6. The Nature of Ideas

“There are two different types of goods in the world. There are scarce goods and there are non-scarce goods. Like the speech I am giving you, is a non-scarce good. You can take it with you, but it doesn’t take it away from me. A song I sing you, you can go out and sing that song it doesn’t take it away from me. Very beautiful, lots of non-scarce goods in the world. Information. Pictures. Sounds. There is no reason to, restrict or allocate these things, or ration them once they are made public. (They are) Good for everybody. That’s not true, in the physical world. This podium I am speaking from, this book, one copy. All the chairs you sit in, all the clothes you wear, all the food you eat, everything you can see and touch, these are all scarce goods which is a way of saying, there really isn’t enough to serve everybody (in the world) who would like to have it. So there has to be some mechanism we use to allocate these things. We can either allocate these things through political decisions, or allocate them through economic decisions. The economic decisions use markets, and prices and private owners. Political decisions uses things like public mandates, force and bureaucracies. These are the essential choice we face.”

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