Subsidies are all wet - Subsidies are all wet By Thomas...

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Subsidies are all wet   By Thomas Sowell  -  March 19, 2004 For years we have been hearing about a water shortage in the western  states. To most people, that might suggest that there just is not enough water for  all the people in those states. But, when an economist hears the word "shortage,"  it has an entirely different meaning. What specifically is a shortage? It is a situation where you are willing to  pay the price but simply cannot find as much as you want. To an economist, the  question is: Why doesn't the price rise then? If it did, some people would demand  less and others would supply more until supply and demand balanced.  Put  differently, a shortage is a sign that somebody is keeping the price artificially  lower than it would be if supply and demand were allowed to operate freely. That  is precisely why there is a water shortage in the western states. Even in California's dry Central Valley, less than 10 percent of the water  available from federal water projects is used by cities and industries. The vast 
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