Idle Talk 19 05 13 Is free riding wrong?

This week’s topic is the free rider problem. “A free rider, in economics, refers to someone who benefits from resources, goods, or services without paying for the cost of the benefit”.

We try and workout if someone who avoids paying tax, yet still takes advantage of benefits such as the NHS, is doing something wrong. They could be accused of taking advantage of other people’s contribution to society. However one person’s contribution in tax is negligible and therefore this free rider is not having a detrimental effect on the health service. We then examine the issue in the context of trying to prevent climate change and global warming. The listeners as usual give us some interesting opinions!

We then try and tackle this problem by treating  it as  a problem stemmingfrom the vagueness of human language. To help us define the paradox which could be at the heart of the free rider problem we hear from Josh Matthews at the University of Reading who we spoke to about vagueness during The Idle Talk show  of 14th March 2013.


Philosophy Bites podcast interview with Richard Tuck-