Social interest and self interest can come into conflict
Self Interest Quotes (57 quotes)
Self interest vs Social Interest and the invisible hand
How the Social Situation Creates Conflict: The Role of Social Dilemmas
One aspect of this line of inquiry involved the portrayal of voting as a utility-maximizing choice. The problem that immediately arose, though, was that the model implied that rational individuals will not vote, which flies in the face of empirical data on voter turnout. One of the oddities of the application of the rational actor model to politics is that it seemed to offer rather convincing explanations for many forms of legislative and bureaucratic behavior but could not explain this most basic of democratic political decisions. Rather than see this as evidence against the rational choice model, public choice scholars—political scientists as well as economists—attempted to rescue the rational choice model through various means. This article examines the early evolution of the theory of the rational voter, including the attempts by public choice scholars to reconcile the predictions of the model with empirical realities. It shows how, in the process, these scholars absorbed within the rational actor model some of the very motivational forces that the rational choice voting model was originally intended to replace.
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If human beings are well equipped to cooperate with each other, and if morality, social fairness, and other human features favor cooperation, why are so many social relationships still competitive? If you guessed that the competition comes not so much from the people as it does from the nature of the social situation, then you would be correct. In short, competition is often caused by the social dilemma itself—the dilemma creates patterns whereby even when we want to be good, the situation nevertheless rewards us for being selfish. Social dilemmas occur when the members of a group, culture, or society are in potential conflict over the creation and use of shared public goods. In many cases, the public good involves the responsible use of a resource that if used wisely by the group as a whole will remain intact but if overused will be destroyed.
A combination of self-interest, a regard for the wellbeing of others, and appropriate institutions can yield desirable social outcomes when people interact. The scientific evidence is now overwhelming: climate change presents very serious global risks, and it demands an urgent global response. This is the blunt beginning of the executive summary of the Stern Review, published in The British Chancellor of the Exchequer finance minister commissioned a group of economists, led by former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas now Lord Stern, to assess the evidence for climate change, and to try to understand its economic implications. The Stern Review predicts that the benefits of early action to slow climate change will outweigh the costs of neglecting the issue. Early action would mean a significant cut in greenhouse gas emissions, by reducing our consumption of energy-intensive goods, a switch to different energy technologies, reducing the impacts of agriculture and land-use change, and an improvement in the efficiency of current technologies. National governments disagree on the policies that should be adopted.
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