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Monopolization of a Water Supply - Voluntaryist reader

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Wheylous Posted: Wed, Dec 12 2012 9:24 AM

Monopolization of a Water Supply

A charge occasionally levied against libertarianism is that a vital natural resource, such as a water supply, could be monopolized by an astute businessman, who could then hold society hostage with the threat of cutting off its ability of replenishing its bodily fluids.

I just found this awesome article by a guy I agree completely with - goes by the name Wheylous. You should check him out!

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Great, great, great article. Excellent.

I also chuckled at "bodily fluids" in the opening line. It made me think of Dr. Strangelove.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 10:29 AM

Thanks!laughlaughlaugh

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gotlucky replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 11:17 AM

Excellent article! Both the substance and presentation were great! VR is definitely a must read site.

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Not bad. Particularly this paragraph :

Consider another option: at some point, there were numerous owners of the water supply, but after a bunch of buyouts the water supply consolidated in the hands of one man. This is likely unfeasible, because as the supply decreases, prices tend to increase. That means that as the supposed monopolist buys more and more water, the remaining owners are more and more likely to hold out their share because they can extract a higher price from him. Imagine, too, if word got out that one person was trying to monopolize the water supply. Consumer groups would then also have an avid interest in buying the water supply to guarantee that people won’t be denied water.

However, I think the critique you have made is clearly not sufficient. See, for example.

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Blargg replied on Wed, Dec 12 2012 11:40 AM

I enjoyed it! I fall prey to this kind of question, not having much to say. I wonder why I don't think of all that you brought out in the article.

I didn't see the option of people just moving somewhere else where there is available water. They'd do this if the evil monopolist mother nature decided to make the place dry.

Along the lines of "what if ...", we could turn it around on statists, concoct situations with the state and ask how we'd deal with it. The funny thing is, most of the silly ones you can imagine with the state probably exist right now, or at some point.
 

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