Subject: Re: Fwd: Wall Street article on a new Cooperative
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 23:45:01 +0200

On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 04:14:36AM +0800, Benjamin J. Tilly  wrote:
> "Stephen J. Turnbull" <> wrote:
> > Life's like that, ya know?  Much of the time the "problem" here is
> > just that Individual A succumbed to the temptation to confuse his
> > personal interest with "the public interest" just because everybody he
> > hangs out with is like him.

I find this offensive to the many people who work or vote against
their own personal interest.  Public interest is hard to define because
it involves lots of conflicting issues, which can be valued
differenlty by different individuals ... etc ...
   The difficulty is more often in the definition of the goals, while
economists are more concerned with the means (and that includes the

  But though there are lots of fuzzy situations, there are also much
clearer cases.

   The concept is not any worse than the clause in the US constitution
about intellectual property.  The purpose of a constitution is to
define goals.

Another point is that public interest depends on who is part of the
public (city, state, country, world).


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