Unclear on the market concept

Don't Californians ever get tired of being blindsided by market effects that everyone else can see coming a mile away?  I spent almost a decade of my life working on bankruptcies caused by the meltdown of the ridiculous California attempt to build a pretend-market for electricity in the late 1990s. Hey, I wonder what will happen if we refuse to produce any electricity locally, become dependent on neighboring states, squeeze down our interstate supply lines, and then screw with the market so that no one can get clear short-term price signals, while preventing our three major electrical utilities from hedging with long-term contracts?  Who would have dreamed that the whole thing would blow up in our faces?

Almost 15 years later, California's rulers (and voters) still fondly imagine that they can have stable, comprehensible gas-pump prices while constantly jacking around with special-snowflake gas recipes that prevent any reasonable emergency backup supplies from kicking in when there's even a minor emergency at those few refineries that are allowed to stay in business.  Now we have people complaining that, yes, of course there was a market perturbation, but it couldn't possibly have caused that kind of spike!  It must be evil traders manipulating the market.  Collusion!  Gouging!  Greed!

The market's being manipulated, all right, but it ain't traders doing it.  The law of supply and demand works even when it's politically inconvenient.  Now watch them "fix" the problem by freezing prices.  That way you can get cheap gas -- there just won't be any of it.  Thanks, wise, beneficent rulers!


Six said...

I got out of California about 5 minutes after I retired.

Anonymous said...

I was asked a decade or so ago if I would be interested in working in California. I said no, because of taxes, earthquakes, and politics. The pilot-seeking gent sighed and allowed that while his part of the state was quite conservative, it did have the occasional earthquake, and he could do nothing about the taxes. I won't even consider applying for a job in CA now.


bthun said...

I've been out of N. Ca. since 1970ish, IIRC.

I have to admit I loved the state, then. Nowadays, it seems to be trying to live up to the slang description of the land of fruits and nuts.

Sad indeed, but I also grow more nervous by the day that a quarantine is not put in place on the once Golden State.

douglas said...

Oh, as the (apparently) last remaining California representative to the Hall, I can only shrug and plead that I don't leave because my entire family is here (well, till my in-laws moved to Las Vegas), and I can't rebuild a clientele in my field very quickly. Otherwise, I think I'd have been out a year and a half ago.

It's a shame what they've done to the once Golden State. All the advantages we have, squandered. At least you all can point at us and convince your neighbors not to let your state or the country become like us.

Just an anecdotal aside- perhaps there's some hope- where I live, in 2008 there were Obama yard signs and bumper stickers everywhere. This time, I could count on one hand how many bumper stickers I've seen, and I think I've seen a total of two yard signs. I was in the San Francisco bay area last weekend to visit family, and couldn't believe how few yard signs and bumper stickers I saw. I saw a total of two- yes two- yard signs for Obama (and there were no shortage of signs regarding some local ballot measure), and one for Gary Johnson. I even saw a Romney sign. Only a handful of bumper stickers. I think this election may not be so close after all- at least I'm hoping.

bthun said...

"I can only shrug and plead that I don't leave because my entire family is here (well, till my in-laws moved to Las Vegas), and I can't rebuild a clientele in my field very quickly. Otherwise, I think I'd have been out a year and a half ago."


If at anytime you want to trek across the bottom half of the nation to Green Acres, I'll be happy to put you in touch with a good real estate person and a neighbor who is an exec in one of the commercial construction outfits in the region. They have seen a spike in the heretofore dead commercial construction bid'ness. Anticipation of a rout in D.C.?

Anyway, I'm fairly certain a good Architect would have no problem in this area, not to mention we have some pretty good schools, UofGa, Ga. Tech, and multitudes of community campuses, where you might teach. So bring your family, there's plenty of room between where I live and the Smokies. Escape before the quarantine man!

douglas said...

Sir, you are most kind indeed, and if Georgia comes up (and I suppose it might) I will take you up on your offer.

I do have to say that there was one family who moved here from Atlanta, and we recruited their son into the Cub Scouts. That boy is such a polite young man, and a cheerful one too. I told the parents what a well mannered son they had, and they thanked me, and told us about having come from Atlanta- I got it right away. Polite children (in the proper sense) are a rarity here. Georgia's been on the short list ever since.