How to Make Commons More Common

Organizations can use price segmentation and universal dividends to make their products more like common goods.

Chestnut fruit


Nebrodini Bianco

Universal mushrooms

Let’s imagine a superabundant type of mushroom that every person on Earth wants in exactly the same amount. Let’s imagine that the only limitation to people fulfilling their mushroom desires is their ability to pay for delivery.

Non-universal mushrooms

Let’s imagine a different type of mushroom to which 10% of the human population is allergic.

Open-source software

Let’s consider an open-source software library. The software is very useful to 100 software developers that know how to use it. It’s very easy for those developers to find the software, so the distribution cost is zero. We might say that the accessibility problem is solved, but should others be encouraged to learn how to use the software to increase its accessibility? Should those that don’t know how to use it directly be compensated?

Neighborhood park

Imagine a neighborhood park with a playground and stone animal sculptures for children to enjoy.

Recognizing layers

Red rock layers

A little more common

Even if an organization operates in a competitive market, it can make its goods a little more common without losing its edge. Price segmentation (student discounts, occasional free nights) can be a great option. Donating part of excess revenue to a universal dividend (see below) can move even the most exclusive private good towards the commons side.

Providing alternatives

To respect differences between people and freedom of choice while keeping utility high, we need to work to increase the number and variety of common goods. We want a future where quality of life is less dependent on physical circumstances like place of birth, language, location, or abilities.

Ideas to make goods more common

🔆 Make goods and services usable by people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive abilities. Make them work independently of language, location, or other person-to-person differences.

Related ideas

🔆 Pay and treat employees better. Give them benefits. Treat each person as an end in themselves, not a means to an end.



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