Electricity deregulation done right
Daniel Schorr's philippic disputing the "glories of deregulation" ("Deregulation is not the promised land," Sept. 12) is specious. Mr. Schorr cited the debacle of deregulation of California's electricity industry, which promised lower electricity rates but turned out to raise consumer costs by 40 percent.
California consumers did not experience lower electricity costs after restructuring because bureaucrats bungled deregulation. When transitioning to deregulation, bureaucrats mandated overinflated reimbursement of stranded costs that were just passed on to consumers. The price caps that bureaucrats designed to protect consumers actually diminished competition among wholesale power providers. Regulators also created a power exchange that micromanaged the marketplace. Capitalism cannot work when government sets the price as well as the conditions of sale.
California's bad karma with electricity- industry restructuring is because of governmental red tape and mismanagement, not because of a failure of the marketplace. In short, bad deregulation is worse than no deregulation. True deregulation, however, would spark more competition among power providers, which would lower prices.
I am a constitutional conservative. Historically, Daniel Schorr and I are poles apart on the political spectrum. However, several times over the past year, Mr. Schorr's common-sense liberalism has coincided with my common-sense conservativism. Our minds partially met on his article on deregulation.
I agree deregulation has gone too far. (I would also note that regulation had gone too far, which is why it was easy to deregulate.)
Perhaps we can agree that we need common-sense regulation - for the public good.
Regarding your Sept. 15 article, "GOP math: 2 minus 1 = victory?": You quote candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger as saying when he came to the United States in 1968 he saw a Nixon-Humphrey debate on TV. Yet in 1968 Nixon refused to debate. What Schwarzenegger says he remembers - and what he says was responsible for his becoming a Republican - never happened.
Thank you for publishing your Sept. 15 article "Riot victims seek justice in India." It was a harrowing description of the tragedy in Gujarat. What struck me the most was the article's objectivity. I'm glad to see such good news coming out of India regarding the Supreme Court case.
It is, however, sensible to reiterate the article's point that many people see this as "too little, too late."
Regarding your Sept. 16 Opinion "The Man in Black:" I enjoyed your article on Johnny Cash. I remember when I was growing up, I would lie in bed at night, and my dad would play old Johnny Cash albums. I knew every song by heart. I swore up and down, being a teen, I would never listen to country when I had a choice, but I am so glad that my dad raised us on the so-called "old ones.'' It taught us the value of home and family. I did get to see Johnny Cash in person - I went with my dad - one of the best times I ever had.
To this day, all I have ever listened to is country.
Apollo Beach, Fla.
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