Week 15 Reflection: The fine line of coercion and cooperation

in #gradnium7 months ago

Dr. Davies is an economist who came to speak at OSU over the instances of coercion by the government. To start, when thinking of coercion, I never thigh of it as Davies introduced. When defining coercion, Davies essentially deems it as the government enforcing regulations on citizens, resulting in unintended consequences.
One of the first examples, Davies provides of unintended consequences as a result of government coercion in Mexico City. Mexico City decided to enforce days where certain cars could not be on the road in hopes of decreasing pollution created by the cars. This of course did not work as people eventually started buying a separate car that would be able to drive on the off days of their other vehicle. Because the citizens also already owned a car, the cars they bought for the off days were old models that emitted more pollution than the original cars. So the want to decrease car pollution ultimately backfired. The situation in Mexico City reminds me of Los Angeles. The city of Los Angeles had a similar goal of wanting to decrease carbon emissions, but also to decrease the traffic through the city. So officials came up with the carpool lane, where as long as you have at least 2 people in your car you are able to drive in this lane, intending to reward the carpoolers with a faster commute. I feel that when you are able to have an incentivized relationship of cooperation.
At the end of Davies's talk, he answers a question about the unintended consequences. When it comes to raising the minimum wage he explained that the unintended consequences end up hurting those it was meant to help. The unskilled or educated workers would be laid off to compensate for the new wage of the skilled educated worker. And while this did help me better understand Davies's perspective, it does not change the fact that people need a livable wage. A difference between the United States and other nations is that in order for a federal minimum wage to be passed it must be passed as a bill in congress. Other countries change their minimum wages every year with the increases in inflation so that for example, your rent increases your wages would as well. Overall, Dr.Davies makes a compelling argument that in order for government interactions to succeed it must both be coercive and cooperative.