The Economist tells us something that we should already understand:
It makes the point that hunters and their money pays for conservation, provides meat to local communities, and provides an economic incentive to stop poaching and overgrazing.
It is a sad statement on our educational system that so many people are so oblivious to common sense principles of basic economics and human nature.
Let’s see: I’m really poor. Starving and living in a mud hut poor. There is a highly desirable resource nearby that I can harvest and sell for lots of money…money that I NEED to feed, shelter and clothe my family.
Everyone keeps telling me that I can’t harvest that resource because it’s endangered, but if I do nothing, my family is going to go hungry…what do I do? I harvest the resource in secret with no plan to replenish it and take my chances.
And then everyone wonders why the resource is dwindling.
What happens if the “powers that be” make harvesting the resource legal and allow us to charge lots of money for the privilege? Rich people come from all around, pay us lots of money to guide them and feed them and house them and manage their hunts and, as a result, there is a huge incentive for us to manage the resource carefully so it lasts for future harvests.
And, as if by magic, the resource begins to rebound and is no longer declining in numbers.
Wonder how that could have possibly happened?
This is not a slam on the blog I linked to which was my source for the story, I’m sure they understand these principles as well as I do and were only trying to draw attention to them. My issue is with the seemingly endless supply of do-gooders who can’t grok basic common sense concepts about how the world really works and so continue to do untold damage.
It reminds me of a line from the lyrics of an old Johnathan Edwards song “Sunshine”:
“He can’t run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine”
They have no idea how the world works but they think they should be able to tell everyone how to run it. Even when their methods are proven not to work, and other “unapproved” methods reach the result they’ve been claiming to want all along, they’ll gnash their teeth and rend their clothes that we’re not following their demonstrably ineffectual mandates.
The interesting thing about the left is that, even though they claim to be all about outcomes, they don’t seem to care very much when their policies don’t result in the outcomes they claim to want. And when policies espoused by the right (or, really anyone other than themselves) prove to work better, they still rail against and oppose them.
Because they aren’t really concerned about outcomes. In fact, they’d prefer if the problems they rail against are never resolved, because the existence of the problem can be leveraged into control…and that’s what it’s really about.