Water as a Private Good
By Arnold Kling
If you ask people to list goods that should never be privatized, water is often one of the first that comes to mind. But Richard Tren writes,
Those that campaign against private water ownership and supply on the grounds that somehow water is “different” should think again. It is precisely because water has been treated unlike other goods that it is used inefficiently in agriculture and why poor people still lack safe access to the resource. Food, like water, is essential for human survival, yet no one seriously considers that the only way to reduce hunger is for the state to seize control of agriculture and then manufacture and distribute all food. Countless communist countries have done this and it only lead to mass starvation. It is high time we recognise that markets and the private sector are the friend of the poor and an essential tool for providing water to those who need it.
For Discussion. What is different about water that makes it inappropriate to be delivered by private providers?