Should essential services be publicly owned

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January 3rd, 2019 at 10:44:02 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 124
Posts: 11567
Quote: petroglyph
But under deregulation, he doesn't have a choice. Anyone can use the lines.


Meaningless. They are charging for this service.

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The deregulation in this case is not fair. The owner/builder of the lines has immense stranded capital that their prices must reflect. A competitor can sell to customers without that cost or liability cost. No way can the owner compete, selling power over his own lines. That's how Enron scorched the earth in the same area.


The competitor is paying to use the lines. It is two different businesses. The owner can indeed compete. The competitor has to build power plants from scratch or buy from the owner of an established plant. Enron's crooked trading practices are another matter.

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The same thing happened with communication lines up north. ACS, a premier local company quit putting phone lines into developments, because GCI could use the facility and undersell them on their own equipment.

That's powerline socialism.


It is regulation of a natural monopoly. The owner of the lines is free to spin off the management of the lines into another entity if they wish.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 3rd, 2019 at 11:06:30 AM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 22
Posts: 4662
Quote: AZDuffman
Meaningless. They are charging for this service.
So the baker should have to sell the cake, whether or not they object?

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....The competitor has to build power plants from scratch or buy from the owner of an established plant....
Not at all. There are few generation company's, but many selling power. Look at that link I posted yesterday of how many are selling electricity in your area.

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It is regulation of a natural monopoly.
Not necessarily natural. What is monopolized though is the row. All electric company's afaik are at least partially taxpayer subsidized.

An investor being able to buy shares in "the power company" [just cuz I like calling them that] isn't dissimilar to me wanting to buy shares in my local police dept. I want to buy 50 shares of the traffic patrol in front of my house and get a percentage of the traffic fines. We are in a period of privatizing government, with the influence of mega corps on congress.

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The owner of the lines is free to spin off the management of the lines into another entity if they wish.
I know, but talk about double jeopardy. The entire productivity of the nation will be eaten up in red tape.
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
January 3rd, 2019 at 11:13:36 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 124
Posts: 11567
Quote: petroglyph
So the baker should have to sell the cake, whether or not they object?


Not a valid comparison. The gay bigots were free to buy a cake from any bakery. The power lines are a natural monopoly.

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Not at all. There are few generation company's, but many selling power. Look at that link I posted yesterday of how many are selling electricity in your area.


Eh? I said they had to buy from an established plant or build. You basically agreed.

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Not necessarily natural. What is monopolized though is the row. All electric company's afaik are at least partially taxpayer subsidized.


Subsidized how? Maybe in under-served areas. But to say "all" is a huge stretch.

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An investor being able to buy shares in "the power company" [just cuz I like calling them that] isn't dissimilar to me wanting to buy shares in my local police dept. I want to buy 50 shares of the traffic patrol in front of my house and get a percentage of the traffic fines. We are in a period of privatizing government, with the influence of mega corps on congress.


Well, it is dissimilar as policing is a public service, not a utility. But you CAN buy shares. IIRC Chicago for sure and probably others have sold the concession for parking meters to private, EU, corporations. Police have rented the concession on speed-cameras (unconstitutional IMHO, but people keep begging to have their rights taken away) to the providers for a cut of revenue. Private installs get a piece of the DUI-industrial complex in the form of those interlock systems.

At least some are publicly traded, call a broker for more info.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 3rd, 2019 at 4:32:51 PM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 22
Posts: 4662
Quote: AZDuffman
The power lines are a natural monopoly.
How so? They didn't exist until somebody planted them.

If you build a house, I can't rent the rooms to strangers. If I plant corn, you can't pick the corn I grew, and sell it to my customers at a cheaper price.

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Not at all. There are few generation company's, but many selling power. Look at that link I posted yesterday of how many are selling electricity in your area.


Eh? I said they had to buy from an established plant or build. You basically agreed.
Just curious if posters think taxpayers should pay for the losses of a private power company, which rewards shareholders?

In a public utility, all the stars align to get the power from it's source to the customer at the best rate possible, as earlier stated PG&E will ignore hundreds of thousands of poles that need changing. A muni or gov power agency generally does better maintenance, imo.

Should entrepreneurs have the same opportunity with city water? Should you be allowed to buy source water and through deregulation be able to sell water to business/homes cheaper than a municipal water dept. can? At some point there comes into consideration, "the common good". If we are going to be honest, modern civilization has to have electricity.

