Texas got what it deserved

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brainbomb
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Texas got what it deserved

#1 Post by brainbomb » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:18 pm

In a state which the majority of the voters supported leaving the paris climate accords, and propped up trump and cruze how bad can we actually feel?

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#2 Post by brainbomb » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:20 pm

I mean yea Austin is pretty chill, and Im sure matthew mcaughnogey will rebuild some shit

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#3 Post by orathaic » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:50 pm

Texas is an example of lack of preparation for the ongoing climate crisis.

It is a demonstration that free market solutions don't handle crisis well, and that we need to act together to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. The poorest are, as usual, the worst affected. But I have yet to see anyone 'prolife' groups advocating for a redistribution of wealth.

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#4 Post by orathaic » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:22 pm

These kinds of charges seem obscene: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/busine ... 0-n1258362

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#5 Post by Jamiet99uk » Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:43 pm

Capitalism is a failed system. Here's plenty of evidence.
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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#6 Post by flash2015 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:29 pm

Texas is the poster child for the political difficulty of preparing for rare events.

In normal times, these preparations look like a waste of money (Texas NEVER gets that cold!)...but when it happens everyone now complains "why weren't they ready for this"?

Of course Texas had a similar (though not as bad) power disaster in February 2011. You think they could have learnt something from that...but apparently not.

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#7 Post by Jamiet99uk » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:33 pm

Essential infrastructure like power and water should not be in private ownership.
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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#8 Post by bo_sox48 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:38 pm

There was a colder weak polar vortex event in 1899, so this event had precedence in Texas even if it is unusual. Under strong -AO, a meteorologist would expect a weak polar vortex and perhaps a cold dam in February of all times. A month following a sudden stratospheric warming we expect cold outbreaks (like we saw in 2019) across the continental United States, so it was very forecastable as early as the new year when the SSW event was first spotted. Climate change is making a weaker polar vortex the norm and is thus making global base states like this one we just experienced (and the dramatic shift toward a la nina state in the Pacific) more normal than they used to be but this event specifically was not induced by climate change; it’s just the weather doing exactly what the weather was expected to do. Short term preparations could have been made to protect people and infrastructure even if long term preparation was lacking by simply listening to meteorologists.

Texas is run by lunatics who would rather profit than protect their citizens, and assuming they don’t decide they really like socialism and excessive government intervention and regulation when it comes to handling losses, capitalism will handily take care of ERCOT through class action lawsuits, unpaid bills on commodities already sold, and necessary upgrades to the grid they’ll certainly be forced to finance. I doubt they survive if they aren’t bailed out.
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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#9 Post by flash2015 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:22 pm

Jamiet99uk wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:33 pm
Essential infrastructure like power and water should not be in private ownership.
Private ownership can be very useful though. It relieves the politicians of responsibility when things go wrong...and gives them someone to rail at to look like they care.

Bonus points if you make a quasi-governmental bodies which is sort of independent (e.g. ERCOT) to give an extra level of protection from actually taking responsibility for anything.

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#10 Post by Randomizer » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:05 am

It's cheaper to pay politicians to do not regulate then to upgrade power p;ants for a rate event. Especially when those political donations make the companies face no penalties for doing nothing.

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#11 Post by Octavious » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:38 am

Essential but dull infrastructure should not be in public ownership because, as we have seen time and time again, the system fails and leads to chronic under investment. Governments are pretty good at finding things that their media teams identify as sexy, and shit at everything else. When budget day comes the government that funds tax cuts or cancer care or more police on the streets will do better than the one who invests in pipe maintenance before a major problem occurs.

A well regulated privatised system is the only option that makes sense.
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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#12 Post by bo_sox48 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:06 pm

Well if we take a look at some empirical evidence, you have 49 states, most of which deal with much worse than Texas just did every year, that didn't have power fluctuations, didn't see any grid outages and only small grid weaknesses in far colder conditions, and didn't risk the collapse of basic civilization this past week, and one that did. It happens to be the one that followed your model there. So at least in terms of the electric grid America, you are quite clearly wrong.
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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#13 Post by Octavious » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:15 pm

You believe that Texas has a well regulated system?

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#14 Post by bo_sox48 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:19 am

Texas utilities, including ERCOT, are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas. Their effectiveness at regulating is up for interpretation, but to suggest that ERCOT along with Texas telecomms and utilities are not heavily regulated is asinine. Rick Perry certainly did his best to remove the “well” from the equation, but I struggle to understand what the tangible difference is in handing the keys to a bad CEO over a bad governor other than where the industry gets its funding.

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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#15 Post by TheFlyingBoat » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:11 am

Octavious wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:38 am
Essential but dull infrastructure should not be in public ownership because, as we have seen time and time again, the system fails and leads to chronic under investment. Governments are pretty good at finding things that their media teams identify as sexy, and shit at everything else. When budget day comes the government that funds tax cuts or cancer care or more police on the streets will do better than the one who invests in pipe maintenance before a major problem occurs.

