Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tragedy of the Commons

"Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit - in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons," said Garret Hardin. The basis of Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" is that we are acting without restraint to maximize personal short-term gain. A capitalistics Free-Market economy rarely allocates optimal amounts of resources. Because of the free-market, incentives are based on short-term financial goals, and besides the global climate change concerns that have come up in the recent years, there have been no consideration for a sustainable future while trying to improve the bottom line. Also, because of the competitive market, negative externalities such as polution and overfishing get blinded by the $$$'s. When fiscal goals become the main-target, above sustainability and long-term global improvements, the resources suffer. In some cases either trees, plants of animals, can become extinct or will decrease to the point where they are in jeopardy of becoming extinct, and cause the people who depend on them to evolve and find a new way of life.

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