Sunday, February 03, 2008
"Power Trip" - Societal and Cultural Change
"Power Trip" Web site
As much as I hate to admit it - "Link TV" - the left biased channel on DirecTV is my most favored and frequently watched television station. My Tivo can be found recording from this source more than all others. FoxNews channel has nothing on Link TV. I have always been a fan of "muckraking" journalism. Even if I differ with the ideological assumptions that the media organization standing behind the initiative - I respect their "keeping them honest" motivations. So is the case with the movie "Power Trip".
"Power Trip" details the struggles in the nation of Georgia - a former province in the Soviet Union. If you are looking for an example of a "White" 3rd world nation - look no further than this. Poverty is rampant. After the break up of the Soviet Union the resources that once flowed from the strong central government dried up. They were pretty much on their own since then.
In 1999 an American energy conglomerate purchased the formerly state owned power generating company. They were hoping to make massive improvements in the electricity distribution system and to increase the reliability of the service. Boy did they fail to see what they were stepping into!
The reason why I posted this information on my "cultural" blog is because this movie shows the BRAINWASHED STATE that an entire country of people can acquire having had a central government to provide them will all their needs - ABSTRACTING them from the COSTS of delivering them services and in the process destroying any notion of QUALITY OF SERVICE. So was the case here.
The formerly state owned electrical system DID NOT HAVE ELECTRIC METERS on every residence to track and of course bill the consumers for their power. The entire system was like an open river - cast your bucket within and take the power that you wanted. There were housing complexes that had a main electrical trunk line coming into a distribution panel. Over the years people had paid the local handyman money to run their own make shift electrical cable from their own apartment into the distribution grid. Wires were dangling everywhere and it was literally a hazard for anyone to go near this tangle of wires lest they risk electrocution.
When the American management took over they attempted to shift the cost burden upon the individual consumers. They spent $100 per customer to put in an electrical meter in and establish an account with consumers. After several months they obtained only a 10% COLLECTION RATE on residential electrical service!!!!! The people hadn't been used to paying for the electricity that they consumed and just because the COMPANY had changed didn't mean that the PEOPLE and their mindset had changed.
I could not help but make a parallel between these people and the debates we here in America regarding health care. When their accounts were cut off due to non-payment they became angry and confronted the company for doing so. Many of them said that ELECTRICITY IS A HUMAN RIGHT!!!! How dare they cut off the electricity when so much of their STANDARD OF LIVING was based on their need for electricity! Many of them said that they liked things better under the Soviet Union when all of their needs were taken care of by the state. I have to give former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean credit. He made the case that once you give the masses a public benefit - it is nearly impossible to take it away from them. Truer words have never been said. The only problem is is when THE SYSTEM that had granted them this benefit has changed. When the people now have to PROVIDE FOR SELF - they are categorically unqualified to do so because of their conditioning.
The problem stemmed from the fact that the main power generation company is required to purchase natural gas in order to power the turbines that generate the electricity. The fact that they were not receiving any money from the electrical distribution company that manages the local lines and the customer accounts meant that they were losing masses of money as they operated. This fundamental resource - electricity - is the building block for all hopes at turning the economy of Georgia around.
It is sad to say but I believe that my country of the United States is moving incrementally toward the Soviet style central government resource distribution model that so many Georgians are brainwashed with. Today in America the same mindset can be found among those who are closely aligned with the government entitlement programs of all type (yes I am talking both social welfare and corporate welfare).
The movie "Power Trip" should be required viewing for all Americans as we seek to rediscover our national economic character.