The Washington Post reports an interesting story about efforts to restore electric power services in Iraq. The following paragraph caught my eye:
Though Iraq has more power than it did before the war, Baghdad has suffered. The capital had a steady and sufficient flow of electricity under President Saddam Hussein, who supplied the capital at the expense of the rest of the country.
What’s that? Baghdad had more reliable electric service than the rest of the country under Saddam Hussein? Haven’t we been told that reliability is a public good? A public good is non-rival in consumption and non-excludable in distribution. So how is it that some could get more of this public good, and others less….