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Thread: Even water supplies can't afford capitalism

  1. #1
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    Default Even water supplies can't afford capitalism

    Constant growth with no end is just not possible for much longer and even American water supplies are a good example of that:


    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071026/...anishing_water

  2. #2

    Default Re: Even water supplies can't afford capitalism

    On the contrary, I think this situation highlights how government screws up resource management and how capitalism produces the best results. But, municcpal water treatment and delivery is not a capitalist venture -- it is mroe of a socialistic venture. The government owns the water source, owns the method of treatment and delivery, and charges a set rate that can not be increased or decreased without going through some government process.

    If municipal water were a capitalist system, the price would fluctuate with supply and demand. As the supply of water decreases (cases like Atlanta), the price per unit water would increase, which would curb discretionary use. If the resource becomes more expensive, its efficient use will become more common -- people will save water because they won't want to pay the higher bills.

    As the system is set up now, there is little incentive to save water or use it more efficiently because it is such a cheap product. I live a couple of hours away from Atlanta and I have heard that they have 80-100 days of estimated water supply left, if no rainfall occurs and demand remains steady. It is difficult for people to think that they might run out of water three months in the future whiel the faucet runs just as smoothly now as it did years ago. The see little incentive to save water -- it just doesn't feel like there's a problem. But, if they know that each gallon of water they use costs them 20 times what it used to, they might pay attention. They will certainly curb their extraneous water use when they get their bill at the end of the month -- which will allow them to adjust their habits before the 80-100 day window expires.

    The problem is not growth -- this problem was not experienced beforethis exceptional drought. The problem is the poor management of the resource. This is just another example of how government screws up resources and how the free market would solve some problems. Remember, the free market is the only process by which resources are impartially allocated to where they are most dear.

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