By Doug Newman

August 27, 2005 

JG writes:

"Although I am a libertarian, I have some problems with the theory. Don't we need the government to build the roads and manage the utilities?"


The road question is a good one. Although, if the private sector could do it better, I would have no problem with it.

Concerning utilities, the phone company -- aka AT&T aka The Bell System -- was a monopoly until 1984. Then the goverrnment disbanded it. Now you have four RBOCs, numerous local phone companies, thousands of installation and service companies, numerous long distance carriers, half a dozen cell carriers, numerous equipment manufacturers and VOIP systems like Vonage. And AT&T is owned by SBC.

I have been in and around the industry for about 12 years. (I currently work for Verizon.) I do not understand it all, but I know that rates have gone down and that some companies give great service and some give lousy service.

I have no doubt that, given the above information, someone smarter than I could come up with a way to bring competition to the utilities markets.

How does that sound?

Doug Newman
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. -- Hosea 4:6

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Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman