Friday, September 22, 2006

Affordability not good

Only a wealthy enviro-capitalist like billionaire tycoon Richard Pratt could write something like this:

Water is far too cheap in this country ... there’s no reason why water can’t be a lot more expensive.

Pratt’s Visy Industries should increase its prices, to reduce water-wasting prole consumption of its paper products.

(Additional writing credit: Tim Blair)


Blogger Caz said...

Yes, water should be more expensive - for business and agriculture, which, between them, use around 92% of the country's water.

24/9/06 2:06 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

Sure, but business and agriculture provide much in the way of public goods (employment, food, etc.), so there's probably a compelling case for public subsidy of their requirements. Oh well, a thought...

24/9/06 3:12 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

No, if any business requires a public subsidy for it's basic inputs, it's clearly not a viable or economically sustainable business.

My point was more about the constant bullshit about consumers reducing their water usage. Yep, saving 0.0001 of 8% of the water consumption will REALLY save water for FUTURE generations!


No investment in infrustructure, business literally pisses water up against a wall at subsidised rates, and the gov't wastes tens of millions of dollars every year telling consumers not to wash their car with hose. You don't see how silly this is? With an increasing population?

In terms of inter-generational equity, and in terms of sustainable business and prosperity, NO ONE is doing anything necessary.

Just wait until business no longer has the water supply THEY need in order to operate, then suddenly we'll start hearing all about infrastructure, and investing in the future, as opposed to using trigger nozzles in the garden.

Talk about looking at the teeny weeny picture. Sheesh, why do we let gov'ts and business get away with this bullshit?

25/9/06 8:25 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

All good points, Caz, and well argued.

It's not that I don't see how "silly this is", I'm interested in how the "debate" will pan out.

You say, "if any business requires a public subsidy for it's basic inputs, it's clearly not a viable or economically sustainable business."

True enough, but now we're dealing with a commodity that to public consumers is a necessity, but to business consumers is a basic input.

Watch for that distinction to become blurred, by virtue of the public goods that these private entities bestow upon us plebs.

I predict that the debate will become mired in deliberate obfuscation of such definitions, of course, at the cost of good public policy.

I predict a scare campaign on the basis that increasing the cost of water to business will fuel inflation (or will they not pass on the increased price of basic inputs), causing interest rates to rise, etc.

Likely to get really grubby.

26/9/06 10:31 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Oh yes, agree on the business angle that will start cropping up like weeds in the future.

What really gets me Jacob - and not just with water - is that NO business would stay in business if it was so damned precarious. The constant bleeting (oops, no offence to the goats)as if every business is constantly on a knife edge, and that life as we know it will come crashing down if we don't "protect" business - farrrrk.

Easiest example that comes to mind is Telstra. Bloody hell; they're worse than a room full of sreaming, crying 3 year olds. Difficult to believe those guys are getting paid millions of dollars a year just in salaries and running a multi-billion dollar company, isn't it?

Public protection; tax payer money; private profit.

Sorry, but the hypocrocy grates!

Read today a piece about the Vic Gov't NOT putting in water tanks for some major building project, to save $350 K, yet just on a few buildings here, 20 million squillion (something) of rain water goes straight into storm drains instead of being captured and used. Bloody clever cost savings, isn't it.

But the environ minister thinks nothing on spending $20 M on a save water brochure for consumers, with his pic all over it.

Stupidity doesn't get worse than this.

1/10/06 12:17 AM  

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