The massive winter storm that hit Texas and left millions without any power or heating is bringing the topic of how electricity is being regulated in the state to the forefront of the discussion. In short, the energy infrastructure in Texas isn’t made for cold snaps like the one that shook the southern US. And some people believe that capitalism exacerbated the problem, making the situation far, far worse because companies are competing for customers instead of investing in maintaining the infrastructure.

Among the other controversies, the (now former) mayor of Colorado City, Tim Boyd, has announced that he’s resigning because of a scathingly received post online. Boyd essentially left everyone to fend for themselves and stated that they can expect no help from the authorities.

Have a read through what people said about the situation in Texas online and what their opinions about the link between capitalism and the deadly outages are. Upvote the images that you agree with and be sure to share your own opinions with everyone in the comment section below, dear Readers.

#1

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

WillMcAvoyACN Report

qwerty
Community Member
9 months ago

Some Republicans actually think that WiNdMillS cAuSe CaNcEr!!!!

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#2

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

irishrygirl Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
9 months ago

Fascinating that infrastructure affecting millions must be left alone for profit, but a private citizen's reproduction isn't left alone for any reason whatsoever, isn't it...

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#3

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

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Hans
Community Member
9 months ago

Do not be like Ted. Poor Ted.

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Texas relies on its own power grid. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, aka Ercot, manages it. A nonprofit corporation, it's still overseen by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, a state agency. Ercot decided to turn off power for millions of customers after the freezing temperatures shut down several of their power plants. It was either that or risk the collapse of the entire power grid.

Some people, from professors and experts to ordinary Americans and those directly affected by the cold, suggested that electricity deregulation is to blame for Texas’ inability to cope with the winter crisis. Meanwhile, others implied that what some Republicans warned would happen under socialism, in fact, happened under capitalism. In short, people are angry that the federal government isn’t overseeing the entire situation in Texas.

#4

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

JoshuaPotash Report

James016
Community Member
9 months ago

They prefer the *freedom* to let people starve to death, than being forced to contribute/pay taxes to keep their fellow human beings alive.

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#5

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

kurteichenwald Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
9 months ago

What does GOP mean? All I can come up with is Game Of Phones, so it’s probably not that.

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#6

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

LunaIsFree_ Report

Eric Law
Community Member
9 months ago

Blaming "red herrings" is a longstanding proud tradition for Republicans.

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CNN reports that dozens of people across the southern US states have died because of the weather. The number of victims is at least 21. Meanwhile, the BBC writes that over 100 million Americans are under a winter weather warning; over 71 percent of the entire US was covered by snow by Wednesday afternoon.

As of Wednesday, there have been around 2.3 million power outages all over Texas, leaving around a quarter of the state with no access to electricity or heating. The situation is so dire, Texans are bringing in farm and wild animals into their homes to keep them warm while volunteers are rescuing sea turtles by the thousands so they don’t freeze to death.

#7

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

MattOben Report

Hans
Community Member
9 months ago

USD 22 per kWh as the normal pirce? This must be cents, musn't it?

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#8

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
9 months ago

Fact: Per capita, tax dollars paid in the US federal system (federal only) are not distributed based upon contribution. At one point, a Rocky Mtn state was receiving almost two dollars in federal funding for every dollar paid in taxes. Where'd the extra dollar come from? States like Cali, Mass.,NY, etc. IF they really believed in "get out what you put in", these folks would be in a world more of hurt.

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#9

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

mike10010100 Report

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
9 months ago

So, aside from the armed forces, what does he think our tax dollars and utility payments are for?

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The argument, as some experts put it, is simple: even though winter snaps like this one are rare, the power infrastructure in Texas needs to be overhauled, improved, and upgraded to ensure that it functions in times of crisis. What’s more, there are calls for more regulation of the electricity market so that the infrastructure is properly maintained.

As Rebecca Goetz, an associate professor of history at NYU puts it, deregulation might lead to lower prices for the consumers (i.e. us because we’re choosing the suppliers ourselves, thus making everyone compete for our attention by lowering their prices), but it also leads to confusion. Your electricity supplier might not be the company that fixes your grid when something happens to it. Furthermore, maintenance fees aren’t enough to maintain the infrastructure. Or, in other words, you get what you pay for.

#10

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

Hexpatriot Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
9 months ago

It's so cold out that the food wasn't going to spoil *outside*, that's for sure. I wish the market had done what ours did when we had a huge power outage a few years ago: Just gave it away as people asked for it. Corporate insurance covered the loss. Why not let the food go as needed, not to waste/ *sigh*

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#11

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Chelsea Corkum
Community Member
9 months ago

As a resident of the North Atlantic Canada, where there is a large windfarm....i CAN CONFIRM THAT WINDMILLS CAN WORK IN THE FREEZING RAIN.

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#12

leigh_fall Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
9 months ago

Remembering all the US jokes about people in socialist countries waiting in line for their daily bread....

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According to history expert Goetz, Texans prefer cheap electricity to a reliable infrastructure that’s able to efficiently tough out heat spikes, as well as cold snaps. And before you ask, the technology for making tech (including renewable tech like wind turbines, as well as traditional energy sources like natural gas) resistant to the cold does exist. It’s all a question of how much companies want to invest into upgrading the current infrastructure and what the cost of that would be.

#13

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

BFriedmanDC Report

James016
Community Member
9 months ago

Karma is revenge served very cold

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#14

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

maddoxrules Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
9 months ago

Stop calling them windmills. They are wind turbines. Windmills are the things that Don Quixote fought.

