Effects of Air and Water Monopolization, economics homework help

In the movie there is a human colony on Mars that relies on artificially supplied air, which the ruler of the Mars colony will at times shut off, either as punishment to maintain political control or to ensure that people must pay a monopoly price for air. In fact, there is a natural source of air and an atmosphere on Mars which the ruler of the colony knows about but is trying to keep secret in order to maintain the air monopoly and control.

Currently the U.S. and almost every other nation relies on government to supply drinking water; in the U.S., municipalities provide the water. People do get charged for water service and water can be cut off for nonpayment, but a government-run water supply presumably will not attempt to charge a monopoly profit and cut people off from supplies simply to ensure higher profits.

Suppose that property over water, or even air, were privatized, resulting in clean water or clean air being supplied by private firms. Do you think the “air monopolist” fear, evidenced in the movie, would prove to be a overwhelming objection to private water or air supply? Should people fear being charged an arm and a leg (this isn’t quite the correct metaphor) for something that is necessary for life, if ownership were in private hands?

Do you think that the potential of for-profit companies to refuse to supply except at a very high price is a barrier to the market supply of water? Would a water or air monopolist charge an exorbitant price and then cut people off and let them die if they refused to pay? Write a 3 pages essay on this topic.

 
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