Water

Water in California: Too Scarce, or Just Underpriced?

When it comes to rationing, give markets a chance.

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You may have heard—and if you don't live out here you may not have cared—that "California has just one year of water left."

Claudio.Ar / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution blog has a good roundup on why people think that, why it isn't necessarily true, and why ignoring price when it comes to rationing scarce things is a terrible idea:

California has plenty of water…just not enough to satisfy every possible use of water that people can imagine when the price is close to zero. As David Zetland points out in an excellent interview with Russ Roberts, people in San Diego county use around 150 gallons of water a day. Meanwhile in Sydney Australia, with a roughly comparable climate and standard of living, people use about half that amount. Trust me, no one in Sydney is going thirsty.

So how much are people in San Diego paying for their daily use of 150 gallons of water? About 78 cents. As Matt Kahn puts it:

Where in the Constitution does it say that the people of California have the right to pay .5 cents per gallon of water?

Water is such a small share of most people's budgets that it could double in price and the effect on income would still be low. Moreover, we don't even have to increase the price of water for residential or industrial uses. As The Economist points out:

Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.

What that means is that if agriculture used 12.5% less water we could increase the amount available for every residential and industrial use by 50%–grow those lawns, fill those swimming pools, manufacture those chips!–and the cost would be minimal even if we simply shut down 12.5% of all farms.

Moreover, we don't have to shut down that many farms, we just have to shut down the least valuable farms and use water more efficiently. If you think water is cheap for San Diego residents it's much cheaper for farmers. Again from The Economist:

Farmers flood the land to grow rice, alfalfa and other thirsty crops….If water were priced properly, it is a safe bet that they would waste far less of it, and the effects of California's drought—its worst in recorded history—would not be so severe.

Even today a lot of CA agriculture uses the least efficient flood irrigation system.

According to data from the state Department of Water Resources, 43 percent of California farmland in 2010 used some form of gravity irrigation, an imprecise method that uses relatively large amounts of fresh water and represents a big opportunity for water conservation.

Indeed, in my experience discussing this around Southern California, people are quick to demand rationing to be imposed on all, while all too slow to embrace the most sensible way to get people to care about the water they use/waste and to ration minus punitive laws: to price it more rationally. (I've been engaged in many casual discussions about this matter with a cross section of California residents, and if they are not economics or libertarians, the matter of price doesn't in most cases even occur to them as relevant to this, except to possibly decry the very notion of charging for water—why, it is necessary for life itself. Screw Nestle!) But the cheaper something is, for farmers or households, the more likely it will be overused.

To too many people, "prices" are either voodoo or a means for the powerful to harm the less powerful. For those insisting on at least some accounting for "real need," lower prices for some understood (and necessarily somewhat arbitrary) amount of gallons for minimal drinking/cooking/bathing needs depending on number of people in the household and a much higher price for everything over that shouldn't be impossible in a world where water meters exist. 

But for certain things that people have decided you can't live without, the notion of a price mechanism seems to stir ancient feelings of taboo, and sense is flushed away. If you seem to be running out of anything, check your prices. 

Ronald Bailey explored some of the nitty-gritty details of California's weird system of water allocation last year.

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  1. David Zetland is a seriously under rated libertarian economist. His book and Marc Reisner’s cadillac desert document the damage done by california’s under priced water.

    1. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing,
      http://www.work-cash.com

    2. Thanks for the plug. I’ll use this opportunity to tell everyone that my book (Living with Water Scarcity) is a free download: http://livingwithwaterscarcity.com/

      For those of you seeking daily water crazy, stop by my blog, aguanomics.com

      Always happy to have new readers and tough questions — from ALL sides 🙂

  2. Bailey makes the mistake of thinking the Progressive Theocracy wants a solution to the water shortage problem.

    The problem is an opportunity for more power and control. The *last* thing they want is an easy and painless solution to it.

    1. “never let a good crisis go to waste.” especially if you’ve created it yourself.

      1. Damn. Where did my capital letters go? Never post from the bath tube kids.

        1. or tub

          1. I just figured you bathed in a sensory deprivation chamber, presumably guarded by orphans.

            1. Actually, a double wide acrylic jet spray tub, but 2 glasses of shiraz and the heat mess with the brain.

              1. I’m 3 hours behind you. And for me, Shiraz = IPAs

                1. Pussy. I started with a sazerac at lunch.

                  1. Oh, please. The last time we drank together, you passed out and I almost stole your dog.

                    1. No, last time we drank together we taught a tandem of 20-something girls was spacedocking was. The petnapping and napping happening is like multiple alcoholic incidents ago.

                    2. You should teach your dog not to go home with strangers.

                    3. So, I’m guessing ‘stole’ is a euphemism?

                    4. Not at all. He has an adorable, well behaved puggle. I had it under my arm and was about to jump into a taxi, and Jesse stopped me.

                      I would have brought it back the next day if my kids didn’t get too attached.

        2. Well, not text anyway.

          1. If you get anything in your email, please forward to me.

            1. I have lots of stuff in my email. You might want to be more specific…

              1. I think he wants the penis pill stuff.

                1. I guess pics of Lady B in the bath could be considered a penis pill of sorts.

                  1. You remember what happened last time, don’t you?

                    1. Pics of me in the bathtub may include a penis!!! I’m joking of course. Or am I????

                    2. There’s really only one way to find out.

                    3. I’m not even worthy of finding out. My jet tub, although 3 feet deep, is only a single wide.

                    4. You are triggering me Lady, why do hate the othered us

    2. Dan Davis isn’t for sale!

    3. This.

      Plus the institutional left will shit many pantsuits if accurately pricing water were to go into effect. As is noted in the MR comments, Ireland recently instituted water reform by requiring households to pay for water for the first time. It was met with the aforementioned pantsshitting I described.

      1. Which is extremely wierd because of the way the left is wedded to the environmental movement.

        You would think the environmentalists would be all over raising the price of water so that people will use less of it. They certainly understand the logic when it comes to oil.

        I can’t tell if it’s because of their raging economic ignorance, or because they are just irrational bedwetters, but I would bet money that if you talked to the average California enviro, they would shit their pants just as badly if you brought up raising water prices, or letting water prices reflect scarcity as a solution.

        Some people have some sort of allergic reaction to anything market related.

        1. You would think the environmentalists would be all over raising the price of water so that people will use less of it. They certainly understand the logic when it comes to oil

          What? No. Just no.

          The left is wedded to the idea that ‘Top Men’ can know how much water you need. If you leave it to the market then fucking *rich* people might be able to afford water for unapproved uses.

          Not even for oil use are the left content with simply raising prices – if they don’t have control then you might be able to scrape some cash together and afford to run the riding mower instead of using the scythe.

          really – its their raging economic ignorance. To these people prices are something *set* (rather than discovered) and if its ‘set’ then its open to manipulation.

          1. Here’s the problem: Marx told them that because market forces arose from human society, that human society should be able to control market forces. Through the rough hand of government of course, mankind will simply FORCE the market to do what we want.

            Nobody’s ever been able to get through to them that the market doesn’t just come from people, it IS people.

            1. So the market is like Soylent Green?

            2. Here’s the problem: Marx told them that …

              Nah, it’s a lot more fundamental.

              Modern leftism is ultimately nothing more that infantilism.

              It’s adherents want to be children with good god-parents that are responsible for their well being. Who magically knows what the child needs, better than the child does, and just provides it out of love, with no expectations attached. Bringing money and markets into that fantasy is as disharmonious to them as bringing butt sex into christian’s fantasy of heaven. Which is to say that it will be rejected out of hand and be met with anger for ruining their buzz.

            3. Hazel FTW , golf clap but Hazel woody . I’m a tubby nearing 60 yo dude but you are my fav mlady.

              Well done.

        2. I bet you get the same answer if you suggest that they ought to pay for “free” parking.

    4. Exactly; to find a solution to California’s water problem, present the California government with all the solutions you can think of, and then impliment the one they reject first.

    5. Look, obviously this is a prime example of “market failure” that we hear so much about and thus we need Top. Men. to redistribute the water fairly.

      We don’t need price signals as brilliantly explained in this incredibly dry video.

      I feel I should make it clear that these dated videos form the basis of the vaunted “resource-based economy” concept proposed by many lefty types who have latched onto the “Zeitgeist” movement. In other words, fantastical bullshit. From 3:17 to around 3:50 is the gigantic fallacy, to save you the trouble of watching the rest.

      1. in this incredibly dry video

        *narrows gaze*

  3. Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.

    Different joke but the punchline still applies

    1. Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.

      How much of the other economic activity depends on the existence of agriculture though? And is software development economic value, etc, going to increase linearly with water availability?

      1. Agricultural output doesn’t increase linearly with water availability.

      2. I know that Reasonoids don’t think too highly of pundit Victor David Hanson and his warrior foreign policy stance, but he knows what he talking about wrt central California. He owns a farming concern there. You will not be sending your kids to Delano High School – pregnant at 16 and on welfare. You doubt me? The bestl George Lucas film, way better than Star Wars, took place in Modesto, California.

    2. I’m not sure why it’s even a different joke. Send them to where the fucking water is. We should send Californians luggage and U-Hauls.

      Man I miss Sam.

      1. send Californians luggage and U-Hauls so they can go back to California.

        FIFY.

  4. The central paradox of conservation economics is that water is too cheap to conserve- at $50 an acre foot, it does not pay to cover Western agricultural water to keep it from evaporating, and globally , every man , woman and child sees a ton of stored fresh water evaporate from open reservoirs and catchments.

    1. The real problem is that there is no functioning market for water rights, and prices are regulated at the utility to cost-plus.
      So the price of water ends up being set by distribution costs. It is not set by demand or scarcity.
      If the price of water reflected supply and demand, then you would find that suddenly all sorts of conservation mechanisms would be worthwhile, in purely economic terms.

      What we need is some sort of reform to make water rights tradable on an annual basis. Either cap-and-trade or some kind of annual auction of rights to draw a certain amount from the aquifers and rivers.

      That and to allow the utilities to charge what the market will carry.

  5. What’s funny of course is when supposedly libertarian gun owners become communists and join the calls for “boycott” whenever retailers attempt to raise prices on scarce calibers of ammunition.

    1. Whaaaaaaaa?

      1. Don’t play coy with me.

      2. Forget it, it’s a nihilist

        1. Fuck me, Dude. Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, but at least its an *ethos*.

      3. We got a live one here. Just move back slowly, LB, and don’t make eye contact.

        1. It’s Tulpa, dude.

          1. 17 minutes?

            Get a life, dude.

            1. The irony and epic unselfawareness of that statement is making me laugh out loud right now.

              1. You should try reading your own statements… but then again your heart may not be able to take it.

                1. I don’t know if my heart can take how hilarious your abject patheticness is. If I don’t stop laughing I’m going to pass out.

                  1. I carve out a small part of my day for online discussion, education, and LAOL discipling. Not nearly as pathetic as a person who is on call for ad-hominem duties at a moments notice at all times.

                    1. Have you even noticed how much you whine, Tulpa? It’s basically all you do.

                      LAOL discipling

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      Not only is your delusion of grandeur unabated, I see, you can’t even spell. Fucking. Hilarious.

                    2. Limited vocabulary on your part does not imply misspelling on my part.

                    3. Oh…oh my god. You didn’t misspell “disciplining”, you actually meant that you have disciples? Oh my god that’s about 100 times funnier. Thank you for being so abjectly stupid that you pointed it out.

                      Just when I thought you couldn’t be more delusional, you prove me wrong. I’m impressed.

