Conspiracy Theorist: 7/14

Socialist water disaster

Socialists produce shortages then threaten victims

Mark Luedtke

A fluke of climate, unusually wet weather over the last 100 years, caused many people to forget the western U.S., including California, is mostly desert. Typical hubris of socialists and boondoggles like the Hoover Dam fooled people into thinking government could permanently transform the desert into an oasis. The Desert Sun describes, “For decades, water pumped from beneath the California desert has flowed to an oasis of lawns, golf courses, pools and lakes. That lush lifestyle has sold homes, promoted growth and helped transform the Palm Springs area into a world-renowned destination.”

A mere few years of drought trampled that fantasy. Or maybe it’s not temporary. Maybe California is reverting to its normal desert climate. In the meantime, socialists have drained its water reserves, creating shortages, as they do with everything, creating water poverty. Some Californians have suffered without running water for months. Patrick Barron writes, “Ludwig von Mises explained that socialism is not an alternative economic system. It is a program for consumption. It tells us nothing about economic production.”

As a result of squandering California’s water, California’s socialists have done what they always do, threaten their victims with violence. Jerry Brown threatens heavy fines for long showers. Los Angeles mayor orders city to cut water use 20 percent by 2017. State orders San Francisco to stop taking drinking water from river, preferring it go to the ocean instead of keeping people healthy.

Government intervention has produced the usual outrages. One California city, because of its successful conservation efforts, was forced to dump 550,000 gallons of water. Despite starting in 1991, San Diego still hasn’t launched its socialist desalination plant.

Socialist water control has produced socialism’s typical two-tiered system. The Daily Beast reports, “California has met the future, and it really doesn’t work. As the mounting panic surrounding the drought suggests, the Golden State, once renowned for meeting human and geographic challenges, is losing its ability to cope with crises. As a result, the great American land of opportunity is devolving into something that resembles feudalism, a society dominated by rich and poor, with little opportunity for upward mobility for the state’s middle and working classes.” Hollywood millionaires remain largely unaffected, but one man cut his water consumption by 95 percent by getting rid of showers and the toilet. He’s living the environmentalist vision for us all by reverting to the Stone Age.

Socialist water mismanagement isn’t limited to California. Lake Mead, which supplies most of Las Vegas’s drinking water, is at an all-time low. Forty states face water problems.

Nor is the problem limited to the U.S. USA Today reports, “Scientists using satellite data have found that a third of the world’s largest aquifers—in places ranging from China and India to the United States—are being rapidly depleted and are seriously threatened.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. The problem is caused by socialists allocating and subsidizing water based on personal, political gain instead of allowing it to be allocated to those with greatest need in the marketplace. As Murray Rothbard wrote, “If the water industry were free and competitive, the response to a drought would be very simple: water would rise in price.”

The key to water management, like anything else, is prices, freely floating and discovered in the marketplace. Prices serve the function of matching supply to demand. If water resources were privately owned, entrepreneurs would set a price that matched supply to demand, conserving the water to maximize profit over a lifetime and to pass on to their heirs. No aquifers or lakes would be drained. In the case of a drought, a small price increase on small users, a medium increase on moderate users, and a large increase on large users would match supply to demand, conserving the resource. Customers would use less water to save money. Big industrial users and farmers would conserve or move to locations with cheaper, more abundant water. There’d be no threats, no violence and no shortages.

Fortunately for us, the Miami Valley aquifer is not being drained, but that’s just dumb luck. We suffer the same socialist mismanagement of water resources as everywhere else. Dayton’s rulers are considering loosening environmental restrictions on water that feeds the aquifer. Since socialists have no prices to guide them, they can’t perform economic calculation to make a rational economic decision about whether this is beneficial or not, so they will decide based on personal, political gain. That’s a stupid way to manage a critical resource.


The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.


Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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