This week I will talk about communications and media and build on the mission behind the capture of media in the US and how it allows the advancement of what will become a very third world autocratic society if left unchecked. The important thing to remember is that the US Constitution was written just to keep this mission from happening and so all of what is being done can be reversed easily if we shake these Clinton and Bush pols out of the Democratic and Republican Parties.
As I said the national labor union and justice organization leadership are tied to Clinton neo-liberals and working against their US membership. They push the same sound bites and talking points Congressional neo-liberals adopt each year knowing that these issues mean nothing as the larger national policies are installed. It's like placing a finger in a leaking dyke and telling people that is the solution when you know the entire dyke is ready to collapse. This is the mainstream media and communications being sent by Clinton neo-liberals in Congress and then sent by national labor and justice leaders. I mentioned Human Rights Watch being a Clinton neo-liberal organization that would never tell you neo-liberalism and Federalism Act in the US creates the Human Rights problems---
Consolidation of media as with the consolidation of all industries has allowed this information capture as has the FCC dismantling of equal opportunity and access ----fair and balanced laws. This happens because the Executive----whether President Obama, Governor O'Malley, or Mayor Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore appoints people to head communications that will limit speech and Democratic balance.
IT MATTERS WHO YOU VOTE FOR IN THESE PRIMARY ELECTIONS. IF ALL CANDIDATES IN A RACE ARE ESTABLISHMENT ----BE THE CANDIDATE IN THE PRIMARY TO GET RID OF THESE INCUMBENT CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS.
When I read on social media that O'Malley looks good as a 'progressive' candidate people pull from a Baltimore Sun article. Maryland has consolidated all of its media outlets with the Baltimore Sun taking all of the smaller news journals in central Maryland;; the Washington Post taking all small media journals in the Washington beltway; and Johns Hopkins taking all of public media radio. All of these have head editors making sure headlines are good for these corporate pols----whether neo-con or neo-liberal and that no progressive issues have a voice. So, if you live in Ohio reading media about a Maryland candidate for national office-----do not go to that state's media outlets. I would never research an Ohio candidate by reading Ohio's mainstream media.
IT IS ALL CAPTURED FOLKS---UNTIL WE GET RID OF THE CORPORATE POLS WE NEED TO FIND OTHER SOURCES FOR OUR POLICY INFORMATION. REMEMBER, WHEN CORPORATIONS ARE LYING, CHEATING, STEALING THEN THE INFORMATION YOU ARE GETTING IS CORRUPT AS WELL.
Today I would like to look at the national media ---TV, radio, internet news to see communication policy that is bad for the American people. Below you see a typical headline in national media---it doesn't matter from where it came because all media writes like this. The neo-liberal goals from Clinton to Obama was to redistribute wealth to the top and dismantle all of the personal wealth baby boomers accumulated. They are ignoring contract agreements for pensions----they allowed public Trusts to be looted with no plans to recover that wealth----and the economic policy of boom and bust and FED policy was meant to keep the American people unable to keep or gain wealth. IT IS THE GOAL OF NEO-LIBERAL POLICY ALONG WITH REPUBLICANS. If media said that then people would know -----do vote for Clinton neo-liberals. Instead, media tells us all this is a done deal. Progressive liberal media outlets after the 2008 crash shouted all of this but by 2010----all progressive liberal voice was replace by only neo-liberal voice.
I have talked at length as to why all of the information below is not true---from the percentage of retirees coming to retirement too poor to the low level of personal assets since people's homes, retirements, savings, pensions were lost from fraud an need to simply come back in some form---that is what expanded Social Security would do.
Note as well AARP----which is now simply a corporation not working for the interest of seniors----
5 Frightening Retirement Statistics That Demonstrate Baby Boomers Are in Serious Trouble
By Sean Williams
April 19, 2015
Source: AARP, Facebook.
The stock market may have staged an incredible rally since the lows of 2009, but for some skittish baby boomers (those Americans born between 1946 and 1964) this move comes too little, too late.
