Dicky's Doodles &Scribbles

Cartoons,editorials and comment about current events and more.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Remember Reddy Kilowatt?

Remember Reddy Kilowatt? I guess only some of us "older" folks remember Reddy. Ole Reddy was a cartoon symbol promoting electric power when I was growing up. Strange as it may seem today there were still many rural areas not served by electric power. In those days paying for electric power was not a big concern, the bills were nothing like they are now, even when adjusted for inflation.
Reddy was a friendly figure, reflecting the good feelings people felt about all the new appliances and gadgets run on electricity.
Boy are things different today! Electric rates are out the roof! De-regulation of electric power has been a miserable failure. Many so-called "power" companies are nothing but unnecessary middle men who produce no power and maintain no lines for transmission of power. The so-called competition deregulation was suppose to provide has failed to materialize and the result is a confusing mishmash of providers, slow repair and maintenace of power lines and no increase in construction of new power plants.
What's the solution? Perhaps every municipality, metro area and rural district should have their own power generation plants which are treated as a public utility in a private-public venture. A universal power grid could still be maintained so areas with shortages could get electricty from outside their district if necessary.
The free market system does not work well in the electric business. Rates need to be set and controlled and concern needs to be given to poor and elderly, middle class families now suffering from financial strain and small businesses and others straining to pay the exorbitant power bills.
Electric power is a necessity not an option and thus should be provided to all affordably, efficiently and outside the profit taking and vagaries of the free market.



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