Quadratic Public Goods

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As you ride into the town of Cappenberg, you can’t help but notice that the place doesn’t have the same friendly, welcoming atmosphere you remember. The streets are as busy as always, but the townsfolk are glaring at each other and not speaking.

Confused, you stop at The Node and Hammer and ask the barman what’s been going on.

It’s terrible, Guardian. Last month, we had a terrible storm. Both the smithy and the mill were damaged and need repairs. Now, everyone agrees that we need to get to work as soon as possible, but no one can agree which one needs to be done first, or how we’re going to pay for it. If people could only agree, the work could get done in a couple of weeks, but until they agree, nothing’s going to get done!

— Jain Ottenheimer

You look around the inn, and you notice a clear divide. Rather than everybody mingling, people are sitting on either side of the room, nursing their drinks and staring over their mugs at the people on the other side.

I know it’s not your business, but if you could find a way to make everyone see sense and come to an agreement, we’d be very much obliged. Perhaps all they need is a neutral party.

— Jain Ottenheimer

Perhaps Jain is right. See if you can come up with a way for people to vote on what to repair first, and the fairest way to pay for the work…