Gary Callaway (letter May 10) says unregulated capitalism would solve our water problems. He complains that we are in our current predicament because of government. Capitalists — altruists who have our best interests at heart — and the free market, motivated by profit, would create the best of all possible worlds if only government would get out of the way.
The history of the 19th century and its monopolies — oil, steel, and railroads — proves that capitalism and capitalists are anything but altruistic and that government — corrupt as it is — is the only defense against a huge monopoly controlling water and everything else — including the commodity capitalism calls “human resources.”
Capitalists have been busily chipping away at economic, environmental, labor and consumer protections built painstakingly during the first half of the 20th century, corrupting government with floods of money — the viper’s venom of capitalism.
The result: a 21st century version of the 19th century, run on 21st century technology, with huge economic inequalities between rich and poor, and diminishing defenses for workers, consumers, and the environment in which they live.
Unfettered capitalism greased with the slick snake oil of silver-tongued apologists like Callaway is as much a Utopian project as socialism or communism ever was.