5 thoughts on “Ahhh…The Glories of Communism

  1. As you said- behold the glories of Communism.

    When you set up a system where the Great Mother cares for you, then she’ll see to it how much you get of everything; not your skill, ability, and outragous fortune.

  2. I thought the California blackouts were caused by utility DEregulation. Efforts to cut costs and increase profits required that maintenace be curtailed which set up a chain reaction of blackouts. Compounding this (I think) was also a very hot summer. From what I recall from the papers, there was also major damage done by hedging contract skullduggery. Not sure how Ahhhnold has dealt with this.

    Public utilities are not always a wasteful system. BC Hydro was established over 50 years ago by incredibly forward thinking politicians working with engineers, and it has served us very well since then by keeping power prices manageable for everyone. But our current governemnt is doing its best to dismantle that system and privatise everything. We’re going to have rolling blackouts, denials of rural service, and other unpleasant side effects to look forward to. All the while paying quadruple or more for less than half of what we get now, that is if the premier gets his way. I say keep certain utilities publicly owned at the cost of absent profits to shareholders (most of whom will be huge institutional investors, not average folks with a few hundred shares or less). That’s probably heresy on this blog I know, but that’s what has worked well for us for over half a century. Why mess with that?

  3. that was common in argentina years ago, too. (it might still be, i’m just not informed anymore). when i was there in 1987, they were having terribly high temps … with rolling black outs. they would also just cut off your water, so you made sure to take very quick showers. this one trip to argentina and another to bermuda once (which i did not like) were my only two trips off the continental usa, and i have to say (probably much to the chagrin of sxm) that if i never leave the continental us again, i will be just absolutely delighted! i had to restrain myself not to kiss the ground at the miami airport when we got back home from argentina. i’ll never forget the customs man handing my passport back to me and saying, “welcome home.”

  4. @tannen
    The blackouts were aided and abetted by central control over energy, which included federal regulations that have stifled the nuclear power industry in America.

    That fomented the conditions that allowed companies like Enron to heap abuses on investors and taxpayers.

    Energy would be much less expensive, if more efficient sources–such as nuclear power–were not so badly hindered by government.

  5. @ReconsDad
    I don’t know if it’s irony or something else but for a business and political culture that preaches less regulation, only the activities and entities that benefit the very wealthy have less regulation. Or perhaps because of their riches and power they have the resources at their disposal to circumvent regulations. Regulation of working people and the poor seems to hamstring the people they are supposed to help.

    I’m poorly versed in the nuclear power industry. However, as efficient as it is, there still is the knotty problem of waste disposal. As far as I know, no fission/fusion process can produce a safe, non radioactive waste material. Ideally, one that can be used in some other process. Germany is trying to wean itself of nuclear power in the next 10-15 years (a probably overoptimistic goal, but nevertheless). Many homes have their own solar arrays that produce a small surplus of power that is then sold back into the main grid with the proceeds going to the homeowner. Now Cali, with all its sun, could adopt a similar scheme, but won’t because it’s too unorthodox.

    Building codes in North America do not take energy efficiency and overconsumption seriously enough and therefore much excess power is consumed leading to overloaded grids. Some houses, which are needlessly humongous, have 400 amp household services. 400 amp! That’s what they run at work to power all the conveyor systems. There simply is no need for that, none whatsoever.

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