Monday, May 21, 2012

See Commons, Tragedies of the

Update: In David's defense it looks like conservatives are so allergic to anything that even remotely smacks of environmentalism that they won't support catch shares. <sigh>

Quoth David Atkins:

The Washington Post has another in a long line of distressing reports about the unsustainability of the modern economy, this time about the end of fish:


This is more than just a wake-up call for greater awareness of sustainable food practice. It's not even just a reminder of the current global ecological crisis. It's also a reminder of the grand ideological precipice on which conservatism itself rests.

Economic conservatism rests on the principle that government intervention is largely unnecessary because markets in their grand wisdom correct themselves over time without the need for interference.

The keyword here is "largely". The problems of overfishing and climate change are good examples of the tragedy of the commons, classic cases of market failure that would be acknowleged by conservative types. Moreover, there are market-based solutions for both problems: tradeable fishing quotas in the case of the former and either cap-and-trade or a carbon tax for the latter.

I'm not interested in defending conservatives, but lets at least gets the facts right, yes?


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