Plain Sense Economics

How to Use This Site

The OLLI Home Page gives general information on the course.

In the top menu find the right class - Part 1 or Part 2 or Healthcare. Each of the individual class sessions have pages with more information and resources.

Feel free to read (and comment!) on the Plain-Sense Blog - Go to Plain Sense Home

Contact Information - Doug Gentry


Phone: 541-261-8501

Public Goods - Common Goods - Externalities


Question: When should the government act on behalf of society, even if it means interfering with private enterprise?

Even the most ardent, free market economists recognize there are times when markets fail to address social needs and costs. We will work our way through some of these situations, and wrestle with proper limits on government intervention.

Government Actions

  • Bridge(s) to Nowhere/Somewhere
  • Public Vaccination Programs
  • Pollution Regulation
  • Urban Redevelopment

Economic Concepts

We'll Cover

  1. Public Goods
  2. Common Goods
  3. Externalities
  4. Marginal Benefits and Marginal Costs
  5. Solutions to Handle Externalities and Conserve Common Goods

Resources to Learn More



YouTube Clip on Externalities

YouTube Clip on Public Goods and Common Goods