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November 28, 2011

What Deregulation Means for the Consumer

In the study of economics and the consumer, no activity has been more vilified in the media and liberal economic agenda more inaccurately than deregulation. Deregulation of the energy and telecommunications industry has created great opportunities for investment, growth, and jobs on the business side, while saving consumers money.

A simple example would be the electricity deregulation. In the 'old' days, the government broke the energy grid into territories and gave the utility companies a designated area. For the consumer, this meant that you had one electricity company and you paid whatever they charged. Now, under deregulation, consumers can shop around for an electricity provider and choose the pricing plan that best fits their needs. As seen in the video below, being smart about what type of energy plan you choose can easily save 10% on your electricity bills. If you spend $1,500 per year on electricity, you would be saving $150 per year!

This concept has been around in the cellular phone industry since its inception. While detractors of deregulation would argue that the industry has limited usage and raised prices as a result of this policy, simple research would find that incorrect. While Verizon and many of the large carriers have eliminated certain unlimited services and raised pricing, doing simple Google searches can lead to companies who are offering what you are looking for.

For example, everyone I spoke with in the technology field told me it was 'impossible' to get 4G home internet with unlimited usage for a good price. However, just some quick research yielded a company named CLEAR which offers unlimited 4G home internet for less than cable internet.

Some would be concerned that these are 'fly by night' companies that would scam consumers. Once again, a quick look at online reviews yields some positive feedback from sites such as PC magazine and CNet.,2817,2390517,00.asp#fbid=iVlY1Zv8ReC

Deregulation gives consumers more choice, can save hundreds of dollars per year, and help boost the economy via the ability for people to consume more.

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