California's Energy Meltdown
, by George Reisman
, The Free Market
, Mar 2001
Examines the causes underlying the problems of California's electric power system, countering those who claim they were due to deregulation and the free market
"Why are some people blaming deregulation for the crisis? The so-called free market in electric power in California consists of the fact that last summer, price controls were removed from the power supplies of San Diego County and the southern portion of adjacent Orange County, while remaining in force throughout the rest of the state. ... An immediate, partial solution to the sharp rise in power prices in this limited area is the immediate decontrol of power prices throughout the rest of California and, indeed, throughout the whole Western-states region, which shares a more-or-less integrated power grid."
Orchestrating Energy Disaster
, by Walter E. Williams
, 23 May 2001
Discusses the problems in California's electric power industry, deriding comments by Paul Krugman and columnist Robert Scheer that the problems were due to "deregulation", and emphasizing the benefits of federalism
"One of the supreme tragedies of California's calamity is that it is being sold as a failure of deregulation and capitalism. ... California's scheme may be many things, but it's surely not deregulation. For example, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 deregulated airlines. In so doing, the Civil Aviation Board was eliminated, along with many of its regulations. The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 deregulated the trucking industry and dramatically cut back the Interstate Commerce Commission ... Compare these actions to California’s 'deregulation,' where the state Public Utilities Commission grew in its authority."
Robert W. Poole, Jr. - Hero of the Day
, The Daily Objectivist
Discusses the effects of airline deregulation and the solution proposed by Poole, with some background on the Reason Foundation and Reason
"Hooray! Thanks to airline deregulation, anyone can fly across the country for just a few hundred bucks—or less. ... Boo! Airports are congested, departures are often delayed, lines are too long, clerks are harried, travelers are squished. There is 'too much' consumer demand, and 'the problem' of more and more people wanting to hop a plane will only grow ... Solution? Bring on the re-regulation! Hike ticket prices to a million bucks a pop! That'll thin the crowds some. Or: How about finishing the revolution? Let's have markets for the airports themselves, and for the air traffic control system too."
The Futility of State-Directed "Market Reform": Deregulation
, by Kevin Carson
, 6 Aug 2013
Analyzes how so-called "deregulation" actually works, with examples from electrical utilities
"In most cases, regulatory policies were adopted in the first place because they served the regulated industries' interests in extracting monopoly profits at the expense of consumers and workers. So it hardly stands to reason that a state largely controlled by corporate interests would genuinely deregulate those same industries and open them up to full-blown market competition if they didn't have the game rigged somehow. ... And even then, the ostensible "deregulation" is largely illusory, with the "deregulated" industry continuing to benefit from state regulation in all sorts of hidden ways."