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Thread: Should publicworks be public or private?

  1. #1

    Default Should publicworks be public or private?

    I tend to lean public on this issue due to the lack of or impossibility of competition. That being said, I'd much rather have slight control over the services through voting than zero control with a private company.



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  3. #2

    Default

    Well, unless you want to have to go through all the trouble of changing the name.........

  4. #3

    Default

    I lean toward private. Some public utilities do a good job, but they are the ones that are quasi private.

  5. #4

    Default

    Vote with your dollar.

    However, private utilities are not feasible with the infrastructure in place, which would be sold as graft warranted. Even if they were, the gov't would regulate them out of business.

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    I tend to lean public on this issue due to the lack of or impossibility of competition. That being said, I'd much rather have slight control over the services through voting than zero control with a private company.
    The only reason there's a lack of competition for things like utility companies is because of their government-granted monopoly.

    If you want a market to stagnate (no innovation) and fill with corruption, the best approach is to grant it a monopoly.

    If so-called "public works" companies were privatized AND if their monopolies were dissolved, competition would enter the market. The result would be improved services, lower costs, less corruption and many other benefits for consumers.
    You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality

  7. #6

    Default

    How would you have more than one company using the infrastructure (waterpipes, powerlines, etc.) Wouldn't the government still have to "manage" the infrastructure?

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    How would you have more than one company using the infrastructure (waterpipes, powerlines, etc.) Wouldn't the government still have to "manage" the infrastructure?
    The government wouldnt manage anything. Perhaps, for some reason, solar energy became feasible. That would mean that powerlines would not be needed. Or, what about mini windmills. Or batteries. The point would be to let the market decide.

  9. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    How would you have more than one company using the infrastructure (waterpipes, powerlines, etc.) Wouldn't the government still have to "manage" the infrastructure?
    No.

    For example, with competition, maybe a water company would place a large tank in your neighborhood, with extra pure water -- or maybe there's a nearby well that produces better water. If you chose them as your provider, they would pay to have new pipe installed to reach your home. Maybe they put a large tank on your property in the mean time. Or maybe a whole neighborhood would get together and decide they'd like to get their water from somewhere other than where the city gets it. In a rain-heavy area, maybe someone comes up with a way to capture and reuse rainwater in an efficient way.

    The same kinds of things could happen on the power side. Maybe the power is delivered by microwaves or lasers. Maybe someone develops small, ultra-efficient generators that could power your entire house. Maybe a neighborhood decides to build their own wire-delivered infrastructure, using a central solar thermal facility.

    The way the market is set up today, those activities are prohibited by law. There was a case in Colorado recently where a guy was cited by the city for capturing rain water and trying to reuse it, because the city claimed it belonged to them. Where I used to live in California, you're not even allowed to cancel your subscription to trash service; it's required by law that you keep it.

    Monopolies stifle competition, and by doing so they also stifle innovation.
    You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality

  10. #9

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by AceNZ View Post
    If you chose them as your provider, they would pay to have new pipe installed to reach your home.
    How would company X pay to install a pipe that goes from their building to your home? How would they dig into public and private land to get to your house? I understand the viability of the many portable market solutions (generators, solar panels, private wells, irrigation systems, etc.)

    But I don't understand the viability of a private infrastructure that would have to travel from said private company to your house, whether it's water pipes, power lines or sewers.

    I guess I don't even understand how cable companies do it. I mean how do they justify digging up your lawn to put their private profit producting cable in your yard, or the government's yard to get entertainment to your neighbor?

    I understand private land (your house) and I understand public land where everyone uses via taxes (state capitol), but I don't understand quasi public/private land, (sewers, telephone poles, cable lines, etc.)


  11. #10

    Default

    I think the best solution is to have public infrastructure and private suppliers. For example, the city would own the power grids, but anyone would be able to build a power plant and start selling energy to people through that grid.

    Just imagine the horrid tangle of pipes and lines going under a large city if every supplier had to provide their own infrastructure.

    If you want to get into the what ifs regarding lasers and microwaves then it's impossible to come to any conclusion. Let's deal with what exists now and cross our microwave bridges when we get there.

  12. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    How would company X pay to install a pipe that goes from their building to your home? How would they dig into public and private land to get to your house?
    That kind of digging already happens all the time. Phone companies dig trenches to lay new fiber optics, etc. Cable TV companies dig to lay cable. Power companies dig to bury power lines.

