Having "nationalized" cable TV, telcos want to "nationalize" phone service next

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    We've talked before about how the telcos -- Time-Warner, AT&T and others -- have been successfully getting state legislatures to replace local cable franchises with state-wide ones, which ultimately give customers less protection and the telcos less oversight. This came about a couple of years ago when Bush's FCC issued a ruling that made it possible. It's not like the FCC came up with this because they thought it was a really great idea. The concept was actually originated by the telcos, who also wrote the bills that many state legislatures have since passed.

    Well, the telcos aren't even finished with that, and they're starting in on telephone rates:

    This is essentially the same thing that happened to cable. In that case, the issuing and supervision of cable franchises was taken away from local communities and put under state-level control. This was, they told us, a great way to foster competition and reduce prices.

    The state franchise kicked in where I live a month ago. This week I got a letter cordially informing me that my service was going up $5 a month.

    Hey, deregulation and competition work!! :rolleyes:

    So now here we are with Congress, like the FCC two years ago, poised to feather the nests of the telcos once again.

    Boy, I'm sure glad those extreme socialists in the Democratic party are protecting my ass...and yours!! :rolleyes: :mad:
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Colly-fornia
    #2
    Landline telephone providers are running scared these days. What with VoIP and mobile phones, they can read the writing on the wall. The idea of having a "local only" plan is quickly disappearing.

    And, of course, you touch on the Corporatist agenda seen running rampant through DC. Lobbyists dropping their dollars on Democrats now that they have the reigns of power. Legislation written, not to benefit the end users and taxpayers, but to benefit the officers and shareholders of the telecos. Your fee increase is barely different from a government tax increase.

    I've watched deregulation of industry fail time and again. Are our air traffic control centers so much better now than the were before Reagan deregulated that industry? In many cases, they're still using the same equipment -- only the employees make less now and have heavier workloads.

    I watched as deregulation allowed energy traders like Enron to manipulate California's electrical supply for vast profits. But, as 'Rat likes to say, there's no free lunch. Those insane profits came from somewhere, and that "somewhere" was from the pockets of California's taxpayers. Straight up transfer of wealth from the poor to the extremely-rich-and-getting-richer.

    But to a Corporatist, that's perfectly acceptable. It's just business. To the anti-Corporatists, there is little difference between the government overtaxing you and a corporation gouging you.
     
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #3
    That is very much the way I feel. And with all the people out there calling Obama some kind of socialist menace, I'm coming to believe that he's not socialist enough. Oh sure, he's moving the government heavily into failing banks, but he doesn't have much choice in that.

    What I'd like to see is a little more of the populist, the trust-buster, the guy who'll break apart companies so that they aren't all merely different tentacles of the same monster (the media being a prime example). For all of Obama's oratory about keeping lobbyists out of his administration, I'd like to see him push Congress to do the same thing.

    And don't get me started on those guys. The Democrats are just as bought as the Republicans; the only difference is that the Republicans are also insane religious nuts, and the Democrats aren't. It drives me up a wall that the Dems continue to take money from lobbyists and then write bills that favor corporations instead of the people. We need a lot fewer Joe Liebermans, and a whole lot more guys like Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich.
     
  4. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #4
    In the UK, we have had a monopoly telephone provider for some time. Yes, there are alternatives in a limited number of areas, but on the whole the only service with widespread coverage is that of British Telecom.

    And it's horrible. It used to be flawless before privatisation but now they have call centres in far flung countries and nothing ever gets done. We were promised a new phone line in our new house on the day we moved in (they physically installed the line several weeks beforehand) but when that day came there was nothing.

    Three weeks later I was finally back online. Hideous service and you really want to avoid this.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    Lemon socialism isn't socialism.

    I'd like to see him break up some of these big banks, in particular. Pre Graham-Leach-Bliley, it was illegal for these big banks to get into the insurance business. That would be a good place to start.

    We need fewer Bayhs in the Senate and Blue Dogs in the House. BTW, Lieberman doesn't count, he's not a Democrat.
     

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