Our health is a public good.
I suspect that statement runs at odds with how most readers think about their health. Is our health not, after all, determined by what we do, what we eat, and how much we exercise? While that is indeed the case, fundamentally, our behaviors are shaped by the world around us, inescapably so. Let me explain.
Public goods are common resources that need to be supported by collective investment. Libraries, parks, highways, national security—these are all examples of public goods, supported by all and accessible to all. The reason they are public goods, rather than individual commodities, is we have decided that they are so fundamental to our wellbeing that they should not be entirely the province of private investment or market forces. Education, for example, benefits everyone—there is no one whose life it does not stand to improve. It is therefore supported by everyone, as a public good.
Read the full piece at Fortune.