Government failure

Brickbat: Details, Details


orijinal / Foter / CC BY

Bishop Daryl Harris was stunned to learn the city of Detroit was suing his church for $170,000 in back electricity payments. One reason he didn't understand why was that the church, Total Life Christian Ministries, is housed in space it rents from Matrix Human Services, which is responsible for paying the utilities. Another reason is that Matrix's energy provider is DTE Energy, not the city. The next day, the city cut off the water at his home. It turns out the city had made a mistake in both cases. The church it meant to sue is a different one with a similar name, and they found he was up to date on his water bill. But officials said he'll still have to pay $30 to have his water turned back on.

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  1. Why is the city even in the business of selling electricity?

    1. Actually there are many municiple owned power companies. They have some advantages compared to all-private or private-utilities. It seems to be a case of a well feed squirrel with severe cataracts.

      1. If you think they have some advantages, do share. Personally, I believe it’s beyond the remit of the city to engage in such activity.

        1. Pros: A public power company is typically guaranteed 10% profit. Theoretically a city-owned distribution company just needs to break-even and can pass the rest on to the residents in lower rates.

          Cons: In reality, that 10% may be eaten up by even worse management than a regulated utility. And it is an opportunity for corruption, cronyism, bad union contracts, etc…

          1. Ya it’s a case of partially blind squirrel. And one of the rare instances where if you have the right Top Men then it will work. This is one of the few bones I will throw to the collectivists

            1. but if you throw them that bone you are basically admitting that *all* their policies would work if they had the right ‘Top Men’ in charge – as that’s where you say the advantages of a city owned power company come from vice a multi-jurisdictional private one.

          2. Detroit Power and Light has horrible infrastructure (this building is powered by it, and it houses the university’s computing center–we have a megawatt emergency generator that gets used at least a couple of times a year for real). There are a couple of outages every summer. A couple years ago a substation underground in front of the Detroit Symphony blew up and almost took out many of the large instruments (basses, kettle drums) that were stored there.
            But it’s gradually being taken over by the ‘private’ DTE, whose infrastructure is much more stable.

        2. I give you SMUD and their 3 wheel nuclear power plant, Rancho Seco…take your remit and shove it.

          1. A decommissioned nuke plant that never ran above 39% capacity and got turned off long before it’s operational license expired?

            You’re going to have to expand upon your point before it starts making sense. Just because a city has done something, it doesn’t mean that it is the city’s role to do that thing.

  2. “Matrix Human Services”

    Maybe he should not have taken the red pill?

    1. Are they a power company too?

  3. $30 is $30.


  4. The church it meant to sue is a different one with a similar name, and they found he was up to date on his water bill. But officials said he’ll still have to pay $30 to have his water turned back on

    Remember, criticizing this: Racist.

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