Talk:Artificial scarcity

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Someone with expertise please add more examples. Artificial scarcity of diamonds and oil, as created by De Beers and oil speculators, respectively, would be some great examples to add. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Copy editing[edit]

Wow, this article is in need of serious editing by someone who's taken Econ 101. This line was particularly shocking for its utter lack of understanding: "Demand has to exceed supply in order for a profit to be made." That's utterly wrong. Markets are most efficient, i.e. they reach equillibrium, when demand is exactly equal to supply. --Joshdick 12:45, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


It is my opinion that this article would benefit from mentioning diamonds. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:29, 20 November 2014‎ (UTC)

Technocracy movement[edit]

If you are a member of the technocratic movement, please feel free to add on.C. Nelson 20:49, Dec 24, 2004 (UTC)


"Efficiency" in purely physical terms is what is discussed here. Price System economies are very wasteful of resources, and indeed need to be. Otherwise, we'd have another Great Depression. --Kolzene 05:12, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Wow, this is great....[edit] all we need to do is eliminate the price system and we'll rid ourselves of "artificial scarcity." Or also known in some circles as ALLOCATION and DISTRIBUTION of scarce resources and raw materials.

This is just about the brightest idea since Marxism. I would like to draw attention to the fact that this "model" or "theory" has no model for allocation of resources. This is laughable. This is what happens when you teach an anthropologist how to use Excel. You needn't think past the fact that you can't eat open-source code to see how ridiculous this is. They've identified how our society allocates scarce resources, slapped a name on it and said that all we need to do is ignore its existance.

Dimwitted is the phrase that comes to mind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:45, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

--- You are free to edit the article to include your criticism. Of course, ridiculing it in the discussion is much easier. Trfs 02:40, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

--- Actually, if you bothered to check out the links, you would find that there is indeed a "model of the allocation of resources". It's called Energy Accounting. There's a lot more to it too, if you do your research, rather than making assumptions and childishly ridiculing. --Kolzene 05:12, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

--- I would say the second part on the need for artificial scarcity is weak. Price systems don't actually require profit. Hell, I could buy a candy bar for $20. I would say that it is more of an assumption common in economic theory.

As for the debated second sentence, that statement might be true if the market is in perfect equilibrium and we take the limit as the number of firms goes to infinity. See Cournot competition for info. Basically, it is not true in real life.

I would also add in the canonical critique that without the creation of natural scarcity through intellectual property laws, there would be a smaller incentive to innovate and discover new technology. I'm not supporting or opposing this critique, I'm simply saying that it is the primary justification for intellectual property laws today.

Finally, the universal quantifier, "as current economics deals only with allocating scarce resources, not abundant ones," is bound to be untrue given the number of economists in the world. 08:22, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Public goods vs club goods[edit]

It is clear that the term "artificial scarcity" is appropriate in the case of some markets regulated by intellectual property laws. Copyright makes MP3 files of jazz classics unnaturally scarce (for example). The law is intervening to impose excludabilty and the scarcity is therefore artificial. It isn't so clear that the term is appropriate in the case of naturally excludable club goods like cable television. If scarcity is being imposed, it is at the instigation of private parties who may have no feasible business option but to impose it. In that sense it could be argued that it isn't actually "artificial". Does anyone know of any good literature on the distinction? -- pde 18:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm no economist, so I don't pretend to be very knowledgeable about the issues you’re talking about, but you've got to remember who wrote this article and what it is really about. The article is essentially about the Technocratic movement's use of the term "Artificial scarcity", and their analysis and criticism of monetary systems (though that should probably be made more clear in the article). So it’s not really an economics article (it's rather an attack on economics). I just hope it doesn't have to be split like the Price system article (i.e. into Technocratic views of the Price system). --Hibernian 18:45, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that it's an attack on economics per se, just the current and common economic models that are in use that rely on scarcity as a foundation (without scarcity there can be no value, etc.). There have been and are more all the time people talking about "Post scarcity economics", without any reference or inspiration from Technocracy. People are starting to figure out he same things. --Kolzene 22:54, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Edit First Sentence and remove links to all articles in social sciences[edit]

I think that the first sentence should link to Post scarcity and not Economics. Artifical scarcity is not a term in econmics. Inclusion of this material in economics articles (and for that matter social science categories or articles) and related categories appears to me to run afoul of several problems: WP:OR, WP:RS. Please note that I am not suggesting that this material and related articles should be moved. However, they should not be represented as a social science. Joel Kincaid 01:01, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes you are probably right on most counts. I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean by links to social science articles. Though in general this article could do with some improvement and expansion. As for categories, maybe we need a more general category for Post scarcity articles, something like "Post scarcity Concepts", maybe. --Hibernian 03:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Open source software[edit]

The second paragraph seems to be pushing a naive application of this concept to open source software. I get the impression the author is promoting his personal view/agenda here rather than one for which there is a consensus among professional economists. I suggest the paragraph is deleted or replaced with a better example. (talk) 16:10, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The quote from the handnbook regarding exchange of apples and ideas is actually a quote from George Bernard Shaw, could it be correctly attributed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by RogerGLewis (talkcontribs) 12:14, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

  • I agree that the second paragraph is airy. It's also OR, so I've decided to remove it ([1]). It added nothing of value to the topic and only discredits the valid core stub. -- (talk) 00:13, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Imprecise language[edit]

The final paragraph of the Support for artificial scarcity section is deeply misleading on two counts:

  • Works licensed under CC licenses are copyrighted, but only some rights granted by copyright are reserved by the owner of the copyright. Non-reserved rights are granted by the licensor to the licensee through acceptance of the CC license.
  • It's not clear that the free software that is cited was represent "development without [artificial] scarcity" since several of these work were developed to combat (and therefore, perhaps, because of) perceived artificial scarcity within their respective domains of endeavor.

Maybe this paragraph should really be about examples of people who have reduced scarcity by creating popular libre works? --Michael Stone (talk) 19:15, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Restoration of old article contents[edit]

I'd like to make you aware of the fact that another user temporarily restored an older, considerably longer revision of this article (revision 2011-10-14T22:41:02) as he found this revision more correct and informative than the current one (revision 2013-04-04T19:38:53). See also: Discussion on his talk page: User talk:Permaculturedesigner#April 2013. I reverted him since the contents were originally deleted because they did not met our quality standards and also to not trash other contributions. According to the edit history, the old article had various issues like usage of non-encyclopedic language, potential use of original research or unreliable sources, or a neutral point of view not being maintained. Nevertheless, there's a chance that some useful stuff was deleted alongside questionable content when the article was trimmed down years back. Since the article in the current form certainly lacks in various aspects as well, perhaps someone more familiar with this subject should re-evaluate the old revision ([2]) and if useful material is found merge it back into the current article? Greetings. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 23:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC)