One Simple Step to Make the Environment Better - Libertarian Capitalist Style!
Tags: tragedy of the commons
One Simple Step to Make the Environment Better - Libertarian Capitalist Style! published by The 1st Amender
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Posted on 2019-02-18
Writer Description: Changing the way people think about news.
This writer has written 203 articles.
Let's say you have a piece of land that is shared among a group of 10 people. This piece of land is owned by each person. No one owns any portion of the land, it is just common land to be used by all. Let's assume that there is equal opportunity for anyone to build and be in that piece of land, to use it to their hearts content. To make things a bit theoretical without being too boring, let's say that this land creates a boon. Let's say that this land creates gold coins out of the ground randomly! And there is a benevolent promise as follows: "You can have the gold coin if you find it. But if you leave the gold coin there for two weeks, then there will be two gold coins!"
The gold coins would never get left despite the option. Why? Because it is everyone's land! If there was a gold coin and you found it in this magical common land, who is to say that one of the other nine people might decide to come and take the coin you rightfully found? So out of your own interest, you simply take the coin despite the promise of two gold coins. The point of the gold coins being: "If the land is owned by everyone, then there is no incentive to maintain and make the land better." Because it isn't your land, that it is owned by everyone instead, you effectively have no desire to keep that land in shape. It's not your land!
The idea of the gold coin is a theoretical one. Let's take it into a more realistic role. Cattle farming. Let's say you have a set of cattle in this common area. Each person out of the 10 now owns cattle and they happily graze on the land of the commons. It is now in every farmer's best interest to get as much cattle as possible! This is because, since you own none of the land, what difference is it to you that the land is grazed? You could simply move your cattle to another area! When that happens, however, more and more cattle get put into this common land. When more and more cattle come onto that land, that makes it impossible for cattle to feed any longer.
This is the tragedy of the commons. And is something that has happened not only in history, but in theoretical textbooks that would illustrate this known idea. Now, the question is, what is the answer to such a tragic circumstance?
To the Libertarian Capitalist, easy! The 10 people need to be each given their own plot of land. They can either purchase it, or lay claim into ownership to a certain piece of the land with money, or trading it for something else. When everyone has their own piece of land and that nobody can simply graze in your land without permission, you must now upkeep your own land! What does this look like in the theory of coins? Well, when you have the coins distributed and tossed out in the "common" land which is now privately owned into sections, the people are then told: "You can have the gold coin if you find it. But if you leave the gold coin there for two weeks, then there will be two gold coins!" Because everyone owns their own piece of land, and therefore their own coins, then they have no incentive to take the coins now. They would rather wait till later to reap reward. This is the exact idea of how farming works. How cattles work, and how any labor that is tied to land can become ecologically and economically sustainable if you simply let people own their own land.
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