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I was speaking to a friend of mine about the viability of an objectivist government when he brought up the issue of a cities water supply. Currently the water supply of a typical major city is run or at least regulated by the government so that everyone is able to have access to water. But under an objectivist government, the water supply would be run by a private company, now wouldn't that employer have an absolute monopoly which could be abused? My friend brought up this scenario: If half of the population were wealthy enough to purchase water at $2 but the other half could only afford it at $1, couldn't the water company just raise the water price to $2 since they are making the same income while using half of the resources? Since this company owns the water supply, wouldn't the usual market forces that may promote a competitive price, fail?

asked Jan 01 '11 at 23:22

wolysoly's gravatar image


While this is by far not my only objection with question being asked, I should point out that under an Objectivist government, there would be no law against the water supply company charging $2 to some customers and $1 to other customers, thereby maximizing its profits via price discrimination.

(Okay while I'm at it I'll point out that water can be transported from other cities.)

(Jan 02 '11 at 09:56) anthony anthony's gravatar image

If I were running that water company I would charge $1 to everyone for general service and then provide value-added services to the people who could afford $2--maybe something like purified water delivery (think Culligans). I want 100% of a paying population damnit, not just 50%! But there is absolutely nothing that would prevent people from digging their own wells and charging their neighbors for water if they did. An industrious individual would tap that $1 market to make a profit. Then you'd have a whole lot of $2 payers that would start to wonder their neighbors are only paying $1.

(Jan 02 '11 at 16:02) nicholascloud nicholascloud's gravatar image

How would all things work with an Objectivist government? Better, nuff said.

(Jan 03 '11 at 02:42) garret seinen garret%20seinen's gravatar image
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The apparent problem with this comes from assuming that there could be no competition in supplying water to a single community. The difficulties are those of converting from a publicly created, artificially monopolistic utility to a private, competitive one. The same considerations arise about other utilities, of course.

The practical problems of this sort of conversion are irrelevant to the workability of a political system based on Objectivist principles.

answered Jan 02 '11 at 18:48

Mindy%20Newton's gravatar image

Mindy Newton ♦

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Asked: Jan 01 '11 at 23:22

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Last updated: Jan 03 '11 at 02:42