Comment 31980

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 20, 2009 at 17:37:01

Jason >> where does most of the world's pollution come from?

I would say most of it comes from the production of goods destined for the consumer market. Therefore, it's the average person who is responsible for any pollution problem we have.

>> Currently there are government agencies that help and encourage the public to refrain from polluting and help clean up our waterways.

That's fine, I have no problem with government enforcing anti-polluting laws, things like Dofasco spreading it's dust to the surrounding community. However, as for direct government ownership of water, why do you think a politician would have more concern in keeping Lake Ontario clean than would someone who could sell that water for money?

If clean water is as valuable to people as you say it is, then the owners of that water would not want to do anything to make it dirty. When things have value, businesses will protect them, however this only happens when this part of this value can be returned to the owner in the form of profits. In the case of public water, there are no profits, therefore nobody has a strong interest in keeping it clean.

>> More important than pollution is the basic human necessity for water.

I agree with you there, but do you really think that public ownership of water leads to it's most efficient use. Most items that the government delivers are in short supply precisely because they are given away for free, or at less than market rates. By charging market rates for water, people would use less on their lawns, install more efficient toilets, washing machines and embrace other technologies that extend the use of water.

If poor people were still unable to purchase the minimum requirements for life, then the government would be justified in providing this to people in need. The market should not leave people to die.

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