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Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Clumsy economics may lead to ideas that are detrimental to liberty

So, I scrambled to come up with an interesting blog for Power and Prosperity; hey, a person who procrastinates and operates behind the 8-ball tends to scramble! So, instead of dealing with power and prosperity, I decided to play with the notion of collective action. One might view collective action as a common good; if that is the case, is there such a thing as common sense to determine the common good?

I googled common sense and to my surprise, I stumbled (stumbling is a normal thing for one who is scrambling) upon a website:



Common Good is a non-profit, non-partisan legal reform coalition dedicated to restoring common sense to America. By conducting polls, hosting forums, and engaging with leaders in health care, education, law, business, and public policy from across the country, Common Good is developing practical solutions to restore reliability to our legal system and minimize the impact of legal fear in American life.

Not delving too deeply into the site, I quixotically jumped around from one page to another in the site and found myself thinking, “self, do we like this site or do we not?” To which my only reply was “I don’t know!”

After reading Olson’s book, “The Logic of Collective Action,” I felt like I intuitively understood WHY special interest groups occur and WHY people are drawn to becoming a part of a group; and groups want to be larger groups, etc. I felt like it all made sense and that things are the way they are because that’s the way things are!

I basically felt like my understanding of things was rudimentary at best! This feeling doesn’t feel very good, but it’s at least better than feeling rushed, scrambling and stumbling!

The website is something that certainly makes me wonder if there are ways to use government power to come up with a system that operates well. Reading the site, with an assumed intuitive knowledge of collective goods, I felt like what I was reading was promising and that there was hope!

It’s a good thing that my evolution of understanding economics and the farces of government-necessity is occurring! Because if it wasn’t, I might actually buy into the website and believe that by applying common sense and contributing to the common good, I might actually impact government to act in a way that would beneficial to me.

So, I maintain my skepticism of the government and of collective logic… no matter how flowery the website is. Maybe I can take something from it, without immersing in it. Perhaps I can gain an understanding of different vantage points and thus protect my liberty… hell, even preserve my own prosperity and develop my own power. Perhaps I need to get better organized so that I don't clumsily stumble and scramble my way into subscribing to ideas that sound good, but actually may harm my liberty!

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