Sunday, October 10, 2010

Junkbox, Episode MSG...

Slowly getting back into the groove (No, not done yet - major truck casualty)


ThomasMoore said...

Why would you label someone who studied the cost and returns of BT corn and decided it wasn't economical as a "free loader" ?

Jay said...

The "free-loaders" benefiting from all their neighbors planting Bt corn. So much Bt corn has been planted that it has had a serious impact on corn borer populations. It's the same mechanism that's keeping the children of anti-vaxers alive. So much of the population is immune to the effects of those diseases that, as far as the industrialized world is concerned, those diseases might as well no longer exist.

John Phipps said...


The term I used is "free-rider", not free loader. From Wikipedia:

"In economics, collective bargaining, psychology, and political science, "free riders" are those who consume more than their fair share of a public resource, or shoulder less than a fair share of the costs of its production. Free riding is usually considered to be an economic "problem" only when it leads to the non-production or under-production (in a collectivist sense) of a public good (and thus to Pareto inefficiency), or when it leads to the excessive use of a common property resource. The free rider problem is the question of how to limit free riding (or its negative effects) in these situations.

The name "free rider" comes from a common textbook example: someone using public transportation without paying the fare. If too many people do this, the system will not have enough money to operate."

I wasn't making a judgment particularly. Nor am I sure there is an economic inefficiency here.

ThomasMoore said...

free rider, free loader.

A distinction without a difference.