At this point in our history, "de-regulation" will not result in free and competitive markets. Energy suppliers exert the same monopolistic control over markets and consumers now that the trusts did back in old T. Roosevelt's time.
We need to decide whether electricity at "a just and reasonable price" is a right of the American citizen, as FDR's administration claimed. If it is, we need to treat the providing of electrical power like we do the providing of highways, the providing of national security, the providing of an education and the providing of mail service.
When public services are placed opened to market forces choices are diminished, not increased; there would be no rural mail service if it had to be done at a profit.
Doesn't anyone see that the more we give ourselves over solely to the profit motive the worse the quality of our life gets? We complain about a degradation in "Values" in our society. Well, how can any other value be heard when everyone is shouting "How much CASH is it worth?"? And that's exactly what you do when place every necessity of life on the market.
As I see it, a person's position on this (and so many other societal "crises") is going to depend on how completely he/she believes in Capitalist dogma. To support the Bush administration's policies you need to truly believe in a few basic premises at least:
1. Free markets exist.
2. Free markets guarantee greatest choice.
3. Free markets guarantee the best price.
I might accept #2 & #3. Unfortunately, without #1 the others don't matter.
You have to also believe that the accumulation of wealth should be unrestricted and that "unleashing the power of capital" is the path toward a healthy society.
You have to forget all the lessons that we learned so well in 1929.
I don't accept capitalism without socialism anymore. The only thing Free Market Capitalism has been good at is the production of STUFF. All it's good for is exploiting people and things with an eye on personal gain.
Capitalism hasn't made us a better society. It hasn't made us happy. It has only made us "richer" in material comforts. It has created generations of asthmatics to come. It has created the bottled water industry. It has nearly buried us in our own garbage. It has turned citizens into criminals(If you don't think it's in the best interest of the liquor, plastics, tobacco and other industries to keep hemp illegal, think a little harder) and criminals into millionaires (what better example of free market capitalism is there than the cocaine trade?). And it is rapidly becoming the only game in town.