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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 30, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Electricity rates: A business case against flat rates

After reading the article on Kshama Sawant’s proposal to charge a single rate for electrical power, I felt bad for her [“Sawant wants Seattle City Light to flatten rates, help residents,” Local News, Sept. 24]. Being an activist apparently leaves little time to learn about how a business works. I really wanted to help her and thought the best help might be an example: Toilet paper.

On a per-roll basis, why does a single roll of toilet paper cost more at the store than a package of twelve? It’s because the packaging and distribution costs are about the same for both. That lowers the per-roll cost on the larger quantity.

The next time Sawant is just sitting around staring at that roll next to her, maybe she’ll spend a few minutes thinking on the math of doing business. (Note to Sawant — the roll might not be to the left, sometimes good options are to the right.)

Hopefully Sawant’s next proposal won’t be to require all rolls of toilet paper to cost the same. On the other hand, why should those big corporations pay less for their toilet paper than me? And really, there has been more than one moment in my life where toilet paper has been a much higher priority than electricity.

Terry Atkins, Bellevue

Comments | More in Seattle City Light | Topics: electricity, Kshama Sawant, seattle city light

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