Deregulation helps us all

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by MikeLastort2, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Really, it does.

    Food, airlines, power. It's all good.

    We get botulism and e-coli, crappy airline service and now power outages that take a really long time to repair.

    From http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/23/national/23STOR.htm

    Anyone else remember when utilities were considered part of the "public good" and providing power was more important than providing profit?
     
  2. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Is Texas the only state that knew how to deregulate electric utilities? I can't remember the last time we had a blackout. Can you, El Jefe?
     
  3. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    http://www.tnr.com/easterbrook.mhtml

     
  4. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My power's gone out for a grand total of maybe one hour in the last two years. All of which were during major storms.
     
  5. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    From the same site

    Interesting! Thanks for the link
     
  6. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Question: In that part of the country, are the incumbent energy providers still in charge of maintaining the transmission lines, even though the energy market is deregulated?
     
  7. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Yes
     
  8. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So Pepco is resposible for maintaining the lines and poles and such, and at the same time, they're responsible for competing with other companies to sell the power that they send over those lines?

    That might be a problem.
     
  9. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Yep.

    I actually asked PEPCO what I could do to choose a different power company. They told me that even if I did, if there was an outage I'd have to contact PEPCO to fix it.

    From PEPCO's site

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here, it's a bit different. When the electricity market was deregulated, it was only deregulated to a certain point. The retuil energy providers and lines companies had to be separate companies. The lines companies are still regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.

    So prior to deregulation, TXU Electric was responsible for the entire shooting match here in the Dallas area. However, they spun off their transmission facilities (the lines, the meters, and so on) off into a separate company called Oncor. They read the meters and handle any outages and downed lines and such.

    Mind you, Oncor is still owned by TXU, but they're regulated and they have to treat all electric providers and their customers the same. Personally, I've switched my energy provider, but if there's an outage, I still call Oncor.

    So far, it seems to be working pretty well.
     
  11. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Re: Degulation helps us all

    No, but I remember paying A LOT more for airline service which was just as *#*#*#*#*#*#. You shouldn't lump all deregulation efforts into the same pot.
     
  12. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Degulation? Doh!

    Hey Dante or GringoTex, can one of you guys change the title of the thread for me to fix the typo?
     
  13. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Re: Re: Degulation helps us all

    I think post-deregulation airline service is worse than it was when it was regulated.

    YMMV.
     
  14. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    I was actually thinking about starting a thread on deregulation asking for "success stories," because I can't think of any. So Gringo, could you explain what happened in Texas, and why you think it worked there?

    As for airlines--there is simply no comparison to the level of service before/after. It's the classic case of transferring costs to the consumer. IE In the interest of increased efficiency and profit margin, less profitable routes are cut, forcing consumers to put up with way more connecting flights, longer layovers, and overbooking as common practice. Living in Ohio, I now drive home to New England every year because I found that it took an average of 9 hours to fly (adding together trips to and from each airport, various layovers, delays, etc.). It takes me only 12 hours to drive the trip.

    Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing successful stories of deregulation and/or privatization anywhere in the world. Maybe we could come up with a dereg global scorecard.
     
  15. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Re: Re: Re: Degulation helps us all

    Oh, come on man. The prices are SO MUCH CHEAPER now so long as you have some flexibility. This has been such a boon to ordinary consumers.
     
  16. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Degulation helps us all

    Cheaper? Maybe. Faster? Don't think so.
     
  17. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Degulation helps us all

    Here's another stat. The number of airline passengers DOULBED in the 15 years after deregulation. This has allowed millions of lower-middle class people to choose air travel for the first time. Air travel is MUCH SAFER.
     
  18. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Degulation helps us all

    Fine, I don't care really. I think air travel has gotten worse since deregulation.

    However, the main point of my thread is that deregulation has hurt the power industry customers more than it helped them.
     
  19. DoyleG

    DoyleG Moderator
    Staff Member

    FC Edmonton
    Canada
    Jan 11, 2002
    Victoria, BC
    Club:
    FC Edmonton
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    Deregulation is fine as long as everyone is willing to jump into it.

    Otherwise, it's just not worth it.
     
  20. dfb547490

    dfb547490 New Member

    Feb 9, 2000
    The Heights
    Yeah, let's re-federalize the airline industry just so poor widdle Mike, who can afford to pay $500 to fly from DC to New York, can have better service.

    I think the fact that I can, say, fly from Boston to Philly round-trip for under $150 on United, or get a round-trip ticket from Providence to Oakland for under $300 on Southwest, is just fine with the rest of us.
     
  21. MikeLastort2

    MikeLastort2 Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Takoma Park, MD
    Fine, I don't care really. I think air travel has gotten worse since deregulation.

    However, the main point of my thread is that deregulation has hurt the power industry customers more than it helped them.
     
  22. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In your specific case, your statement is true.

    However, in the general case, your statement is not necessarily true.
     
  23. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm a hardcore liberal and agree with Alex that airline deregulation has been a significant net positive, as has dereg of telecommunications. They are both businesses where the belief that high capital barriers to entry justified regulation turned out to not be the case, and both prices and service have generally improved. And if you want a meal on a plane, just bring it with you -- I just want to get there on a non-stop flight as cheaply and quickly as possible.

    Public utilities are a different matter -- we've decided as a country that (a) we don't want hundreds of power lines criss-crossing every neighborhood, and (b) we want every town to have access to power. So we end up with these semi-regulated businesses that are still being run by the men who worked 90% of their lives in a very stable fully-regulated public utility. They don't know how to run these utilities in this new world.

    Eventually the execs will be replaced by people who better understand the competitive environment. But until then, stupid decisions made in the heat of competition like cutting maintenance costs will lead to stupid outcomes like this week's prolonged outages, and the companies will lose customers, and the bottom line will suffer. That's capitalism working well. It's an inevitable part of the dereg process, but it doesn't make deregulation itself bad.
     
  24. Garcia

    Garcia Member

    Dec 14, 1999
    Castro Castro
    I have a friend who works for SBC. His comoany has to maintain the phone lines while his "competition" gets to use his lines at a (de)regulated cheaper rate. His comonay can't compare in final prices.

    Deregulation is another word for balance, and after years if pork, SBC should be able to foot the bill, no?

    I say not.

    Just as with the airlines, markets were served at regulated prices. The companies got either what they wanted or needed for said service.

    This is like Iraq and Saddam. You build up something only to tear it down.

    I may speak for myself, but (for example) the airline industry wants "some" re-regulation. What that means is not really known.

    Anyway, can the mods ask superdave to help correct the thread topic wording? :)
     
  25. Garcia

    Garcia Member

    Dec 14, 1999
    Castro Castro
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Degulation helps us all

    You are wrong, point blank.

    That is if...if...we count this by prices alone.

    This is the American way, but you should know by now that deregulation is not applied by "American way" standards.

    Gotten worse? In many ways, but you live in DC, not Madison, Wisconsin.
     

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