Social Traps and Environmental Policy (1) In his article Social Traps and Environmental Policy Robert Costanza, provides us with the insight on what represents the essence of social traps and discusses the ways of how they can be avoided. According to author, social trap is: Situation in which the short-run, local reinforcements guiding individual behavior are inconsistent with long-run, global best interest of the individual and society (Costanza).
The Figure 1, contained in the article, is meant to explain the mechanics of social traps – they are being compared to the road signs that mislead traveler. Costanza comes up with many examples of social traps, such as gambling, cigarette smoking or storing toxic waste at the dump, while hoping that this effectively solves the problem off its accumulation. It appears that social traps have the same metaphysical essence they attract people with the prospects of immediate benefits, while not providing them with information, in regards to long-run costs that are associated with such benefits. Author comes up with a few suggestions as to how we can avoid being trapped, in the social context of this word. He describes education and trade-off policies as the most effective of them.
Once we know how to recognize social trap early enough, we will not step into it. The trade-off policy can be applied when the short-time benefits of a particular project have an imperative nature. For example, even though bringing toxic waste to the dump cannot be thought of as being beneficial in the long run, such practice cannot be abolished altogether, otherwise we will suffocate in our own filth. However, if we apply the concept of trade-off to this practice, it will allow us to calculate the amount of potential damage, associated with it, which it is turn, will provide legal grounds for charging the producers of toxic waste with environmental fines. Constanza concludes that: We must make protecting the environment as economically attractive to individuals in the short run as it is to society in the long run (Costanza).
... being: The roots of Social Welfare Policy, The Policy-Making Process and Social Welfare Policies Today. The roots of social welfare talks about how ... care, including hospitalization, physicians service, prescription drugs, and long-term nursing home care unlike Medicare. Medicaid is for those ... tackle the welfare problem.Most teenage mothers would no longer be eligible for benefits and some bills would ...
(2) It cannot escape our attention that analyzed article was written in 1983, before American nation started to loose its integrity with the mean of policy of multiculturalism being forcibly imposed upon citizens. This is the reason why Costanza was able to talk about the societys common goods as an objective category.
However, nowadays, it is quite impossible to define what represents a common good for Americans, because they are deeply divided along cultural and ethnic lines. It is very doubtful of whether people who engaged in vicious looting in New Orleans, during the hurricane Katrina, could be explained of what the concept of common good stands for. Therefore, we cannot refer to Costanzas article as such that contain valid suggestions as to how to avoid social traps, because the line of authors arguments is based on the assumption that our society is racial homogeneous, which does not correspond to the objective reality anymore. People who celebrate diversity with the mean of dumping garbage in front of their houses, can hardly be referred to as such that might find the concept of trade-off appealing. Costanza suggests that it is up to the government to teach people how to be environmentally conscious. However, it seems that our politicians have more urgent priorities to address, such as getting reelected for the second term with the mean of promising amnesty to the illegal aliens.
... instead of considering young people as a social problem, I would regard young people as a mirror reflecting our social problems. We all share ... the responsibility of the social problems created by the young people. Juveniles are not "born criminals" who deliberately ... see that the majority started to accuse young people as a source of social problem. Nowadays, some may even consider young ...
It describes them as such that are stepping into the social trap themselves, because they choose in favor of short term benefits, related to obtaining cheap laborers, while being unable to see that it is going to be only the matter of time, before America will turn into a Third World nation, as result of allowing Mexicans to come here. We cannot expect such people to be able to enlighten ordinary citizens as to what is the essence of social trap. Thus, even though that the line of Costanzas arguments is absolutely valid, we cannot refer to the conclusions, he comes up with, as such that might have a practical implications in contemporary America. Outline: Summary Criticism.