Hey Jim Desmond — SDG&E’s Proposed Fixed-Rate Structure Is Definitely NOT ‘Socialism’

by on April 25, 2023 · 3 comments

in Energy, San Diego

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond on KUSI.

There are certainly plenty of problems with a recent proposal by California electric companies to break up monthly charges by the amount of energy used and the income of the household.

SDG&E and other giant utility companies have submitted a joint proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission which outlined a fixed-rate restructuring based on household income. In short, higher income earners would be charged more than those who make less than them.

Currently, SDG&E customers pay the highest rates in the country even while they’re charged for how much electricity their household uses, and how that electricity is delivered.

Yet, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond — a conservative Republican who often appears on San Diego’s most right-wing  TV station – has called the proposal “socialism in its finest.”

We had to laugh out loud when Desmond’s analysis was first heard. This is definitely NOT socialism, Jim. (How would you know what socialism is, by the way? You’re way over there next to the far-right.)

Firstly, SDG&E is certainly NOT a socialist enterprise.  SDG&E is a full on capitalist corporation. It’s a monopoly yes, but our elected officials approved their most recent contract here in San Diego.

SDG&E answers only to their investors; it has a board of directors whose only concern is the bottom line of profit. Desmond, that’s profit – the shrine of capitalism. They don’t share their profits with the community — as some socially-minded companies do.

Desmond does have some valid criticisms of SDG&E’s new deal, but it’s not because it’s “socialistic.”

Here’s a brief definition of socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

The right has for the last century conjured up the “socialist” boogeyman whenever politics gets tight and the right has to explain themselves for their failings. Rightwing politicians continue to this day to rail against those “socialist Democrats” during election season.

Desmond, have you ever met Bernie Sanders – the man who made “democratic socialist” a household word? He’s a nice guy, very popular with the young, and he’s been through a lot. Give him a call, ask him to explain socialism to you.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

kh May 2, 2023 at 4:16 pm

No it is not socialism. But it’s Marxism. It’s a mechanism for redistribution of wealth. One might have a good or bad opinion of that depending on their situation.

One thing I do know, is that untethering half of our SDG&E fees from our current use-based billing will absolutely not encourage conservation.


Frank Gormlie May 2, 2023 at 4:20 pm

Nah, ain’t “marxism” either, whatever that is. But you’re right on about the “untethering half of our SDG&E fees from our current use-based billing will absolutely not encourage conservation.”


Autumn May 20, 2023 at 9:27 am

You are right, politically we are not a socialist country so it’s not literal socialism as dictated by the government. It is, however, the type of policy you would see in a socialist country. Start speaking to refugees and immigrants from current and former socialist countries and see what their perspective is. I am first generation here and I’m in a community of approximately 300+ of former citizens of a former socialist country and most of them would use the word socialism to best convey what is happening here. The perspective of people who have lived it is that this proposal (among others) at least REMINDS them of the socialism they’ve lived.

In the end, we can get stuck on literal definitions and get into philosophical debates about words or we can acknowledge what a poor proposal this is and hopefully agree on that piece and prevent it from moving forward. I don’t care what you call it, socialism, Marxism, capitalism. Who cares. Its horrible.

On a side note, let me know what other choice or options we have, where is the competition? If this goes forward are there any other options? Because that would be a useful article to read.


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