Is it fair to profit from a necessary service and perhaps deny the service to those who can't pay?
It's rather sad to me that anyone would see the denial of something basic to a person just because of money as anything other than a bad thing.
Once upon a time, there were settlements and cities in some areas, but there was plenty of open land. Someone could decide to "opt out" of the "society" and go live on their own. Live off the land. Hunt, gather, and scavenge for food, use lakes and rivers for water, and just generally live the way it had been done by various species for millions of years.
That's no longer the case. You CAN'T opt out. You can't live off the land, because it's been decided that land that was here for billions of years before people suddenly is owned by this relatively new species who can determine who can and can't use it, and anything on it.
So if someone can't get along well in the society, well, they can't leave it. If someone can't pay for food, they can't just go out and find some, because it's already owned by other people. And in many places, they can't even do that with water because some megacorp was there first and used it as a waste dump. (Yes I'm a silly tree-hugger because I don;t think a megacorp has the right to turn a lake into a sludge pit)
So now that we've taken away the right to find food and water, and even shelter (find me a cave that isn't owned and a public or private park, or a place where someone can chop down trees and make their own shelter without being arrested), we're going to try and find a way to feel like we're doing the right thing by denying it to people?
It seems only a step away from doing the same with oxygen - either allowing the atmosphere to be owned, or be so polluted that we have to buy air to breath, and letting people suffocate if they can't afford it.
When a few smaller competitive companies can replace state-sponsored monopolies, the government should make sure that the competition is encouraged and that profit is the main incentive.
That would be fine if we knew that profit as incentive would always encourage them to provide the best and most efficient product. But we all know that when the goal is money, the most effective way to get that money becomes the method used, and if that means manipulating the market via intentional shortage, inferior services, or the like so as to maximize profit, then that's how it's done.
I see it claimed over and over that a free market is always the most efficient, that it produces the best results. Heck, Adam Smith/Ayn Rand worshipping libertarians seem to use it as a mantra. But honestly, I've only seen it as an assertion, nothing else. I still believe that it's only the most efficient and best way to generate profit, and that only part of the time will any side effects like the quality of the product/service produced also happen to be the best, and that other times the public good is just another casualty, and with a public utility, that doesn't seem acceptable.