Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Every Man For Himself

Some things are just collective action problems, and they can't be solved by appealing to personal responsibility or yelling at people for their "bad behavior." I don't fault people for buying extra rolls of toilet paper if they hear "toilet paper shortage" on the news, but given the way our supply system works, for many things it doesn't take much of temporary demand boost to empty the shelves (or tanks).

Plenty of ways to sensibly ration things temporarily. Maybe they aren't entirely easy to implement quickly, but it barely occurs to anyone to try.