No. of Recommendations: 13
This makes no sense to me. The U.S has had pretty good private property rights and we had burning rivers and smoking swamps until the clean water and clean air acts were passed and the private property rights were impinged upon.

You illustrate the problem perfectly, but you miss the point of your own illustration.

The problem was not on the private property where the pollution originated. The problem was on the property held in common.

Property held in common almost always becomes the site of problems.

And it isn't just pollution. It's over-fishing, when the fish still in the water are held to be a common resource. It's over-grazing on a field held in common. It's...

It's anything. Anything that can be regarded as a resource. Anything that could be abused by any of a significant group of people, with a benefit to the abuser while the harm is shared by the entire group (and possibly even a larger group).
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