    It's done in a couple of different ways. Either through shared conduits (including through things like the sewer system) or by digging a brand new trench. The companies simply get a permit from the city, and then break out the tractors and away they go. Digging is really no big deal. It's just not cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    But I don't understand the viability of a private infrastructure that would have to travel from said private company to your house, whether it's water pipes, power lines or sewers.
    Private infrastructure like you describe already exists: power, phone and cable, for example, are all fully privately owned. The way to think about water and sewer is not that the existing infrastructure needs to be shared, but that the market should be opened up to allow competition. There might be new and better ways of delivering the same services that don't require use of the existing infrastructure, or where the existing stuff could be disconnected or re-routed in some way.

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    I guess I don't even understand how cable companies do it. I mean how do they justify digging up your lawn to put their private profit producting cable in your yard, or the government's yard to get entertainment to your neighbor?
    In a monopoly environment, they don't have to justify anything. They've been granted the right by the government, so they can pretty much dig wherever they want. If private property is involved, the city has plenty of tricks they can resort to (coercion). In a true laissez-faire economy, the company would have to buy the rights from private property owners. If the cost was too high, then the project wouldn't go forward.
    Last edited by AceNZ; 04-26-2008 at 08:44 PM.
    You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality

  13. #12

    Default

    Purchasing rights makes sense, although I still can't see 10 different sewer systems for 10 competing water companies in the same city.

  14. #13

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by AceNZ View Post
    In a monopoly environment, they don't have to justify anything. They've been granted the right by the government, so they can pretty much dig wherever they want. If private property is involved, the city has plenty of tricks they can resort to (coercion). In a true laissez-faire economy, the company would have to buy the rights from private property owners. If the cost was too high, then the project wouldn't go forward.
    even if you ignore private property rights for a cable/phone company infrastructure (not that I'm recommending this be kept up as it currently is)....

    many times local governments and/or the FCC will block a local telco/cableco from establishing a service in an area already served by one telco company (name me one place you can think of that you have multiple POTS telephone service to choose from...there's very very few places) or cable-company.

    Of course, when this happens there's little to no competition...and well...the rest, as you know, is history.

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    Purchasing rights makes sense, although I still can't see 10 different sewer systems for 10 competing water companies in the same city.
    it's whatever the market will bare...and chances are, unless it's an gigantic city, it won't have 10.

  15. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    Purchasing rights makes sense, although I still can't see 10 different sewer systems for 10 competing water companies in the same city.
    First, there's no such thing as Public Property; it's a collectivist fantasy. Who is the "public"? It's really a collection of individuals. How can such a collection own anything, in the true sense of ownership (which includes the right of disposal, for example)? No, what public ownership really means is that you're delegating your rights to a bunch of bureaucrats.

    Let's take water as an example. The "public" (meaning the bureaucrats) have decided that fluoride is "good for you," so they put it in your water. What's next? If they decide that Prozac is good for you, too, what's to stop them from adding that as well? When you agree to delegate your water rights to the "public," you are in fact giving them control over your very life. What if there's a drought or some other serious shortage? What if the water becomes contaminated? What power do you have other than to complain?

    It comes down to this: do you want to have control over your own life? What moral right does anyone have to deny you the freedom of choice over the source of the water you use, and that your life depends on?

    The infrastructure, distribution, etc, problems are secondary. You might not be able to imagine 10 different providers, but that's because you're trapped in the collectivist mindset. If the free market was empowered, innovators would step in and come up with some undoubtedly unique approaches.
    You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of ignoring reality

  16. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AceNZ View Post
    First, there's no such thing as Public Property; it's a collectivist fantasy. Who is the "public"? It's really a collection of individuals. How can such a collection own anything, in the true sense of ownership (which includes the right of disposal, for example)? No, what public ownership really means is that you're delegating your rights to a bunch of bureaucrats.

    Let's take water as an example. The "public" (meaning the bureaucrats) have decided that fluoride is "good for you," so they put it in your water. What's next? If they decide that Prozac is good for you, too, what's to stop them from adding that as well? When you agree to delegate your water rights to the "public," you are in fact giving them control over your very life. What if there's a drought or some other serious shortage? What if the water becomes contaminated? What power do you have other than to complain?

    It comes down to this: do you want to have control over your own life? What moral right does anyone have to deny you the freedom of choice over the source of the water you use, and that your life depends on?

    The infrastructure, distribution, etc, problems are secondary. You might not be able to imagine 10 different providers, but that's because you're trapped in the collectivist mindset. If the free market was empowered, innovators would step in and come up with some undoubtedly unique approaches.
    Once they start administering Viagra I'll worry.

  17. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RCA View Post
    Purchasing rights makes sense, although I still can't see 10 different sewer systems for 10 competing water companies in the same city.
    why would we need a sewer system? how about having our waste water dump into an external tank in our backyard. our burrying our $#@! in our backyard, using it as composte. let the market decide.

  18. #17

    Default

    I guess by public you must be meaning those things paid for with stolen money, obtained under threat of violence. Public works just sounds so much nicer and friendlier.






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