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Anorak | There ain’t no such thing as a solution: only tradeoffs

There ain’t no such thing as a solution: only tradeoffs

by | 28th, August 2012

THERE’S a point that the subject of economics really tries very hard to get across. There’s no such thing as a solution: there are only tradeoffs. These tradeoffs come in a series or more or less acceptable ones, true, but tradeoffs there always are.

Stepping entirely outside economics for a moment here’s an interesting example :

The production of France’s Roquefort cheese is being threatened by the return of the wolf to the country’s southern mountains.

The sheepies that produce the milk that makes the cheese are, by definition, left free to roam the mountains. The wolf coming back (actually, illegal immigrants from Northern Italy) threaten those free roaming flocks. We can thus have more lovely wolves and wildlife and less cheese or fewer wolves and more smelly fromage .

There’s no particularly correct answer to which we should have either. Some people will value the wildlife more than the food, some the other way around. We can ask people which they prefer, sure, but simple logic doesn’t provide us with an obviously correct answer.

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Posted: 28th, August 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink