The Transylvania Times -

The Tragedy Of The Commons


Last updated 11/11/2021 at 9:37am

Editor’s Note: The following guest opinion was written by Alice Wellborn, a former educator and member of the Transylvania County Board of Education

The Tragedy of the Commons illustrates how individuals, acting rationally in their own self-interest, can damage a common resource.

William Forster Lloyd, a 19th century economist, wrote an essay that provides the iconic example. The “commons” in an English village was the jointly held, open access grazing land. If the villagers grazed their animals sustainably, often through an unspoken honor system, the commons continued to serve as...

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