                    4. No, Epi, he doesn’t have disciples yet, that’s why he’s engaged in discipling. If he already had disciples, why would he bother with that?

                      Jesus, Epi. It’s like you don’t even listen to what the LAOL Jesus is saying to us.

                    5. I’ll admit it, I’m just no good at discipling.

            2. I read a funny post recently by a guy named Rollo who outed himself as some guy’s sockpuppet. I thought it might inspire a measure of antipathy, but really, all I felt was pity.

              1. Nihilist Denialist is Rollo aka Tulpa

        2. The only variety of eye contact I’m making tonight is of the stumbling cross-eyed type.

          1. So bedroom eyes?

          2. Ala Michelle greeting the emperor of Japan

          3. Betty Davis eyes, bows to the Lady.

    2. What’s funny of course is when a new name shows up making nonsensical remarks that are completely unrelated to the post.

      1. Let me know when that happens.

        I thought this post was about how prices have to rise when things get scarce. Maybe I misread.

        1. Water. This post is about water. And then you posted about ammo.

          1. According to Reason’s own keyword listing, it is about “Water California Economics”. I chose to explore the Economics aspect.

    3. Responding to increases in aggregate supply by attempting to engineer a decrease in aggregate demand. It’s a perfectly rational response.

      Of course, you’re one of those people that thinks upward movements on a price floor has no impact on the market of a good. So of course it makes no sense to you.

      1. *decreases in aggregate supply.

        Hoist on my own retard.

      2. Responding to increases in aggregate supply by attempting to engineer a decrease in aggregate demand. It’s a perfectly rational response.

        Except it doesn’t. It just moves the market to jerks who loiter in the Walmart parking lot every morning waiting for the truck to come in, buy up everything they can at artificially low prices, and then sell it on GunBroker or ArmsList. These people (a) can’t be threatened with boycotts on other goods since they don’t sell anything else, (b) don’t enjoy the economies of scale that diversified retailers have, and (c) are going to add their own cut to the price compared to what Walmart or Cabelas could have sold it for if gun owners weren’t screaming “boycott”.

        you’re one of those people that thinks upward movements on a price floor has no impact on the market of a good.

        Where did you get that utterly wrong impression?

        1. buy up everything they can at artificially low prices

          Awesome! Someone who knows the proper price of goods!

          1. When the shelves are empty of 22LR bulk packs at Walmart with a $20 price tag, but sales of the same bulk packs are happening left and right at gun shows and on GunBroker at $50 or more, that’s a pretty good hint, even to the non-omniscient, that $20 is not the correct price.

            1. Walmart should considering hiring someone to examine prices so they don’t just throw away billions of dollars worth of additional profit for no reason. You should see if they have any openings.

        2. Where did you get that utterly wrong impression?

          You have argued at length about the lack of impact in minimum wage increases. Oh, but labor is not a market.

      3. You posit that this fuck is stupid…self evident.

    4. What’s funny of course is when supposedly libertarian gun owners become communists and join the calls for “boycott” whenever retailers attempt to raise prices on scarce calibers of ammunition.

      Uhm, what’s communistic about a boycott? Or protesting the raising of freely set prices? You know, as opposed to *state* (read: politically) set prices.

      1. The motivation of said boycotts was akin to the motivations of communism.

        1. Horseshit. The boycott you describe is consumers telling producers they won’t buy their product at that price and they need to produce more to keep the price down. There is no force involved. There is no price fixing.

          Moron.

          1. By Tulpa’s logic, anytime someone won’t buy a good at a given price, it’s Communism. I guess I’m a Communist because at current prices I’m not going to buy a yacht.

          2. I’m not referring to a decision not to purchase something for the current price. I’m referring to a boycott. Very different things.

            I’m referring to the people who said that (for example) since CheaperThanDirt raised their ammo prices during the shortage, they would never buy anything from them ever again. Or the people who threatened not to buy anything from Walmart if they raised ammo prices.

            1. Which is also non-coercive market mechanics. I’m sorry – did they say Walmart couldn’t raise prices and threaten to use force if they did? No? They just said ‘I’ll take my business elsewhere?’

              Because in that case, your argument is still ludicrous.

            2. Horseshit. It is telling the producer they are not satisfied with the value of their product. This isn’t force…it’s the market telling producers to meet demand.

            3. Fuck off Tulpa, I missed it .

    5. How is boycotting communist?

    6. Fuck off troll, , intelligent conversation is beyond your pay grade.

  6. California has just one year of water left

    If only there was water in in that damn Pacific Ocean!

    1. Well it’ll have to be desalinized…

      1. I said it better.

      2. I wonder how much it would cost to build a running salt water infrastructure. A lot of the stuff water is used for in urban areas could be done with salt water rather than fresh.

        Obviously you’d need to either have non metal pipes or some kind of interior coating to prevent corrosion.

        1. Not really – the US navy (and ships in general) have been using salt water for flushing (and sometimes showering) for, well long before I joined up.

          Even use it for the external (open) cooling loop for heavy machinery and electronics.

          1. Hmm, interesting. They don’t have to specially treat the pipes?

            If not, that really could be a viable solution to coastal urban water problems.

            1. You’d have to have a separate distribution system for non-potable water and even then some idiot or innocent would consume it.

              Processing wastewater back into the water supply would be another option except for the ick factor.

              1. How far into a glass of ocean water could an idiot get? And isn’t the antidote right there in the other faucet?

                Sad thing is you’re probably right. This is why we can’t have nice things.

                1. No special treatments needed – standard iron piping. Its not *salt water* that’s the problem – its salt water and lots of free oxygen (or lot’s of heat) that’s the problem.

                  As for how far an idiot can get through a glass of seawater – never underestimate the stick-to-it-iveness of idiots when it comes to accomplishing something idiotic.

                  Especially if their might be a payday (lawsuit) at the end of it.

    2. Desalination, bitches.

      1. Powered by cold fusion, I assume?

        1. Whaaaa?????

        2. The difference being that desalinization technology exists but is rarely utilized due to prohibitive cost.

          Maybe we can get it covered by Obamacare so Obama can bend the cost curve with his manly ripped muscles.

          1. Of course. My point is that desalination isn’t an option without a massive energy source.

            1. Admittedly, I’m not an expert on desalination, but Aruba seems to make it work

              1. It does. All you need is 7x more tourists than residents.

                Not that I’m agreeing with Tulpa.

                1. Not that I’m agreeing with Tulpa.

                  Why even mention such a horrible possibility.

              1. Yeah. California, the home of the original anti-vaxxers, aren’t social prepared to accept any type of nuclear energy. Because melt down. They’d rather watch their state turn into a desert.

                1. They’d rather watch their state turn revert into a desert.

              2. Nuclear reactors are not built to provide electricity. They are built to make nuclear weapons. The electricity is simply how they dispose of the excess heat produced when converting uranium into plutonium.. A nuclear reactor that doesn’t make bomb fuel will never be approved by any government. There’s nothing in it for them.

                1. I used to share your misanthropy.

                  China plans to have an LFTR operational by 2017. Oak Ridge is even helping. All bets are off after that.

                  And Lady B, there are no dangers of “melt down” with this design. So the greens will need to put up or shut up.

                  The only real problem I foresee here in the US is the NRC, which is heavily invested into uranium oxide (standard regulatory capture and cronyism applies here as it does any other agency)

                  1. You’re being too rational. Whether or not there’s danger of a melt down, it’s nuclear and that’s all they need to hear. Why do you want to poison their children and kill mother earth???

                    1. Fair point, M’Lady.

                      I’m young but read a lot so I’m familiar with silly refrains like:

                      “You can’t hug your children with nuclear arms!”

                    2. Piss off , your are jacking off too porn hub…..as we speak.

                      The Tulpinator.

                      Fuck off, asshole.

                    3. You’re being too rational. Whether or not there’s danger of a melt down, it’s nuclear and that’s all they need to hear. Why do you want to poison their children and kill mother earth???

                      It is funny because the term meltdown with a molten salt reactor is silly. The fuel is already molten, it already is melted salt.

                      The beauty of the MSR is that it doesn’t use high pressure water as the primary coolant/neutron moderator. The core is at roughly atmospheric pressure so there is essentially no driving force to eject radiation from the core. And since there is no water and zirconium (the fuel cladding in pressurized water reactors), there is no hydrogen production reaction in the case of a loss of coolant accident.

                    4. It is funny because the term meltdown with a molten salt reactor is silly. The fuel is already molten, it already is melted salt.

                      The beauty of the MSR is that it doesn’t use high pressure water as the primary coolant/neutron moderator. The core is at roughly atmospheric pressure so there is essentially no driving force to eject radiation from the core. And since there is no water and zirconium (the fuel cladding in pressurized water reactors), there is no hydrogen production reaction in the case of a loss of coolant accident.

                      This is why I love Reason. There are very few other political blogs where someone will fly into the comment section and teach me something about nuclear reactors.

                      Most other political blogs just teach me that Muslims and/or white people are at fault for all the worlds troubles.

                  2. And Lady B, there are no dangers of “melt down” with this design. So the greens will need to put up or shut up.

                    Yeah but wait until they find out about total protonic reversal.

                  3. “China plans to have an LFTR operational by 2017. Oak Ridge is even helping. All bets are off after that.”

                    Not a Thorium reactor. We’ll see what they really end up doing.

                    You got it in one on the regulatory capture part. All of the money in fission plants is in the fuel rod assembly. MSR’s don’t have that, so GE and Westinghouse have zero financial incentive to cooperate–actually negative incentive–and they use their gov’t pals to help hold things back.

                  4. WRT to you vis a vis Lady Bertram ph you should fuck off ph.

                    We are on the alert for dolt’s and you fit the bill.

                    I’d give my truck keys to Lady B if she requested them because I believe that she would do the right thing.

                2. A nuclear reactor that doesn’t make bomb fuel will never be approved by any government.

                  So I suppose Japan doesn’t count as a government?

                3. Must be sarcasm, right? Just can’t quite tell…

                  1. My bad NAS, meant to type MSR instead of LFTR. And why do you say it’s not Thorium?

                    1. If you go Thorium then you have to solve the reprocessing problem (assuming 2 fluid). If you go 1 fluid then you need a much larger fuel volume and the neutron economy isn’t as good. Easier to just start with enriched uranium. The MIT kids claim they can do it on LEU. Smilin Joe does too. I’m skeptical that the neutron economy is that good, but let’s say MEU (10-15%) instead of LEU (5%). You’ve already got the infrastructure to enrich, so just start with that.

                    2. I’d say take it right to 20% LEU.

                      Using LEU results in a far simpler design than trying to reinvent the wheel with Thorium. And right now, there is next to zero economical reason to try thorium when uranium is so cheap. No to mention that we have 50 years of operating experience with U-235/U-238/Pu-239 and almost none with Th-232/U-233.

                    3. The operating experience doesn’t bother me. I’d argue with our ~5% burn up that our operating experience with 235U and MOX really doesn’t mean a whole lot…

                      20% puts you in experimental reactor territory and a lot closer to weapons grade. You can hear the greentards wailing to Gaia as we speak…

                    4. It really is just a public perception issue. The reactor would run with less uranium in the core at any given time and would produce less long lived actinides at 20% LEU.

                      Regarding U235 vs Th232, our experience with breeding U-233 and the complexity of reactivity control with Th-232 increases the overall complexity of the design and pushes it further away from ever happening. There is no question in my mind that the first power reactor will be LEU fuelled. Too much risk any other way.

