Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]
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On Tuesday 02 May 2006 22:40, Paul Johnson <email@example.com> was heard
> Portland, Oregon is a great argument against privatization of
> critical infrastructure. For the longest time, it was the poster
> child of privatization, with Portland General Electric as the
> local, private, power utility and residential power monopoly...
Excuse me, but how can "privatization" and "monopoly" be used to refer
to the same action? A legally mandated monopoly is
hardly "privatization", it remains a legal arm of the government.
As much as I hate to nit-pick, because it's obvious your heart is in
the right place, Mr. Johnson, there is a very serious disconnect
between the term "privatization" (or deregulation) and the reality of
continued government intervention.
Let's talk about actual deregulation and privatization, like in late
1992 when the NSF released their control of the routing tables and
removed the prohibition against "commercial" use of this "internet"
thing. Sure, it was hard for a while for each tier-1 ISP to get
routers in place that could deal with the full routing table. But the
explosion of use, availability, content and innovation was wonderful
No surprise to me, being a free-market advocate, to see what happens
when the regulatory cork is truly pulled from the bottle. I suggest
that this same explosive expansion of utility, innovation and variety
will happen in any field where government really does get out of the
Would it be "easy"? Can I guarantee that no one, anywhere, would have
difficulty as the competitive modes were worked out all over again?
No. Neither can I say that life is safe at all, there is always risk.
But as anyone who sells insurance can tell you, where there is risk
there is profit! And profit is a very powerful motivator. It may take
a day, it may take a year, but someone will come up with a way to
undercut the local "physical" monopoly and provide better service
*IF* they are legally allowed to do so. The risk of that competition
will lower prices or improve service (or both) in the entrenched
provider as well, if for no other reason than to try to keep the
competition at bay for a little while longer.
September 11th, 2001
The proudest day for gun control and central
planning advocates in American history
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