The term public good is often used to refer to goods that are non-excludable as well as non-rival. This means that
consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce the amount of the good available for consumption by
others. Also it is not possible to exclude individuals from the good's consumption. Fresh air water, nature may be
considered a public good as it is not generally possible to prevent people from using them.
This poses immediately the question of who, then, provides public goods. Once they exist, they are there for all
to enjoy. So it is often the most rational strategy for private actors to let others go first and seek to enjoy
the good without contributing to its production. This is a dilemma that public goods face.
Without some sort of collective-action mechanism, they risk being under-provided. Conversely, without collective action, public bads - such as pollution, noise, street crime, risky bank lending, and so on - would be over-provided.
Another question that arises is why is the difficult to collectivize on issues of public goods?
Based on my reading of Ayn Rand’s – Capitalism, and my own understanding of human rights I conjecture the
Public goods as I understand them would typically be air, water, sunshine, nature etc. Nobody owns them. Similarly my concept of Human Rights from development perspective is drinking water, food, shelter, health etc. I assume that as a member of the human race it is my birth right to HAVE these RIGHTS. I grow up believing that it is my right the have these, and for my right to be fulfilled someone has to provide them for me. Hence I always complain about my parents, the government, society etc for not providing me my rights or inhibiting my rights. With this relation that I have with human rights it is no wonder that public goods that also fall under the same purview are treated in the same way. I assume it to be my right to have access to clean air, clean water etc.
But generally this right implies an externality and that someone has to rightfully give / provide it to me. Hence
the responsibility shifts from the individual to an abstract concept of the collective (society, government etc).
Thus inherently my relationship with public goods is that I do not have to be responsible for their attainment
and those will be provided.
It is no wonder than that with such a kind of relationship making individuals come together and commit themselves towards public goods is very difficult. By my understanding of Ayn Rand, Human Rights do not imply guarantee of having, instead they are meant to imply that one has the choice and freedom to pursue the attainment of them. When I begin to think as such I essentially become powerful and independent to pursue the attainment of public goods.
They become my own self proclaimed responsibility and I can pursue them as a self-interested rational
Hence I believe that a Social Transformation where each individual understands Human Rights thru Ayn Rand’s context will lead to new paradigms in Collectivizing over Public Goods.