Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tragedy of the Commons

As we learned in class, the Tragedy of the Commons occurs when one individual or a group of individuals acts in ways that are logical in terms of achieving personal goals with no regard for how they will hurt the commons as a whole. Since it is impossible to balance personal and common interests, this always has a negative effect on the common good. In the article attached, there are three outlined modern examples of Tragedies of the Commons. These examples helped me understand this concept a lot better as well as opening my eyes to how often we are faced with choices that can either help or hurt the people we share our communities with. I also liked the way the article recognized the reason so many people produce tragedies of the commons. The author claims that it is because when looking out for personal interests, immediate results are seen and experienced by the individual, whereas acts in favor of the common interest do not show positive results right away and may not affect the individual ever. This can be seen in professional sports when an athlete chooses to use PED’s (performance enhancing drugs). The player acts with an intention to help themselves and their career, without considering the negative results they could produce for their team and their league, as well as the reputations and integrity of the other athletes in their sport.

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