Sample Essay on Tragedy of the Commons

The tragedy of the commons is an economic situation where every individual wants to get the best out of a resource. Good for you, good for me, bad for us means that something can be good for some individual but totally wrong for the general society. In essence, the people do not care about the larger group but rather himself/herself. The resource is scarce and every individual who consumes a unit of the same commodity disadvantages others who can no longer get to enjoy it. This is because the demand for the same product overwhelms the supply of the same product. It’s simply an economic problem where every individual from a population wants to enjoy benefits of a resource, but the resource is not enough to serve everyone. The tragedy of the commons happens when few individuals ignore the well-being of the community just to serve personal interest (Hochberg and Brown). The resource, in this case, is available for all but only a few who reap the benefits.

The economists when they sing they mean that some of the actions of those who lead us show greediness and egocentrism. They sometimes join hands and reap of a resource intended for all just for themselves. In other words, they do not have the common interest of people with them. This usually wrong and happens with most politicians especially in the developing countries. Corruption is a fundamental problem that has derailed economic development in 3rd world countries. A thing which has hindered economic development in these countries for so; long. If say one person in the government decides to grab a piece of land especially meant for the public, then this individual denies those who should benefit from the resource the opportunity to have those benefits.  From his/her point of view, it’s good for him/her, but is it right for us the commons? No its never right for the common citizens and as a country or group, consideration should be done since it’s something that should serve the commons. The economists here are trying to pass a message that some actions might be good for an individual but so wrong to the Commons (Lucky 88-88). The resources should be used well for the common good and not for the few who want to benefit as this will be disadvantaging the rest.


Pasture is a resource used in this video. It attributes to the environment where the commons always get these resources from. The resources are getting rare day by day, and the population is increasing daily. With the rising population, people become more selfish and always want to fight for themselves, individual. It’s simply how humans want to satisfy their unlimited wants using the limited resources that they have. Overgrazing is an issue especially in the grazing lands. This has resulted due to inability to regulate the populations of various animals in the environment. The more the number of individuals after the same resource, then the more the struggle for resources since the resources available are scarce. The available resources are supposed to be shared equally among all the individuals and because of the struggle for this limited resource individuals opt to satisfy themselves first. None of the individuals have the interest of the commons at heart. The Commons end up without any benefit from the resource. The commons may include the animals that graze on this pasture or even birds and humans who want to plow the land for personal benefit. Animals should be protected, and the natural environment should also be protected. It’s from this environment that we get resources that are useful in the development of the economy. Overpopulation of animals leads to overgrazing. The best way to curb this is first to control population growth. Once the population is manageable, then it can be easy to share the available resource. The grasslands should just be well protected as they can provide an ecological niche to many animals. The fact that it’s an ecological niche for many is enough to make the society so keen to protect the environment.


Fisheries is another resource mentioned in the whole tragedy of commons. Fish is a resource that of late is becoming depleted all over. The economy should fight to protect the survival of this fisheries since it’s also a valuable resource. Many individuals do not even get to access the fisheries, but some other individuals do the opportunity, and that forms the tragedy of commons in this area. The resources as mentioned earlier, should be shared equally by the society and not for the benefit of the few involved. Most governments in the world are protecting their fisheries for the common interest.


The atmosphere is another resource that most people tend to neglect. It provides the oxygen that the animals breathe and any attempts to destroy the air means risking the survival of many animals in the environment. Fumes that are released by either those who drive and industries are some of the reasons why the environment is getting polluted. This pollution can result to loss of biodiversity. Governments are coming up with strategies which support and protect the environment.

In conclusion, the well-being of a country depends on how well the commons are treated and how the distribution of resources is administered. The society is rising on the occasion that resources should be well shared among all people equally. The environment gives us resources which help stimulate economic growth. Protection of the environment should be the fight now. It will contribute to protecting the economic resources within our reach.

Works Cited

Hochberg, Michael and James Brown. “The Tragedy Of The Tragedy Of The Commons.” Ideas in Ecology and Evolution 7 (2014): n. pag. Web.

Lucky, R.W. “Tragedy Of The Commons [Reflections].” IEEE Spectrum 43.1 (2006): 88-88. Web.