1000 Castaways, Chapter 2: System Two

(Chapter 1       Chapter 3)

Chapter 2

System Two

SO FAR WE HAVE SEEN how a system can emerge naturally that functions to help individuals better coordinate the use of real resources and thus increase the private production of society overall (Chapter 1). This increases the production of real goods and services for everyone. The “money” system (promises-to-pay) this creates is very useful in itself. But of more fundamental importance is the role of this system in helping coordinate the private sector’s use of resources in a way that can increase the material wellbeing of the whole group.small farm

Some projects, however, are much larger or longer-term than John’s fishing nets, much too large for any one person or even group of people to want to engage in. And some projects are less obviously profitable to any one person but still desired by the group as a whole, especially as they often increase, sometimes by many times, the productivity of the private sector.

For example, the Islanders desired a road across the middle of the island to speed up trade in timber and stone (a public project greatly increasing the quality and amount of housing they can build on their own), but this was far too big a project for any one person or small group to do together. They also wanted a system to take care of the kids on the island and teach them useful things while the parents were making nets and farming yams and barley in the day. Both of these projects can raise the wellbeing of the Islanders, especially in the long run.

They think about trying to organize and coordinate everyone to do certain tasks, appoint road-builders and rock quarriers and teachers and book writers…

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