                    5. 232Th is only bred. It doesn’t play a (positive) role in the reactor core. The difficulty in the design is either bulking up the fuel volume (I lied; it’s usually called a 1 1/2 fluid design) or going straight to a two fluid. Two fluid doesn’t impact the reactor core at all because the 232Th is kept in a physically separate blanket. The problem is that you have to pull out the 233Pa and let it decay to 233U to avoid generating significant quantities of generally useless 234Pa. That’s relatively easy to do with a chemical separator/distiller, but it’s another step not required if you’re not interested in breeding or converting, which would be the case with a 235U-fueled core.

                4. 62 commercial nuclear power plants in the US, 6 are breeders.

                  Not even the Navy’s reactors produce weapons material.

              3. PH250… very interesting link. Thanks.

                1. If you really want to weep, just look at the date on this report.

                  1. The MSR, if someone does it, could bring the cost of building nuclear way down. I hope someone does it soon. I doubt it will be in the US though, regrettably.

              4. What’s the catch? Why isn’t someone doing this?

                1. NotAnotherSkippy|3.19.15 @ 9:57PM|#

                  “China plans to have an LFTR operational by 2017. Oak Ridge is even helping. All bets are off after that.”

                  Not a Thorium reactor. We’ll see what they really end up doing.

                  You got it in one on the regulatory capture part. All of the money in fission plants is in the fuel rod assembly.

                2. Nuclear innovation is at a stand-still in the US. The regulators and a radiation scared public has strangled any interest. At least that is my opinion and experience.

                  1. WORMWOOD

    3. I’m sure glad they made teh interwebz a regulated public utility so it can be run as effectively as our water supply.

  7. Growing rice in CA. Genius.

    1. Not as bad as everyone wanting a lawn. I don’t get it. Arid places are beautiful, too. Why does everyone want to look like the East Coast?

      1. Residential water usage is a drop in the bucket (*narrows gaze at self*). It is commercial, and by commercial I mean almost entirely agricultural, usage that drives the water demand here.

        1. How much agriculture is there in San Diego County (home of the 150 gallons a day usage mentioned in the article)?

          Do golf courses and green lawns in the desert count as agriculture?

          1. The article gives SD water usage but does not provide water usage for other counties in state. I imagine SD is a regular conservationist as compared with the Central Valley or even the Central Coast and Napa/Sonoma wine regions.

            As for SD water usage, I would expect that the significant brewery presence in North County SD has a role to play in that. Brewing is highly water intensive.

          2. Do you have google?

            1. I’d rather get your opinion than the mess of disorderly propaganda from the SDC department of agriculture.

    2. There are places in CA where it’s sensible to grow rice.

      However, we grow rice in the desert.

    3. Also, I used to have an amazing beef hookup for a few years in the early 2000s. Brawley Beef.

      Using cheap (read: free) water, they grazed cattle in the Imperial Valley, which, without irrigation canals, would be uninhabited. I miss the days of USDA Prime Ribeye for 3.99 a pound.

  8. Only politicians can solve this issue by creating new taxes and inflicting more misery on the peasants.

    There’s no such thing as desalinization and there’s no other water in earth or anywhere else in all the universe that can be accessed with sufficient technology:

    No more water, anywhere, we’ve used it all, we just need more taxes

    So listen up, peasants, your only salvation is to get poorer and bow down to your luddite masters in Washingtopia.

    1. But is there any more spice??????!!!!

      1. The Spice must flow.

    2. You can’t support agriculture with water at desalination prices. Not without a dirt cheap source of energy.

  9. If you seem to be running out of anything, check your prices.
    .
    California doesn’t have a shortage of water, it has a shortage of under-priced water. My household has a similar shortage of nickel beer.
    .
    But I’m glad I’m not as bad off as the miserable people who have a shortage of free healthcare, affordable housing, living wage jobs, etc. that somehow are supposed to exist in the real world the same way they exist in theoretical worlds. (Such shortages of course prove that the real world is flawed, not that the theory is.)

    1. Is that sarcasm or derp? I can’t tell.

  10. “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”
    ? Thomas Sowell

    Scarcity is communicated in prices. When people don’t like prices, they call upon government to “fix” the problem of prices that people don’t like. And politicians are more than happy to pretend like they can do something about it.

    1. I don’t trust prices to communicate. Before I buy a snickers, I check to see how many hours the peanut farmer has to work. Labor input is what should determine the value of a good. Amirite?

      1. You have a good point. Next time I need a ditch I’ll hire a bunch of men with spoons instead of one guy with a piece of heavy equipment. It will cost a lot more, but the ditch will be so much better because it will be made with more labor.

        1. More labor, yummy. I don’t want the product of labor. I like the labor itself.

          1. You do have a point.

            When I finally acquire my army of slave minions, I will enjoy making them dig with spoons purely for the pleasure of watching them sweat under the lash.

            1. Just tell us what you’ll be wearing as you watch those poor bastards sweat.

              1. I can tell you that it will resemble something from a sexist video game.

                1. Oh, so you’re throwing in cosplay along with your overlording (or should it be overqueening)? How thought-provoking.

      2. Externalities!

  11. Something something concentrated benefits something something dispersed costs.

    Gosh, guys. Economics is HARD.

  12. OT: Sleep tight

    http://thefreethoughtproject.c…..raduation/

    Baltimore, Maryland ? According to a lawsuit filed this week, a police officer put a child in a chokehold and pepper sprayed a woman during a preschool graduation.

    Last summer, Amanda Scott and her young sister Donnesha Bennett were attending the preschool graduation ceremony at the Inner Harbor East Academy. The event was for Scott’s two twin girls. when the school principal and an on-duty officer asked Bennett to leave the property.

    Scott explains that she saw her younger sister having a heated discussion with the school principal and an on-duty officer. Despite complying with requests to leave the property, Cpl. Timothy Kelly grabbed Scott by the arm.

    1. Did the officer go home safely to his family? Did he? You didn’t say anything about the officer going home safely. Did he go home safely to his family? That’s all that matters, right? Right?

      1. Dunno, but he’s probably too embarrassed that he screwed up and let her live to be out in public.

    2. I’m thinking of filing a lawsuit in my locality alleging the most egregious police misconduct imaginable, totally unsupported by any evidence beyond my own say-so, and seeing how long it takes Reason to find out about it and write a completely credulous story treating everything I allege as absolute fact. My over-under is 36 hours.

      1. And Tulpa is off! He’s rounding the first corner now, and is already sucking cop dick at a ferocious pace! But can he keep this up for the entire race?

  13. The economics are irrelevant as long as you have the “but it shouldn’t be treated like other commodities” crowd.

    You can’t talk sense to these people.

    1. *talk* sense? There’s nothing to talk about. They’re *emoting*. EDUCATE YOURSELF, SHITLORD.

      1. +1 Mansplain

    2. The economics are irrelevant, as long as people have an irrational aversion to everything that involves commerce or money.

  14. I’ve been engaged in many casual discussions about this matter with a cross section of California residents, and if they are not economics or libertarians, the matter of price doesn’t in most cases even occur to them as relevant to this, except to possibly decry the very notion of charging for water?why, it is necessary for life itself.

    But for certain things that people have decided you can’t live without, the notion of a price mechanism seems to stir ancient feelings of taboo, and sense is flushed away.

    I see Ronald Bailey has already made my point.

    Especially in California, with it’s environmental sensibilities, you would think conservationists would be heartily in favor of higher water prices. But people get strangely creeped out by the mere suggestion that people pay for water.

    I have a theory based on Jonathan Haidt’s ideas about morality, that for many people money is impure, and that commerce is on the “degradation” end of the sanctity-degradation axis. This is especially true of the progressive-left who Haidt thinks have somehow evolved beyond the sanctity/degradation thing. They haven’t. They just have different fixations than the religious right. Instead of morality being about sex, their morality is about money. If money is impure, anything touched by money is unclean, and the act of purchasing things is degrading.

    It explains a lot about why liberals react with disgust whenever the idea of market-oriented solutions to problems is raised.

    1. This is actually a very interesting observation. I was trying to pin down why they seem to hate any kind of transaction, especially when it comes to certain things, and this explains it beautifully. They view money–paying for things or assigning them monetary value–as sullying them, as defiling them. This is why they react so violently at even the mention of market pricing certain things. It’s like suggesting they get their daughters into prostitution for extra spending money.

      1. I’ve actually been expounding this theory for over a year, so I’m surprised you only noticed it now.

        1. Somehow I hadn’t, but I’m glad I have now. I need to percolate on it a bit.

          1. I also have a theory about why.

            Because money is a disease carrier, and for most of human history disease was carried along trade routes. Contact with other tribes would carry the risk of contracting disease. Money changes hands a LOT.

            Ever had that experience as a child where you put a coin in your moth and someone said “Don’t put that in your mouth! You don’t know where it’s been!” ?

            We get trained as small children to regard money as something that might make you sick. And disease is linked right in with the disgust mechanism. Anything you can link to illness or disease is extremely easy to build a taboo against.

            It’s why so many religious taboos are about food. It’s why the Nazi’s portrayed the Jews as rats and vermin.

            Also, it occurs to me that maybe the rise of paper money, which is cleaner, might have something to do with the spread of freer markets over the last several centuries.

            1. Now you’re *really* overthinking things.

            2. (Side note: when people said that to me, i would wonder why someone would put a penny up their ass…)

              1. (Side note: when people said that to me, i would wonder why someone would put a penny up their ass…)

                You’ve, like, *met* other human beings right?

                The question most of these morons would ask is not ‘why I should’ but ‘why shouldn’t I put this penny up my arse?’

                1. Hmm. I suppose some of us are more anally fixated than others.

              2. “It’s like imagining someone in their underwear.” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO1Q7F23DxM

            3. Elites have traditionally seen transactions as beneath them, something vulgar and common. Look at how British nobility viewed the bourgeois and industrialist classes in the 18th and early 19th century.

            4. Seriously? People tell their kids not to put all sorts of things in their mouths. Does your theory predict that leftists are afraid of rubber balls and action figures too?

              btw, paper money is actually far more hospitable to pathogens than coins are.

              1. She’s seriously overthinking things. The reason progressives distrust capitalism is because it’s possible for people to become *very* rich while other people remain poor. The fact that one person becoming rich has nothing to do with another person being poor (Bill Gates didn’t take his fortune from the poor, for example) doesn’t occur to them.

                It has nothing to do with spreading pathogens. It has to do with a failure to understand that someone becoming wealthy by providing a service doesn’t cause other people to become poor. It’s a misunderstanding of economics, not some bizarre, 5000 year old fetish regarding trade routes.

            5. An interesting theory as to why, but I think you’re using an example that we’ve all dealt with (don’t put that money in your mouth!) and extrapolating it too far across time and humans. I seriously, seriously doubt that people before the time of even knowing about bacteria and the like would have given a rat’s ass about people/kids chewing on a coin. In fact, that’s how you determined if the coin was the metal it was supposed to be.

              1. Not to mention that Romans were sometimes paid in salt. Salt is an anti-microbial and definitely something you put in your mouth. Preferably in the form of smoked and salted meat.

                1. You, HM, are “worth your salt”!

              2. Well, people certainly have thought for a very long time that money was unclean. Even if they didn’t understand WHY. That’s why we have so many phrases about “filthy money”.

                Maybe people just subconsciously picked up on the fact that people who handled coins a lot were more likely to get sick, or those who went down to the market, or that when the caravan passed through town that’s when the next outbreak of the plague would happen.

