> Thank the engineers who designed and built the power grids for that — but don't thank them too much. Their main goal was reliability; keeping
> the cost of electricity down was less of a concern. That's in part why so many people in the United States complain about high electricity prices.
Can't agree with that. In New Zealand the main goal of the engineers who designed and built the electricity infrastructure also was reliability. The cost of electricity in NZ, while it has increased massively in recent times since the electricity industry was deregulated, is relatively low - and continues to be cheaper than in the USA, Canada, the UK, and most if not all of Europe.
> Some armchair economists (and a quite a few real ones) have long argued that the solution is deregulation. After all, many other US industries
> have been deregulated — take, for instance, oil, natural gas, or trucking — and greater competition in those sectors swiftly brought prices
> down. Why not electricity?"
Deregulation is not the solution.Many essential aspects of infrastructure were deregulated and privatized by successive right-wing governments over the years. The net result in each and every case was increased prices being charged to consumers, and/or reduced quality of service.
So, we can certainly say from experience that "deregulation" is NOT a valid solution for problems in infrastructure areas that are a natural monopoly such as electricity, gas, water, telephone lines, rail, roads, and television. At least deregulation is not a valid solution unless you want to see prices triple!