Is OPALCO unfair? | Letter

Citizen Ludwig says OPALCO’s “Unfair”, no matter that I just received a check for 90 some dollars as a co-op member,  which would have otherwise been delivered to a greedy capitalist shareholder.

This fact alone should put the kibosh on his musings. But there are several other distortions in Ludwig’s economic thought.

1)“Fair,” to him, means a system wherein the poor pay less than the rich for the same goods and services, e.g. the Federal Government.

2) The REA, under which our dam system was inaugurated, was part of FDR’s alphabet soup approach to combat unemployment, as much as an effort to stem the profits of greedy capitalists. The “Stamp Democracy” thought was also used: economies of scale obtained in urban settings are impossible in rural America,  so city dwellers subsidize 98261 whether they like it or not.

3) “For Profit” organizations must  buy plant and equipment (and/or borrow part thereof).

These “fixed charges” are then amortized and depreciated over years at a fixed rate and profit is any amount left over after paying fixed charges, labor and inventory costs.

But all this money is paid out to other greedy capitalists, like themselves, so no harm is done.

The fixed charges for cables, cable laying, plant construction, etc., must be paid to wretched greedy capitalists through competitive bidding, just because there is no other source.

The proportion between the amount allocated to fixed charges versus the amount allocated to  labor and inventory may have a small variable proportion. But in no case can the sum be less than what the customer is charged the without incurring a loss.

Ludwig is demanding,  simply, a steeper progressive rate, designed for his pocketbook, in which he would pay less and everybody else would pay more.

Bottom line (of above and Growlers), is my wish that my fellow Islandalers would heed a variant of JFK’s suggestion: ask not what their country (co-op) can do for them, but rather what they can do for Humanity.

JM Schultz

Lopez Island