Saturday, August 13, 2011

Key West Signs

I have never understood the theory that taking money from members of the public who need utilities and giving it to stock holders instead of spending it on the utility system is somehow better than a publicly owned utility. We the people need decent water and the aqueduct, properly known as FKAA brings it to us without having to generate profits to pay off gamblers who own stocks and shares.

The electrical company is a public utility as well and long may it stay that way in this age of mindless privatization that ends up ordinary people. I was interested to note the spineless school board voted to privatize janitors who will get a huge pay cut for their services to stockholders. No one at the top, board or superintendent, the people responsible for the mismanaged budget took a cut. We need a few more of these:

Baseball is huge in Key West, a welcome relief from the misery of national and local politics. I've always enjoyed then image of a fighting conch,a cephalopod that moves at a pace one could only describe as languid. A slow motion fighter perhaps.

It's a cop car. We had a really nasty anonymous comment in the citizen's voice this week snarling at a police officer for 'not doing his job' and I was reminded how little I want to be riding around in a police car taking crap, being snarled at and smiling all the while.

I cannot imagine how annoying it must be to live in a home mistaken for a guest house all the time. Pay attention to the sign!

You may be amazed to know there is actually an area of Dow town Key West where panhandling is not allowed.

No nothing no time no where. if you think living downtown in old town would be fun, pay attention.

And no I did not buy any. My dog already Iives better than half the people in the world and buying ice cream for her just seems over the top. Let's ban ethanol subsidies first, get growing corn for food so poor people can eat, and then let's make treats for dogs.

Whoops! A little too much reality intruded in this essay. Too much for this far south at any rate.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Dagny said...

Aqueducts are not free to build, regardless of who builds them. Two options exist: 1) Take the money from the public at large via taxes (whether they can "afford it" or not) to finance the required bonds (...or levy an enourmous assessment and avoid issuing bonds), 2) raise capital from willing investors to build the infrastructure.

I don't know of any public infrastructure financed via stock (btw - not all stocks pay dividends)... all I know of are financed via bonds, so your "casino" analogy is a non-starter.

Which option a municipality takes is a matter of testing the fiscal and political winds.

Using the boot of the state to take private property from the unwilling and unable would be your choice of course, thank goodness there are others in the chorus.

Conchscooter said...

Private utilities pay stockholders out of the money they take from their customers. It's called a dividend. It is money that's taxed from customers and contributes naught to the functioning of the utility.
Public utilities like ours don't have to pay stockholders anything. All monies go the operations of the utility. If they need to raise capital through bonds citizens get to vote.
I'm through voting for President after Obama let us down so badly but I still vote on local bonds. The objectivists haven't taken that right away from the propagandized masses yet.

Chuck and the Pheebs said...


The first utility companies were essentially private - and private does not necessarily mean efficient. Keys Energy is well-run, yes...but not as forward thinking as other utilities.

It comes down to vision and management. Public utilities have been known to under-invest in their infrastructure, resulting in inefficient operation and high costs to ratepayers.

I'm not for either construct - just saying the issue is not easily solved by choosing public over private.

Please keep in mind we would have the grid in its current form if it were not for the private enterprise of Westinghouse and Samuel Insull.

Conchscooter said...

Nothing in the keys is forward thinking. Recycling is useless without the bars. Solar panels are viewed as income killers and on and on.
Private enterprise when capitalists were rooted in their communities was a very different thing from modern reality when corporate leaders have no loyalty to anyone or anything except their money and their tax havens.
I still like getting reliable electricity from a utility rooted in my community.