we're always well stocked with beef, pork and poultry?

The difference is that the latter are raised on dry land, where there are clear, discernible property rights. A rancher would be foolish to send all of his cattle to slaughter. Sure, he'd make more money in the short run, but with no cattle left to breed, he'd be out of business in a year.

It's a little different with the oceans. No one owns them, nor the fish that live in them.

Consequently, if I'm a fisherman, I have no incentive to leave any fish behind to ensure that fish stocks stay healthy. If I do, the fisherman who goes out just after me will snatch them up. And he's wise to, because if he doesn't, the fisherman after him will.

Laws and treaties won't change any of this. Until the oceans are divided up and claimed (yes, it would be difficult -- but it could be done), we'll continue to overfish. And we'll soon deplete our fish supply.

The African ivory trade provides another example. Well-meaning Western countries like the United States have banned the trade of ivory out of concern for African elephant populations. But devaluing ivory on the open market also devalues elephants. This has two effects, and neither of them is good for elephants.

First, with no legitimate international ivory trade, landowners in Africa have no reason to preserve elephant habitats. That land could be far better used to make way for farms or factories.

Second, devaluing ivory on the open market increases the demand for ivory on the black market. That makes elephants lucrative targets for poachers who, after all, don't have much reverence for the law.

Countries that have allowed the ivory trade, and have given local landowners more autonomy, have replenished their elephant populations. Landowners see value in the animals, and so take precautions to protect them.

Back in America, private organizations have had lots of success in preserving species through positive incentives. Several kinds of duck, the American bison, breeds of hawks and raptors, the oryx and many other species have been saved from extinction by private individuals and organizations who have either bought up land for preservation or offered existing landowners incentives to allow fledgling species room to nest or migrate.

Contrast that to the federal Endangered Species Act, which in 30 years has saved only eight of the 1,400-plus species it has attempted to protect.

Organizations like Ducks Unlimited request or even pay landowners to allow certain species of duck to nest, rest or fly on or over their property. Most of us wouldn't have much problem there.

But if an ESA-protected animal is found on your property? Not only aren't you paid or kindly asked to protect the animal, you're prohibited from using your land in any way that might harm it. In some cases, you assume responsibility for the animal's survival, including spending your own money to ward off threats and predators.

One approach offers incentives to landowners to allow some animals access to their property. The other devalues their land and renders it useless. It isn't hard to see why one method is successful and the other isn't.

So counterintuitive as it may seem, markets are perfectly compatible with respect for the environment. Treat land well, and it increases in value. Treat it poorly, and watch your investment slip away.

The mere fact that so many of us desire campgrounds, hunting grounds, and wildlife preserves means there's a market for them. Better to entrust them to the stewardship of those with a vested interest in their preservation than to a government subject to the political whims of whoever happens to be running it.

Radley Balko is a freelance writer and publishes a Weblog at

Respond to the Writer
22 Oct 2016 

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWI?

Did You Know?

In all states across the U.S., a first-offense DUI or DWI is classified as a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail, which may be increased under certain circumstances. In addition, courts can and do impose simple assault high fines ranging from USD 500 to USD 2,000.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are driving violations, both basically refer to drinking and driving. They can also be called operating under the influence or impaired driving. These are legal offenses of driving a vehicle while having consumed alcohol or other drugs. You may have noticed 'drunk driving' check posts/signs on streets in some areas. Traffic cops periodically check vehicles for people who drive when they are drunk. In fact, such checks are frequently carried out at places that are prone to accidents. Read this Buzzle article further to know some more points of difference in this DUI vs. DWI comparison.

Definitions of Related Terms

? Blood Alcohol Level / Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

It refers to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream and is usually measured in percentages.

It is measured either by testing an individual's breath, blood, or urine. This test is used to determine whether the driver is 'legally drunk' or not.

If the person is found to have a BAC percentage above the legally acceptable value, he/she is considered to be 'legally drunk'.