              3. Biting a coin was also a pretty crass act. It meant you didn’t trust the buyer.

                1. HM, are you familiar with this line of research?

                  1. Meant Hazel, but all HM’s are welcome.

                  2. Interesting, I wasn’t aware of that theory, but I have read Diamond. I wonder how Thornhill would explain Japan and Korea though. Culturally are certainly collectivist and xenophobic, but they are far from being malarial tropical hell-holes. Perhaps an early outbreak of the plague?

                    1. No clue. I never followed up because that article sure made it seem like he’s putting ideology ahead of methodology. I think the basic premise makes sense though, so I hope someone else does something with it.

                  3. I think I had tangentially heard about some of it, but that was a really good article. I think there is a lot of merit in it. There is all sorts of social science research showing that social norms are enforced with the enlistment of disgust centers in the brain, so that would fit right together.

        2. During that year has your theory accounted for near-unanimous leftist support for EBT payments, student loan subsidies, EIC tax credits, etc, all of which involve money?

          1. Real leftists think education should be free. And food too.
            Student loans are a depraved substitute.

            Same way they think single-payer is the TRUE health care solution. That way the patient never has to even think about money. The money goes directly from the government to the doctor.

            1. So we’re going the No True Scotsman route.

      2. I was just wondering if what Hazel listed could be related to the progressive projection thing you mention.

        Is there a focus on who has what amount of “filthy lucre” because of suspicion that they would participate in the same unethical behavior (to attain said wealth) they accuse others of doing?

        1. Oh I would say definitely. They totally project their own venality and greed on people who engage in making “filthy lucre” (i.e. business people, “capitalists”) and corporations. That’s why they always assume businesses will screw their employees at the first chance or poison their customers, etc. They can’t imagine the business owner(s) not doing that the first chance they can…because that’s what they would do.

          1. because that’s what they would do

            And they think all that holds that savagery back is laws. You know, that’s a pretty scary realization for me.

            They might literally be roving cannibal rape gangs-in-waiting, aka Raiders from Fallout, who will comprise the groups jockeying for power after Judgement Day (the one with Skynet, not YHWH)

    2. Yep. Water– cheap water– like cheap healthcare, is a human right.

    3. It explains a lot about why liberals react with disgust whenever the idea of market-oriented solutions to problems is raised.

      It also explains why the left is so money-obsessed. Very nice observation, Hazel.

      1. So, because they hate money they demand more of it for themselves.

        Sort of like Jews claiming they have a right to free porkchops?

        1. No, they like sharing, because sharing does not involve the exchange of currency. Sharing is pure.

          They don’t necessarily want someone to hand them a wad of cash, they just want to be able to walk into a hospital and get free treatment without ever having to handle currency, even virtual, symbolic, currency.

          1. Currency changed hands, completely legally, even in the USSR and other Soviet bloc countries during the height of communism. Do these leftists you describe exist in the real world?

            1. I’m not talking about what happens when people actually try to implement communism. I’m talking about their motivations for wanting it or liking the idea, sans reality. Or more specifically, why some people have an emotional reaction against market-oriented policies.

              The fact that it’s completely fucking impossible to implement their ideas in the real world, does not stop people from fantasizing that such a world could exist.

              1. The fact that it’s completely fucking impossible to implement their ideas in the real world, does not stop people from fantasizing that such a world could exist.

                And trying to implement it at the cost of millions of human lives.

    4. If you allow water to be allocated by ability to pay, then one-percent fatcats would buy all of it up to bathe in and shit in, while the poor would have to go door to door begging for even the briniest of effuse.

      Or something.

    5. I don’t think they have a problem with some sort of money “impurity”. They demand money for themselves, for the government, and (in the case of sincere leftists) for the people they want to help, so I don’t see how that could hold water (NPI).

      The leftist problem with laissez-faire is that scarce resources are unavoidably allocated in an “unequal” fashion in anything approaching a free market.

      1. Inequality is the reality of the world. We’re each born with unequal shares of talent, beauty, wealth, health, or what have you. Inequality isn’t going anywhere while we’re shackled to material scarcity. Embracing inequality for the betterment of all is the manner of the laissez-faire economy. Progressives deny it and thereby embrace universal poverty.

        1. Danilov’s last words from “Enemy at the Gates”

          I’ve been such a fool, Vassili. Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there’d be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there’s always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don’t have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.

          1. This time will be different. Promise.

            1. You know who else promised that Stalingrad would be different….

              1. You, every couple of weeks when you come by and spout your latest pro-Top man bullshit.

        2. Pointing out that people have different innate abilities doesn’t help your argument with the Left. They will just claim that, “You didn’t build that!” You just inherited it, so they are just leveling the playing field by taking your money and giving to someone who is less fortunate.

          The real truth, in general terms, is that people simply have different amounts of drive. Some work harder than others. To take from those who do to give to those who don’t is to turn the tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper completely on its head. But this is the same crowd that thinks consumption is noble, so they start from a retarded position.

      2. You’ve never heard a leftist talk about how in a real socialist utopia, money would be abolished and everyone would just SHARE?

        The welfare state is a *compromise* to them. In the ideal society of their dreams money doesn’t even exist. You should check out Andrew Cohen’s ‘Why not Socialism?’ where he uses this analogy of a camping trip to describe how society ought to work. There’s no money on a camping trip. Everyone brings their stuff and shares it freely among the group. There’s no money in a primitive tribal society, either. And leftists are all about idealizing those.

        1. I’ve heard radical crazy leftists argue that, but this does not explain the widespread antipathy against commerce and free markets displayed by moderate leftists who have no desire to create a non-monetary society.

          1. But a subconscious cultural meme that money is unclean DOES explain that.

            My point is that the subconscious feeling that money is impure motivates all sorts of attitudes from hard leftists who want to abolish it entirely, to moderate leftists who just get creepy feelings when you suggest having market prices for water. There is a reflexive disgust reaction to things that involve money that colors all sorts of people attitudes to all sorts of things.

            1. But it’s the *inequality* the moderates dislike, not the money itself. Moderate leftists like having money, they just don’t like the idea that some people have way more than others.

              If your theory were accurate, it wouldn’t manifest as a fear of *commerce* it would manifest as a fear of currency itself. In other words, you’d see people with dollar-phobias who didn’t like being near cash.

              Those people don’t exist.

              1. I don’t think that’s really true. It’s not just the inequality. There are many cases where the market would not produce a more unequal result, but they still prefer non-market alternatives. Sometimes they hate on markets even when it isn’t even remotely related to some inequality producing issue.

                Take for example, Starbucks. Or Walmart. These people hate these places because they think there’s something degrading about the commercialization aspect of having to go into a shop and pay money for a cup of coffee instead of having some sort of free local cantina where you go and share a drink with a friend. They feel there is something inherently alienating about exchanging money for goods and services instead of having someone just provide them because they LIKE you or something.

                Also, the disgust mechanism is easily generalized to other subjects. There are all sorts of taboos that involve things that have nothing to do with disease anymore, but they still involve the same part of the brain. So I would postulate that if it started off as a disgust for currency, over the centuries it evolved into a general feeling that anything commerce related was vaguely tainted.

                1. They absolutely attack Walmart and Starbucks as avatars of inequality. That’s actually one of the major attacks on Walmart – the difference between the payment given to workers and the CEO.

                  1. I think that’s really just an excuse. They started off disliking Walmart because they felt it destroyed the local culture of the town centers, and then they confabulated other reasons to be against it.

                2. The people who hate on Starbucks have no problem going into a *locally owned* coffee shop and paying even more money for their coffee. Bonus points if it’s organic fair trade.

                  It isn’t money itself people object to, it’s *greed*, by which I mean, putting money first, or at least above certain things progressives think ought to be valued more highly. But it is hardly just progressives that decry that sort of thing.

                  I think part of the disconnect is that we often see money as an economic instrument, a means of exchange and saving. But there is also an emotional and psychological meaning to money, and I think that is what most people focus on when they think of it. Money is something that people desire, and that desire can lead them to do good things or bad things. When it is bad things, money itself becomes bad. And since I think a lot of people have a dim view of human nature, they assume money will usually motivate bad behavior.

                  1. The non-anarchist libertarians see that and say, OK, sure, and that is why government should still punish harmful behavior. But if “greed” motivates *good* behavior, then we’re all for it! Or at least, we recognize its utility.

                    But a lot of people have been programmed to view any kind of greed as bad, regardless of what it incentives people to do. Intentions trump results. They think other people should do “good” things for the sake of doing good things, not because there is money in it.

                    So there is nothing wrong with that paying for that organic fair trade coffee, as long as the coffee shop is motivated by “the love of coffee” and not money. But as soon as they are perceived to have “sold out”, that is when they, and they money, become bad.

                  2. Well they like the locally owned coffee shop because they feel it is less “commercial”.

                    It’s not purely about money, but everything commerce-related. Big chains are more commercialized than small locally-owned shops.

                    1. We may be splitting hairs at this point, but I don’t think your garden variety progressive is really anti-commerce. They don’t just tolerate the mom ‘n pop store, they celebrate it. I agree they are anti-commercialization, which is usually used to describe when buying/selling/making money is perceived to become the raison d’?tre.

                      They are OK with money, even a bit of profit, but they want the motivation for doing whatever to be some sort of higher self-actualization. Make coffee for the love of great coffee, food for the love of great food, medicine out of a desire to help people, technology out of a desire to invent, science out of a desire to learn, etc.

                      And frankly, I’m sympathetic to that. I think it’s a very pleasing world view. Most people who put it into practice are, in my experience, assholes about it, but whatever, I appreciate their excellent coffee. I think it would be great if the whole world would be like that (the warm fuzzy part, not the asshole part). But I also realize it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to live that way, at least until the robots start doing everything for us.

                    2. That’s not my experience.

                      Think about Burning Man. ALL commercial vending is banned. There are no vendors, small or large, and no exchange of money. You’re expected to “gift” entirely. They even manufactured a whole ideology of a “gift economy” with no money and go around promoting this idea as an alternative to capitalism.
                      There are people who seriously think this is some sort of new model for how society should work. People just give things away for free!

                      It’s retarded, but if you were to even suggest having vendors at burning man, these people would freak the fuck out. It will never happen. They don’t want dirty commerce ruining their magical city in the desert. They barely tolerate barter.

        2. Again, that’s more of an inequality thing than a physical aversion to money. Nobody on a camping trip is forced to sleep out in the elements all night while another person has a 5000 sq ft tent to themselves. In theory, universal sharing would mean everyone gets what they need. That’s what it’s about from the leftist POV.

          Of course we know that it can’t work that way in the real world, but there’s no need to try to paint them as morally inferior when they’re just sincerely mistaken.

          1. Who says they are morally inferior? My point is they are just as driven by primitive emotional reactions as any homophobic Christian conservative.

        3. God, that was hilarious. *Wealth* appears out of nowhere. It’s not inherited, else there’d be inequality if someone showed up on the trip having inherited none of it. No, we all brought our *fair share*, presumably from somewhere other than our *capitalist homes* paid for by our *capitalist jobs*.

          Why don’t we imagine instead a camping trip in which everybody shows up with nothing and we’re forced to recreate the wealth available to us in ubiquity instead by the labor of our few hands and minds. Let’s imagine attempting to provide for one another, expressly without self-interest, with none of the provisions a capitalist society has furnished. Let’s imagine pretending to be happy on our expedition while we go hungry for want of game, while we forage a wilderness unencumbered by the improvements of men specialized in agricultural arts, and while we while away the hours obsessed with mustering a scant few resources to maintain life, let alone delicacy or entertainment. Let’s imagine a camping trip as it would be without drawing on the material wealth of the surrounding capitalist world.

