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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

On May 2, 2006, at 11:23 PM, Curt Howland wrote:

On Tuesday 02 May 2006 22:40, Paul Johnson <baloo@ursine.ca> was heard
to say:
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.

Well, they're pretty much orthogonal terms. "Monopoly" describes the market structure whereas "privatization" describes a change in the ownership structure. Changing ownership doesn't necessarily change the market structure.

The purchasing company has willingly signed a contract to provide a specific service to the City of Portland. It would only be a legal arm of the gov't if the gov't has seats on the company's governance board (e.g. BPA, TVA, Postal Service, and Port Authority of NY&NJ)

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