Re: Science and Unemployment...

Daniel E. Platt (
7 Jul 1995 15:42:02 GMT

In article <>, (Michael L. Siemon) writes:
|> The lesson (one Jared Diamond urges strongly in _The Third Chimpanzee_)
|> is that WHEN humanity finds a resource to exploit, it does so to the utter
|> destruction of the resource. This is what economists call "rationality."

One might expect this since the resource is essentially free. Actually
though, this isn't quite true. Humanity tends to exploit a resource as
long as there is economic gain to be made from it. When the resource
costs to much to aquire, then people quit trying to aquire it.
Examples include domestic oil production -- something that has fallen
off because it costs more to keep many wells working than the value of
what they produce. During the last oil shortage, we were still capping
producing domestic wells. One might argue that that resource was
``destroyed.'' On the other hand, over time, those wells tend to ``come
back.'' Further, resources tend to end up getting managed by
regulation over time -- especially if there is a public interest
at stake. I tend to like that feature.


Daniel E. Platt
The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.