          It’s the old chestnut about leaving Hong Kong capitalist so the rest of the socialist world can copy its price system, but in reverse.

          1. I don’t have to imagine, I’ve watched Survivor.

        4. Andrew Cohen’s ‘Why not Socialism?’ where he uses this analogy of a camping trip to describe how society ought to work. There’s no money on a camping trip. Everyone brings their stuff and shares it freely among the group. There’s no money in a primitive tribal society, either. And leftists are all about idealizing those.

          Heh, dude has obviously never been on a camping trip in his life – well maybe on with mommy and daddy providing everything (which would explain a lot about his outlook on life and economics).

          Not sharing tents, sleeping bag, that chair and table I shlepped out here is *mine*.

          If we’re ‘sharing’ food, its because everyone already brought their part and if you didn’t then you don’t get invited to the next camp trip.

          If you didn’t bring it then you do without or go home.

          1. He was a philosopher. He’s not talking about actual camping trips. But that’s how they should work in theory, OK?

            1. Yet another nail in the ‘why listen to this guy’ coffin.

    6. I like it, but I think it’s overly baroque as far as psychologizing the progressive pathology goes. I think you can ascribe it simply to ignorance and wishful thinking. Economics is a specialized discipline that doesn’t always affirm, and in fact typically undermines, the tenets of their thinking. In many respects it speaks flagrant heresy to their truths. So progressives don’t put much stock in economic theory or forecasting, preferring instead to adopt warmed-over Marxist doctrine with its Kipling-esque “just so” simplicity and charm. It’s not amenable to evidence except the sort of anecdote-laden human interest stories they love so much. Which makes the overwhelming evidence on relatively bloodless debates in economics, like minimum wage, essentially worthless when debating progressives. Intuition is the coin of their realm, and it makes intuitive sense that paying people more makes them better off.

    7. I think you are overthinking things.

      This would basically be a consumption tax, and those always are felt more by the poor.

      If we charge more for water, then that means we’d have to set up an agency to help poor people pay for their water. Water stamps? And pay for the bureaucracy to run that.

      It would also send food prices soaring, since much of it is grown in California. Yes, it’s an arid place, but the warm weather means you can grow stuff all year ’round instead of only half the year (if that).

      1. I’m not advocating raise water prices by fiat. I think there should be a market in water rights – like an annual auction of permits to draw certain amounts of water. Let the price be determined by the free market. If it makes some inefficient uses of water more costly, that will be offset by the increased profit in building desalination plants.

      2. This would basically be a consumption tax, and those always are felt more by the poor.

        That’s just not true. You can design a consumption tax to be progressive and even *shudder* redistributive if you want. The simplest way to make it progressive is to give everyone a basic amount of free/cheap water and then ramp the unit price up as you use more and more.

        It would increase some food prices, but you can’t claim that California bulk cereal production (rice, corn, wheat) or even milk means all that much. That water would be used more productively to grow scarcer fruits and vegetables in the winter.

      3. if it is sending food prices soaring then that is simply a signal that food prices have been kept artificially low.

        A (painful) period of adjustment will follow and then the market will even out as people adjust their spending priorities in light of this new information.

    8. Perhaps it’s a yearning for feudalism where the peasants did work for the lord and received protection in return with no money needing to change hands.

    9. Eh, I think Kling’s oppressor-oppressed axis is a simpler explanation.

      Also, Bailey’s “casual discussions about this matter with a cross section of California residents” sounds more like “reading Fark comments.” But maybe I’m blissfully naive about Californians.

    10. I’m not so sure it is about money. It’s about profit.

      Healthcare is a perfect example. I was living in Canada when Obamacare got passed, and the general attitude was “Finally the U.S. is catching up the civilized world.” I said I would prefer healthcare be delivered by the market and I used consumer electronics as a great example of how markets lower costs while increasing quality. No one really denied that, but everyone was visibly uneasy about the idea of people profiting off of healthcare. Like, they visible squirmed while saying it. I asked why it was a problem that some people made money by making people healthier? No one could really answer, they just reiterated that it felt wrong to them that someone would profit off of sick people.

      These people had no problem making money themselves and they weren’t dyed in the wool communists or anything. There were just certain areas of human life that it felt wrong to them for people to profit in. And I think that is all tied to the confusion between wealth and money, profit and exploitation.

      1. You might mention to them that a whole lot of the healthcare providers in the United States are non profit corporations.

        This, of course, does not mean that they don’t make a profit. All it means is that they don’t have to pay corporate taxes on the profit they make.

      2. Completely market-based health care would mean that some people couldn’t afford to get the care they needed to live a normal life or, in some cases, even the care they needed to stay alive. That’s generally what leftists have a problem with. It would be a much bigger deal than people not being able to afford the new iPhone.

        1. Agricultural subsidies aside, food prices are largely set by the market and people aren’t starving. Hungry people need food and profit provides an incentive to get it to them at prices they can afford.

          Likewise, people need healthcare. Profit and price signals will get it to them at prices they can afford. Not everyone will get “gourmet” healthcare. Some people might get “fast food” healthcare. But I don’t really see a reason to believe that people won’t get *any* healthcare.

          1. Food stamps and EBT are a big reason why nobody in this country is short of food except by choice or abject stupidity. Poor people in America were severely malnourished and in some cases starved before the 20th century and its welfare programs.

            Also we’re comparing very different kinds of goods. While you may prefer to eat steak, spam will fulfill pretty much the same needs. Not so for expensive medical procedures. If you need pancreatic surgery, a tetanus shot won’t substitute.

            1. Before the 20th century food was vastly more expensive relative to earnings and even the poor had far fewer ways to get food. In the 21st century, with its packed food pantries, etc., I don’t know that you’d see any starvation at all, even without EBT.

              Admittedly, I don’t much care. EBT is one of the last things on my list of things I give a shit about, so it’s not like it’s something I’d worry about cutting before a ton of worse regulations were rolled back and various government departments abolished.

              1. with its packed food pantries

                This is sort of where I was going, but admittedly it’s not a purely market based response to hunger.

                I think charity would absolutely need to be a part of any truly free market society. And in the grand scheme of things, a reasonably well designed safety net doesn’t really raise my ire that much.

            2. I do agree with this though:

              Food stamps and EBT are a big reason why nobody in this country is short of food except by choice or abject stupidity.

              Yep. An individual gets an average of $133 a month just through SNAP programs. You have to be an utter moron to get that much money for free every month and somehow run low on food.

              1. You can actually buy pre-made pizzas with EBT, as long as the seller doesn’t cook it for you. Not sure if EBT pays for delivery but I wouldn’t be surprised.

            3. OK, that is fair. See above…there would need to be charity.

              But this:

              If you need pancreatic surgery, a tetanus shot won’t substitute

              Who’s to say that surgery has to always and forever be back-breakingly expensive? Cutting edge or really advanced/rare medical care will probably always be expensive, much like cutting edge technology. But in short order, technology costs drop. Why not medical care?

              1. Assuming that charity would fix the market’s shortcomings is a cop-out. Especially in an expensive area like health care.

                Charity hospitals could barely keep up back when the only cancer treatment was calling a priest and an undertaker… they’d be totally overwhelmed now that people have more rosy expectations.

                1. There is no such thing as the “market’s shortcomings”. Is the fact that most can’t afford a Bugatti Veyron a shortcoming of the market? Charity is a gift, that like all gifts, means nothing if not given willingly.

                  1. I guess it depends on your values. If you have some dogma that the market is perfect, then of course there can be no shortcomings in the market by definition.

                    To me, though, if a person starves to death because they can’t afford food that’s a shortcoming. And that opinion is pretty widespread if libertarians constantly feel the need to say that no one would starve to death under libertarianism (which is a fantasy, to the same extent that leftists thinking community spirit or whatever will make up for the problems in their ideology is).

              2. Because in the field of medical care, getting cutting edge treatment may be the difference between life and death. True, a specific type of medical treatment will usually decrease in cost as time goes on, but by the time that happens there will be a better treatment that is able to save more people, and that will be more expensive.

                1. You know Tulpa, dealing with Bo the last few weeks has made me really tolerant of you. I actually have no problem with this discussion whatsoever.

                  If you just take pains to only show up after a Bo-gasm, you’ll really feel like a breath of fresh air, at least comparatively.

                  1. I’m putting you down in my logbook as a disciple.

                  2. If you don’t give a shit about community norms here (like me!) and don’t mind dissenting opinions, there’s nothing wrong with Tulpa.

                    OTOH Bo is just insufferably stupid.

                2. but by the time that happens there will be a better treatment that is able to save more people

                  I agree, but that isn’t a feature of market-based healthcare. That’s just the reality of how medical care is developed.

                  The hard reality is that people will *always* die from technically curable conditions because the cutting edge, life saving treatment just isn’t yet widely available. It sucks but that is reality. Progress simply is not enjoyed simultaneously by everyone, and that is true in most areas. Trying to counteract “market shortcomings” isn’t going to change that, it will just slow progress for everyone.

                  1. Actually, it *is* a feature of market-based healthcare.

                    ND’s preferred model would subsidize existing treatments (making them ‘affordable) at the expense of both the cost of those treatments being reduced in the future (including an *aggregate* lower cost over time) *and* eliminate the creation better treatments – since the suppliers will have a guaranteed ROI and price controls the incentive to innovate (ie, increase efficiency) is gone.

                    His is a better plan – if there were no tomorrow. Unfortunately for him, there will be.

                    His gosplan *increases* total human misery compared to simply allowing the market to discover the real price of treatment. Which is real unfortunate for someone who thinks its ethical to force people to provide for other.

                    1. Its actually ironic that the market – full of people who only look at the ‘short-term’ provides better outcomes over history than the seers of central planning with their supposed long-term view.

      3. Profit, money, same thing.
        As I was saying elsewhere, the disgust mechanisms generalizes. Anything that touches an unclean thing is contaminated. Which means activities that involve handling unclean things are contaminated. (Certainly true in India where the dirtiest occupations are associated with the Untouchables caste.) So any aversion to money would generalize rapidly to anything commerce-related.

        It probably started off as an aversion to handling money, and then soon became a kind of revulsion for people that handled money a lot, and then turned into a disgust for occupations that involved trade, and then a disgust for commerce in general.

      4. I’m not so sure it’s about money or profit, it’s about commerce.

        See, for instance, Michael Sandel and “What Money Can’t Buy.” Money and profit are dirty words, but due to their connection to commerce. The buying and selling of things is of lower moral worth; it’s unseemly, or exploitative, or take-your-pick.

        1. Right. It may have started off because of disease vectors on money 5000 years ago. But the current alignment of the sanctity-degredation axis is “sharing” = sanctity, “commerce” = degradation.

    11. I sort of agree with Haidt, but that theory of the progressive attitude towards money fails to account for something central. Often progressives are obsessed with money: who has too much, who has too little. They think all problems can be solved with money. It’s a magical thing to them, in many ways.

      So how do you square that circle? How can someone be disgusted with A selling something to B, and yet demand that the government tax A and give the money to B?

      1. Giving things away doesn’t contaminate you, it is the exchange that does. If I give you a gift, I might be giving you my germs, but you aren’t giving me yours.

        Also money from the government is usually freshly minted coin, so clean.

    12. Hazel FTW,,, I really never thought people could be this stupid. Well done Hazel.

  15. I’d just like to echo Gojira in thanking Lynch Pin for posting this song in the other thread. I’d never heard of this guy before, but a bunch of his songs are really, really good.

