The Difference Between Shirts and Ideas

In the discussion of public goods, economists distinguish between rivalrous goods (like shirts) and non-rivalrous goods (like ideas). With a rivalrous good, if I consume the good, the good is no longer there for you to consume it. With a non-rivalrous good, we can both consume it at the same time.
Entrepreneur Wayne Copeland, Jr., as quoted by Gilder, states it with over-the-top exuberance:

(p. 127) “If you give a man your shirt, you no longer have it. That is the world before the integrated circuit. But if you give a man an idea, you both have it. That is the magic of the solid-state world; it is essentially an ever-expanding circuitry of ideas. A truth that sets us free . . .”

Gilder, George. The Spirit of Enterprise. 1 ed. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.
(Note: ellipsis in original.)

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