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#15

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

kendrick38 Report

Luiza NP
Community Member
9 months ago

I genuinely cannot understand how people think it is OK for corporations to have that kind of power. What’s the difference from authoritarians governments? The corporation’s have often more power than a country leader. Why do people don’t think about making the power of corporations democratic? Allowing them to do as they please with people lives is not democracy.

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The situation in Texas isn’t black-and-white. Everyone’s looking for someone to blame, but the situation is raising a lot of vital questions that might affect Texas and the rest of the US in the future, not just in the context of winter storms.

Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment here. Spending more money on upgrading the state’s power infrastructure is a good idea because it ensures that people have heating and electricity in times of crisis like during this rare cold snap. However, there are practical considerations to take into account. You might cold-proof your infrastructure, but where do we draw the line? Do we need to ensure it’s protected from every possible and rare eventuality?

#16

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

mattsteinhauer Report

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
9 months ago

What do you mean "every ten years?" It's literally a daily occurrence, ffs.

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#17

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

westonpagano Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
9 months ago

America: Land of the fL|cked, home of the broke.

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#18

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

BettyBowers Report

GFSTaylor
Community Member
9 months ago

It's the exact same shortsightedness that makes fossil fuel companies want to drill and destroy in National Parks - land that should be free for all to enjoy. The fossil fuels will run out in a matter of decades at best, but the ecosystems and landscapes will have been wrecked for centuries and some species driven to extinction, so the land can never be returned to its natural state. All destroyed so the rich people who own the fossil fuel companies and the politicains who take their money and sign the leases, can make more money.

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I’m all for spending more to stay safe and have a reliable system. It’s vital to do. But at some point, ordinary Texans will be asking whether money’s being flushed down the drain by investing in upgrades that might be ‘useless.’ People tend to invest in what they think is likely to happen and that’s a very human thing to do. How much is too much? Where do we draw the line?

Don’t forget that the companies will have to heavily invest in maintaining the new infrastructure. And though that will ensure that some people will have steady work, it would mean that electricity costs would increase for the average citizen. Is everyone prepared to pay more? Some, of course. Especially in the interests of a reliable system. But not everyone. How do you get a consensus when people feel very passionately about their opinions that don't mesh well together?

#19

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

SirLarr Report

Zenozenobee
Community Member
9 months ago

Wait... This is legal ? To shut off someone's power without notice ?

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#20

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

lacymjohnson Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
9 months ago

Vulnerable people will have died because they can’t keep warm. It’s corporate man slaughter at best.

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#21

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

HelaoSouse Report

qwerty
Community Member
9 months ago

Lack of empathy= symptom of psychopathy. Callousness= symptom of psychopathy. Coincidence?

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There’s another issue here as well. Greater influence of the federal government could help maintain the infrastructure and ensure that what we’re seeing in Texas right now doesn’t happen again. But here’s the rub: Americans venerate self-reliance and independence. Being overly reliant on the federal government (as opposed to the state government) isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of Americans, especially Texans who have a long and proud history.

#22

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

markets Report

Peter Trudell Jr
Community Member
9 months ago

Texas ignored the '89 report that they need to winterize... they ignored it and 2010 hit... another report saying they need to do something... they ignored it and 2021 happened. There are times I really hate our government. Republicans have been in charge for 26 years and it's way past time to vote them out.

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#23

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

thelukemullen Report

Izzy_
Community Member
9 months ago

We don't deserve this planet

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#24

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

mike10010100 Report

Douglas Turner
Community Member
9 months ago

MMmm... ketchonaise. Now I don't have to pick.

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In the short term? Absolutely, Texas needs help from the government: people need quick and decisive action. However, the government isn’t always quick to respond in times of crisis (remember the response to Hurricane Katrina?). What’s more, if you move power away from local governments and communities, you might find (emphasis on might) that the people closest to you and most capable of lending a hand are no longer in the position to do so. Just some food for thought.

#25

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

historianess Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
9 months ago

This can be said of the whole US power grid, really. Even tho' it's not privatized, it's being ignored so we can... uh... yeah, I got nothing.

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#26

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

filth_waste Report

ramen noodle is bad at math
Community Member
9 months ago

made a meme Screenshot...9d2651.png Screenshot-2021-02-18-at-101550-AM-602e84b9d2651.png

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#27

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

doinkpatrol Report

Luiza NP
Community Member
9 months ago

And Texas doesn’t suffer economic sanctions from USA that make it poor, as far as I know…

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Do you think that capitalism is to blame for the situation in Texas, dear Readers? If not, do you think that the deregulation of the electricity market made the situation worse? How do you think the system should be reformed? Do you think that relying on the government more is a good idea in the long-term? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. And those of you currently affected by the cold—stay warm, you have our support.

#28

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

MuseWendi Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
9 months ago

uh yeah. Capitalism is about screwing the working class to increase profits for the wealthy, so of course it worked as designed

#29

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

Report

Eric Law
Community Member
9 months ago

The guy is asking that we don't harass him? Sorry, dude, you're on your own - we owe you nothing.

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#30

Capitalism-Texas-Crisis-Snowstorm

commons96055467 Report

Cynthia Bonville
Community Member
9 months ago

Well he wasn't a scholar or particularly good at much but sound bites.. It isn't a philosophy my dear, it is a failure of education - and ignorance is desirable because it is exploitable.

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Note: this post originally had 34 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.