Ernest Hancock

Freedom is the Answer,... What is the Question?

More About: Philosophy: Libertarianism

Where will all of the water come from?

In the 2002 gubernatorial election, water availability was a big issue. And it hasn’t gotten any better since then. The Libertarian candidate Barry Hess had the best answer when asked about water shortages and the ongoing drought here in the Southwest, “We need more water”. While collectivist talk about limiting growth and promote government forced alterations in lifestyle, you can always count on the libertarians to cut through the mind fog and get to a free-market solution.

Anyone with a taxpayer funded paycheck (and almost anyone other than a libertarian campaigning for one) will tell you that water is so important that it must be placed into the hands of the government. A libertarian’s natural reflex is exactly the opposite. Something as important as water should be governed by the free-market.

What would be the result if water was a free-market commodity and subsidies were done away with? The shortage of electricity in California is an excellent example of what we face here in Arizona in regards to water. Government controlled prices, subsidies and government controlled supplies have taken all of the free-market controls out of the equation and we will soon be doing rain dances in hopes that the Great Spirit will bail us out… again.

If water were really allowed to be on the free-market system it would never be in short supply. Don’t think so? At $4 a gallon for gas, I guarantee retailers will do their best to get your money (remember?). That’s how the free-market works. Charge what water is really worth (which is what people will pay for it) and you’ll get some of the most creative conservation efforts ever imagined. A desalinization plant from the Pacific or the Gulf of California?... why not if it makes money. Keep in mind that the answer is always “Yes”, the only remaining question is “How Much”. What would be the benefits of a privately owned Lake Bartlett (c’mon,… use your imagination).

Developers and the Agricultural industry know that if they paid what water was really worth on the free-market the cost would be past onto their customers… and they are right. This is how the free-market socially and economically engineers a society naturally and without the use of government force. If you are willing to pay for a waterfall shower then have at it. And the fusion powered water condensation plant in the Black Canyon City of 2020 will be happy to sell you all the water you can use for that and your backyard oasis.

Even the most skeptical of the free-market that support a big government solution for everything from mattress tags to the raising of their children is coming to the stark realization that what is being done now isn’t working_. My grass yard gets redesigned the moment my water bill is more than my electric bill. Swimming pool covers will get real popular as well. The plumbing solutions of other dry and conservation conscious peoples of the world will make their way to our homes. And none of this requires any government force. Get the government out of the way and anyone making their own electricity or pumping their own well will be a contributor to the free-market.

And when someone damages the water supply, then you have damaged private property, don’t you.

The free-market is an amazing and versatile thing. It provides you with what you need in every shape and color and at the lowest possible cost. You may think you are getting some product or service cheaper or better or more reliably by putting government in charge, but I guarantee you that you are not. At best you are getting a shifting or redistribution of the cost that puts control in the hands of a few minds that think they know what is best for millions of individuals that have their own needs and desires.

And we haven’t even talked about being force medicated with industrial waste because the government says my family’s dental health is vitally important to them. Maybe we’ll talk about that one next week.

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