Public Goods

A Public good “is an item whose consumption is not done by the individual consumer but rather by the society as a whole and normally financed through taxation”. A public good can be used without minimizing the available amount for other people and such public goods cannot be withheld from individuals who can’t pay for them. A public good is easily available because there is no existent market for it. No on can prevent another one from consuming a public good. The protection offered by the Police and the military and even fire departments are good examples of public goods. This is because their availability does not stop any individual from consuming them. Because private businesses cannot profitably produce public goods, these goods are provided by the government invariably through the payment of taxes (Thoreau, 192).

Clearly, nutrition is a public good because it leads to enhancement in human capital, health and educational capacity in any given community or society in general. Enabling of nutrition in any given country is clearly a public good and thus cannot be assumed to be a business priority but a responsibility of the government or the state. The governments of various countries can enable nutrition through the taxing of hazardous or non-nutritious foodstuffs in their countries or through subsidizing food products which are more nutritious. Unlike in the roadways, there is no clear indication as to why nutrition should be supported through the public services like for instance taxation. Improved or enhanced nutrition is however a public good because any society in a given country which has a significant variance from its nutritious habits may need the intervention of the government in order to enhance nutrition.

On the other hand however, nutrition cannot be a public good because in a strict sense, nutrition can neither be a non-rivalrous nor a non-excludable item as defined by the economists. This is because parents of can never borrow for the nutrition of their infants with a promise of repayment when their wages are higher. It is also because of the fact that the market cannot deal with the issue of nutrition in clear way. The numerous asymmetries which the consumers have to deal with on daily basis is a reason why nutrition cannot be termed to be a public good. Given the fact that the private sector cannot be stopped from engaging in the fight against nutrition, this is a clear indicator that nutrition cannot be termed to be a public good because the Private Sector can as well be involved in fighting against nutrition.   

The environment is a public good because according to the Economists, anything that anything environmental is a public goods and thus environmental goods are generally referred to as public goods, because it has nothing to directly whether they are directly provided publicly or not. This is because a public good is normally non-rivalrous in consumption in that an individual breathing clean air or observing a scenic view does not necessarily affect another person’s ability of doing the same. The environment is also a public good because its consumption is non-excludable in nature in that individuals cannot be prevented from breathing the air or seeing the scenic beauty (Thoreau, 193).

The environment cannot be a public good because despite the fact that globalization has led to the development of conditions which has brought unparalleled prosperity to the human race; it has also set in the motion for the destruction of Planet earth. The desire by human beings for more goods is what is responsible for the grievous threat that is posed towards the natural environment of the earth. The physical bounty through which human beings thought was inexhaustible is now quickly being drunk up, cut up, dug up and eaten up by the same people and it is because of this that there is significant disappearance of ancient forests. Instead of the human beings recognizing the environment as a public good and strive towards its recognization, the people have instead turned to its destruction. In order to make the environment to be a public good, the inhabitants of the earth should consider the effects caused on the environment as a result of their actions.     

According to economic experts, production of public goods privately cannot be possible because any producer attempting to do so risks incurring losses in production since the consumers cannot be prevented from freely consuming the public goods and that is why the provision of public goods like for instance police protection, legal institutions, national defense alongside the environmental goods can only be done by the government through taxation and not by individuals.

According to me nutrition cannot be a public good but the environment on the other hand is a public good. This is because unlike nutrition, the environment can be consumed by each and every individual in the world who is alive and the presence of the environmental goods cannot be produced for the market but instead, they are provided freely by nature. The environment is a public good because once it is created every individual can enjoy it freely without hindering or taking advantage of others. The environment can also be classified as being a public good because no individual can be excluded from consuming it once it was created. Because it is non rejectable, the environment is a public good because individuals have no choice other than to use (Thoreau, 194).

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