Our own Max Borders had this excellent piece in yesterday’s Charlotte Observer regarding the Soviet-style water rationing schemes being implemented across North Carolina.
He argues that such central planning and top-down regulations are in fact an unnecessary evil. By comparison, market pricing of water would allocate this scarce resource much more efficiently:
Indeed, the paradox of markets is that they are inherently conservationist. When any resource is subsidized, people have a tendency to over-consume. So whether we’re talking about health care or water, if it’s offered at "free" or reduced cost, we have to resort to bans, restrictions and rationing to make sure we don’t run out.
But such heavy-handed demand-side management is unnecessary when markets run their natural course. It’s time we stopped understanding water as manna, and started understanding it as a good like any other. When we do, we can keep the bureaucrats off our doorsteps, ward off a neighbor’s sideward glance, and think twice before we get out the Slip-n-Slide.