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Subsidized how? Maybe in under-served areas. But to say "all" is a huge stretch.
"All", may be a stretch. But at the time of post, I can't think of one that isn't at least partially subsidized. Just like PG&E, no one has deep enough pockets to cover the liability. I'm told that when private company's "own" nuke plants, that they don't insure them for accidental disaster, because the risks are so great no insurance company would sell insurance for the event of nuclear disaster. So it goes [in the business] without saying, the feds are picking up the tab on that insurance liability. The rest of them are getting some federally funded loans at ridiculously low rates. Anything other than a private electric company is non profit.

Similar to the crash of 08. The tbtf banks are considered significantly important institutions . The gov will not let the big banks fail. And regardless of the lousy bets JP Morgan Chase may invest in, that bank won't be allowed to go under. That is a prime example of privatizing profits, and socializing losses. Capitalism isn't capitalism if SIB's aren't allowed to fail.

Back to the OP, should the taxpayers pay the difference between the entire credit of PG%E, and what the total loss on these lawsuits will be? If the taxpayers pay the amount beyond what the ratepayers forfeit, that makes PG&E, not a private corporation. Jerry Brown has said Cali. won't let them go under. Will he also pay the day traders that sold PG&E short?

I just did a quick search. Lost interest before I could find out what elec. cost is for PG&E customers, but not deterred. I get 8.16 kwh at Clark County PUD @ Vanc. Wa., but across the Columbia river Portland General Elec. [a former Enron subsidiary] a private company charges 11.42kwh. They buy power from the same sources usually. I don't know how to skim that ? Often wondered.

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But you CAN buy shares. IIRC Chicago for sure and probably others have sold the concession for parking meters to private, EU, corporations.
I am against selling significantly important infrastructure to foreign governments. Remember the uproar when China wanted to buy our ports? That all went quiet for some reason. I was surprised when Chicago sold the parking meters to Abu Dhabi. lol https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/10/why-does-abu-dhabi-own-all-of-chicago-s-parking-meters/339805/ I keep hoping for Cool hand luke with a pipe cutter. Would our police then defend a foreign gov. against Americans?

Down this way, Az. is selling water rights to foreigners, which in this multi decade drought is ludicrous. Saudi has alfalfa farms, they raise the hay and ship it home without it ever touching auctions here. They suck a lot of water out of the ground. There are recurring articles in the paper about VC's trying to get water rights of the SW.

Should we be willing to sell our infrastructure to foreign governments? Are we willing to let Abu Dhabi, or China buy PG&E?
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
January 4th, 2019 at 3:01:47 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 124
Posts: 11567
Quote: petroglyph
How so? They didn't exist until somebody planted them.


"Natural Monopoly" is a term taught in ECON-101. It describes a service, usually a utility of some kind, that is so large and disruptive to provide that it makes sense to have only one provider.

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In a public utility, all the stars align to get the power from it's source to the customer at the best rate possible, as earlier stated PG&E will ignore hundreds of thousands of poles that need changing. A muni or gov power agency generally does better maintenance, imo.


The key phrase her is "in your opinion." Sometimes they do, often they do not. One thing for sure they will absolutely innovate less.

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Should entrepreneurs have the same opportunity with city water? Should you be allowed to buy source water and through deregulation be able to sell water to business/homes cheaper than a municipal water dept. can? At some point there comes into consideration, "the common good". If we are going to be honest, modern civilization has to have electricity.


Why not with water? I currently live in a place with high water costs. If someone could draw from the river and clean it up cheaper, I would love the chance for that. Let them pay the muni the fee for use of the water lines similar to how the power companies do it. Muni then maintains the lines (which you are of the opinion they would do better) and I can get cheaper water.


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I am against selling significantly important infrastructure to foreign governments. Remember the uproar when China wanted to buy our ports? That all went quiet for some reason. I was surprised when Chicago sold the parking meters to Abu Dhabi. lol https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/10/why-does-abu-dhabi-own-all-of-chicago-s-parking-meters/339805/ I keep hoping for Cool hand luke with a pipe cutter. Would our police then defend a foreign gov. against Americans?


What I remember is Dubai wanted to buy the concession to run the ports. The Dubai company that bid runs ports well and would have probably been a good operator. We used to do more of this kind of thing well in the USA, but starting in the 1970s or so Americans decided they no longer wanted their kids doing "dirty" work.