    1. Pandora is awesome.

  16. Here’s a solution: the next time the state runs into a budget crisis, they can “privatize” the entire state’s water system to a private state-protected water monopoly. Prices will sky-rocket, water use will plummet, California will get a lump sum of cash to waste on crap. AND, this is my favorite part, the monopoly will figure out that it can make massive profits by manipulating water-future contacts by manufacturing “rolling water shortages” to create short term price spikes!

    Everyone’s a winner! And by everyone, I mean the state reps who get kickbacks and the futures brokers who get huge commissions. And by winner, I mean getting rich from causing widespread suffering while skilfully avoiding indictment! It’s perfect. But you know why they haven’t done it already? Because it’s “wrong”!

    1. ^ This. Asking the state of California to invent a system to privatize the water supply so that prices accurately reflect supply and demand would, in effect, mean that California would give monopoly rights to various cronies of the political class.

      Then progressives would howl that a state protected monopoly is proof why capitalism doesn’t work.

    2. Electricity privatization worked just fine in other parts of the country. California’s system was just retarded because they actively banned the utilities from signing long-term fixed-price contracts with generators.

  17. If fresh water were priced properly it would not only spur investment in things like desalination plants but also would encourage industrial water to find to research more efficient use of water and potential ways to recycle or purify and resell their waste water.

    Can’t have that.

    1. In addition to encouraging immigration patterns to change to people settling in areas where water is plentiful.

  18. I have some water to sell, cheap.

    1. I make water. Like, daily.

      1. We’re talking about desalination, not desanitation.

        1. What are my kidneys, chopped liver?

          1. But your kidneys clean your blood, not your….

            OK, this deal may be getting better. Be more specific?

            1. Yeah, I fucked that up but good.

    2. There’s enough water in the Oort Cloud to provide clean water for every child in Africa for 175 years. Why aren’t wealthy Americans paying their fair share to bring it there? Dare I state the R-word?

      1. There’s plenty of water in the Oort Cloud to provide clean water for every child in Africa for 175 years. Why is the American government standing in the way of private enterprise working towards bringing it here? Dare I state the D-word?

      2. Troll fail, dipshit

      3. tulpa for the win..piss off troll

  19. 163 comments in and no one has brought up Wittfogel’s theory of hydraulic empire yet?

    For shame. For shame.

    1. I read about that in a Jane Jacobs book.

      1. It seems like the crazy bastards in CA might actually be able to pull it off.

        1. Not to me. I live in the north where the water originates. In fact, we could do it to them. That would be a nice option to explore if Cal breaks up into multiple states.

      2. I read about it in a Frank Herbert book.

    2. All totalitarians want to control as much of what you need to live as possible. So whenever things like this pop up I take it as read that control is the goal.

    3. Interesting.

      I learn something new every day on these threads.

    4. Is it anything like the Phillips Hydraulic Computer?*

      *in fairness to Bill Phillips, who was an apparently stellar individual known only for an unfortunate hypothesis.

    5. Somehow have never run into the guy.

  20. “Indeed, in my experience discussing this around Southern California, people are quick to demand rationing to be imposed on all, while all too slow to embrace the most sensible way to get people to care about the water they use/waste and to ration minus punitive laws: to price it more rationally”

    This the same kind of mentality behind so called “anti-gouging” laws. People think it’s an outrage for costs to go up for gas, food, etc. in areas hit by some natural disaster or some man made problem that causes a shortage. They can’t seem to realize that those higher costs serve as an incentive for suppliers to bear the extra costs of getting those supplies there considering the conditions.

    They think it’s not “fair” that higher income people can and will pay those prices and get the supplies while some lower income people won’t. They would rather force everyone to equally do without than allow some to get the stuff.

    1. Just like libertarians and ammunition.

    1. fucking

        1. Schei?e…

          1. And merde! Don’t forget merde.

  21. The Sacramento?San Joaquin River Delta system, the “heart” of California’s water supply, problems are already causing disputes between salmon fisheries and farmers. It wasn’t originally built to provide drinking water. It was built to supply farmers with irrigation. The delta system in California should be held high as an example of a failed statist endeavor. Tragedy of the Commons, indeed.

  22. An inspiring story of a rape victim speaking truth to power…soon to be highlighted on feminist Web sites everywhere!*

    “Moment rape survivor stood up in Maryland state Senate hearing to demand the right to carry a concealed weapon

    “Jacqueline Kahn was speaking support of measure that would allow residents in Maryland to carry concealed weapons for self defense…

    “In her presentation, Kahn told the Senators about how a man was once arrested in her back yard with duct tape and a knife….

    “On one outing, Kahn says she was sleeping in a tent, when woke up to a man trying to enter.
    ‘When I’m in my house, I’m allowed to protect myself. But walking along the sidewalk, I’m not. So you make me into a criminal. You force me to decide, do I want to be judged by 12 or carried by six.’…

    “The Maryland State Senate is currently deciding whether to add self-defense to concealed handgun permits.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..z3UtRXqgX4

    *or not

    1. I don’t get that – putting aside that I don’t understand why the permit should be needed in the first place – but how can self-defense *not* already be a reason to issue a permit.

  23. “Do you remember that book, “Heather Has Two Mommies”? That was my life. My mom, her partner, and I lived in a cozy little house in the ‘burbs of a very liberal and open-minded area. Her partner treated me as if I was her own daughter. Along with my mom’s partner, I also inherited her tight-knit community of gay and lesbian friends. Or maybe they inherited me?…

    “I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think.

    “Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting….

    “It’s not just me. There are so many of us. Many of us are too scared to speak up and tell you about our hurt and pain, because for whatever reason it feels like you’re not listening. That you don’t want to hear. If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater.”

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/…..e-hurting/

    1. It would have been way better if she hadn’t had two parents because her mom was a lesbian and wasn’t going to stay with her father anyway.

      That’s the thing, Eddie. Even if you proved hetero-marriage is better for kids (which you haven’t) you would still need to explain why a kid only having one parent or living in a foster home is better than having two gay parents. If you can’t do that, then all your whining (and all Heather’s poorly considered whining) is just your own prejudice talking, rather than any claim I ought to take seriously.

      1. As if Heather’s opinion means fuck-all to begin with.

        Eddie found a single example of someone who agrees with him.

        PROOF!

        1. ^THIS! Heather is one person. Let’s say 10% of the children of gay parents feel this way (which is me being generous). That means. Fuck. All. I’m not a progressive who has to pretend that someone’s entirely subjective lived experience means anything outside of their mind. Give me proof that this is common, or kindly fuck off with your subjectivity.

          1. The problem is that much of the pro-SSM arguments – yes, even on H&R – are based on subjectivity and FEELZ. So what’s sauce for the goose…

            Anyway, when we consider her evidence in context, this is about more than one person’s idiosyncratic opinion. Time and again we get evidence of the importance of intact families. When Moynihan issued his warnings about the black family, he was of course met with the same cries of BIGOT! and TRAITOR! which are the usual substitute for argument in these cases. But in that case, the harm of fatherless families has been fully substantiated.

            So if nobody else had ever shown evidence of the harmful effect of fatherlessness, maybe we could dismiss this woman as a lone nut. But if her testimony is consistent with masses of other evidence, maybe it’s time to consider whether there may be something to it.

            1. Notorious G.K.C.|3.20.15 @ 12:29AM|#
              “The problem is that much of the pro-SSM arguments – yes, even on H&R – are based on subjectivity and FEELZ. So what’s sauce for the goose..”

              Lame, eddie. Really lame.
              I don’t recall anyone here supporting SSM under the claim that the childrunz would benefit.
              Really lame.

              1. I referred to the whole issue of SSM, and the emotional arguments for it – “OMG, I can’t believe you’re saying that, you’re so evil, I’m so shocked and appalled by your evilness that I don’t have time to produce any counterarguments!”

                1. Notorious G.K.C.|3.20.15 @ 12:39AM|#
                  “I referred to the whole issue of SSM, and the emotional arguments for it – “OMG, I can’t believe you’re saying that, you’re so evil, I’m so shocked and appalled by your evilness that I don’t have time to produce any counterarguments!”

                  Yeah, I see you tried to direct the attention elsewhere. Are you proud of that?

            2. Who cares if there is something to it? Who gives a flying fuck? Let’s say it’s proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are right. Kids are better off with two opposite sex parents…what the fuck would you do about it?

              YOU DON’T GET TO TELL PEOPLE HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES!

              1. All right then, you’re an adoption agency, and of two otherwise-equal candidates for adoptive parents, one is a regular married couple and the other is two women. Do you draw straws to decide who gets to adopt?

                1. “what the fuck would you do about it?”

                  I’d give the preference to fit, married opposite-sex couples in deciding who gets to be adoptive parents.

                  I *wouldn’t* adopt policies which utterly precluded making these difficult but necessary decisions.

                  1. Oh, and I wouldn’t have the government giving out certificates to same-sex couples implicitly attesting that such couples are equivalent in all respects to opposite-sex couples.

                    1. There it is.

                      Christ, you are a vile fucking pig.

                      Children are much better off when born to rich people…I wouldn’t have the government giving out certificates to poor couples implicitly attesting that such couples are equivalent in all respects to rich couples.

                      Do you have any fucking idea how fucking ridiculous you sound?

                      You are a fucking bigot, looking for ways to justify your vile bigotry.

                    2. Children are much better off when born to intelligent people…I wouldn’t have the government giving out certificates to unintelligent couples implicitly attesting that such couples are equivalent in all respects to intelligent couples.

                    3. “vile fucking pig…fucking bigot”

                      It’s as if you simply can’t help but prove my point about emotion-based arguments.

                    4. It has nothing to do with emotion.

                      Answer the following Eddie:

                      Should the government not sanction the marriages of poor people or dumb people because kids are better off with rich and intelligent parents?

                      One can certainly argue children are better off with rich/smart parents.

                      Your answer better damn well be yes, because if it isn’t, your position is based completely upon your bigotry towards gays.

                      I don’t call you a bigot because I don’t have an argument. I call you a vile disgusting bigot, quite simply, because you have PROVEN yourself a vile disgusting bigot.

                    5. “I don’t call you a bigot because I don’t have an argument”

                      Well, you don’t have an argument, I guess I don’t know if that is relevant to your foul language or not.

                      “Should the government not sanction the marriages of poor people or dumb people because kids are better off with rich and intelligent parents?”

                      Of course the government should recognize the marriages of poor people, because we’ve *seen* what happens when the government undermines marriage among the poor. If you can’t see that, then *you’re* the mentally-challenged one.

                      The common element here is that we have the government undermining marriage, whether by subsidizing single parenthood among the poor, or by adopting a ridiculous posture of aloof neutrality in adoption policy, etc., between same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

                    6. Of course the government should recognize the marriages of poor people, because we’ve *seen* what happens when the government undermines marriage among the poor. If you can’t see that, then *you’re* the mentally-challenged one.

                      Questions?

                      Not only are you a bigot Eddie, but you are also a fucking idiot!.

                      You are claiming the government should NOT recognize the marriages of gay people if it’s shown that the children of gay marriages aren’t as well off as those of straight marriages, but it’s perfectly okay if the government recognize the marriages of straight poor/dumb people despite similar results.

                      You are too fucking stupid to realize it’s the same argument. The only fucking difference is you aren’t bigoted against the poor or the stupid as you are with gays.

                      You are a diseased vile shitbag, Eddie. You are a goddamned disgusting bigot, who doesn’t have the self awareness to realize it. You are NOT pious. Everything you preach here goes against the basic tenets of your own goddamned mythology. Love thy neighbor. Do unto others. Let he who is without sin…

                      You know Eddie, if there is a God, I’d love to be there on the day you die when he sends you to hell for being a pig!

