Electric Equity: …To Each According To Their Electricity Consumption

     California is implementing the Marxist idea of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”… when it comes to electricity. Specifically poor people will have their electricity subsidized directly from middle and upper class electricity users.

“Customers for California’s three major power companies — including PG&E ratepayers — can expect to see some big changes in their monthly electricity bills in the coming years as compliance with a new state law begins to unfold.

“PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, the three major California utilities whose services include electricity, have filed a joint proposal with the state Public Utilities Commission that sketches out proposed changes in monthly bills.

“At present, those bills are primarily based on how much electricity and gas customers consume.

“A new proposal would add a fixed monthly charge that would be based on the household income levels of the respective customers.

“The tradeoff: The three utilities are proposing a reduction of 33% in electricity rates, which means it’s possible that segment of the bill could be less expensive.”

     So, what are the proposed rates?

“Here’s how the fixed charges would work in the PG&E service territory. The numbers are based on a four-person household:

  • Households earning less than $28,000 a year would pay a fixed charge of $15 a month on their electric bills.

  • Households with annual income from $28,000 to $69,000 would pay $30 a month.

  • Households earning from $69,000 to $180,000 would pay $51 a month.

  • Those with incomes above $180,000 would pay $92 a month.”

     It may not seem like it at first glance, but even at $180K a year, a household could face a tight budget if they have enough expenses like educational expenses, high mortgage/rent, medical expenses, or even small businesses with high expenses and thin margins. The poor will be subsidized even if they use the same or even more electricity. The Silicon Valley and Hollywood elite can easily pay the fee.   It’s those stuck in the middle who will be hit the hardest.

     But the greater danger isn’t in having to pay a $92/mo. Fee… but that the government will apply different fees or exactions of money based on your income on potentially anything and everything. Much how Sweden adjusts its fees and penalties, such as for a speeding ticket, based on income, there is no reason why any fee or penalty to do anything, from paying tickets to acquiring licenses, won’t be made steeply progressive.   The poor would have no reason to not speed and every reason to apply for a permit; similarly the rich can afford astronomically high fees and penalties. But if it’s made progressive enough, it could dissuade anyone with the temerity to rise out of poverty and live without subsidized handouts.

     Such a scheme could provide the insulating barrier for the very rich to keep the hoi polloi out.   As for everyone else… Thatcher called it:

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