A number of factors have combined to shatter the dreams of a comfortable retirement for select boomers. A volatile stock market is just one of many factors that may not have worked in their favor in recent years.
For example, historically low lending rates for the past six years have stymied any chance for boomers to safely outpace inflation with bank CDs and money market accounts. Additionally, the three decade-long shift from pensions as a retirement driver to the 401(k) has moved the onus of retirement savings from employer to employee. What's left are a handful of boomers suddenly realizing the path to retirement is laid on their shoulders, not their employers, and they aren't prepared.
A number of new reports have hit the newswires recently chronicling the under-preparedness of baby boomers for retirement, and the figures they present are downright frightening. Here are five such statistics that demonstrate just how serious of trouble the baby boomer generation could be in.
1. Approximately four-in-10 baby boomers have nothing saved for retirement.
According to a recently released study from the Insured Retirement Institute, just 69% of still working Boomers have money socked away for their retirement, while just 50% of already retired boomers have money saved. In other words, half of all retired boomers are living off of Social Security income, pensions, and other forms of recurring income, rather than retirement savings accounts. For added context, in 2011, 84% of working boomers have put away money for retirement, and 69% of retired boomers had money saved for retirement.
2. 36% of boomers plan to rely on Social Security as their primary source of income.
A recently released study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) noted that the most commonly given answer from baby boomers as to where the majority of their income in retirement would come from was "Social Security" with 36%. This was closely followed by retirement accounts/savings at 34%, and company-funded pensions in a distant third with 12%.
Source: SSA Office of the Inspector General.
This is particularly concerning because the Social Security Administration notes that Social Security income is only designed to replace about 40% of a workers' salary and not be a primary source of income. As an added complication, the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Trust Fund (a combination of the OASI and DI) is on pace to exhaust its cash reserves by 2033, meaning if Congress can't figure out a way to raise revenue, cut benefits, or some combination of the two, qualified beneficiaries will see a 23% reduction to their full retirement benefit.
3. Early boomer households are facing average shortfalls of $71,299 per individual in a family.
A study released in February from the Employee Benefit Research Institute offered a minor ray of sunshine by pointing out that 56.7% of early boomers are on track to meet their financial retirement needs. However, in instances where early boomers aren't prepared and a shortfall is expected, early boomers can expect an average shortfall of $71,299 per individual in a family, $93,576 for single males, and a whopping $104,821 for single females. In sum, this isn't an overnight fix.
Let's not forget as well that life expectancies are on the rise in the U.S., meaning retirement income needs to last longer than ever.
Source: AARP, Facebook.
4. 19% of baby boomers who are offered a 401(k) or similar retirement plan don't participate.
Another frightening statistic from the recent TCRS report is that nearly one-in-five (19%) baby boomers who were offered the chance to participate in an employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement plan chose not to.
Not only does this hamper boomers' potential to save for retirement, but in some instances I'd have to believe that boomers might be leaving what's essentially free money on the table in the form of company-sponsored matching contributions. Although not every company will match a percentage of your contributions, 401(k)helpcenter.com data shows that 78% of employers match employee contributions to at least some degree.
Also noteworthy, nearly a quarter (23%) of boomers with 401(k)s or IRAs have a taken a loan out against their retirement account or made an early withdrawal.
5. Full-time workers have a Retire Ready Index Score of just 4.1 out of 10, while retirees scored 5.5 out of 10.
Lastly, a study conducted by Voya Financial last summer of all workers (not just boomers) and retirees (again, all retirees, not just boomers) that rated respondents on a scale of 1-to-10 based on financial preparedness suggested that neither workers nor retirees have adequate knowledge, planning, or assets for retirement.
Voya's survey was broken into three categories: knowing, planning, and having. In terms of knowing workers scored a 5.8, while retirees chimed in at a respectable score of 7. However, planning and having scores for both workers and retirees were dismal, including a "planning" score of 3 for workers. In other words, Americans generally have an OK understanding of the basics of retirement – identifying compounding principles, figuring out which investments possess less risk, and so on – but their application of these tools, such as forming a budget and a financial plan of action, is terrible.
