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This sounds like a quality idea:
So my new idea is this: Require that water monopolies (private and public) purchase insurance against outages, shortages, toxic spills, etc. Such a requirement would produce two good results:
1. Current practices would immediately improve with oversight — solving the free-rider/coordination problem (in principal-agent jargon) of monitoring utilities.
2. Insurance companies would pay for future problems, which reduces the problem with ex-post rate increases to fix them.
This approach would be difficult to apply when the types of events you want to prevents are unknown unknowns, so that it is hard to write regulation for it.
I am not normally a fan of anti-republican/anti-bush humor, but this Crooked Timber post is pretty darn funny
For example, an advocate of the Iraq war can be a virtue ethicist as regards their own heroic standard against Ba’athist dictatorship, a deontologist regarding obligations to punish the criminal behavior of their enemies, regardless of the unintended effects on the millions of people living in the general vicinity, and a consequentialist regarding the necessity to excuse the criminal behavior of their leaders for fear of subsequent bad effects on the polity.