- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Georges Bank Fishery - Attn: Nikhil Jaikumar

Posted by: Loudon Head on March 01, 19100 at 19:03:36:

I don't know if you can still be found here, NJ, but just in case...

I just did some reading on the Georges Bank Fishery which you referenced in our earlier debate about private vs. public resources here. And only now do I realize how misguided your thinking is (though it should have been obvious from your choice of words.)

You wrote that "Georges Bank Fishery was run into the ground by overfishing by PRIVATE fishermen." Yes, of course it was. But that entirely misses the point. The fishery ITSELF was publicly owned and managed. The fact that fishing regulations were imposed by the government didn't prevent individual, private citizens from acting rationally in what they perceived to be their own interests. When land (or fishing space) is owned by the "public", it is in NO ONE'S immediate economic interest to keep the resource from being depleted. The old Tragedy of the Commons, dude. Have you not heard of this?

Take a look at what's been happening in Iceland and New Zealand. Their fisheries were being depleted due to government mismanagement. They privatized the fisheries and BINGO, suddenly there's no fish shortage anymore.

You remind me of a friend of mine who, when I asked him what about the government, as opposed to private initiative, made his life easier or better in any way. He replied, "Well, the banks. ATM's have improved my life immensely." I was stunned. He seemed to believe that since the government prints money and regulates the banks, the government must have been responsible for every innovation and efficiency that comes from banks!

Turns out the Georges Bank Fishery, run into the ground by government mismanagement, is a perfect example of why socialism does not work. Thanks!

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