Source: AARP, Facebook.
Three things for boomers to consider
With time being the greatest ally of any investor, and boomers potentially losing some of that leverage as they near retirement, here are three things they can consider right now in order to get their retirement back on the right path.
First, consider working past pre-set and psychological retirement ages of 65 or 66. More than a third of boomers in the Insured Retirement Institutes' survey already planned to work past 70, which may wind up being a wise course of action. If boomers can delay the need to file for Social Security benefits by using working income to live off of, they could potentially wait until age 70 to claim Social Security benefits in order to maximize their income, which could be a big help if their retirement savings aren't where they should be.
Secondly, boomers should seriously consider opening and/or contributing to a Roth IRA. To begin with it's never too late to start investing for your future, and with life expectancies approaching 79 years in the U.S. the chance of your future extending further into the horizon is increasing. More importantly, though, a Roth IRA offers a number of unique advantages to boomers. You'll have a catch-up contribution of an extra $1,000 you can invest annually because you're over 50 years old, the capital gains earned over the long-term are completely tax-free, and with a Roth you aren't required to stop making contributions or to take contributions by a certain age unlike a Traditional IRA.
Third, for those boomers who've been hit especially hard since the recession it may not be a bad idea to consult with an advisor. Consulting with a financial professional isn't "giving up" or a sign that you've failed, but merely a way to ensure your avenues to prosperity stay open. It also can be good to get a fresh pair of eyes on your financial situation to catch anything you may have missed. Keep in mind, however, that even if you choose to go with a financial advisor you are still in the driver's seat of your own retirement.
We are hearing on national media that the FCC is taking a stance on net neutrality that is positive for this issue. At the same time we are seeing TV advertizing that shows internet providers creating new categories of fees for simple things like download speeds and watching as our computers crash and freeze because video attached to an article or website we want to open causes the computer to freeze. If you note-----corporations can place these videos on any article so it makes sense to place a video on progressive articles to make them hard to impossible to open. That has been happening for a year now as I know I cannot open many progressive articles I used to access.
The other thing we hear on TV are advertisements from Verizon that now they are offering network packaging of shows that compete with cable corporations 100 shows in a package. That is not bad----but what it is designed to do is move people from cable to internet with a goal of ending the cable TV source of communications. Think what we have as choices right now----Verizon and Comcast price fix these services by offering the same things for the same price. So, we can go to cable or satellite dish for a discount. Verizon is now putting cable out of business by offering what everyone wants---the opportunity to choose what shows they want in a package. You say----well, that's simply competition----
NO, LOOK AT COMCAST TO SEE IT IS THE CABLE GUY THAT CONSOLIDATED TO BECOME THE INTERNET GUY SO THEY DO NOT CARE IF CABLE IS PUT OUT OF BUSINESS....
So, these US telecommunications corporations are already global and as the article shows below----one telecommunications corporation in Mexico was handed all of Mexico's public telecommunications and now has almost complete control. Look at AT& T moving in and you see what is happening in the US-----consolidation and elimination of other communication vehicles and we have no media control in the US.
The telephone giant may divest assets beyond the eastern coast of Mexico, to the west coast and the border with the U.S., Slim said in an October interview with Bloomberg. América Móvil is believed to have contacted potential suitors, including AT&T and SoftBank Corp., about buying as much as $17.5 billion worth of assets.
Currently, América Móvil controls 70% of the mobile phone market in Mexico, and 80% of the country’s landlines.
