February 2024
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Saigon Kids Stories: Get With It

by Kevin Wells (ACS)

I just know you will enjoy this lesson in economics about the free rider problem.

The free rider problem occurs with public goods. Public goods are goods (as well as services) that are both non-excludable and joint in consumption.

The term non-excludable means that nobody can interfere with use of the good or service.

Joint in consumption means that my use of the goods (or services) does not interfere with anyone else’s use.

The classic example is a radio broadcast. If I listen, you cannot stop me (the non-excludible part) and the fact that I listen does not diminish your ability to listen (the joint in consumption part).

Relatively few examples are pure. The noise level in a rock concert may interfere with enjoyment of the music so rock concerts are not purely joint in consumption. This blog is not purely non-excludable because some parts require passwords.

What we have in this blog is the free rider problem, because too few articles are supplied to Bob for publication. Free riders get to enjoy, but they do not participate in the process other than clapping at appropriate times. The writers cannot hear the clapping!

So, to all you free-riders, you know who you are: get with it! Send a contribution. I know you have things to tell us, some of which are or were secret.

Not so long ago, I found that one of the ladies eschewed underwear. Had I known this little tidbit at the time, I could have entertained myself at the Alhambra watching the wives go by thinking to myself Is this the one? Is this the one?

I was in my early years as a total lecher so I was not in the position to do anything about the information, but the entertainment value would have been significant. I may have even broken into the Clod ranks even though I was beneath notice at the time.

There is an additional reason to do this now, and that is that none of use is getting any younger. Our incredible adventure will be lost to our families unless and until all this gets documented.

Don’t let that happen.

You can submit your stories and photographs by using the
*Contact Form*.


2 comments to Saigon Kids Stories: Get With It

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Boy, allow me to second what Kevin says so well. In a way, this site has become a historical (if not hysterical at times) document and requires input from as many sources as possible. Please contribute.

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    Here, here, Kevin.
    I know there have to be other wonderful memories from others to share. Most of us do not have Kevin’s, Bob’s, Frank’s,or Ken’s talent for writing, but that makes us no nevermind, as they say in the South.Just jot them down. We will enjoy your stories, as they will, no doubt, jog our memories for more of our own.
    Happy Mother’s day to all. Wish my mom was still alive to add to the stories of Saigon days. She was such a trooper through it all.

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