Civilization / Ecology / Economy / Ethics / Philosophy / Politics

Rethinking Ownership

Embassy of the Future

File:Madagascar erosion.jpg

If non-renewable resources are privately owned, they are in danger of being destroyed. For example, somebody owning a piece of forest might be tempted to just cut down and sell all of the trees or burn them to use the land for agriculture, eventually leaving just a desert. He might buy a piece of forest just for that purpose.

If the resource is owned by now one, somebody ruthless enough will just grab it to exploit it. If it is owned by a government, its fate is in danger. If the government is corrupt, it might just treat the public property like private, exploitable property; if it is not, it might still privatize it or destroy it to produce money for other purposes, or it might be forced to destroy the resource, e.g. by its creditors.

Such resources, therefore, should neither be privately owned nor should they be owned by…

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