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Whose Water? Ours: Clearing Fallacies about Implementing Common Rights

The late Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana in 1922 suffered the fate of Oregon’s Congressman Al Ullman: he was retired by the voters for proposing a national sales tax. Thereafter, he mellowed into being a scholar and biographer. In these philosophical years he wrote “You know, I’ve learned in the Widener Library at Harvard that most of what I was taught as a boy in Indiana is pure bunk.” That is also true of much of what we ordinarily read and hear about water economics and ownership. I am giving you a list of things I submit are pure bunk, or mostly so. My first points may seem radical, but stay your judgment, I have some right-wing thoughts coming “on the other hand.”

1993. In Polly Dyer (ed.), Whose Water? Past; Present; Future. Seattle: Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Washington, pp. 69-93 + 125-33.

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