It's essential that we understand things like the free-rider problem, but we also need to understand that, fortunately, humans are a little nicer than economists give them credit for. Some people actually leave money at roadside fruit stands; some people give money to NPR so we can listen to it.
How can government reduce the frequency and the severity of future catastrophes? Companies that have the potential to create significant harm must be required to pay for the costs they inflict, either before or after the fact. Economists agree on this general approach. The problem is in putting such a policy into effect.
If you're trading individual securities, you're almost certainly making a mistake. Because most professional managers can't outperform their benchmarks, and there's little reason to think that individuals can.
Real people have trouble balancing their checkbooks, much less calculating how much they need to save for retirement; they sometimes binge on food, drink, or high-definition televisions. They are more like Homer Simpson than Mr. Spock.
The lesson for businesses is you are dealing with real people. Those are your customers, those are your employees, those are your bosses, and the better you understand how real people tick, the more successfully you will be able to accomplish your goals.