NickNielsen, I believe when Wmlundine says ?Capitalism is exploitive of the commons? he may be referencing the ?Tragedy of the Commons? problem. In this problem a common field is shared by sheep herders. If a given herder adds a new sheep to his flock he gets a big benefit. But the new sheep grazes the shared field more than before its introduction. This additional grazing negatively impacts all the herders equally. But since the benefit to the one herder is greater than the negative impact on that herder ? it?s in his best interest to get the new sheep. Thus all herders, if following self-interest, logically keep increasing their herd size until there?s no more grass (or at least there?s a grass crisis that needs to be solved and/or a maximum number of supportable sheep is reached).
The ?Tragedy of the Commons? is generally an incitement on free capitalism ? or at least an argument in favor of some regulation or management. I would guess that if each herder were given his own land (instead of sharing), he would be incentivized to look at the long term impact of his herd?s grazing and self regulate his herd size ? because the negative impact of his actions affect him. Perhaps it was sharing the commons in the first place that was the problem.
(I?ll admit that the private property solution does raise the issue on how to divide the commons ?equally? in the first place.)
(If I say ?incentivize? enough will it become a word?)
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