The newspaper on Aug. 6 included a Victoria Hugo-Vidal opinion regarding electric power (“The Maine Millennial: Pine Tree Power will be a change for the better”). She favors the proposed public Pine Tree Power over the current privately owned and operated Central Maine Power Co. Presumably, public ownership will be better and less expensive than private ownership. After all, $187 million in profit (recorded by CMP in 2022) would be eliminated and available for the common good.

But before anyone, including Hugo-Vidal, flips the lever for such a change, ask yourself some simple questions: Has government ever done anything better, and for less, than private enterprise? How well are other government-owned and government-operated services (schools, transport, hospitals, housing, police, infrastructure, etc.) functioning now? Why are taxes increasing? Why are so many governments in fiscal trouble? Why have so many government functions failed us? Why are so many people dissatisfied with government results?

How is failure a common good? Maybe we need less government.

Werner Hetzner

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