Voices
in
Japan

poll

Do you think Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) should be nationalized?

13 Comments
© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
Login to comment

In fact, all utilities should be nationalized or heavily regulated at best. Actually, publicly utilities are much better run than privately owned utilities as they have no profit motive and so they don't look at ways to cut costs (read: just get by or make things last) in order to raise profits. Power, clean water and clean air is a public good.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Actually, publicly utilities are much better run than privately owned utilities as they have no profit motive and so they don't look at ways to cut costs (read: just get by or make things last) in order to raise profits

While that may be in some cases it is not always a fact. Nationalizing the company will put further stress on an already overburdened economy and previous tax income from the profits of the utility will be lost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think all TEPCO top execs and CEO should be arrested and put on site at Daiichi to do the manual clean up. This is what should happen.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Utilities and basic necessities should not be profit driven. Nor should things that put society at risk. Too much of the world is driven by decisions based on profits. This is responsible for all kinds of calamities and problems.

Nationalize them and take the profit equasion out of the discussion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tkoind2JAN. 25, 2012 - 09:09AM JST Utilities and basic necessities should not be profit driven. Nor should things that put society at risk. Too much of the world is driven by decisions based on profits. This is responsible for all kinds of calamities and problems. Nationalize them and take the profit equasion out of the discussion.

Taking the profit equation out of the discussion does not mean that things will turn out for the better. Nationalized companies are not always better and often come with their own set of problems. And once again, even nationalized industries have costs they need to cover. This money needed to cover these costs has to come from somewhere. There is no guarantee that a nationalized company will be operation in a more efficient and safer way than a profit-driven private one. Often, in fact, the exact opposite seems to be the case.

Chernobyl was, after all, under the direct jurisdiction of Moscow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yagura. It is true that some nationalized institutions don't work well. Certainly there are examples. But that does not rule out the concept. There are plenty nationalized institutions world wide that work very well. Far more than examples that do not.

Capitalism has propagandized the concept that everything profit driven will be better than anything private. Especially since it could point to state capitalism in the Soviet system as a bad example. But it is important to remember that much of the world runs programs that are nationalized in nearly every conceiveable field. Much of that successfuly.

Now I sincerely doubt that TEPCO can survive as a private company going forward. Nationalizing it is only the first required step. It must also be heavily reinvented by the government.

With regards to cost, the nationalized system will still charge for services and will be able to carry on as the company had. But it will be far more subject to national oversight and management which will make decisions more about concern for society and less so for concern for the bottom line. This is a win.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tkoind2JAN. 25, 2012 - 10:54AM JST With regards to cost, the nationalized system will still charge for services and will be able to carry on as the company had. But it will be far more subject to national oversight and management which will make decisions more about concern for society and less so for concern for the bottom line. This is a win.

As I said, "nationalized" does not always lead to better, more efficient and safer service. Often it leads to more corruption, waste and cronyism. Politicians and/or bureaucrats do not always make the best owner/operators. Profit maximization may not be the publicly stated goal of such companies, but the temptation for some people to exploit the situation to feather their own personal nests is always there. The bottom line of a government is to stay in power (that's their "profit"), so it's not unheard of for a government to do things (even if they are against the public good) to do just that.

TEPCO is a private company but I believe quite a number of it's top management officials are either former bureaucrats themselves or strongly connected in some way. Most likely some bureaucrat somewhere had an idea as to what they were doing, but for whatever reason just decided to look the other way. Plus, given the way that Japanese Government has been less than open on details of the Daiichi crisis, their concern for their citizens could be called into question. What guarantee is there that they could run things better?

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/govt-kept-silent-on-worst-case-scenario-at-height-of-nuclear-crisis

I'm not saying that it couldn't work. I'm just saying that it's not a guaranteed win and that the consequences of such a move should be carefully considered before taking such a step. Things are not so clear cut.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow. 2:1 people voted "yes". Nobody trusts the government when it comes to nuclear power, but by a 2:1 margin they're ready for the government to take over TEPCO! There appears to be a major disconnect, here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Absolutely not. In the event that it is, it should be sold immediately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Usually, I am against nationalization. It is bad for the economy and utilities should be like other businesses. Here, I will make an exception. TEPCO is in such deep do-do, and it's effect on the larger economy is so great that I think the Govt. should take over for a 5-10 year period.

There are to big qualifiers here:

First, All existing shareholders should be totally dilluted. The owner's helped create this mess with their lousy oversight and they should take it in the shorts as a consequence.

Second: there should be a set time limit after which the Govt. will definately send the company back to the private sector where it belongs.

If those conditions are met, I think most people would be willing to look at nationalization.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

History has proven that nationalized institutions run even worse.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wanda-kunJAN. 23, 2012 - 03:38PM JST In fact, all utilities should be nationalized or heavily regulated at best. Actually, publicly utilities are much better run than privately owned utilities as they have no profit motive and so they don't look at ways to cut costs (read: just get by or make things last) in order to raise profits. Power, clean water and clean air is a public good.

They also have no incentive to modernize outdated facilities and equipment, provide better/cheaper service, develop alternate technologies, hire better qualified employees (the best and brightest often do not prefer the low paying life of a public servant.), etc., etc. Moreover, since there is often no effective third-party oversight , corruption and other types of malfeasance as well as political cronyism are more common than not.

Nationalizing does not always lead to better things.Nationalized companies have costs just like a private company does and these costs have to be covered in some way. Even public goods are not free. Everything has a cost even if it's not something that can be easily expressed in monetary terms.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It was a private company, that worked well? Overseen by state funded baboons, that went well? Coustomers/tax payers pick up the bill anyway Privatization and capitalism at it's best. Shame there is no third option. Must be the biggest colonoscopy in history.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites