Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Shopping cart distribution in parking lots prove the law of the commons
Every time I go to the store, I see shopping carts spread around, many only a few steps from a cart return. Are people that lazy? That inconsiderate? Sadly, the law of the commons has struck again. When everyone shares the responsibility of ownership, no-one does. This means that no-one feels responsible for the carts even though they can roll and damage cars, and that employees of the store are put to extra trouble rounding up stray carts. It seems that the only way to make people feel responsible is to give them some individuals "ownership."