A well regulated privatised system is the only option that makes sense.
This quote has to the be the definition of pure ideology absent real facts. Private companies under public regulation manage to do their best to skirt public regulation in areas that should be under public management using armies of well-payed lawyers and then use that same army to defend themselves when everything goes wrong. We saw that with PG&E refusing to bury power lines despite recommendations from the state of California to do so. We saw it in telecoms where the United States federal government granted telecoms a ton of money to build out and improve broadband with some regulations and then they just pocketed the money instead before using their army of lawyers to defend them. Quite frankly, most private companies are vastly overrated at their jobs with few exceptions (mostly companies that are incredibly successful and still have their original founder) and most governments are vastly underrated.

This occurs for multiple reasons. One has to do with news. News about companies generally focuses on their positives as sell-side analysts generally lean significantly more positive than reality for various reasons and their reports coupled with general news makes up the public perception of the company. Couple that with the fact that companies that fail completely (not all bad companies fail completely, though, despite many deserving to) are forgotten about, most company failings that do get reported are eventually forgotten without causing wide indictments of the whole private sector. The only ones that do get remembered are sudden failures of the most high-profile kind like Enron while slow failures of large companies like IBM are mostly ignored as most people forget IBM even exists nowadays. One could write endless stories about incompetence in the private sector if they wanted to, but journalists don't for the most part because no one cares unless it is a huge case of fraud or public damage.

On the other hand the news takes a decidedly negative bent on the actions of the government and have done so ever since Vietnam and Watergate crushed the press corps relations with the federal government. A misplaced word in a public statement that is ultimately meaningless becomes a source of public outrage for 24 hours prompting an official apology. Wearing an improper piece of attire can do the same. That doesn't even begin to get into actual policy matters where the same author will try to have their cake and eat it to by criticizing an administration for responding to X too slowly and arguing they should do Y instead before arguing Y is a bad idea once the administration actually implements Y. Further, because of the more permanent nature of governments, its failures continue to haunt it over much larger time scales and continue to color ones perception of it long after all relevant people have passed away.

In reality, most studies will show that no model of ownership is intrinsically more likely to succeed than any other and that success of an enterprise is dependent on a wide variety of factors, none of which are public vs private.

There are some industries though that I think ought to be public because of how huge the externalities of failure are for the public and because of market inefficiencies associated with competition in that field. Energy is certainly one of them.

Here are three examples of many:

https://gsdrc.org/document-library/is-t ... nary-tale/

https://hbr.org/1991/11/does-privatizat ... c-interest

https://www.epsu.org/sites/default/file ... %20fin.pdf
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Re: Texas got what it deserved

#16 Post by Octavious » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:39 pm

TheFlyingBoat wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:11 am
This quote has to the be the definition of pure ideology absent real facts.
It comes from well over a decade working in the public sector, with a fair few years in regulation.
TheFlyingBoat wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:11 am
Private companies under public regulation manage to do their best to skirt public regulation in areas that should be under public management using armies of well-payed lawyers and then use that same army to defend themselves when everything goes wrong
This can happen, but is less common than you might expect. Companies are, when it comes down to it, collections of individuals, and will have the ethics and morality of the people who make them up. They also have to answer to their customers, and often go to greater lengths appealing to whims of ethical consumers than the regulatory body itself. The biggest problems come from changing interpretations of regulatory guidance far more so than companies trying to pull a fast one.
TheFlyingBoat wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:11 am
We saw that with PG&E refusing to bury power lines despite recommendations from the state of California to do so
If burying powerlines was so desirable to the State, the State should have made their best practice guidance enforceable. A recommendation without any motivation to follow it isn't worth the paper it's printed on. This is a clear failure of State governance. Whether or not PG&E failed or acted reasonably is not at all clear.
TheFlyingBoat wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:11 am
We saw it in telecoms where the United States federal government granted telecoms a ton of money to build out and improve broadband with some regulations and then they just pocketed the money instead before using their army of lawyers to defend them.
Again, that's an example of poor governance. Let's not blind ourselves to the fact that the government can arm itself with a far superior contingent of lawyers than some telecoms companies. If that was a fight the government felt it could win, it would have won it. The only two logical reasons not to fight such a legal battle would be that the sums of money weren't worth it (in which case the whole thing is trivial) or that the government felt the telecoms companies were on the right side of the law (in which case government cocked-up badly, or that this result wasn't completely undesirable).

TheFlyingBoat wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:11 am
Quite frankly, most private companies are vastly overrated at their jobs with few exceptions (mostly companies that are incredibly successful and still have their original founder) and most governments are vastly underrated.
No harm in posting opinions, but an opinion is all it is. I do not share it.

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