Even though I agree with a lot of what he says, this demonstrate the ignorance that many people share regarding the utility of the price mechanism. Yes, the planet is mostly covered with water, but only less than one percent (University of Michigan) can be used by humans making it a scarce resource. On top of that, water is not only used for drinking, so there's a high demand for its use by people and industry.
The price mechanism is the best way we have found to allocate scarce resources. It encourages other people to find solutions to provide cheaper water, so that they can divert profits away from their competition toward themselves. It also discourages the frivolous usage of the resource, since they tend to produce lesser value compared to other usage.
Just like King, I also want to question the underlying system that drives so much poverty. The conclusion that I have arrived to is that institutions (government or companies) by trying to distort or replace the price mechanism make everyone, but especially the poor, worst off.
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