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patriot45
09-08-2009, 03:16 PM
Shoulda used sheep in this allegory! (http://townhall.com/columnists/StarParker/2009/09/07/our_tragedy_of_the_commons?page=full&comments=true)
Its right there for us to see but we are blind!


An essay that appeared in Science magazine back in the 1960's explains clearly and concisely the self-destructive path we're on in our country today.

The essay, "The Tragedy of the Commons", showed how individuals, rationally pursuing their self-interest, could unintentionally destroy their own common existence.

A simple problem is put forth: A common grazing field is available to a community of herders. Everyone brings his or her cows there. Because there is no clear ownership, the only incentive each herder has is to bring all of his cows to graze and consume as much as possible.

With everyone doing it, and no one having any incentive to consider the implications of their behavior beyond consuming as much as possible, the final result is obvious. The field is destroyed.

Only when there is ownership and private property do individuals working in their own self-interest also make everyone else better off. When it's yours and you have responsibility for it, you think about tomorrow and how to make best of use of resources.

Today's equivalent of the common field is what we call the public sector -- government. And our grazers are politicians and interest groups.

Whereas a businessman will be out of business in short order if he delivers a poor product or mismanages his firm, politicians just graze in the public pasture doling out other peoples' resources.

There was a lot of flowery talk recently about Senator Kennedy on occasion of his passing.

Kennedy was a man born into wealth who spent a life in politics growing government. What was the personal consequence to him of what he did in politics? By personal consequence, I mean on his bank account, his survival. None.

He could convince poor people that he was working for their interest by fighting against school choice while everyone in his family attends private schools.

Or he could declare, as he did, that everyone has a "right" to health care. The personal costs of this to average Americans in the way of massive new intrusion of government into their lives and in major new taxes to pay for it all had absolutely no personal consequence to Kennedy. Does anybody think he ever sat in an HMO waiting room?

The public sector -- government -- was just a sandbox for Senator Kennedy to play in to seek personal power and glory

continued (http://townhall.com/columnists/StarParker/2009/09/07/our_tragedy_of_the_commons?page=2)

Gingersnap
09-08-2009, 08:58 PM
Okay - you guys understand that this analogy isn't congruent with the actual Tragedy of the Commons - right?

The real Tragedy of the Commons was bound up with property rights and class warfare (among other issues).

megimoo
09-08-2009, 09:36 PM
Okay - you guys understand that this analogy isn't congruent with the actual Tragedy of the Commons - right?

The real Tragedy of the Commons was bound up with property rights and class warfare (among other issues).
It worked well on a small scale in villages in England and even Colonial Boston .The problem seems to be one of size when after a manageable limit is exceeded the concept is swamped and fails for many different reasons.

The Kennedy family was driven by old Joe Kennedy to gain National Political Power from childhood.He was an cold blooded Boston Irish business man much at odds with the Boston Brahman's, also called the First Families of Boston .He resented their wealth and haughty airs and he drove his children to excel in the only avenue open to them in Politics .He made money and established a place for them at Harvard by making large endowments to the school.

Members of these Boston Brahman families are generally known for being fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and well educated. These families often have deeply established traditions in the Congregationalist, Unitarian, and sometimes Episcopal faiths.They cultivated The Boston Brahman or Harvard accent,a version of the New England accent.

patriot45
09-08-2009, 09:38 PM
Okay - you guys understand that this analogy isn't congruent with the actual Tragedy of the Commons - right?

The real Tragedy of the Commons was bound up with property rights and class warfare (among other issues).

It's a multi headed beast! (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/162/3859/1243)


I thought it worked well in the article though!