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The free market at work in the Libyan conflict.

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Swamp Fox, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    That's a good one. :laugh:
     
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I don't get it?
     
  3. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    There is a concept called "the Tragedy of the Commons", which says that, if something is owned by everybody - ie, common property - everyone will overuse it, because each individual has no incentive to conserve that resource. The example given is public grazing land, where each goat herder has the right to get his goats to graze on that land. Because the land is owned by everyone, each herder has no incentive to conserve that resource, because he is doing the work to benefit everyone, and everyone else gets a free ride on him. OTOH, he has every incentive to encourage his goats to graze, because, if his goats graze, they will benefit him at the expense of his competitors and their goats.

    The result is everyone gets their goats to overgraze, but no one will conserve the grasslands, and, over time, the grasslands become a desert. And the solution, of course, is to use free market incentives, like privatizing the land or charging the herders for use of the land, so as to protect that resource.

    Applying that principle to the current case, every rebel has an incentive to fire as many bullets as he can, because he has every incentive to keep the enemy down, but he has no incentive to conserve, because, if he does so, everyone else will benefit at his expense. The result is that, as in all wars, everyone will overuse a scarce resource, namely, ammo. The solution, as above, is to use a free-markets to conserve that resource, namely, charging each rebel a fee for every bullet used.

    I don't believe in blindly using economics to analyze how a war should be fought, because McNamara and his Whiz Kids did that to disastrous effect during the Vietnam War, but it's still funny to see it at work in Libya. Maybe I just have a strange sense of humor.
     
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks for explanation.
     
  5. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    Great, next time you post something stupid about Keynesian economics working in the US I'll be able to link to this. :clap:
     
  6. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Veteran Member

    This is not Keynesian macroeconomics; this is welfare economics - get your facts straight.
     
  7. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    My facts are straight bucko. More government spending equals more people on the dole equals less incentive to not overuse it because everyone's doing it. That may be too simple and too logical for you as evidenced by your attempted rejoiner, but give it the ol' college try.

    This may help:

    there is a concept called "the Tragedy of the Commons", which says that, if something is owned by everybody - ie, common property (government money being spent)- everyone will overuse it, because each individual has no incentive to conserve that resource.
     

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