Social Dilemma- Free Rider Problem
Social Dilemma occurs when individuals in a group are only out for their benefits or self interests regardless of the potential ruin of society in the long run because of individual’s tendency to pursue their own short term interest. There are two important types of social dilemmas tragedy of the commons & free- rider problem which will be the one discussed.
Free Rider problem is the tendency for people to refrain from contributing to the common goods when resources are available without requiring any personal cost. So people don’t contribute because the resource is still available even if they contribute or not. The free rider problem mainly occurs with public goods. Public goods as stated in the video are non-rival and non-excludable goods or services. Non-rival where the consumption of one person doesn’t decrease someone else’s enjoyment of the good or service. Non-excludable you cannot prevent one person or another from using the good or service such as the ocean.
Examples of public goods that face the free rider problems are police, fire fighters, roads, national defense, fireworks, and other municipal or community services. Most of these public services are available to all even those who don’t even pay taxes. Also a person using one of the services doesn’t decrease the next person enjoyment of the service. But public goods are usually misused or not taken care of because people don’t really take responsibility for them since it’s not really theirs. In an effort to provide these services which we so much enjoy government have mandatory taxes. If taxes were voluntary we would most likely not have the funds to enjoy these services because we only think about our immediate benefits and interest.
Another example is a channel like PBS, most people who watch the channel dont really give any contribution because they feel like its always there regardless of their donation or not. But if everyone acted in the same way we would eventually loose the resource.