Friday, January 26

This situation illustrates, arguably, that there are indeed some problems that the free market and unfettered competition simply cannot solve. Although public/private partnerships can be very effective entities, when it comes to issues of the public good, local government (the advocate of the people) has a responsibility to exert strong control. California’s power crisis is an example of conservatives strong-arming their economic views onto a system that, by its very nature as a utility, should be primarily a government-controlled endeavor. From a good Washington Post story: “The result was a Rube Goldberg structure -- half free-market, half regulation -- that new U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill has called ‘lunacy.’”