I own a house without city water and the water in the house comes from a well. For those who are unfamiliar with this system, there really is no major difference except when I lose my electrical service. Then I have no water, because my water pump needs electricity to work. Since I rarely lose power for any great length of time, this is a minor inconvenience though even for a short time you are conscious of how often you use water without thinking about it. Once my well pump went and we didn’t have water for 24 hours, which really brought this point home. Going to the sink to use running water is almost an unconscious act. In any case, it is something you take for granted until you don’t have it anymore.
New Jersey’s fiscal crisis has brought home to me how we take certain things for granted and one of them is the tax revenues that operate our state government. Every year it seems that there is a budget crisis and a debate over our tax burden and where we should spend the money, but this year the debate is much different. (more…)