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Thread: Libertarian Slippery Slope

  1. #1

    Default Libertarian Slippery Slope

    Private companies to take over public water supply WTF? // Current
    I know Current TV is Al Gore's love child, but considering what I've heard about Libertarian ideas (comes across is sell anything that you can free market ideal) is selling water where we're headed?

  2. #2

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    Why shouldn't water be like any other utility or commodity? Many gas and electric companies are privatized. Food, a basic nessessity of life is entirly privitized. You have to buy your food from a for profit Grocery Stores, who bought it from for profit distributors, who bought it from for profit framers. Wow with all that evil profit it's a wonder Ramen does cost $1 Beeeeelion dollars

    We are already selling water, you pay a water bill don't you? For profit companies are often times much better at service delivery and much more efficient than their often poorly run municpal counterparts. And there is nothing stopping you from collecting your own water and making it potable, and using your own water for sanitation and such. Many rural folks have their own wells and produce their own water entirely.

    I for one welcome and encourage free markets and free enterprise. We all win if there are multiple companies competing to provide a good or service. It is true that privatized and deregulated utilities often fail, but this most often arises from the fact that the infrastructure was established to support a goverment run monopoly and trying to convert that to a free market solution can be problematic. (And a private company with a long term contract to supply water for your town with no competition might as well continue to be a goverment monopoly - that is not a free market solution! But free markets take the blame when such ill concieved ventures fail often used as evidence for why public utilities are needed. BAH!)

  3. #3

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    Article has no link, only claims that private companies and public utilities are 'chatting'. TAKEOVER WTF!!!!! CORPORATE CONSPIRACY!!!!!!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dethklok_still_rules View Post
    Article has no link, only claims that private companies and public utilities are 'chatting'. TAKEOVER WTF!!!!! CORPORATE CONSPIRACY!!!!!!
    Gah! A takeover from the big guvment!-- Sorry, had to :P
    Here's a link to a past issue with oilman T. Boone Pickins:
    T. Boone Pickens vs. Texas Water Conservation Board - Water Matters @ Columbia

  5. #5
    Butterfly Mage

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    I think there are are certain critical items that should never -- and I mean never -- be allowed to fall into the hands of private industry: water, fuel, electricity, and air. Fortunately, we don't live in the "Total Recall" movie, so air isn't about to be metered and sold at a profit. But there is not one single state in which deregulated electricity has led to lower prices for the consumer. The oil companies are all in cahoots to rip off the consumer as well. Water should not be handled by private industry either, for the same reason.

    We need more regulation, not less. Just look at how well deregulation worked for the mortgage industry! We've got a global Great Depression and $2 Trillion in bailouts so that banking execs can get their $100,000,000.00 bonuses. I'd rather not see my tap water run in so "efficient" a manner.

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly Mage View Post

    We need more regulation, not less. Just look at how well deregulation worked for the mortgage industry! We've got a global Great Depression and $2 Trillion in bailouts so that banking execs can get their $100,000,000.00 bonuses. I'd rather not see my tap water run in so "efficient" a manner.
    The mortgage industry is and was so regulated that it could barely make a move without the government being involved. How many mortgages have seen go to hell because the lending institutions were forced to lend on basis of minority status instead of on the normal conditions like: Do you make enough to pay the loan back or do you have good enough credit. Not to say the mortgages houses were not remiss in their ethical responsibilities, however no person has ever been forced to take a 105% mortgage on an A.R.M. how about some personal responsibility.

    As to the idea of private water vs public water. My water district is made of elected officials and they keep things fairly well balanced. However our electrical system was more or less seized by the city government and the rates have gone up 13 % in two years and the service calls just to get a streetlight lamp replaced are taking months in stead of a few weeks. No at the city council meeting, the budget office revealed that the city has been taking the massive profit from the electrical service and using to fund various budget shortfalls and pet projects, like the 10 K a year raise for the mayor and the city registrar of deeds.

    Things were better for me under the private electric company.

  8. #8

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    While I am nor necessarily oppose to the idea of a private company providing the services, if only to streamline the process, it needs intensive government regulation for safety reasons. May I remind people what happens when a company is allowed to do things without approperate safety measures (BP).

    If there is no profit in it, a company will not do it. Governments do not need to worry about quarterly statements, investor, shareholders, and such. They do things that have no profit in them, but are necessary for everyday life, or research purposes.

  9. #9
    Mako

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    If you're cool enough to get it, you'll get it.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dprtodd View Post
    Why shouldn't water be like any other utility or commodity? Many gas and electric companies are privatized.
    Enron. Bechtel.



    Quote Originally Posted by dprtodd View Post
    Food, a basic nessessity of life is entirly privitized. You have to buy your food from a for profit Grocery Stores, who bought it from for profit distributors, who bought it from for profit framers. Wow with all that evil profit it's a wonder Ramen does cost $1 Beeeeelion dollars
    There's a difference between a utility and food. For one, I can, if I so choose, sell energy bars at the co-op market. If I don't like them, then there's an organic market within walking distance. There's an open market not much further than that. There's 4 supermarkets within walking distance as well. There's convenience stores aplenty. However, if I want power, water or gas, I have to choose between the companies that owns the power, water and gas lines, or not getting water, power or gas. That's why utilities need to be heavily regulated - because they're a captive market.



    Quote Originally Posted by dprtodd View Post
    We are already selling water, you pay a water bill don't you? For profit companies are often times much better at service delivery and much more efficient than their often poorly run municpal counterparts. And there is nothing stopping you from collecting your own water and making it potable, and using your own water for sanitation and such. Many rural folks have their own wells and produce their own water entirely.
    And they're often much worse at it. Privatization can be good if done properly, and publicly-owned utilities can be good if done properly, but one is not inherently better than another. Either way, there needs to be strict regulation because utilities are captive markets.



    Quote Originally Posted by dprtodd View Post
    I for one welcome and encourage free markets and free enterprise. We all win if there are multiple companies competing to provide a good or service. It is true that privatized and deregulated utilities often fail, but this most often arises from the fact that the infrastructure was established to support a goverment run monopoly and trying to convert that to a free market solution can be problematic. (And a private company with a long term contract to supply water for your town with no competition might as well continue to be a goverment monopoly - that is not a free market solution! But free markets take the blame when such ill concieved ventures fail often used as evidence for why public utilities are needed. BAH!)
    You can't have a free market solution to a utility. I have one water main connected to my place. One. Nobody has more than one. If I want to go with a different provider, I can... well, I can suck one. It's not possible. The water I get from that line is going to come from the same company that owns it. It's not like a phone line where it can be re-routed to a different junction box. If the company that owns that water main decides that they're going to charge $15/liter for water coming through it, I can't do dick about it except turn my water off. Luckily for me, the water here is provided by a public utility. Tax dollars built it, and they charge only what they need to keep operating and providing top-quality drinking water for the lowest possible price. In fact, I'm gonna go enjoy a nice, cool glass of socialized drinking water right now.

    Only think I can think of when I hear water privatization is what happened in Bolivia with Bechtel. They claimed ownership of even the rain and billed people who collected rainwater to drink, which eventually led to riots and Bechtel trying to get millions in damages from the local government for failing to protect their property. Privatization can work, if done properly, with heavy regulation. Don't like the regulations? Don't get in to the water utility business.

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