# Communism and your condo co-op

Mentor
I was reading that China/Gas thread - the OP mentioned conservation. Conservation for the sake of conservation does not work in the real world, but it got me thinking about specific examples of this.

I live in a condo and I deal with them often in my job as an HVAC engineer. How to split-up energy bills is a huge issue that is generally not dealt with well. In my condo, its just water, but in a lot of condos, the heat and air conditioning are paid for by the cooperative and the cost is divided evenly between the tenants. Sounds good in principle, but the problem is that the tenants all know that if they waste energy, the cost gets distributed among the other tenants (and why should I conserve if my neighbor won't?). As a result, energy usage/costs in condos are often double what they should be.

The point is, solutions for a pretty wide variety of problems, from energy/pollution to economics, to politics need to appeal to the self-interests of the parties involved. For the example above, its as simple as giving everyone a meter.

Now, that said, pollution is a toughie because it is impossible to make someone directly responsible for/affected by their own pollution. There has to be a cooperative agreement between countries, and resuting laws imposed in each nation to solve that problem.

[/random thoughts]

## Answers and Replies

This is interesting.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
You should seen the forum im from. Wacko commies in there. They say in communism, you can have whatever you desire. Oh and one says "in communism, we wont have evil capitalist destructive inventions such as slavery, empirialism, the internal combustion engine, destroyed forests, etc". There was a huge list. Funny how we can have whatever we want but it wouldnt hurt the enviornment at all :-/

selfAdjoint
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
russ_waters said:
I live in a condo and I deal with them often in my job as an HVAC engineer. How to split-up energy bills is a huge issue that is generally not dealt with well. In my condo, its just water, but in a lot of condos, the heat and air conditioning are paid for by the cooperative and the cost is divided evenly between the tenants. Sounds good in principle, but the problem is that the tenants all know that if they waste energy, the cost gets distributed among the other tenants (and why should I conserve if my neighbor won't?). As a result, energy usage/costs in condos are often double what they should be.

Technical term: Tragedy of the Commons. And to think, some economists claim it never actually existed!

selfAdjoint said:
Technical term: Tragedy of the Commons.
Garrett Hardin. He was a Stalker:
http://www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/stalkers/hardin.html [Broken]

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Mentor
selfAdjoint said:
Technical term: Tragedy of the Commons.
Thanks - I didn't know there was a term for it.

This scenario reminds me of the hypothetical situation "If you were in a prison with your sister and if you both pushed a button you'd both die.. ect" I don't need to explain the whole thing.

Pengwuino said:
You should seen the forum im from. Wacko commies in there. They say in communism, you can have whatever you desire. Oh and one says "in communism, we wont have evil capitalist destructive inventions such as slavery, empirialism, the internal combustion engine, destroyed forests, etc". There was a huge list. Funny how we can have whatever we want but it wouldnt hurt the enviornment at all :-/

You've got a point. Little bit beyond radical is what the people from your other forum sound like. I had no idea communism is anything we wanted...sounds similar to anarchy...

SelfAdjoint, I had no idea there even was a term for that. How could economists claim it never exsisted? Its right there infront of their face.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
misskitty said:
You've got a point. Little bit beyond radical is what the people from your other forum sound like. I had no idea communism is anything we wanted...sounds similar to anarchy...

Pff, they say anarchy is even better! "No government or higher authority to tell you what you can and cant do". And for some reason the more liberal people on the forum seem to approve of them adn tell them they are right.

Oh and , according to them, "the soviet union was communist when they won teh space race... but the soviet union was never communist... but the soviets wre communist when they were the military jugernaut... but the soviets were never communist". I think there finally sticking to "the soviet union was never true communists" viewpoint.

Uh-huh. Where are most of these people from? Because I doubt if they have experienced anarchy they would still support it the way that they do.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
US universities of course. Well, one supposedly "graduated" last semester (chico state? Lol). Maybe foreigners do have a point when they say "ignorant americans" lol. But actually, 1/2 of them are from Britain come to think of it.

