Monday, November 26, 2012

Why we should pull the plug on privatising electricity

This is a provocative 'conversation' piece from Australia:

Why we should pull the plug on privatising electricity:
The electricity industry has been purposely reshaped via neoliberal ideology from a system of public subsidy, public profit into public subsidy, private profit where risks and costs are socialised but profits and power are privatised. Industry today is like a restaurant menu: there are multiple retailers, offering a variety of plans and prices that appears to offer consumer choice.
Unfortunately, none of the options available include inexpensive electricity. Citizens and customers have no influence over how the menu is constructed; instead, they are offered the illusion of choice. The business model that retailers operate under is inefficient and does not serve consumers well. Also, industry works to silence those who speak out against it.
Much like the privatisation and deregulation of the financial sector that promised choice and efficiency according to pseudo-scientific economic models, it has instead resulted in endless financial disasters, coming after a period of apparent tranquillity. The costs to governments vastly exceed all the costs and problems of public ownership.
Read the entire column at "the conversation":

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