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Downeaster Alexa - Billy Joel

by Brian ORoark

In this ballad by Billy Joel, the Long Island native sings about the life of the fishermen.  At issue it seems is that there aren’t any fish to be caught, at least not without trolling far off into the sound.  Overfishing caused one of the predictable problems of property that is not owned by individuals.  When no one owns a resource, then no one cares about using it efficiently.  Thus, the commons problem arises. 

 

 

Downeaster Alexa - Billy Joel

In this ballad by Billy Joel, the Long Island native sings about the life of the fishermen. At issue it seems is that there aren’t any fish to be caught, at least not without trolling far off into the sound. Overfishing caused one of the predictable problems of property that is not owned by individuals. When no one owns a resource, then no one cares about using it efficiently. Thus, the commons problem arises.

from Downeaster Alexa (1989)
Creator: Billy Joel
Posted by Brian ORoark
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