The Texas thread

Hawk256

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Society can and does decide if terms of a contract is in the best interest of the people. Price gouging during an emergency is already illegal in texas, even when the payer voluntarily pays the higher price. It strains credulity when one can be prosecuted for charging $5 per gallon of gas instead of the normal $3 during an emergency, but electric companies are free to charge thousands of dollars more during the same event.
Again, I agree with you. But the fact remains no one was charged outside of the government cap nor were they charged outside of their contract. Take action to have the law changed or challenge the contract in court but at this point no one has done anything illegal. It's a bad situation and somebody will end up footing the bill.
 

Nimbus

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Again, I agree with you. But the fact remains no one was charged outside of the government cap nor were they charged outside of their contract. Take action to have the law changed or challenge the contract in court but at this point no one has done anything illegal. It's a bad situation and somebody will end up footing the bill.
Yes, at this point it seems that nobody has done anything illegal. The real question is whether it should be illegal going forward. The government can easily make electrical price gouging illegal during an emergency, just like for everyday items.
 

dafluff

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That's not my agenda at all. Not everyone like choices and I have no problem with that. If you prefer that the government controls everything you can purchase, when you can purchase it and how much you pay then good news, there are plenty of governments that are like that and you even have the choice to go live there. If you think choice is a hypocritical and morally bankrupt ideology that is your opinion and I'm not trying to change your mind.

Lol, wanting regulation and consumer protections for essential and/or public goods such as utilities and healthcare is not the same as "government controls everything you can purchase". Oh yes, I forgot a third trait of the conservative: they never argue in good faith.
 

HappyMan

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The government had already stepped in with price caps that have always been in place. These rates were inside that price cap.

In this case the company selling the power to the consumer is not the same company that generated the power. They buy power wholesale based on demand and pass the price to the consumer. One of a few things can happen,1. The generating company could change the rate they charged the selling company but that would go against their contract 2. The selling company could change the rate charged to the consumer but that would go against their contract. 3. If the customer doesn't pay the bill but the provider has to pay to the generating company then the seller has lost a lot of money, Possibly enough to bankrupt? Or the government comes in and pays all the bills and passes it on to the taxpayers. Some one owes and will pay the money, at this point we just don't know who it will be.
I am aware that the generating company was the one who raised prices. The cost of natural gas did not inflate at anywhere near the rate that the cost of electricity did. Price gouging laws say that it is not okay to take advantage of people in an emergency, which is what the generating companies have ended up doing. This clearly amounts to a windfall for them, rather than some necessary attempt to recoup previous losses, as there is no way their business plan required the power-grid to fail in order to make a profit.

Just because a contract says you can do a thing, does not mean you should do that thing, or that it will be legal.

A interesting side note is that if there were no wholesale customers to complain to the media this whole episode would likely have gone under the radar. The natural gas companies would have charges their exploitative prices to the energy distributors, who would have absorbed the loss and spread the increase in prices to their customers over the course of months. They would have gotten away with being really crappy human beings.
 

fastpitch17

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Not to worry. It seems the utility users will get money back or bills paid from Texas taking money from FEMA for the disaster and paying the utility. Texas will not be held responsible for any of it. Now the US tax payers can pay it all. Those Texas republicans can sit back knowing they screwed the US again.
 

Nimbus

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What bothers me is the blatant corporate welfare. If the mom and pop gas station around the corner increases the price of gas or milk by a couple of dollars, they can be penalized by anti price-gouging law, but when monopolistic private electric companies do the same thing costing people thousands of dollars, it’s perfectly legal.

If you want free market, apply it uniformly.
 

fastpitch17

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Now, large corporations and the City of Dallas are refusing to pay workers for days missed because of the storms. One company was even closed for a week but still wants to penalize workers. Some say could have worked from home even though the Wifi was down in some areas. They can use saved vacation time if they want to get paid. Bet the CEOs and BoD all stayed home and continued to collect cash.
 

R Cameron

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We want capitalism! Get rid of regulation! Government just gets in the way! Private industry can do it better!

One (quite predictable) storm hits.

There has to be limits! This isn't fair! Companies shouldn't be allowed to extort us like this!

Sadly, most Texans will prove to have a short memory and revert in a matter of months -after receiving significant government help- back to the former.
 

Hawk256

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Lol, wanting regulation and consumer protections for essential and/or public goods such as utilities and healthcare is not the same as "government controls everything you can purchase". Oh yes, I forgot a third trait of the conservative: they never argue in good faith.
You really have me pegged just because I made an argument for free choice. I never said regulation or consumer protections were a bad thing. I never argued anything other than free choice is a good thing and that (as bad as it is) the power situation in Texas was still within the rules of a contract that both parties agreed to. You might think that auguring for those things is in bad faith, I can assure you that they are not, I truly believe in free choice and I truly believe that people should honor their contracts.
 

