What Are Some of the Problems With the Concept of Public Goods

A public good is a service or commodity that is provided to all the members of the society, without gaining profit, it is usually started by the government, but can also be started by a private individual, or organization. When the government decides to create a public good they must obtain the funds somewhere, so they use the money that they obtain from taxes. Once this public good is built the citizens can enjoy and use this public good. Public goods like most things have their issues or flaws; what are some of the problems with the concept of public goods?

The first problem with the concept of public goods is the fact that it leaves an opening for the government to use it as an excuse for higher taxes. Probably one of the biggest issues is the fact that the difference between a private good and a public good is not a very distinct one. For example if one passes by a privately owned house that has a nice exterior design that does not mean you will not enjoy looking at it. Another large and important issue that goes along with the concept of public goods is the fact that it does not exclude anyone from enjoying the public good even though they didn’t necessarily pay for it by taxes. For example children can enjoy a public park even though they didn’t pay for the park whatsoever. It’s impossible to know if one person did not pay or paid for the creation of the public good. The “rules” for a Public Good are rather vague, unlike a private good in which the main rule is that the owner of the private good sets the rules. A public good is public and is considered to not really be owned by anybody.

You most likely enjoy going to public parks, public leisure centers, and you most likely drive on public roads. All of these things are public goods; created and built by the government, but paid by tax money, which is from the taxpayers. These public goods, though convenient and nice, have a set of flaws that do point out how misleading the term “public goods,” is. There are always two sides of the story. 

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