And don't provide evidence. Markets have not been performing better when deregulated in the power business, that is the problem.
Add that to the 'fact' that markets have proven highly unreliable for a number of necessary services such as highways, fire, police and military in US history.
Hmmm, looks like we have some privatization in these areas. For example, here's an article on private fire fighting services. Also, fire fighters who put out oil well fires are exclusively private (at least in the US and Europe).
Police services have long been privatized with mixed results. For example, detective agencies, armored cars, security guards, surveillance devices, etc are used since government protection only goes so far. Organized crime routinely operates as a private police force/military force.
For example, billions of dollars are bet on sports events every year. So why don't we have hordes of players cheating so that they can get a piece of that action? The answer is that if the public police force doesn't get you, then the private one does. Rumor has it that gamblers who cross the line and encourage the throwing of a game can suffer serious penalties like broken legs and such.
The US has a pretty good history of effective private military forces. For example, most of the battles between American Indians and US citizens were fought with private groups on the US side. The US revolutionary war was fought with a number of privately organized militias (on both the side of the States and of the British government!) and guerilla bands (again from both sides). Private groups resurfaced during the Civil War as guerillas in places like Kansas, Missouri, and West Virginia.
I'm least certain about road-building. Even railroads which require less infrastructure, were heavily subsidized by government. Still if you look at the people who build and maintain these roads, most are from private companies and they do as good a job as public sources are willing to fund.
And government doesn't always work here. I've lost thousands of dollars on a particularly nasty dirt road that I used to travel to visit a friend of mine. It was a country road, but because only four or five families lived on it, the county declined to scrape the road flat of potholes. I ended up losing *two* transmissions on that damn road. It would have been much cheaper for me to personally pay to scrape that road.
The "resulting inefficiences" were and should be part of the long term cost of providing a reliable service. Unregulated market forces will always push managers into trying to cut costs, to become more "efficient". This may well save a penny or two per kwh, at the cost of postponed maintainance & elimination of extra capacity. Both of these will result in less reliable power than if the "inefficient" system of mandated timely maintainance and over capacity were 'reverted' to.
A simple solution here is to insure delivery of power. If a company or for that matter public government entity has to provide power insurance to customers who wish to buy it, then that cuts out a lot of your problems above. Drop the mandated requirements and just make these institutions responsible for reliability problems, particularly if the customer choses to purchase insurance against those problems. If power loss causes me $50 million in damages, then I (or perhaps my insurance company) should collect from the electric company that promised to deliver that power.
I think it's an orthogonal issue to whether the electricity market is private or public. It does have the benefit that it's worth someone's efforts to keep my power as reliable as I'm willing to pay for.
This little market experiment seems to involve alot of faith and hand waving, and not alot of proven, tested, reliable methods for getting from here to there. How many years of blackouts and brownouts will we have to endure to see if this free market experiment really will work out?
This is misleading. First, how many "years" of blackouts are we talking about? Perhaps half a day to a day for most people. In California, the "rolling blackouts" probably meant two to four hours of blackouts for most customers.
Brownouts, I simply don't know about. Is power quality better or worse than it would be under the old regime? I simply am not seeing credible evidence one way or another though I grant that anecdotal K5 evidence indicates that electricity supply is declining in quality. However, that doesn't mean that they wouldn't decline anyway if they were regulated rather than deregulated. In particular, are the problems with transmission lines due to current deregulation or the situation prior to deregulation?
Most importantly, how much is really going to be saved by eliminating these 'inefficiencies' and is it ever going to be enough to pay back what your little experiment as already cost?
I'm not seeing compelling evidence that it costs more now including the transition costs, than it would have if we didn't deregulation these areas.
Sure, answer that, test it, make sure you've got the right answer, THEN change the system which was working pretty well out for this new one. Dumping an old system that works for a new one on faith is the act of fanatics, not responsible leaders.
Frankly, I think this idea has been tested, regulation of electricity generation and transmission wasn't working well, and dumping the old (which occured by state not universally) was a good idea. The problem is that deregulation often was flawed as in the case of California when a couple of the native electricity companies (PG&E and Edison) inserted builtin advantages for themselves (and later had that backfire on them).
I don't think it'll take long for a decision to come on the quality of the transmission lines. If that is a problem due to the deregulation process, then the many private power producers (and a certain Republican administration) have a strong incentive to set things right. Or else we will indeed go back to regulation whether or not it is a good idea.
Stating the obvious since 1969.
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