Public Goods and Private Goods, Essay Example
Conflict between the rhetoric of Republicans and the rhetoric of Democrats can in part be explained with reference to the distinction between public goods and private goods. Private goods are things owned and controlled by private parties, whereas public goods are…public. My private goods include my car, house, vacations, computer, clothes, and savings account. Public goods that I benefit from include roads, police and fire departments, public schools, public libraries, public airports, free summer concerts, national forests, public beaches, Wikipedia, etc. Some things are part public and part private, for example, tap water. Individuals and businesses do pay something for water but infrastructure like sewers, water mains and water treatment facilities are publicly funded. The same is true of the Metro, etc. Democrats talk more about public goods and less about private goods than do Republicans. Cutting taxes leads to more spending on private goods and less on public goods.
As an active participant in this democracy, how can you best understand this debate? How should your understanding of this debate shape your civic conduct? Include reference to the Occupy Movement, the Tea Party Movement, the slogan, “We are the 99%”, etc.
Occupy movements slogan goes “we are the 99 percent”. It seeks to tear down corporate greed and address disparity in allocation of common resources that is grossly skewed. Only 1% of the population controls wealth while the remaining 99 % are unemployed, underemployed or, plain poor (Orley, 1994). Most people feel that the values first advocated by the Tea party and that helped shape America are being undermined. The Tea party was against corporate dominance of a country’s wealth.
Most corporations have gone to the business of maximizing profits at the expense of the common citizens. The occupy movement seeks to give voice to values and beliefs entrenched in the American tradition. The aim of promoting the values is to tackle the problem of inequality from a political aspect, based on common sense as opposed to tackling the problem from an economic perspective. The economists have been found to argue in favor of the 1% by justifying their grasp on wealth that belongs to everybody. They do this by claiming that wealth distribution is a result of interplay of economic forces and so the 99% do not have to complain as this is a result of natural occurrence (Murray, 2005).
Discuss some of what we learned about the possibility and desirability of voicing our values in the workplace when we encounter something that conflicts with our values. Use an example from your life or one we discussed in class. Refer to givingvoicetovalues.edu.
Giving voice to ones values requires the answering of a conscientious question rather than an economic question and determining the correct path to take to address the problem. Mary C. Gentiles article giving voice to values gives comprehensive suggestions on how to express ones ideas when your conscience is challenged. She advocates for use of time tested principles to take action against opposing pressure that raises conscientious questions like having only 1% of human race controlling wealth and using academic justifications to maintain status quo (Muray, 2005). In my opinion, that is not only ridiculous but points also to a conspiracy by the rich 1% attempted neo colonialism on entire populations through using books to brainwash intelligent people using make believe tact to alter the cause of nature. From a personal experience, I have taken actions in line with Darwin’s law when I felt the same law was being applied to me in a cunning manner.
The instincts of the 99% give a clear guidance to the system of thought than a library of books that no longer make better the human welfare especially when their contents are interpreted in favor of the 1%. I once joined protesters pressing for tax cuts on a whim when I felt their actions were justified. It does not take a genius to tell the difference between night and day; neither does it take a knight to fight for justice during the day.
When an electricity company is producing 1 KW of electricity, there are those costs associated with acquiring labor, fuel and equipments that it pays from its own pocket. This is called internal or private costs. Consequently, production of electricity produces smoke and soot that attach itself to buildings and affect people’s health. This leads to a decline in property value and forces people to pay for cleaning and medicals bills resulting into external or social costs imposed through company’s irresponsibility. In a competitive market, entry and exit is voluntary, however, the polluting firm violates this right by forcing the neighbors to pay for bills for which they receive nothing in return thus undermining justice.
Because a firm does not have to pay for the external costs, it ends up misusing resources being consumed by external factors e.g. clean air. Though there may be technologically feasible way to produce electricity, with minimal or no pollution to the environment, the firm does not have the incentive to use them because it doesn’t pay for the social costs. Leads to a decline are social utility, thereby violating utilitarian principles underlying a market system.
The solution lays in internalizing costs of pollution i.e. the producer accounts for external costs when determining prices of goods. This ensures accurate pricing and market forces will provide incentives that will encourage producers to minimize external costs and so consumers will not pay more than others for the same commodities.
Murray R. Theory and Problems of Statistics, Second Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Inc., 2005.
Orley, A. Economic Literacy. Hawthornel, New Jersey: Career Press, 1994.
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