                    7. Notorious G.K.C.|3.20.15 @ 12:50AM|#
                      “Oh, and I wouldn’t have the government giving out certificates to same-sex couples implicitly attesting that such couples are equivalent in all respects to opposite-sex couples.”

                      Yep, that bigotry shows up sooner or later; you’d have the government make all sorts of judgements if you could.
                      Did you check to see if parents with blue eyes are equal to those with brown eyes? Left-handed?
                      Fuck off.

                    8. You’re right, Sevo, the supporters of SSM are always calm and rational, it’s their opponents who substitute feelings and emotions for substantive argument.

                2. If they are equal, it wouldn’t make any difference, would it?

                  1. Uh, did you miss the part where I said *otherwise* equal?

            3. Time and again we get evidence of the importance of intact families.

              Outside of low SES, where there’s a risk of dropping out of high school and going to jail, there isn’t much evidence that two parents matter.

              There’s a natural experiment that eliminates the genetic confounder — sometimes husbands die and the widow never remarries. There’s no long term difference in those children compared to their peers.

              1. “Outside of low SES, where there’s a risk of dropping out of high school and going to jail, there isn’t much evidence that two parents matter.”

                But other than protecting poor children from social dysfunction, what have intact families ever done for us?

                (and just because wealthier families can cushion their children from *some* of the consequences of parental choices doesn’t mean “it has no effect on the wealthy”)

                I’m not willing to posit a full equivalence between a woman who has several children outside of marriage, and a widow who keeps her husband’s memory alive.

                And even as to widows/widowers, it’s a commonplace that stepparents aren’t as good to their stepchildren as to their actual children. The phrase “beaten like a red-headed stepchild” didn’t come out of the blue.

                1. But other than protecting poor children from social dysfunction, what have intact families ever done for us?

                  I’m all for the intact-family norm because I believe it’s beneficial to the entire society. But on a case by case basis, to answer your rhetorical question, the answer is somewhere between ‘not much’ and ‘nothing’.

                  I’m not willing to posit a full equivalence between a woman who has several children outside of marriage, and a widow who keeps her husband’s memory alive.

                  Yes, I mentioned this. To wit, “genetic confounder.”

                  The phrase “beaten like a red-headed stepchild” didn’t come out of the blue.

                  And the phrase “long term difference” appeared in my comment.

          2. “Heather is one person.”

            She claims: “It’s not just me. There are so many of us.”

            Now, this statement is either true, or it is false. If it is false, then what better way to discredit her than by proving its falsity? But if it’s true, there goes the narrative.

            1. Unsubstantiated emotional pleading is such a great argument when it supports Eddie’s personal policy preferences!

              1. No, she offered what purports to be a factual statement. Is the statement true or false?

            2. “She claims: “It’s not just me. There are so many of us.”
              Now, this statement is either true, or it is false. If it is false, then what better way to discredit her than by proving its falsity? But if it’s true, there goes the narrative.”

              Uh, simple:
              Ignoring it.
              Did I tell you my wife’s hair dresser’s uncle saw a flying saucer? Why, what better way to…
              Eddie, you’re getting well beyond lame. Did someone touch you in a place you didn’t like? do you sometimes have a yearning for a lover with hair on his chest?
              Or are you just some trog who hates icky butt sex?

              1. “Did someone touch you in a place you didn’t like? do you sometimes have a yearning for a lover with hair on his chest?”

                FEELZ all the way down.

                1. So that’s what you’re arguing? I don’t see a lot of evidence; just a lot of arm-waving over an individual comment followed by a lot of feelz.
                  Are you threatened here?

                  1. You don’t threaten me at all.

      2. “Heather’s poorly considered whining”

        A woman raised by two decent gay people, who agitated for gay rights and gay marriage, suddenly changes her mind and takes what is bound to be the highly unpopular step of coming out (as it were) against gay marriage.

        Her testimony isn’t conclusive, and I didn’t say it was.

        But anyone who is *serious* about these issues will at least want to examine her arguments, engage them, and show her why she’s wrong (if she is wrong).

        But I bet the last thing her opponents will do is respond to her on the merits. She will get denounced as a traitor and/or go down the memory hole.

        This is the same reception met by Norma McCorvey (the Roe of Roe v. Wade) when she decided abortion wasn’t such a great idea after all. And it’s reminiscent of the denunciation received by former members of the American Communist Party when they quit that organization and started telling tales out of school.

        1. Of course you’d take the vapid whining of a spoiled overgrown child seriously as long as it supports your personal policy platform. God forbid Heather is a self-obsessed brat that has no idea how good she had it. Shockingly, the whining of a person in a generation known for their emotional overreactions is not a substantial argument.

          1. “Shockingly, the whining of a person in a generation known for their emotional overreactions is not a substantial argument.”

            You realize, of course, that you’re talking about the same generation which disproportionately supports gay marriage?

            You’ve made an own goal.

            1. And that’s not relevant at all to the fact that you’re only taking this person seriously because they support your dislike of gay marriage. Anything that confirms Eddie’s bias is suddenly a substantial creditable source. Clearly you have no empty emotional attachment to your position either. You lecture people on ‘FEELZ’ while having your entire position driven by them.

              1. “Anything that confirms Eddie’s bias is suddenly a substantial creditable source.”

                In a debate where anecdotes are one of the weapons of choice for one side, anecdotes can also be used by the other side.

                1. Again, what ‘sides’ are we talking about here? You’re talking to actual individuals here Eddie, maybe you should engage with them rather than the ‘other’ you’re making in your head?

                  Not to mention a shitty tu quoque isn’t a substantial position.

        2. “But I bet the last thing her opponents will do is respond to her on the merits. She will get denounced as a traitor and/or go down the memory hole.
          This is the same reception met by Norma McCorvey (the Roe of Roe v. Wade) when she decided abortion wasn’t such a great idea after all”

          Please tell us the “merits” of Norma McCorvey’s revisionism which were ignored.

          1. Judge for yourself – see her petition to the Supreme Court asking the court to overrule its previous decision in her case.

            http://lldf.org/wp-content/upl…..tition.pdf

            1. Notorious G.K.C.|3.20.15 @ 1:22AM|#
              “Judge for yourself – ”

              No, Eddie, I’m not going to search through a bunch of stuff to find what you imagine to be evidence.
              Pull-quote, cite line or STFU.
              Lame.

              1. The Table of contents lists her arguments.

        3. Eddie, here’s what you got:
          1) A personal dislike for gays.
          2) A continuing effort to find whatever unsupported crap you can in the hopes that someone here will join you in disliking gays.
          3) a willingness to use that unsupported crap to require the government treat gays differently than straights.
          Now, tell me why you are so threatened by gay people that you’re willing to go to that sort of effort.
          I think you should get professional help.
          Sorry, other than that, you’re on your own. I’m not gonna help; fuck off.

          1. No, I have a personal dislike for jackasses, whether straight, gay or vegisexual.

            “tell me why you are so threatened by gay people that you’re willing to go to that sort of effort.”

            Debating jackasses on the Internet may not be the best use of my time, but it sure doesn’t require much effort.

            “I think you should get professional help.”

            You must be a closeted progressive, since you’re seeking to “cure” ideological opponents of their bad beliefs with Soviet-style phychiatry.

            I don’t know if there’s treatment for progressive tendencies, but I hope for your sake there is.

            1. Bo syndrome. Won’t look in the mirror. When confronted with the vile truth of his own beliefs he deflects and changes the subject.

            2. Actually, Sevo’s overstating it a bit much with the ‘get professional help’ but you clearly don’t care for people who don’t follow your rigorous expectations of how to live your life. Your entire goal is to force your preferences on other people for no other reason than that’s what you believe and therefore others should be forced to conform; that reeks of a lack of empathy.

              1. I hate to go all tu quoque on everyone, but I think the posts above about how “OMG I don’t care if stable opposite-sex families are better for children, my rigid ideology takes precedence over reality” – doesn’t seem very empathetic.

                And to the extent empathy means trying to envision being in the other person’s position, I don’t see a lot of empathy in the constant mischaracterization of my views. If you were empathetic, you’d at least state these views correctly.

                1. You really have zero credibility when it comes to ‘caring about the children’, considering your entire position is using cherry picked arguments. You’re just using children as a cheap emotional cudgel for your predetermined conclusion and you’ve given zero evidence as to the opposite. I somehow doubt that if the evidence overwhelmingly showed that gay couples are better for children that you’d suddenly become pro-gay adoption.

                  1. “I somehow doubt that if the evidence overwhelmingly showed that gay couples are better for children that you’d suddenly become pro-gay adoption.”

                    Sure I would. And for that matter, I’d renounce conservatism, Christianity, and theism in general. Faced with “overwhelming[]” evidence of that nature, I’d be forced to conclude that pretty much everything I believed was wrong.

                    On the other hand, several commenters said they *wouldn’t* change their mind on this subject *even if* it could be proven that being raised by intact opposite-sex couples was the best situation for children.

                    1. Sure I would. And for that matter, I’d renounce conservatism, Christianity, and theism in general. Faced with “overwhelming[]” evidence of that nature, I’d be forced to conclude that pretty much everything I believed was wrong.

                      Given your constant, disingenuous and fallacious arguments to support your beliefs I really, really don’t believe you.

                    2. Too bad we’ll never find out, because there will *never* be “overwhelming[]” evidence “that gay couples are better for children”

                    3. I love how you immediately contradict your comment above with a determinist statement. See Eddie, this is what I mean by disingenuous bullshit, blatant lies. Your mind is all made up and now it’s time to selectively pick and choose evidence to support it.

                    4. Show me the evidence.

                    5. To you and like-minded commenters, if you remove the ad hominems, straw men and other fallacious arguments from your posts, all that would be left would be a bunch of “the”s and “and”s.

                    6. Yes Eddie, pointing out you blatantly lying, cherrypicking evidence and having predetermined conclusions sure is all of those things. Keep telling yourself that.

      3. Even if you proved hetero-marriage is better for kids (which you haven’t) you would still need to explain why a kid only having one parent or living in a foster home is better than having two gay parents.

        Maybe because she in fact did have two parents, one of whom was driven out of her life by hostile political activists.

        But I’m sure that that you as a random SSM supporter are more familiar with the dynamics of her family life that she is.

        1. Who are you going to believe, neat and tidy ideological arguments, or the reluctant personal testimony of someone actually involved in the situation?

          1. So Eddie, whenever someone writes an internet article about how being raised by Catholic parents severely messed them up do you carefully examine their arguments and engage them? Perhaps we should stop allowing Catholics to marry and raise children based on the points such articles raise. Oh wait, that would require you to actually apply your argument consistently, rather than only to groups you dislike. Cut the disingenuous bullshit, the only reason you’re taking this seriously is because it confirms your bias. You already know the answer you want and have to cherry pick information to support it.

            Oh look, a personal testimony that completely counteracts Heather’s position. Guess you have to believe him right, since personal testimony is so important? Shockingly I don’t think you’ll take this guy’s testimony as seriously as Heather’s. For obvious reasons.

            1. “Perhaps we should stop allowing Catholics to marry and raise children based on the points such articles raise.”

              That is a devastating response to the argument for prohibiting gay people from raising children…an argument, which, of course, I never made, except in your fevered imagination.

              In reality, I said that in cases of adoption, there should be a preference for opposite-sex, married adoptive parents, and that same-sex couples shouldn’t get a state seal of approval.

