Letters to the EditorJan. 31, 2001
Deregulation not cause of California energy problem
Jon Dragics' Tuesday letter to the editor is just another example of a misunderstanding of the California energy crisis situation. It is the result of trying to find a simple reason behind a complex situation that, well, most of us don't have time to really consider or worry about.
Why? Because we are lazy, or we just don't feel it concerns us. After all, most of us would say, 'My electric bills aren't threatened.' Or, the media may have a part, portraying leftist views more prominently than others. But if you really look into it, you'll find the following.
The biggest myth of all is that California power really is deregulated. What happened in 1996 was actually an experiment by California lawmakers to restructure the power industry. Whereas deregulation would mean market-driven prices, what actually happened is that state regulators determine the prices customers pay, utilities are required to pay the highest bid price on electricity, and price caps and overbearing market rules discourage new competitors from coming in, which consequently discourages lower prices for customers.
Whereas deregulation would allow companies to experiment with ways to meet customer demand, the current policy in play creates regulatory structures which limit business decisions on such matters.
So, what is the point of all this? Don't blame the free-market system, or deregulation on California's present energy crisis. Free market and deregulation have nothing to do with it. If anything, further regulation will simply compound the problem. The energy crisis truly is the state's problem in every sense of the word.
I want to comment on an issue/attitude that is prevalent not only on this campus, but all across the country and possibly beyond. It is the idea that one can be a very good Christian and still watch or listen to trashy entertainment. Seriously, does 'Let's kill Kenny!' or 'My girlfriend's pregnant. . . and lying dead in the trunk' really agree with the main message of the Gospel or the Bible in general? After all, doesn't 'bad company corrupt good morals'? Also, rationalizations such as 'I just like the beat; I don't listen to the lyrics' are weak and vague, because once a top 40 song is played in a dorm or a mall, then chances are that nine out of 10 people will start singing the lyrics verbatim; I've witnessed this dozens of times.
Similarly, the claim that the media just 'reflect' the sex and violence in society is just another excuse. What the media usually does is glorify these things by repeating them over and over again without giving a solution.
Besides, hardly any of the movie producers or record companies want to give us a moral solution to illicit sexual activity; they just go along with the crowd and say 'If it feels good, do it.' Apparently, the media creates more junk than it reflects.
Some sociologists say that the people who have a great sense of humor -- and laugh at everything they see -- are often those with the least principles. However, I think that, in the end, the person who has the most principles will have the last laugh.