Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Competition Works

It is encouraging when Democrats (OK, legislators of all stripes) recognize that competition drives prices down.

Blanco, a Democrat, becomes the first governor to veto video franchise reform, which so far has passed in the seven states, including Louisiana, where it has reached a full legistative vote. While Republicans in a number of states initiated the push for state franchising, bipartisan support has been growing, especially since rates immediately dropped when Verizon and SBC rolled out video service in Texas shortly after franchise reform passed there last year.

Louisiana was no different. Democrats in the legislature who were behind the reform push and were disappointed at the veto.

"The fact that Cox Cable just raised its rates $3.43 a month in Baton Rouge without any regulation shows they need some competition," said state Rep. Billy Montgomery, (D-Haughton) in the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. "The consumer was left out of the process. Helping the consumer was the main part of the bill."

I would certainly be nice if you didn’t have to convince them of this immutable fact for every product and service that comes along. Texas paved the way and provided empirical evidence to make support easy. It also helps that there aren’t many substitutes for cable, so the results are very easy to see.

I look forward to a day when they allow competition in energy markets, insurance markets and telcos – I just hope that I am still alive to see it.

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