No surprise on Chicago and the parking meters. More and more will be sold. Cities are going to have to sell anything they can. Like some rich brat who spent their inheritance but still wants to live it up. To the TBTF banks, it was not the party you make out. CEOs of banks in good shape were presented with purchase agreements with TARP funds attached. They were told their signatures or their brains would be on the contract before they left the room. GM creditors had their claims outright stolen by the feds. But we are getting off topic there.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 4th, 2019 at 7:41:07 AM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 11
Posts: 1815
We have a real time recent change in the rules that certainly doesn't support the government run or owned model is better. Marijuana production and sales was, and still is in many places, an illegal or grey area business. This business made billions of dollars for its 'owners' often criminal gangs. They had distribution, production, sales and other overhead costs the same as any other business.

Many states and the Canadian Feds decided that it made sense to legalize, regulate, tax and in some jurisdictions own the distribution of this business. So many would think that without the gangs taking their billions from the industry prices would drop. What has really happened? The price the consumer is basing for his weed is close to double what it was under the old system. If we could actually perform this experiment with most government owned/controlled industries and I am sure we would find the same thing.

Uber provides another real time example of government intervention in an industry. Decades ago cities decided that it was in the public good to control and regulate the taxi industry. A key piece of this was to control the number of taxis and a taxi license became a major investment and a key part of the taxi companies overhead. Along comes Uber and convinces the cities they aren't taxis and thus exempt from the regulation. Without the overhead burden of the regulations and cost of licenses they are able to operate much cheaper. As little bonus for Uber their model has also allowed them to escape many of the payroll taxes as well. I don't understand why anyone thinks the government can run anything cheaper.
"but if you make yourselves sheep, the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin
January 4th, 2019 at 8:04:31 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 124
Posts: 11567
Quote: kenarman
I don't understand why anyone thinks the government can run anything cheaper.


Because too many in our society think "profit" is a bad thing. They think corporations are inanimate objects. They think, "without profit we can all live so much better and it will be rainbows and unicorns! If just not for 'greedy people making profit.'"

And they think it is way worse if someone makes a profit on something "people need."

They think the government is looking out for them, which makes it even worse.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 4th, 2019 at 9:07:41 AM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 141
Posts: 8962
Quote: kenarman
We have a real time recent change in the rules that certainly doesn't support the government run or owned model is better. Marijuana production and sales was, and still is in many places, an illegal or grey area business. This business made billions of dollars for its 'owners' often criminal gangs. They had distribution, production, sales and other overhead costs the same as any other business.

Many states and the Canadian Feds decided that it made sense to legalize, regulate, tax and in some jurisdictions own the distribution of this business. So many would think that without the gangs taking their billions from the industry prices would drop. What has really happened? The price the consumer is basing for his weed is close to double what it was under the old system. If we could actually perform this experiment with most government owned/controlled industries and I am sure we would find the same thing.



The real cost of gang managed drugs is lot higher than that. They don't just sit around selling weed all day. Of course all the buying and selling is avoiding all parts of the tax system, but that would be an advantage for any business not just marijuana.
Vote smart and honest, not Trump the poll butt plug
January 4th, 2019 at 9:54:41 AM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 6
Posts: 1600
Petro,

Just a couple of random comments. I was an electric customer in Clark County for 3+ years. It was the cheapest electric I've ever paid at the time by a lot. I don't remember the details, but it had to do with their primary source being the Bonneville Power Dam on the Columbia, and I think it was their property (not available to the Oregon power companies).

This year marks 30 years since I bought my first house (that one). Wow.

Speaking of wow, I am astounded they are allowing the shipment of wet grains out of Arizona, to where the water molecules are forever lost to that area. Over decades, that represents a significant movement of moisture.
Never doubt a small group of concerned citizens can change the world; it's the only thing ever has
January 4th, 2019 at 10:44:24 AM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 11
Posts: 1815
Quote: rxwine
The real cost of gang managed drugs is lot higher than that. They don't just sit around selling weed all day. Of course all the buying and selling is avoiding all parts of the tax system, but that would be an advantage for any business not just marijuana.


That is true and agree that the societal benefits of stripping gangs of their income is huge. Your point however is the government still needs more money and charges more money for MJ than the gangs were even with their huge profits. Governments are never efficient at anything they do except maybe killing people.
"but if you make yourselves sheep, the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin
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