Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Double Standard

I support the minimum wage increase, my only caveat is that local conditions be taken into consideration. The federal government sort of did that by raising the wage $0.50 per year vs $1.00 per year, but that probably wasn't enough. I'm not an economist though, so what do I know?

I do know that many of our local leaders are dead set against it. Under the current plan it will take 7 years before the local minimum wage equals the federal minimum wage. Our local leaders say that is too much and too fast.

However, doubling the residential electricity rates overnight is fine.

The Legislature had capped the price of electricity at $0.176 per kWh. That price didn't even cover the cost of fuel. The utility was losing money, so something had to be done.

We have a price structure where the less electricity you use, the lower your rate. The price for consumers who use less that 500 kWh in a month (like me) is now $0.373 per kWh. For users that use less than 1000 kWh the price is now $0.423 per kWh, for users that use less than 2000 kWh the price is now $0.443 per kWh, and for users that use over 2000 kWh the price is now $0.484 per kWh.

We knew this was coming, but I see a definite double standard here. Both the minimum wage and the price of electricity will have ramifications for our economy and our way of life. Both had to go up, but seven years is too fast for one and overnight is no problem for the other.

The power went out as I was typing this. My apartment has a generator, so it came back on five minutes later.


bradinthesand said...

so does that mean we'll be losing the fuel surcharge?

KAP said...

It's not sudden, the Legislature just made it seem that way with their election-time treat.

And the U.S. minimum wage is a moving target. I guarantee it will go up again before we reach $5.85.

KAP said...

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

KAP said...

or raise

lil_hammerhead said...

Why would you put any credence in what our local "leaders" have to say. They're the same leaders that instantly dismissed the marine monument proposal. The "good" leaders aren't against the minimal minimum wage increases. Good leaders tend to make good and fair decisions more often than not. Would you suggest this was the case with the majority of our local "leaders"? I wouldn't.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I just think that an overnight doubling of the rate is a little shocking.

It may also be counter productive.

I don't endorse undercharging, but at least at the lower rate, users were paying something.

Now they are likely to pay nothing.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Now they are likely to use less power, now the utility is likely to be charging as much as it spends, now the other taxpayers are not subsidizing the residential rate. Now the residential deadbeats like lol knucklehead will have to pay their own way.

The only reservation I have is: show us the audited numbers so we know that rate covers the real cost, and show us where the collected revenue is going as well as how much is billed but not collected.

lil_hammerhead said...

If you're referring to me Porky.. you need to review my posts before throwing out such sordid and false accusations. I have always stated that I believe we should have to pay the actual costs of providing power. Let's not digress into a discussion about "deadbeats", you would likely be on the losing end of that one.

Ian said...

I agree Angelo that doubling it overnight will probably mean that more people will pay nothing at all and opt for disconnection, further reducing CUC's customer base.

As far as conservation- that is already happening. A lot of people I know have nothing on all day at their house (apart from maybe the fridge) and have permanently turned off hot water, unplugged anything with a clock, completely stopped using the drier, etc.

I agree that we need to pay the cost of power but I don't know what else I can turn off Bruce.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Speaking of losers, doesn't become you Knucklehead. As one yourself you leave yourself wide open. You hide your identity in a crack because you haven’t the gumption to stand up for what you claim to believe and yet still have the balls to talk about losers? You are indeed pitiable.

As a self styled ‘ housewife’ (a lie I’m sure) what special set of skills or accomplishments have you amassed that would cause me or anyone else to listen to you drivel on about what constitutes good leadership? Your opinion of what makes a 'good leader' is exactly that, your opinion. Mine differs substantially from the silly, government as nanny position you take, but like yours, it is just an opinion. Your pronouncements of opinion-as-fact are laughable.

So let’s see, you’ve got laughable and pitiable working for you…anything else? Not really.

Well, I guess there is that relationship you have with the Islamic militants.

Now back to the point. If you support cost based utility rates, then good on ‘ya. You finally got something right.


Ian, I don't know what else you can turn off either. I agree that many have already instituted conservation measures, perhaps for the first time, perhaps for some time.

The alternative where local government is somehow supposed to 'subsidize' power production (read stick the bills to the ever shrinking tax base)cannot continue for long no matter the wishful thinking of those few who really believe that government actually pays for it, or anything else.

KAP said...


Thought I saw a period after 'else' at first.

"I can turn off Bruce."

What's your wattage Mr. Bateman?