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Thread: Economics is Fun, Part 11: Competition

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Traditionally natural resources like rivers, air, fisheries, etc are held to be shared as the commons. Tragedy of the commons problems like you two are discussing are sometimes worked out by people, in the free market simply by recognizing the need to cooperate as much as compete, and sometimes not worked out, and government can be a cause of such problems.
    My favorite example is the levy system for a town in a flood plain. A free market likely wouldn't protect the entire town. Just the really important parts of that. Which is OK, if you are part of that important part.

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    Levies and flood dams have not prevented flooding or flood damage. They just provide the perception to some that they are protected and maybe a reason to pay for the losses. The free market wouldn't have people building homes where tax payers are sure to have to pick up the tab for the losses.
    "If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner."

    "The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable."

    H. L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Levies and flood dams have not prevented flooding or flood damage. They just provide the perception to some that they are protected and maybe a reason to pay for the losses. The free market wouldn't have people building homes where tax payers are sure to have to pick up the tab for the losses.
    Ok, that is just not true, go back and read some history, it use to be everyyear that hundreds if not thousands of folks die to flooding a year in almost ANY country , and if we're talking about China, then it's usually in the upper thousands. and back then population concentration was much lower, if we use a more recent example, when the Nationalist army blew up the Yellow River dams in WW2 to try to stop the Japanese advances, it reported killed something in the range of 800 thousand people (a number folks often argue to be too low!). aka more than the two nukes dropped on Japan combined..... by about 4 times!!

    Flood prevention is the oldest form of public project in man kind history, you think everyone over the last 6000+ years have been wasting their time on something they don't really need?
    Last edited by RollingWave; 03-07-2012 at 08:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    My favorite example is the levy system for a town in a flood plain. A free market likely wouldn't protect the entire town. Just the really important parts of that. Which is OK, if you are part of that important part.
    We've argued this before. The initial efforts at building levees were private, free market undertakings.

    Have to agree with Stoney here.

    If people want to risk living along a river known to flood, have at it, but don't expect others to bail you out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    We've argued this before. The initial efforts at building levees were private, free market undertakings.

    Have to agree with Stoney here.

    If people want to risk living along a river known to flood, have at it, but don't expect others to bail you out.
    The thing is there are risks everywhere. Can't build in the Midwest - tornados. Southeast? Hurricanes. California? Wildfires and earthquakes. These regions all contribute to the tax base so when occasional disasters happen how are they being bailed out by others?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingWave View Post
    Ok, that is just not true, go back and read some history, it use to be everyyear that hundreds if not thousands of folks die to flooding a year in almost ANY country , and if we're talking about China, then it's usually in the upper thousands. and back then population concentration was much lower, if we use a more recent example, when the Nationalist army blew up the Yellow River dams in WW2 to try to stop the Japanese advances, it reported killed something in the range of 800 thousand people (a number folks often argue to be too low!). aka more than the two nukes dropped on Japan combined..... by about 4 times!!

    Flood prevention is the oldest form of public project in man kind history, you think everyone over the last 6000+ years have been wasting their time on something they don't really need?
    Humans have settled along rivers from time immemorial. I agree with what you've said.
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


    ~Alain de Benoist


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    Along rivers, yes, in flood zones? Flood zones make good farming land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conley View Post
    The thing is there are risks everywhere. Can't build in the Midwest - tornados. Southeast? Hurricanes. California? Wildfires and earthquakes. These regions all contribute to the tax base so when occasional disasters happen how are they being bailed out by others?
    By the feds or states declaring disasters and legislating relief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    We've argued this before. The initial efforts at building levees were private, free market undertakings.

    Have to agree with Stoney here.

    If people want to risk living along a river known to flood, have at it, but don't expect others to bail you out.
    The free market did not erect a levy system along the entire length of the Mississippi River. Without that system much of the most profitable farmland in the nation would be piratically unusable at least part of the year and a bad snow melt could cripple farmland for years; unless you wanted to grow rice....

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    This is what I posted above.

    "Levies and flood dams have not prevented flooding or flood damage. They just provide the perception to some that they are protected and maybe a reason to pay for the losses. The free market wouldn't have people building homes where tax payers are sure to have to pick up the tab for the losses."

    Two posters have suggested those words aren't true. But they absolutely are. Do I have to show evidence of the floods that happened last year, or the year before, or the year before that. I've been going to Grenada Lake, a flood control lake off the Mississippi River near Grenada, Mississippi for 40 years and have watched some flooding in that town almost every one of those years.

    Government providing levees that prevented flooding might be a good thing. But when they don't prevent floods they provides us with an obligation to pay for the damage caused. If levees are what's needed for entrepreneurs to profit from the "delta" of the Mississippi then they'd figure it out, or a better solution.
    "If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner."

    "The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable."

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