3/23/2005

Free Riders

The article that I read was called Free Riders. This article is talking about those people who think that they should have everything for free. Or in other words you benefit from something without paying for a thing. Free riders are known for taking advantage of public goods without contributing anything for them. I really have problems with people like this because I hate it when people think they deserve things for nothing. No, that is not the case step up and takes some responsibility. I personally could never be a free rider because I have had friends throughout my life that I called mooches, or also know as free riders, which drove me crazy when they thought that they did not have to pay for anything. The main problems that free riders create are when they are told not to use certain products where the environment can be harmed. As a whole most of the population listens, but then there are those people who think that they are the exception.

6 comments:

rico said...

Free riders consume our tax dollars that could go to other things, such as paying off the deficit. There are people who take advantage of the welfare system, such as unemployment. It helps many people support their family when they lose their jobs, but others take advantage of it. We all need to do what we can to prevent people from taking advantage of these government programs. We all have friends that do it, just let them know how you feel. You never know, it may help.

Diane said...

The article states that we are all free riders to a point. Often times we choose not to participate in movements that will eventually benefit us through the work of others. Many students receive financial aid. Financial aid is funded by taxpayers. Many of these taxpayers have never used financial aid and their children cannot qualify for it. But education funded by financial aid will often benefit society.
I agree with Rico that many take advantage of government systems such as welfare. This misuse decreases government funds that could be used to pay off the deficit. Many people do need the help that these programs offer. If a person uses welfare to get back into the job market, society will be benefited when this person is again able to pay taxes. Unfortuneatly many people want to get money through lawsuits and fraud rather than earn it.

Dale said...

I am now in a group working on a project, and you can easily tell who is just along for the ride. It is funny to see this because those that are free riding know exactly what they are doing and they also know that every else knows what they are doing. But, somehow all the free riders justify it in their minds that it is ok to do so. I also think that the other group members just sort of plan on doing extra because they know that the free riders will not pull their weight.

Jim said...

I was raised with a famous saying from my dad. He would always say that, "There is no such thing as a free lunch". Since then I have heard that exact same phrase several times over. The only problem with "Free Riders", is that a lot of times they have more benefits than if they went out and got a real job.

Dr. Tufte said...

Ooh Harry - open mouth, insert foot! ;)>

It's OK to say that you'd never intentionally or willfully be a free rider, but it's definitely something that you can't claim you never do. For example, exhaling is a form of free riding. We all free ride to some extent, and you are to be applauded if you've got the moral fiber to do it less than others.

Fundamentally, the problem of free riding is about property rights. If property rights are poorly defined, then free riding becomes a problem. That's the problem with public goods - almost by definition something public has poorly defined property rights.

We will actually do an experiment on April 1 in which free riding won't be preventable within the class even if you negotiate not to do it.

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