Robin Hood

robinHoodI don’t know about you, but I am already tired of election politics and we haven’t even really begun the race for the White House in 2016. I guess it gets on the news because people care. I don’t. Many of the people vying for my attention now will not even make it to the final round … I am busy and I just don’t have time for all this. Plus, I am tired of the number of Robin Hood personalities they all seem to want to offer.

According to Wikipedia: “Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore who, according to legend, was a highly skilled archer and swordsman. He is often portrayed as “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor” alongside his band of Merry Men. Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the late-medieval period, and continues to be widely represented in literature, films and television.”

Yep, that is about it. Let’s all rob from the rich and give it to the poor. That of course makes sense only if you are not a member of the rich class. And, given that the rich are a minority in our society and that we use democracy as our method of picking our leaders … well, you can fill in the rest.

It is interesting to me to listen to the varied points of view here. Yes, we have excesses among the wealthy. Yes, we have seen money and power corrupt. But, I have also seen examples of the wealthy doing many good and noble things in our society. Bill and Melinda Gates along with Warren Buffet and others are certainly good examples. You can always find an example of good and evil.

The Robin Hood problem is alive and well in the energy industry. It is just much more complex. We have net metering and a host of electric rate designs that are truly Robin Hood mechanisms. When the number of poor is low, these become “acceptable” taxes on the rich. The numbers of poor are growing and these taxes are about to reach or have reached the tipping point. They have certainly hit that in Hawaii and in Germany.

Politics is ugly, but it is what we have. Once again, Wikipedia is helpful here:

“A variety of methods are employed in politics, which include promoting or forcing one’s own political views among people, negotiation with other political subjects, making laws, and exercising force, including warfare against adversaries.”

The formula seems clear then. Our industry needs to do a better job at negotiation, making laws, and exercising force within our rightful playing field. Hope is not a plan. Silence is not a good strategy. Laws seem almost impossible to change or enact. And, exercising force is totally unpopular. Seems we are left with one obvious choice: negotiation.

To many who hold high principles, the idea of settling for less than the best is unpalatable. Mediation seems to some more like giving in. And, it seems to me that we have the age-old problem of seeking reasonable answers rather than attempting to solve the problem perfectly. The phrase I like is “the perfect becomes the enemy of the good.” Once again, we can find some advice in Wikipedia:

AristotleConfucius and other classical philosophers propounded the principle of the golden mean which counsels against extremism in general. The Pareto principle or 80–20 rule explains this numerically. For example, it commonly takes 20% of the full time to complete 80% of a task while to complete the last 20% of a task takes 80% of the effort. Achieving absolute perfection may be impossible and so, as increasing effort results in diminishing returns, further activity becomes increasingly inefficient.”

Negotiate with Robin Hood while there is still time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *