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Where the birds send us the bill

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Suppose the government required all electric ratepayers to toss $50 each into a big pile somewhere in the desert center of Washington, for some esoteric purpose. Call it adaptive monetary habitat management. When the pile gets fair sized, say $100 million, someone from out of state walks in, takes $15 million and uses it to take all his out-of-town friends to a big salad bar in Pasco. Then he comes back the next year, and grabs another $15 million.

You assume someone would put a stop to this, even if out-of-state money snatchers are protected by the federal Migratory Salad Bar Act, or their defenders say they unjustly are made the scapegoat for the greedy ratepayers who fail to build larger piles of money.

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