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Should ESSENTIAL utilities be controlled by private companies.

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nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
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Doppel

Lifer
Feb 5, 2011
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The government doesn't operate at a profit, private companies do. That alone makes the government better. Hell I think the government should start its own oil company and start selling gasoline to the people at a lower rate than private companies can, drive them out of business.
You just said these government agencies regulating the businesses are in the pockets of big business. Do you want to expand the corruption then with more government involvement?
 

DCal430

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,020
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You just said these government agencies regulating the businesses are in the pockets of big business. Do you want to expand the corruption then with more government involvement?
National and State level governments tend to have lots of corruption, local government which is closer to the people tend to have much lower levels of corruption.
 

bononos

Diamond Member
Aug 21, 2011
3,720
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You just said these government agencies regulating the businesses are in the pockets of big business. Do you want to expand the corruption then with more government involvement?
No maybe he was thinking along the lines of strengthening govt agencies to properly enforce the laws and promote public good and have some sort of anti-revolving door policy to prevent delayed kickbacks.
 

lotus503

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2005
6,502
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PUC== Public Utilities Commission I assume?

This is what I was asking DCAL420 about in the water thread. He is of the opinion that these private water supply companies can simply charge whatever they want. I basically asked him if he is aware that these companies must first submit and justify any rate increases with the corresponding .gov agency, often the local PUC.

So in effect the .gov is setting the prices via approving or denying any rate increases.

What DCAL420 should really be asking: Can private utility companies provide the same essential services better and/or cheaper than their government counterparts? When and where does it make sense to privatize these services?

Simply raging against the privatized machine is boring, and does not make sense anyway. I would be very surprised if these companies can set rates arbitrarily and on their own.
It's a two way street, these private companies help fund the election cycle, the regulatory bodies are ineffective on purpose.
 

davmat787

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2010
5,513
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It's a two way street, these private companies help fund the election cycle, the regulatory bodies are ineffective on purpose.
Which I think speaks more to systemic issues, not public vs. private. This could be fixed by overhauling campaign finance and how lobbying works, which would fix a ton of other problems too. So I am not disagreeing, just that I think this is a symptom of how campaigns are financed, and how lobbying is allowed to work and what lobbyists are allowed to get away with.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
638
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In the U.S essential utilities such as Water, Electricity, Natural Gas, and Sewage are often controlled by private companies and ordinary citizens must rely on these private companies for these services. Often times these private companies will charge very exessive fees for these services leaving consumers with choice of either having water and electricity for their home or food for their mouths.

Should the local government provide these services to ensure they are provided at a fair and efficient price? Should we continue to allow private companies the right to dictate these services?

Why is a private company needed to provide water and sewage, why do we allow private companies to earn large profits off something so essential. The same for electricity and gas.
Is that you in the picture pooping on the police car?
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
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These regulatory commisions are in the pockets of the big business. PUC, FDA, EPA, USDA, ect all in the pockets of big companies, this is well known.

Here is in Cali the State PUC has to approve all fee increases, but they haven't seen a fee increase they didn't love. They are in the pockets of the industry they regulate.
Is it possible that they might be a little better qualified than you to make such a determination.

State PUC is appointed by the people that the people trusted to run the state.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,212
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It's a two way street, these private companies help fund the election cycle, the regulatory bodies are ineffective on purpose.
I've given examples of government "effectiveness" in the computer systems that their agencies use. In some sense air traffic control is a utility, a vital service with an infrastructure and it's hopelessly overwhelmed and outdated. People are pushed to their limits and sometimes beyond and the government ignores it. That it works at all is a testament to those who do the work, not those in charge. Generally speaking, once a bureaucracy gains control there is no motivation to make it work. The perception of profit as being evil is nonsensical because it is a primary motivation to make things perform well. The problem is when it becomes unbounded avarice and as technology has advanced , has caused jobs to be outsourced wholesale. In this case utilities are heavily regulated and the relatively small profit they make gives an incentive that would disappear once the great swarm of bureaucrats engulf it.

It would be a huge mistake to give it to the unaccountable, and no, elections would not fix this. Candidates come and go. Parties exchange power, but the bureaucracy endures unchanged forever. Even the French know this all too well.
 

boomhower

Diamond Member
Sep 13, 2007
7,228
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My city has three different power companies, who you get just depends on where you live. One of those companies is the city itself. It's around 75% more expensive than the other two private companies. When I was house hunting rule #1 given to the realtor was no city power. Make of it what you wish.
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,212
126
My city has three different power companies, who you get just depends on where you live. One of those companies is the city itself. It's around 75% more expensive than the other two private companies. When I was house hunting rule #1 given to the realtor was no city power. Make of it what you wish.
That brings up another point. There is no motivation to have things function well since there is no higher authority, but there is for taxation purposes to fund other things than energy.

