Smoke Filled Rooms

Author: W. Kip Viscusi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226857480
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The 1998 out-of-court settlements of litigation by the states against the cigarette industry totaled $243 billion, making it the largest payoff ever in our civil justice system. Two key questions drove the lawsuits and the attendant settlement: Do smokers understand the risks of smoking? And does smoking impose net financial costs on the states? With Smoke-Filled Rooms,W. Kip Viscusi provides unexpected answers to these questions, drawing on an impressive range of data on several topics central to the smoking policy debate. Based on surveys of smokers in the United States and Spain, for instance, he demonstrates that smokers actually overestimate the dangers of smoking, indicating that they are well aware of the risks involved in their choice to smoke. And while smoking does increase medical costs to the states, Viscusi finds that these costs are more than financially balanced by the premature mortality of smokers, which reduces their demands on state pension and health programs, so that, on average, smoking either pays for itself or generates revenues for the states. Viscusi's eye-opening assessment of the tobacco lawsuits also includes policy recommendations that could frame these debates in a more productive way, such as his suggestion that the FDA should develop a rating system for cigarettes and other tobacco products based on their relative safety, thus providing an incentive for tobacco manufacturers to compete among themselves to produce safer cigarettes. Viscusi's hard look at the facts of smoking and its costs runs against conventional thinking. But it is also necessary for an informed and realistic debate about the legal, financial, and social consequences of the tobacco lawsuits. People making $50,000 or more pay .08 percent of their income in cigarette taxes, but people with incomes of less than $10,000 pay 1.62 percenttwenty times as much. The maintenance crew at the Capitol will bear more of the "sin tax" levied on cigarettes than will members of Congress who voted to boost it. Cigarettes are not a financial drain to the U.S. In fact, they are self-financing, as a consequence of smokers' premature mortality. The general public estimates that 47 out of 100 smokers will die from lung cancer because they smoke. Smokers believe that 40 out of 100 will die of the disease. Scientists estimate the actual number of 100 smokers who will die from lung cancer to be between 7 and 13.

New Perspectives on Risk Communication

Author: Asa Boholm
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131798188X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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That risk communication ranks high on the policymaking agenda is beyond discussion today. The field is a point of intersection of social communication, practical management and policy making. It covers such diverse activities as to inform and educate the public about risk, and risk management in order to influence attitudes and behaviour, to act in situations of emergency or crises, to aid in decision-making and to assist in conflict resolution. Communication has grown into a major concern in current risk governance based on network co-ordinated management of public affairs conducted by authorities and companies and is recognized as a key component in the government of risk. This is especially salient in policy fields relating to environmental planning and resource management, urban planning, chemical and food regulation, or infrastructure planning, development and maintenance. This book explores risk communication research with a focus on new theoretical perspectives, research findings, and applied goals. It reflects on a broad range of innovative theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches and empirical areas. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Risk Research.

The American Illness

Author: F. H. Buckley
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300195079
Format: PDF, Mobi
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DIVThis provocative book brings together twenty-plus contributors from the fields of law, economics, and international relations to look at whether the U.S. legal system is contributing to the country’s long postwar decline. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between economics and the law—in such areas as corruption, business regulation, and federalism—and explains how our system works differently from the one in most countries, with contradictory and hard to understand business regulations, tort laws that vary from state to state, and surprising judicial interpretations of clearly written contracts. This imposes far heavier litigation costs on American companies and hampers economic growth./div

Measuring Judicial Independence

Author: J. Mark Ramseyer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226703879
Format: PDF
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The role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election raised questions in the minds of many Americans about the relationships between judges and political influence; the following years saw equally heated debates over the appropriate role of political ideology in selecting federal judges. Legal scholars have always debated these questions—asking, in effect, how much judicial systems operate on merit and principle and how much they are shaped by politics. The Japanese Constitution, like many others, requires that all judges be "independent in the exercise of their conscience and bound only by this Constitution and its laws." Consistent with this requirement, Japanese courts have long enjoyed a reputation for vigilant independence—an idea challenged only occasionally, and most often anecdotally. But in this book, J. Mark Ramseyer and Eric B. Rasmusen use the latest statistical techniques to examine whether that reputation always holds up to scrutiny—whether, and to what extent, the careers of lower court judges can be manipulated to political advantage. On the basis of careful econometric analysis of career data for hundreds of judges, Ramseyer and Rasmusen find that Japanese politics do influence judicial careers, discreetly and indirectly: judges who decide politically charged cases in ways favored by the ruling party enjoy better careers after their decisions than might otherwise be expected, while dissenting judges are more likely to find their careers hampered by assignments to less desirable positions. Ramseyer and Rasmusen's sophisticated yet accessible analysis has much to offer anyone interested in either judicial independence or the application of econometric techniques in the social sciences.

Skepticism and Freedom

Author: Richard A. Epstein
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226213040
Format: PDF, Kindle
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With this book, Richard A. Epstein provides a spirited and systematic defense of classical liberalism against the critiques mounted against it over the past thirty years. One of the most distinguished and provocative legal scholars writing today, Epstein here explains his controversial ideas in what will quickly come to be considered one of his cornerstone works. He begins by laying out his own vision of the key principles of classical liberalism: respect for the autonomy of the individual, a strong system of private property rights, the voluntary exchange of labor and possessions, and prohibitions against force or fraud. Nonetheless, he not only recognizes but insists that state coercion is crucial to safeguarding these principles of private ordering and supplying the social infrastructure on which they depend. Within this framework, Epstein then shows why limited government is much to be preferred over the modern interventionist welfare state. Many of the modern attacks on the classical liberal system seek to undermine the moral, conceptual, cognitive, and psychological foundations on which it rests. Epstein rises to this challenge by carefully rebutting each of these objections in turn. For instance, Epstein demonstrates how our inability to judge the preferences of others means we should respect their liberty of choice regarding their own lives. And he points out the flaws in behavioral economic arguments which, overlooking strong evolutionary pressures, claim that individual preferences are unstable and that people are unable to adopt rational means to achieve their own ends. Freedom, Epstein ultimately shows, depends upon a skepticism that rightly shuns making judgments about what is best for individuals, but that also avoids the relativistic trap that all judgments about our political institutions have equal worth. A brilliant defense of classical liberalism, Skepticism and Freedom will rightly be seen as an intellectual landmark.

Library Journal

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Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.