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We Must Stop Democrats' Expansion of Commons!

John Stossel on

Happy Thanksgiving! But beware the "tragedy of the commons." It almost killed off the pilgrims. Now, via Washington, D.C., it's probably coming for us.

Tragedy of the commons is a concept from an essay by ecologist Garrett Hardin. He wrote how cattle ranchers sharing a common parcel of land soon destroy that land. That's because each rancher has an incentive to put cattle on the common. Soon, the extra animals eat all the grass. Shared grazing space is destroyed because no rancher has an incentive to conserve.

If the ranchers put up a few fences and divide the land, each rancher has an incentive to limit grazing. That saves the grass and the cattle.

Sharing things and "public" property sound nice, but only private ownership reliably inspires people to conserve and protect.

No one washes a rental car.

I bring this up now because the Democrats' new multitrillion-dollar spending bills are all about expanding the commons: more free highways, free health care, free day care, free money for parents, housing subsidies, tax credits for electric vehicles, etc.

 

All these handouts discourage responsibility by making it easier to take from the "commons."

Save for retirement? Why? The government will cover it. Save up for college? Why? Government will give you grants and loans and then forgive those loans.

I bring this up now because this same sort of thinking nearly killed the pilgrims.

When they came to America, the pilgrims decided to share everything. The governor of Plymouth Colony, William Bradford, wrote that the pilgrims thought "taking away of property and (making it communal) ... would make them happy and flourishing."

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