I haven't looked at my bill recently, but what are the total taxes and fees mandated by the federal, state, and local governments? How do they compare to the 5.7% profit that was cited earlier? Who really is making profit here?
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
638
126
My city has three different power companies, who you get just depends on where you live. One of those companies is the city itself. It's around 75% more expensive than the other two private companies. When I was house hunting rule #1 given to the realtor was no city power. Make of it what you wish.
Hmm, that is totally contrary to the views of the OP. I certainly hope he reads your post. How people can so blindly feel or assume that the government is the sole source of efficiency and fair pricing is beyond me.

Why were so many in this nation not taught to question authority? That is the bigger question.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
638
126
That brings up another point. There is no motivation to have things function well since there is no higher authority, but there is for taxation purposes to fund other things than energy.

I haven't looked at my bill recently, but what are the total taxes and fees mandated by the federal, state, and local governments? How do they compare to the 5.7% profit that was cited earlier? Who really is making profit here?
My most recent electric bill is $121.00 (I participate in a program that rounds up the amount owed and contributes it to help provide electricity for the less fortunate) and the taxes and fees included in that amount came to $32.37.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Should ESSENTIAL utilities be controlled by private companies

In the U.S essential utilities such as Water, Electricity, Natural Gas, and Sewage are often controlled by private companies and ordinary citizens must rely on these private companies for these services. Often times these private companies will charge very exessive fees for these services leaving consumers with choice of either having water and electricity for their home or food for their mouths.

Should the local government provide these services to ensure they are provided at a fair and efficient price? Should we continue to allow private companies the right to dictate these services?

Why is a private company needed to provide water and sewage, why do we allow private companies to earn large profits off something so essential. The same for electricity and gas.
Whether private or Government run there should be regulation and the people should have a say.

There is no regulation anymore in the U.S. and the Corporations own the Government through lobbying.

This system insures the people have no say and get screwed.
 
Nov 29, 2006
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I would have to say no. I wish the gov ran these things at no profit. Distrubute the cost via taxes on the country. This is the ideal solution, but as the way of our world they would fuck it up or it would cost more than it should somehow lol
 

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
50,872
4,212
126
Whether private or Government run there should be regulation and the people should have a say.

There is no regulation anymore in the U.S. and the Corporations own the Government through lobbying.

This system insures the people have no say and get screwed.
The government owns air traffic control and that's royally screwed up and you know that. Again if there were no regulation over the utilities you'd be spending a hell of a lot more. You seem to labor under the false notion that government is pure and affected by evil corporations. Well some people have been screwed over by agencies like the FBI and no one was big enough to pay them off to do it. They wanted an example and they got it. Sound familiar? Who really ruined their life, a corporation or the government?
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,645
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www.facebook.com
Sorry this is fail. If utilities got what they wanted then they'd be charging more. Also the agencies you cite are- you guessed- government. So you want to give corrupt people complete control? BTW, how long did the government take to upgrade the fbi and air traffic systems? Decades and I'm not sure if it's done yet. Yeah lets extend that level of accountability and competence to utilities. Well how about no.
Utility companies could only charge but so much or else they'd go out of business.

To answer the op's question... I favor a free market in utilities, not this crony capitalist shit we have.
 

nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,669
6
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That brings up another point. There is no motivation to have things function well since there is no higher authority, but there is for taxation purposes to fund other things than energy.

I haven't looked at my bill recently, but what are the total taxes and fees mandated by the federal, state, and local governments? How do they compare to the 5.7% profit that was cited earlier? Who really is making profit here?
http://www.alliantenergy.com/wcm/groups/wcm_internet/@int/documents/document/016045.pdf

Here is a sample electric bill for Wisconsin. Note the 3% tax for "Low-income assistance".

Also note the 5% sales tax.
 

ichy

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2006
6,940
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But you do not have problems with say grocery stores being run on a for profit basis?
Kind of a bad analogy. For certain utilities such as water, sewage and electricity there is a natural monopoly. It's pretty hard to have competing sewage lines running into your house. Grocery stores don't have that issue.
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
651
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Utility companies could only charge but so much or else they'd go out of business.

To answer the op's question... I favor a free market in utilities, not this crony capitalist shit we have.
Please explain how this would be done. Have multiple electrical lines, sewer lines, water lines, etc? Streets constantly under construction to maintain all of this.

And why build infrastructure and provide service to remote areas or areas that wouldn't be profitable?

Since you can't think, ask someone for help before you post.

Not sure if you or the OP makes the more stupid threads.
 
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nehalem256

Lifer
Apr 13, 2012
15,669
6
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Kind of a bad analogy. For certain utilities such as water, sewage and electricity there is a natural monopoly. It's pretty hard to have competing sewage lines running into your house. Grocery stores don't have that issue.
There is the obvious difference that you pointed out, which is why Utilities have regulatory commissions to keep them from raping us with prices.

But the OP seems to have problems with them "Essential Utilities" making profits. Grocery stores are just as essential. Is there a problem with them making profits as well? Or does the fact they are not a natural monopoly make it ok for them to make profits?
 

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