This is happening while Obama and his FCC chair is in place and these deals are being allowed because of how anti-trust is defined. We will see Verizon and Comcast eliminate all other carriers and then they will merge into one great big telecommunication corporation in the US just as Mexico's public telecommunications was handed to Carlos Slim
Monday, February 17, 2014 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES |
Former FCC Commissioner Warns About Comcast-Time Warner Merger, "Mindless" Media Consolidation
Comcast has announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable at a cost of more than $45 billion in stock. The takeover would allow Comcast to provide cable service to a third of American households and give it a virtual monopoly in 19 of the 20 largest media markets. While Comcast has claimed the deal will be "pro-consumer," the group Free Press warns the deal would be a "disaster" for consumers. Analysts predict Comcast will launch a lobbying blitz similar to when it won approval to take over NBCUniversal in 2011. Comcast has already hired FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who signed off on its NBC deal. We speak to another former FCC commissioner, Michael Copps. He now leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.
Transcript This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show with the news that the nation’s two largest cable providers plan to merge. Comcast has announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable at a cost of more than $45 billion in stock. The takeover would allow Comcast to provide cable service to a third of American households and give it a virtual monopoly in 19 of the 20 largest media markets.
Consumer groups say they’ll oppose the deal. Free Press said, quote, "In an already uncompetitive market with high prices that keep going up and up, a merger of the two biggest cable companies should be unthinkable. This deal would be a disaster for consumers and must be stopped," Free Press said. But Comcast CEO Brian Roberts appeared on CNBC and praised the deal as "pro-competitive" and "pro-consumer."
BRIAN ROBERTS: We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. It’s a really special transaction for both Time Warner Cable and for Comcast—shareholders, our employees, and mostly our customers. The deal is pro-competitive. It’s pro-consumer. We’re going to be able to bring better products, faster Internet, more channels, on-demand, TV everywhere, and a national local platform that’s really special. So, we’re optimistic we can get this approved.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
For more, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Michael Copps, member of the Federal Communications Commission from 2001 to 2011, now leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.
Show Full Transcript ›
Below you see Obama's FCC passing what looks to be good net neutrality law and it is ----there is nothing bad about this policy-----making the designation of internet as utility is what we wanted. Keep in mind----Obama is pushing at the same time as hard as he can with Congressional neo-liberals behind him Trans Pacific Trade Pact.
TPP seeks to allow global corporations to operate in the US ignoring any US labor and justice laws that take from profit----well, this FCC standing does just that----it would not stand under TPP. This is what I call progressive posing. Obama is doing this now because of the coming 2016 election to take the heat off of Clinton neo-liberals in elections hoping people will actually think someone is protecting them when in fact all the national policies that will end net neutrality are continuing to move forward.
As you see below-----US mainstream media all stated simply that this rule was passed and net neutrality in place without outing Obama for his duplicity in ending net neutrality with TPP.
For those not old enough to remember pre-Clinton news media---it was the job of the journalist to out Obama and Clinton neo-liberals for this posing. Balance in media----and history and goals of policy were always given as with a politician's voting record so citizens knew policy from all angles. This article shows---US media now simply prints from day to day what happened that day with no context.
The headline should be OBAMA AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS PRETEND TO SUPPORT A PROGRESSIVE ISSUE WHILE MOVING POLICY FORWARD TO KILL THIS VERY POLICY ALL BECAUSE OF COMING 2016 ELECTION.
FCC passes net neutrality rules
02/26/15 01:26 PM--Updated 02/26/15 04:44 PM
By Julianne Pepitone, NBC News
Ater more than a year of heated public debate, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday passed “net neutrality” rules: They allow the agency to prohibit Internet service providers from granting faster access to companies that pay for the privilege.
The new rules treat broadband providers as “common carriers” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act – the same category as utility companies that provide gas, electricity, etc. – in which all customers have equal access to service.
As was expected, the FCC commissioners voted along party lines with the three Democrats voting for the rules and two Republicans voting against.
Opinion: Internet rights are civil rights
“There are countries where it is routine for government, not the consumer, to determine who has access and what kind of content can be accessed by its citizens,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at the meeting on Thursday. “I am proud to be able to say we are not one of them.”
