Archive for October, 2006

I’ve finished reading a couple of chapters of Peter Barnes‘ new book Capitalism 3.0. Specifically, I’ve read his proposal for managing natural commons through public trusts which operate independently of the government. On first encounter, I like the idea a lot. First, I have been in favor of imposing carbon taxes since I first understood […]

Market Failure


I am very concerned with the state of popular economics. I want to understand the economics of the commons, but I also want to defend and even extend the commons, and that task requires shaping the popular understanding of economics. In my recent reading of popular economics texts I’ve repeatedly encountered the idea of “market […]

First the good news: Over at Save the they think that “…we’re on the verge of toppling one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington.” The “we” in this statement is the public movement that has arisen to insist on a Net Neutrality component in the telcom reform bill under consideration in Congress. That’s […]

One of the more interesting economic topics I’ve encountered is the topic of network externalitites, and I think there is an overlooked relationship between network externalities and commons. Network externalities exist when the value of a good rises and falls in proportion to the number of other people who have bought the good. A telephone […]

One aspect of commons, in my thinking, is that they provide a better measurement of the utility being derived from a good than market transactions do. The use of market purchases to measure utility is inevitably flawed by the inequality of wealth. If everyone in a particular market had the same wealth and income, then […]

Can families be considered as commons? There is some plausibility to the idea, since the resource being made available, which is the open-ended support of other people, is not charged for. Also, within the community being served, which is the family itself, the support of the family is regarded as being equally available to all […]