Hmm, why would someone from the US advocate such an idea?

EDIT: that was not meant sarcastically or mean or anything. Its a serious question.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
misskitty said:
Hmm, why would someone from the US advocate such an idea?

I dunno... but give me a few pamphlets and 1-sided stories and i can convince a college student of anything.

Lol. I believe you. The same could be said for some people I go to school with. Why would you only settle for one side of the story? Seriously, someone with half a brain and an ounce of common sense would try to get the other half before they make a decision about anything.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
Well these people only have 1/4 of a brain and 2grams of common sense i suppose :-/. Hell a bunch of them were going "capitalism is crap because you can sell a product that costs $4 to produce and sell it for$40 bucks and make $36 profit while poor people starve". I asked them what sort of insane unrealistic capitalist country this was and they said the US... I really wanna know what product exists that you can sell for 10x the production/labor/distribution costs... Its just ludicrous. I tend to ignore people like that after a while. My general responce to that is something along the lines of capitalism is what allowed you to invest in those high quality clothes and leather shoes you enjoy while people in NY freeze to death in single digit temperatures because they were turned away from a shelter due to over occupancy...go put your money where your mouth is. Pengwuino Gold Member Oh yah and this one guy... ugh this guys on a computer obviously... no charity money there.... on a government scholarship (i suppose pell grant or fafsa-qualified financial aid) which is paid for by rich people (majority that is). And whenever someone shows off their sweet ass stuff (like one guy with a... multi-$10,000 entertainment system), he goes "man that is sweet! i wish i had that!".

Mentor
misskitty said:
SelfAdjoint, I had no idea there even was a term for that. How could economists claim it never exsisted? Its right there infront of their face.
I'm not positive that this was SA's point, but a lot of advocates of communism claim that it has never been tried. In fact, it or certain aspects of it exist all over the place. The condo association example is precisely the problem that communism faces on the national level. I only wish I had realized the connection sooner.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
And think of how worse it would be if they didnt have to pay anything at all (thast the view the communists in that other forum take). Funny hwo these people that call themselves "the greatest liberals" would pretty much ruin the earth faster then 50 China's :D.

Whats even funnier is this guy (also claims communism has never existed... quickly contradicted a few times a month) claims theres a group of communists in mexico and he calls them a succes. Well, there basically on the technological order of backwoods farmers in China. Im not really sure what "success" means to him i guess...

selfAdjoint
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
misskitty said:
SelfAdjoint, I had no idea there even was a term for that. How could economists claim it never exsisted? Its right there infront of their face.

The original name, Tragedy of the Commons, was introduced in a book of that name by Garret Harden (sp?). It referred to a alleged situation from British history where villagers would share a common field for grazing cattle or sheep. Individual villagers had no reason to restrain themselves from overgrazing, and so the common was destroyed and its advantage to all was lost.

It is this particular situation that some historical economists have denied, and they might be right. But then some people use that to assert that Harden's case that this is a general problem of mankind has been refuted. And it is THAT argument that is shot down by the existence of situations like that condo one.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
The issues brought up in this thread are the reason I won't live in a condo or any place with a homeowners' association. Fees just keep increasing as people rationalize that "Oh, this will only cost $5 or$10 per household if we all share the cost," when nobody would have even bothered or cared if they were expected to foot the entire bill themselves. That's not even including the bizarre rules that they make that you have to go along with even if you're the only one who doesn't agree. I have friends who live in a community with a homeowners' association, and they even have rules about what kind of mailbox you can have! Someone new to the neighborhood got one of those cute, unique mailboxes; it was by no means unsightly, and the homeowners' association was practically ready to rip it out of the ground for them if they didn't replace it immediately. How many sane people worry about the type of mailbox someone else has?

Pengwuino
Gold Member
Ah yes... and thats why i want to live on a big 3 acre plot in texas. No ones going to tell me what mailbox i can have lest i fire my 12 gauge at them :D lol jk