This law has been accepted by all the 50 states. As of 2013, the legally acceptable BAC value is 0.08%. This means that if the driver's BAC is 0.08% or higher, he/she is punishable under the law.

? Administrative License Suspension

It is a law that allows the cops to confiscate and suspend a driver's license immediately when a driver is charged with the 'driving while intoxicated' offense. It may also be applicable before adjudicating the charge, i.e., if the offender's BAC is above the set limit or if he refuses to take the test.

? Penalties

They vary from paying a fine, serving jail time, license suspension, to hours of community service and education programs.

In different states, the time period for suspension of administrative license ranges from 3 months to a year. This depends on several factors; if you are a minor and this is your first offense, the suspension period could be shorter. If you've committed the offense before, or if you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended nevertheless, on the grounds of non-compliance regarding the law.

Community service is mostly handed down to minors (not necessarily, of course) as a part of the sentence. This includes jobs, like janitorial services, working at old-age homes, etc. The number of hours depends on the courts and other related factors.

Serving jail time and paying fines are mostly compulsory. For offenses that have been classified as felony, the offender could be sentenced to several years of jail time.

A point to note here is that the penalties vary from state to state. New York could have a different way to deal with this problem than Texas or Wyoming. It also depends on the officer in charge at that moment. The fines, jail times, and laws are all handled differently in all states.

Testing Methods and Devices

The testing methods mostly include breath analysis, blood, and urine tests. There are also field sobriety tests, which include reciting alphabets, standing on one leg, walk-and-turn, etc. These are carried out to determine the impaired state of the offender due to alcohol. Some of the testing devices used are as follows:

? Breathalyzer

It is a breath analysis device that provides an estimate of blood alcohol based upon the chemical analysis of a breath sample.

? Intoximeter

It involves the chemical analysis of a breath sample to measure the BAC by means of an electrical reaction.

? BAC Datamaster

A breath analysis device that uses infrared spectroscopy to provide an estimate of alcohol in the blood. This device is not portable and is generally kept at the police station.

? Portable Breath Test (PBT)

It is a portable device used by the cops, generally at a check post, to determine whether the person is drunk or not. It may not be completely reliable.

Notable Points of Difference




It is applied when that the person is under the influence of alcoholic drinks or drugs like weed (he may have consumed it in less amount). What this essentially means is that the offense does not involve only alcohol. You will be in trouble even if you consume any physician-prescribed medication that might have side-effects which might cause you to drive erratically.

It clearly indicates that the person is very high on alcohol. He is completely intoxicated, and according to the law, he should not be driving at all.

Interpretation of Laws

The terms are interpreted differently in different states. In Texas, it refers to a minor who is caught drinking and driving, while in New York, it is used when your BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%.

In Texas, it refers to an adult caught drinking and driving, while in New York, it is applied when the BAC is above the legal limit. Some states (like New Jersey) have a zero-tolerance policy and do not recognize any differences between the two.


They vary state-wise as well. In Arizona, the license is suspended for 1 year on the first offense, while in Maryland, the suspension is for 4 months. You will have to pay fines as well, which vary according to the severity of the offense and the court orders.

In New York, a person charged with this offense may have to pay a fine ranging from USD 500 to USD 10,000, depending on the 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-time offense, and other factors. Also, he will have to serve a jail term. While in Texas, a first-time offender (mostly a minor) pays a fine of USD 500, and gets his license suspended for three months or more, depending on the hours of community service handed to you by the judge.

Remember that laws are always subject to change. In technical terms, the only difference between DUI and DWI is the inclusion of having drugs and narcotics, under the former. But in legal terms, these offenses are handled differently throughout the U.S. (as already mentioned), and depends on the severity of the crime, the circumstances, your attorney's defense, etc. The key point to keep in mind is-please do not drink and drive. It not only expungement dc harms you, but also an innocent life that is not at fault.