Are they out of their money-grabbin’ minds?

Here’s the situation. People on city water are being hit with ridiculous demand-side approaches without one thought toward some kind of price adjustments to reflect temporary scarcity, let alone appreciation for the Tragedy of the Commons.

Still, bunches of people are opting off city water and getting private wells, because finding their own solutions around problems set up by clumsy government is what individuals do.

So what is the state’s response? Try to think of something really stupid. Chances are you won’t beat this: Find a way to penalize people finding their own supplies of water!

WRAL reports:

State lawmakers are considering a proposal that would require homeowners and businesses that use private wells to report on how much water they consume.

A special legislative committee is expected to present a list of ideas to Gov. Mike Easley, who could push for drought legislation on various fronts during the General Assembly’s short session, which begins in May.

About 40 percent of North Carolina residents use private wells, and their water use is an unknown variable for state officials trying to develop accurate models to manage water resources during the ongoing drought.

State Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, said lawmakers are considering fining well owners if they don’t report their water usage.

Two years ago, when lawmakers were talking about having the state regulate gasoline prices, a dismayed Jeff Taylor exclaimed, “That the General Assembly is even thinking about such a thing as regulating gasoline prices confirms that North Carolina is governed by mouth-breathing, knuckle-walking cretins.”

Well, this idea might not be quite as dumb as that, but it is not exactly something even approaching evidence opposing Jeff’s theory. Holy criminy.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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