Many economists assert that when the prices of certain goods are low, their demand increases. This is the law of demand. The law of supply is almost similar to the law of demand, since suppliers increase their products in the market when prices for such products are high. However, people are sometimes skeptical on the power of price in stimulation of production, as well as ensuring efficient allocation of resources. When the market for a commodity, such as water, is restricted, its scarcity persists, since interfering with the cycle of creating wealth leads to disproportionate distribution. This study will focus on the consequences of trying to go against the laws that guide on demand and supply.
Question: What should be done to ensure adequate use of water?
Even though water is a renewable resource, it is extremely scarce. The World Bank has warned of rise in consumption of fresh water while the World Health Organization claims that almost one billion people survive on unhealthy drinking water (Anderson, Scarborough and Watson 1). Scarcity of water results because people do not sacrifice other resources to get it. People still believe that water is as free as air, thus, should be provided freely. Despite the fact that water covers approximately 71% of the earth’s surface, many people believe that humans are misusing water, and water shortage will eventually hit the universe if they continue misusing it. The fact that people chose to live in areas with no adequate water depicts that water is an economic resource whose distribution and consumption should be driven by the markets.
The planet can never dry up: water will remain intact. Even if everybody uses water for irrigation, human beings cannot exhaust water. It is acceptable to state that water shortages that people experience in different parts of the globe do not result from drought, but lack of acceptance that the law of demand, as well as supply, can dictate the market for water. People should accept that water also respond to the law of demand, regardless of the distance between their location and the source of water. Price controls on water restrict suppliers from taking the commodity to the market, thus, making the consumers worse off (Miller, Benjamin and North 65). The process of desalination can become cheap with the continued technological progress, making water available to every human being.
Human beings cannot exhaust water resources. The water cycle will continue to hold the quantity of water intact. The rising human population, which surpasses a fixed supply of water influences predictions of water scarcity. There exists both demand-side problem and supply-side problem to water that is necessary to satisfy human needs. On the demand side, the number of people in the globe is rising rapidly and a large segment of these people lives in areas that have low supply of the commodity. The rate at which people are using fresh water is quite high compared to how the fresh water is regenerated from the earth’s surface.
On the supply side, individuals are withdrawing freshwater from rivers and groundwater aquifers at a higher rate than they can replenish it back to the water cycle. Although the earth has enough water for everyone, not all water is good enough to quench human needs. People have contaminated water by pouring chemical waste in rivers and seas. Countries need to forgo some development projects to accumulate adequate funds to generate fresh water and to make it available to every citizen. The beneficiaries in this case would be technologists who would discover ways to turn seawater into fresh water. The losers in this case are the poor people who will restrain from consuming water when the price goes up. Creating laws to guide on water use will result to low demand of the commodity.
Although humans cannot exhaust water in the earth, they can misuse it, resulting to scarcity. The planet accommodates about 326 million-trillion gallons of water, but only 0.4% of this quantity is available and fit for human consumption (Anderson, Scarborough and Watson 2). Human activities interfere with global water cycles, resulting to water crisis. If humans restrict water that flows down the rivers to irrigate their land, they can create scarcity to people who rely on such rivers for drinking water. People are consuming more water than the water cycle is capable of replenishing their taps.
Not all countries have the capacity to use the available technology to desalinate water for human consumption or to take water to when people reside. This is because more people in rural and urban area are consuming water than before, thus, making it hard to provide it to every person. Developing countries may be compelled to forego numerous activities to have enough funds to invest in desalination of water. In addition, investing on the latest technology to desalinate water would make the price of water go up, resulting to a low demand of the commodity, particularly to the poor people.
Price controls for water discourages suppliers from bringing the commodity to consumers, hence high prices, which is a burden to poor people. Government intervention in the market creates confusion in stating the appropriate price for the water. The government should interfere by charging higher tax for individuals who have the capacity to tap the rivers to prevent them from benefiting from the commodity at the expense of the masses. In addition, the government should subsidize machinery used to remove impurities from water to encourage suppliers to deliver the commodity to the consumers.
Does a market for human organs make sense?
The market for human organs should be legalized to save thousands of people who die every year as they water for volunteers to donate lifesaving organs that they need. According to Miller, Benjamin and North, more than 8,000 Americans are likely to die this year, as they wait for organ transplant (54). If the business for human organs is legalized, such high number of people would not die. Government regulations support donation of the entire human body, but restricts partial body donations, creating a shortage of much needed organs to save lives (Harrington and Sayre 14). Allowing the market for human organs will save more lives, in addition to saving health insurance money that could go toward dialysis and treatment.
However, the cost of human organs transplant is too high for the ordinary person, and the health insurance firms may not be in a position to pay for the transplant. The fear of forced donations may rise, as people might kill each other to get the needed organs. The market may become coercive when huge sums of money are involved or exploitative when little amount of money (M. Veroux and P. Veroux 138). For instance, China executed thousands of prisoners to sell their organs to tourists, with no prove of their consent or the money collected from such prisoners benefiting their surviving family members. Cases of body snatching have been reported in the US, as well as in Britain, thus, making the market quite unstable.
Anderson, Terry L, Brandon Scarborough, and Lawrence R. Watson. Tapping Water Markets. New York, NY: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Harrington David E. and Edward A. Sayre. “Paying for Bodies, But Not for Organs.” Regulation, Winter (2006–2007), 14–19. Web. 25 June 2015.
Miller, Roger L. R, Daniel K. Benjamin, and Douglass C. North. The Economics of Public Issues. Boston, MA: Addison Wesley, 2014. Print.
Veroux, Massimiliano, and Pierfrancesco Veroux. Kidney Transplantation: Challenging the Future. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Bentham Books, 2012. Internet resource.