We all know bootleggers and Baptists rarely see eye to eye. Ask one group and its members will probably tell you they despise the other group. Yet, when it comes to government regulation, both bootleggers and Baptists work together. Prof. Bruce Yandle explains that this happens because both groups actually desire the same outcome. The Baptists benefit, for example, from laws that make the sale of alcoholic beverages illegal on Sundays. Bootleggers benefit because now they can sell alcohol on Sundays. Groups who would never meet together but both desire the same outcome can often be found upon closer examination of many government regulations. Prof. Yandle demonstrates how environmental regulations fit into the bootlegger-Baptist theory.
Protecting Wetlands: Environmental Federalism and Grassroots Conservation in the Prairie Pothole RegionHenry Holmes
Scaling back federal regulation over isolated wetlands reduces conflict between regulators and private landowners, aligning economic incentives with voluntary conservation objectives.
Amid growing public interest in the future of elk populations in the West, the essential role of ranchers and other landowners must gain recognition.