Made it to Brooklyn alive. I don’t see what the big deal is, some nice chap shoveled me a spot and even gave me a free chair!

From @TheWordAt.

Speaking of which, have you noticed the similarity between shovel-earned parking dibs and intellectual property law?  In both cases the incentive to create value is in-kind:  you get monopoly power over your creation.  The theory is that you should be rewarded in proportion to the value of the thing you create.  It’s impossible to objectively measure that and compensate you with cash so an elegant second-best solution is to just give it to you.

At least in theory.  But in both IP and parking dibs there is no way to net out the private benefit you would have earned anyway even in the absence of protection.  (Aren’t most people shoveling spaces because otherwise they wouldn’t have any place to put their car in the first instance? Isn’t that already enough incentive?)  And all of the social benefits are squandered anyway due to fighting ex post over property rights.

I wonder how many people who save parking spaces with chairs are also software/music pirates?

Finally, here is a free, open-source Industrial Organization textbook (dcd: marciano.)  This guy did a lot of digging and we all get to recline in his chair.

About these ads