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Regulation of Public Utilities as a Pseudo Tax

By D. Brady Nelson -- July 2, 2015

“The very term ‘public utility’ … is an absurd one. Every good is useful ‘to the public’, and almost every good, if we take a large enough chunk of supply as the unit, may be considered ‘necessary’. Any designation of a few industries as ‘public utilities’ is completely arbitrary and unjustified.” – Murray Rothbard

Every American business and household is directly and indirectly impacted by the seemingly never-ending rise in public utility prices (including airports, electricity, gas, post, public transport, rail, seaports, telecommunications, and water & sewerage). State and federal regulation of these ‘so called’ natural monopolies (very worryingly, now including the Internet), in fact, virtually ‘locks in’ such an upward trajectory.

Consequently, consumers are paying a ‘pseudo-tax’ that is hidden from plain sight. This is in great part due to, as pointed out by economist Ludwig von Mises, that:

No alleged ‘fact finding’ and no armchair speculation can discover another price at which demand and supply would become equal.