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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 . . . → Read More: Whose Water? Ours: Clearing Fallacies about Implementing Common Rights

How a Water Market Might Work

This will not be a perfect market. There will be only one seller, and the buyers will surely form a user’s association. But this should not deter us. No human institution is perfect, except some that are perfectly awful. The present water market is one of these, and the point is to make it less awful. Maximum feasible improvement is the . . . → Read More: How a Water Market Might Work

The Water Giveaway: A Critique of Federal Water Policy

The many wasteful policies and procedures in federal water resources programs have been much analyzed by economists and other scholars. Agency benefit-cost practices have been found wanting. Benefit estimates have been biased upward and cost estimates downward. Environmental effects of projects, often adverse, are not weighted enough. I generally endorse the thrust of these criticisms and will not repeat them . . . → Read More: The Water Giveaway: A Critique of Federal Water Policy

Tax-Induced Slow Turnover of Capital

PRESENT DOLLARS are heavy dollars; future dollars are light dollars. The effort of taxpayers to retard tax liabilities and advance tax write-offs follows as the night the day, and economists understand the rudiments of this game: taxes deferred are taxes denied.
The economics profession has lagged in developing capital theory and more so in incorporating it in its teachings. It is . . . → Read More: Tax-Induced Slow Turnover of Capital

Economic Aspects of Water Policy

This article reports what I as an economist think I have learned from the experience of the western states in economizing on water, which may suggest what eastern researchers might learn by directing some of their efforts toward sifting and evaluating the western history. This is one area in which history flowed backwards: the western evolution anticipated that in the East . . . → Read More: Economic Aspects of Water Policy

Water Law and Economics Transfers of Water: A Reply

THIS is a reply to Dean Frank Trelease’s comment on a case study of western water law as applied to the Keweah River, California. That case study finds diseconomies in water allocation, and lays much of the blame to water law. Dean Trelease Ends this “very disturbing,” which reaction I, in turn, find a little puzzling, since he is himself . . . → Read More: Water Law and Economics Transfers of Water: A Reply