May 1, 2017 By Jack Jodell (in association with the gifted writer BURR DEMING, creator of and chief author over at the brilliant blog site Fair and Unbalanced.com – see my Blogroll in the lower right hand column of this page).
COUNTDOWN: As of today, there remain 1,361 days left in this horrible administration’s term in office…
Happy May Day, everyone! Today’s podcast is a fabulous example of what is wrong with the Libertarian Koch brothers’ approach to our economy and government. It has come to dominate current CON-servative reactionary Republican thinking to a large degree, and this is to the detriment of everybody. After all, libertarianism is a philosophy designed by and for the benefit of almost exclusively the 1% minority billionaires, so it is hardly practical for the rest of us, who are the 99% MAJORITY. Burr ties it in specifically with hog farming in North Carolina, but as you will see, it is applicable to nearly all aspects of current Republican thinking.
Burr tells us, “An economic theory from 1833 has become a nightmare for many in North Carolina…the Tragedy of the Commons refers to any situation in which the self-interest of each comes at the expense of all…citizens might rely on cattle-owners to self-regulate. If the owners recognize a common interest, they can form a common agreement. Each will graze this much and no more.
If there are just a few cattle barons, and they share all or at least nearly all of the common grazing, a means to detect violations might be all that is needed. If I catch you violating the agreement, the deal is off and all of us will suffer.If there are a lot of cattle owners, or if the community itself is burdened with too much of the cost, some sort of enforcement and penalty is needed. If you violate the agreement, we will impose enough individual pain to overcome that individual incentive. When everyone backs off, everyone benefits.
If the non-cattle community interest is way greater than the combined interest of the cattle owners, the community may decide to impose an agreement. Families want a place to walk or picnic or fish. Perhaps the cost to the community of replanting is prohibitive.
There are actions that would meet the standards of other ideologies. The commons may simply be placed off limits to cattle. Or a fee may be imposed. In a libertarian world, the commons itself would be abolished and sold to individual owners. There is no Tragedy of the Commons if there is no commons. This is also becoming the preferred solution of Republicans.
The Tragedy of the Commons becomes the complex common problem of all when the commons is not easily divided but does affect everyone: for example the air we breathe or the water we drink…
It should serve as a warning for conservatives today.”
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