Saturday, November 17, 2007

The failure of deregulation

Here's all you need to read:

When Texas lawmakers agreed to open the state's power markets to competition back in 1999, one promise was on the tip of many tongues — lower prices.

"Competition in the electric industry will benefit Texans by reducing monthly rates and offering consumers more choices about the power they use," then-Gov.
George W. Bush said at the time.

Then-state Sen. David Sibley, who was a key author of the bill, put the promise more bluntly:

''If all consumers don't benefit from this, we will have wasted our time and failed our constituency," he said.

Eight years later, many consumers are calling deregulation just that — a failed waste of time.

From 2000 to June of this year, the average electric rate in Texas rose 56 percent, more than in all but three states, according to the most recent nationwide federal government figures.

And once again, I'll apologize for my absolute lack of analysis, but really, what more needs be said?


Xanthippas said...

And so, another conservative trope fails. Not that it won't be trotted out again...and again...and again...

Anonymous said...

Well, since the price of almost all energy has increased dramatically during that period, you might compare Texas increase to similar markets that didn't deregulate.

That is if you were curious. Or intelligent. Or honest.

Nat-Wu said...

A very nice evasion, anonymous. If you were honest you might admit that the central tenet of deregulation is that it ends up costing us less and has specatacularly failed that promise. The Texas legislators who supported it (and you) now make excuses about energy costs. Ok, if deregulation worked, rising energy costs would have been offset to some degree by lowered prices due to the competition brought about by deregulation. Is that what we've seen? No. Guess you were too busy to actually read the article, so you must have skipped over the part where electricity costs more in Houston than in Austin or San Antonio, markets that are not deregulated. Oops, I think that was your argument exploding.

I happen to think that people often accuse others of what they themselves are guilty. That says something about your curiosity, intelligence, and honesty.