              As the guy said, it’s not what you don’t know that’s the problem, it’s what you *do* know that isn’t so.

              1. Except you’re still arguing that adoption should be limited for gay couples. Based purely on cherrypicked arguments, when we all know the real reason. Again, cut the disingenuous bullshit.

                You just demand that everyone else follow your preferences, ones that are primarily driven by your religious beliefs. Get this through your head: your religious beliefs are only relevant to you. You live in a secular society, we will conform to your ideals. Grow up and recognize the fact that the world does not revolve around your beliefs.

                1. “Grow up and recognize the fact that the world does not revolve around your beliefs.”

                  I’ll skip the obvious remarks about projection.

                  Don’t you hate it how Catholics were able to impose the opposite-sex definition of marriage in, say, China. Until the Pope took over that country, Confucianism recognized same-sex marriage.

                  1. China’s not relevant Eddie. The point was to why you demand that everyone else follow your preferences. And the reason for that is obvious.

                    Oh, and projection Eddie? Really? Let me tell you something: I have preferences too. Personally, I really don’t like parents impressing their religious beliefs onto their children. I think it has all kinds of negative side effects that I’ve actively witnessed in my personal life. But because I’m not an asshole, I’m not demanding the government enforce my preferences on everyone else. I recognize the fact that other people have a right to live a way I disapprove of. You don’t, and really have no place on a libertarian website.

                    1. So, it makes no difference whether my *personal preference* was shared by a vast non-Christian civilization for thousands of years, and by every other civilization, Christian or non-Christian, until the past couple decades or so.

                      It’s almost as if this is a matter which is bigger than my own personal preferences.

                      Again, what definition of

                      “I’m not an asshole”

                      /citation needed

                    2. What definition of “demand” and “enforce” are you using?

                    3. A great deal of rather horrific behaviours were shared by both Christian and non-Christian civilizations for thousands of years. This does not validate them, nor does it validate your views. An argument to tradition does not validate your demands that others conform to what you want. You are a profoundly petty little tyrant on these issues.

                    4. “A great deal of rather horrific behaviours were shared by both Christian and non-Christian civilizations for thousands of years. This does not validate them, nor does it validate your views.”

                      All I said was that my views were not merely a personal preference, but were based on the experience of the entire civilized (and uncivilized) world for millennia, irrespective of Christianity. My views could still be wrong, of course – perhaps the entire world was wallowing in heteronormative wickedness from the dawn of humanity to a few years ago. Maybe gender-binary marriage is a relic of oppression like slavery.

                      But to say that my position is some kind of idiosyncratic personal preference? Do you have any idea how retarded that sounds?

                    5. And yet you don’t seem to hold those horrific acts as important or vital aspects of society, despite them being based on the experience of millennia. Why do you not support aristocracy, monarchies, restricted rights for women, state religion, etc.?Only on certain issues related to sexuality do you suddenly claim that tradition is relevant and important. It’s almost like that’s a personal preference driven by your religious beliefs or something. Like your evidence, you pick and choose what traditions are suddenly overwhelmingly important. Almost like it’s a personal preference driven by religious beliefs. Hmmm, I see a consistent arbitrariness in your ‘tradition’ argument. Almost like it’s a personal preference driven by religious beliefs.

                      Once again, grow up and realize that other people don’t have the same wants or ideals as you. You have zero right to enforce your beliefs on me or anyone else. You complain about some progressives trying to enforce their beliefs onto you. But you’re really no different than them.

                    6. “Why do you not support aristocracy, monarchies, restricted rights for women, state religion, etc.?”

                      I am accused on H&R of *supporting* those things.

                      In fact, if someone wants to abolish some tradition, it’s necessary to look at the evidence against it – if evidence and experience shows a tradition wrong, then get rid of it.

                      But I’m going to presume a tradition should be kept unless it can be proved that there’s a need to change it.

                      It is like the presumption of innocence of someone charged with a crime – the presumption can be overcome, but it takes *evidence.*

                      So it’s ridiculous to say, “you hypocrite! You want Charles Manson to be convicted, but you want Alfred Dreyfus to be acquitted! You’re inconsistent!” No, there’s the same heavy presumption in their favor in each situation, and it takes *strong evidence* to overcome that presumption.

                      To paraphrase Edmund Burke, the defects of a society should be treated like the wounds of a father – treat the patient reverently and be careful when diagnosing him and applying a cure. Progs and prog-symps, as Burke might put it, treat society like the guys in Greek myth who chopped up their father and put the pieces in “the kettle of magicians,” hoping to magically heal all his wounds.

            2. “Oh look, a personal testimony that completely counteracts Heather’s position. Guess you have to believe him right, since personal testimony is so important?”

              That goes with what I said above – that the SSM side relies heavily on what you folks would call anecdotes, and so what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

              1. Holy cow! Did your wife threaten to go off with a GF? You are TRULY threatened by gays and willing to use Bo-quality argument to, well, prove you’re pretty much an ignoramus.

                1. I was never threatened by gays, but I *have* been threatened by self-proclaimed allies of gays – as in, they threatened me. But that only happened *after* I criticized their politics, so you’re confusing the cause-and-effect relationship.

              2. I’m sorry Eddie, are you arguing with me or the SSM supporters in your head?

                1. It’s hard to keep track with threaded comments, but if you think I’ve misstated your position, please correct me.

    2. Whenever I read stories like this I’m reminded of a twins-reared-apart study. One twin explains why he’s so neat and organized: his mother is the same way and it seemed worth copying. The other twin explains why he’s so neat and organized: his mother is messy and disorganized and he saw the problems and wanted to be better.

    3. I don’t care how you define your beliefs…I respect your beliefs but don’t share them.

      You seem to be ok with gays should have their rights if they don’t express them.

      Why do you fear teh gayz, Eddie. It;s fucking nuts man.

      30 years ago no one talked about it, my uncle hung out with the same pal for decades. He was a hero of mine for his history and his pursuit of truth.

      1. Let’s see what you’re trying to say here…”You claim that a two-parent household with a mother and a father is optimal for children, and that public policy should reflect this. But I knew some good people with same-sex attraction, and this refutes your claim.”

  24. Indeed, in my experience discussing this around Southern California, people are quick to demand rationing to be imposed on all, while all too slow to embrace the most sensible way to get people to care about the water they use/waste and to ration minus punitive laws: to price it more rationally.

    As I comment on that MR article…

    I’ll know California is serious about the drought when they throttle the water agricultural users consume. This throttling would ideally be accomplished through pricing, but it is amazing the parade of little fascists that rise out of the woodwork when there’s a chance to show one’s concern by forcing people to behave.

    1. …”‘ll know California is serious about the drought when they throttle the water agricultural users consume.”…

      Not sure this is the best approach. Ag represents a huge portion of CA business activity. Yes, the growers should pay more as should everyone else, but if I had a choice, I throttle those who use potable water to grow a damn (transplant) LAWN before I throttle those who grow what we eat.

      1. As the MR post notes, “Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.”

        If water is market priced, then we’ll know whether lawns are more valuable than food.

        And if water is not market priced, we’ll know whether the drought is a real emergency when the state goes after agricultural water instead of merely encouraging little Stasi tattletales to spy on their neighbors.

        1. If water is market priced, then we’ll know whether lawns are more valuable than food.

          To some people lawns are more important than food. These also happen to be the people with the most money to spend.

          1. And as Mike points out, we’d find out how important it was to them at market prices.

            1. Barbara Streisand can afford to pay twice as much to keep her lawn looking good. Jose the Shitscooper can’t afford to pay twice as much for his tortillas.

              1. She may have to pay double, but I’m not sure that double water costs = double tortilla costs.
                In fact, I’m quite certain it falls well under that.

              2. Barbara Streisand can afford to pay twice as much to keep her lawn looking good.

                See? This is exactly the sort of thinking I was talking about above.

                Gotta have that top down control or some rich fucker will spend their money on unapproved activities.

                1. And if Jose can’t afford to pay twice as much for his tortillas, isn’t that a *signal* that he should migrate to some place with more plentiful water.

                  *Your* solution, once again, is to fix some short-term inconvenience while completely ignoring root causes and long-term consequences.

        2. MikeP|3.20.15 @ 12:04AM|#
          “As the MR post notes, “Agriculture accounts for 80% of water consumption in California, for example, but only 2% of economic activity.”
          If water is market priced, then we’ll know whether lawns are more valuable than food.”

          I yield to the guy with the data. I’d a swore that ag was a huge contributor to the CA economy, but according to this (link too long; gonna have to take my word) it is only 2%.

          1. “Economic activity” is awfully vague. I bet the truth is somewhere between 2% and your intuition.

  25. Sorry I haven’t read the entire thread.
    Did anyone mention that among those ‘can’t do alone’ functions we might reasonably ascribe to a government would be the construction of water reservoirs?
    And that, under the pressure of watermellons, the CA state government has built a sum total of zero (that’s *ZERO*) new storage facilities since (I think) the late ’70s?
    IOWs, regardless of the underpriced water, the state has also bet that any new drought will certainly require additional ‘control’ and has made sure any new drought is a crises.
    Fucking moonbeam needs a ride out of town on a rail!

    1. That rail will be ready no earlier than 2029 at a cost of no less than $68 billion.

      1. And can we ride him out of town on it?

        1. When it’s finally actually completed in 2047 at a cost of $392 billion, it will likely be plagued with operational issues and significant delays that make an affordable flight via southwest a more attractive option.

    2. And, of course, California has for years done everything they can to lure everyone from Latin America to move here. That increases our water usage, but saying so is verboten.

      1. Yep, that’s why Arizona, Texas, even fucking Iowa, have no Mexicans whatsoever.

    3. You don’t need government to build a reservoir any more than you need one to build a road.

      You need a government to steal the land to build one to support a bunch of people living where they probably shouldn’t be living

  26. ” But the cheaper something is, for farmers or households, the more likely it will be overused.”

    We have well water and during the summer months my neighbors will run their sprinklers all day and all night long – literally all night. If you say something to them their standard response is,” it’s my well-MY water”.

    “For those insisting on at least some accounting for “real need,” lower prices for some understood (and necessarily somewhat arbitrary) amount of gallons for minimal drinking/cooking/bathing needs depending on number of people in the household and a much higher price for everything over that shouldn’t be impossible in a world where water meters exist. ”

    Sounds reasonable, the wealthy will always pay for what they want (lawns, swimming pools) and
    the rest of us will follow suit. Take cable costs, we pay over two hundred dollars a month for a hundred channels I don’t bother watching. My parents pay nothing for 5 channels they religiously watch everyday. Millennials are refusing to pay exorbitant cable costs ( I don’t blame them) and finding ways to only pay for what they want to watch.

  27. Artificial rain storm apps. Dial 800-rain-today and you’ll receive your very own goddamn customized rain cloud. Lightning and tornadoes optional, brah. Check the website for the fucking weather menu and get back with me.

  28. In southwest Idaho where I am currently sequestered, “on the south bank of the great grey-green stinky slinky Snake” water is still relatively cheap out in farm country. I think around $21/acre inch is what I payed for my 7 acres last time around to the canal company. But not so cheap every serious farmer I know isn’t converting to pivot irrigation.

  29. And from a practical economic standpoint pivot irrigation can be 50-80% more efficient,compared to the older gravity/flood irrigation methods. Which isn’t even actually the biggest selling point around here….

  30. Which is LABOR. And the associated taxes and head aches involved,the new OB-care regulations can only accelerate this trend . Even the poorest of my friends seem to have no problem convincing a bank to give them a loan for a new pivot systems.It all boils down to economics,pure and simple.

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