June 7, 2022

272. The Tragedy of Misunderstanding the Commons (preview)

The Tragedy of the Commons is a concept developed by William Forster Lloyd one hundred and fifty years ago. The argument is that if you allowed everybody to graze their cattle on common ground, with nobody in charge, the land would be overgrazed and the individual pursuits of many will result in destruction for all. So, do you put someone in charge, who imposes regulations on everyone. Or do you go the way of the free marketeers, who would argue that someone owns the land and rent sit out, with a vested interest in maintaining the long-term viability. Is there a definitive answer and how can we apply the Tragedy of the Commons to capitalism today? Phil Dobbie talks to Prof Steve Keen.

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