The Economics of Municipal Utilities
Brian Gongol

Every few decades, a technology emerges that is considered such a useful good that people come to consider it a public utility. Roads, water and sewerage, electricity, telephones, and now broadband Internet access have all emerged as public utilities in high demand.

Some questions are worth considering about these utilities, especially when questions arise about whether the government should get into the business of providing them: By no means is the list exhaustive, but the questions are important. When governments get into the business of providing services, they should do so only with great caution -- since everything government does carries with it the weight of force.