HappyMan

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You really have me pegged just because I made an argument for free choice. I never said regulation or consumer protections were a bad thing. I never argued anything other than free choice is a good thing and that (as bad as it is) the power situation in Texas was still within the rules of a contract that both parties agreed to. You might think that auguring for those things is in bad faith, I can assure you that they are not, I truly believe in free choice and I truly believe that people should honor their contracts.
So, you support both government regulation and consumer protection, but don't think that the government should remove bad choices from the marketplace or protect consumers from price gouging? How are we supposed to understand that? How can we make sense of you implying that total freedom of choice and total government control are the only options, but then saying you are somewhere in the middle... except for this case, in which you side against the exploited consumers?

What would the conditions have to be for you to take the side of the person getting screwed by profiteers?

When a seemingly intelligent person makes arguments that make no sense, bad faith is a reasonable conclusion. The other options are talking out of their ass and ignorance.
 
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Hawk256

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So, you support both government regulation and consumer protection, but don't think that the government should remove bad choices from the marketplace or protect consumers from price gouging? How are we supposed to understand that? How can we make sense of you implying that total freedom of choice and total government control are the only options, but then saying you are somewhere in the middle... except for this case, in which you side against the exploited consumers?

What would the conditions have to be for you to take the side of the person getting screwed by profiteers?

When a seemingly intelligent person makes arguments that make no sense, bad faith is a reasonable conclusion. The other options are talking out of their ass and ignorance.
As I said before, nobody was complaining about the company when the customer was paying far below retail for their power. They weren't considered a bad choice at that point. This is not price gouging as much as you want to see it that way. The contract was laid out in advance and specified pricing on demand. Under normal circumstances this isn't a problem and no one had complained about that model. It was only when the pricing went to upper limit of the contract that is became a problem. I have never implied that the only options are total freedom or total control are the only options. In fact, I have said just the opposite by agreeing with another member.

You can view it as the evil profiteer screwing the individual or you can view it as the extreme end of a legal contact. Again I say, you wouldn't be complaining and haven't been complaining when the individual was paying far below retail.

I guess you are to make your own decisions. What bad faith could I possibly have by stating an opinion? That only leaves me being ignorant and talking out my ass by you assessment.

If believing in choice and living up to your commitments makes me bad person, ignorant, arrogant of whatever you choose to believe that is up to you. It doesn't matter to me one way or another. I have always lived up to my commitments and supported freedom of choice. That includes when I am the winner or when I am the loser. I'm also not the one that needs to question someone else's character or resort to name calling just because they have an opinion different from mine but hey you be you.
 
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HappyMan

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If believing in choice and living up to your commitments makes me bad person, ignorant, arrogant of whatever you choose to believe that is up to you. It doesn't matter to me one way or another. I have always lived up to my commitments and supported freedom of choice. That includes when I am the winner or when I am the loser. I'm also not the one that needs to question someone else's character or resort to name calling just because they have an opinion different from mine but hey you be you.
I've really wasted too much time typing out responses you already. You'll just keep misconstruing the argument to be about whether or not people should honor contracts and how much money the customers saved... while paying lip service to reasonable positions. It's like I'm taking to my dad after he listens to Rush, round and round in circles, arguing with himself off-topic so he can feel like he is winning.

What would the conditions have to be for you to take the side of the person getting screwed by profiteers?
 

Hawk256

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I've really wasted too much time typing out responses you already. You'll just keep misconstruing the argument to be about whether or not people should honor contracts and how much money the customers saved... while paying lip service to reasonable positions. It's like I'm taking to my dad after he listens to Rush, round and round in circles, arguing with himself off-topic so he can feel like he is winning.

What would the conditions have to be for you to take the side of the person getting screwed by profiteers?
Please stop wasting your time then. I haven't misconstrued anything. You are the one that doesn't seem to comprehend what I am saying. I have nothing to argue about, you are the one that seems bent out of shape because I don't share your opinion. I have said all along that my only argument was about freedom of choice and honoring contracts. I have said that numerous times and I don't know how to make it clearer. All of the other details are just noise. You take the good with bad and don't blame someone else for your bad decision.

As I said before and I guess I have to say again, You can view it as the evil profiteer screwing the individual or you can view it as the extreme end of a legal contact. How it can get any clearer than that? I honestly don't know.

I get it, my opinion is not popular but that doesn't mean I change my beliefs just so everyone will give me some sign of approval. If you want to judge me as a person based on that opinion that is your right as well. Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't mean that they are right or that their whole person is flawed because of that belief. Of course, feel free to make your own decision.
 

waarmstrong

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I do recall national news outlets reporting early on that many Texas utility customers saw the writing on the wall and, as was a contractual option, called in to switch to a fixed price electric rate plan. The report suggested that it was essentially impossible to contact the electricity provider, as the lines were swamped or not functioning at all.
Its hard not to fault Texans for being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Still they were also poorly served by a government that failed to trim the excesses of greed on one side and protect a grasshopper mentality people from their own ignorance on the other.
 

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