The fight leading up to Thursday’s vote drew public debate – the FCC received more than 4 million public comments – and was generally split between content providers like Netflix and Google, in favor, and Internet providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, against. (Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and NBC News.)
Who’s for and who’s against
Supporters of net neutrality have said allowing Internet “fast lanes” would unfairly raise prices on content services, as they would need to pay providers (and ultimately raise prices for their services) if they want to avoid slow speeds for customers.
But net neutrality opponents say the Title II designation will stifle innovation in broadband. Last May a group of CEOs from Internet providers including AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and Comcast sent a letter to the FCC arguing the new classification allows the FCC to conduct “unprecedented government micromanagement of all aspects of the Internet economy.”
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai reflected that philosophy in his dissenting remarks on Thursday. “Title II is not just a solution in search of a problem,” he said. “It’s a government solution that creates a real-world problem.”
Changes for consumers?
Open-Internet activists are cheering Thursday’s vote, but Kevin Werbach, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told NBC News on Wednesday that not much will change immediately for the average consumer.
“The day after the FCC order, your broadband will still cost the same amount as it did before,” Werbach said. “Since 2010, there has been a set of rules, but it was unclear if those rules were enforceable. All this ruling means is that there will be FCC jurisdiction to examine practices and hear complaints.”
The new rules are also expected to trigger lawsuits – AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC earlier this month “there will be litigation” – that could drag on for an extended period.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com
Of course Net Neutrality will be wiped out by TPP as all Clinton neo-liberals know----if we educate that this is good policy but the pols doing it are posing having the opposite goal----then the American people will be able to understand-----DON'T VOTE FOR A POL THAT IS SIMPLY PROGRESSIVE POSING!
Remember, America has anti-trust and monopoly laws in the Constitution that simply need to be enforced---get rid of Clinton neo-liberals and getting a REAL progressive liberal in place will allow all these policies be voided and global corporations downsized.
THAT IS THE NEWS YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION SHOULD BE SHOUTING.
If a national labor union like AFL-CIO are shouting for net neutrality and not outing Obama and Clinton neo-liberals are posing----those leaders are working against this issue. They will use it as a reason to support Clinton neo-liberals in 2016----
BUT THEY PROTECTED NET NEUTRALITY I CAN HEAR IT NOW!
This article does a good job showing how the most important issue in US history is rarely even mentioned on mainstream media and if it is ----it is shown as a job creating trade pact only.
Will the Net Neutrality Victory Be Wiped Out by the TPP?
Posted by WiseFather on 02/05/2015
FCC Chairman Wheeler’s announcement about net neutrality is a great win for everybody that doesn’t own a broadband provider. Of course, the more corporate your news source, the more negative the reaction you’ll see to the announcement. The FCC’s move is a step in the right direction for securing the most internet freedom for the most people.
However, it’s possible that defeat could be snatched from the jaws of victory if a new trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), passes Congress. According to leaks from the secret negotiations, the TPP would allow multinational corporations to easily challenge all regulations that impact its profit. Yes, this is an attack on our sovereignty and the Constitution.
So any future consumer-friendly regulation of the Internet providers by the FCC could be overturned if the TPP is passed. Here’s a great description of the part that could be used to upend net neutrality:
Just one example of this is the “investor-state dispute settlements” provision, which I have called “corporate courts.” This part of “NAFTA-style” trade agreements, including TPP, allows corporations to sue governments that pass laws and regulations that interfere with profits. Similar clauses in trade agreements around the world have, for example, enabled tobacco companies to sue governments for trying to protect the health of their citizens. Under TPP these suits will be adjudicated by corporate attorneys, not democratically constituted courts.
Most people have never even heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, perhaps only being vaguely aware that Obama’s pushing for some kind of trade deal. The TPP is extremely important, yet it continues to get almost no coverage in the corporate, mainstream media:
Over The Past 18 Months, Network Evening News Completely Ignored The TPP. A Media Matters transcript search of the CBS Evening News, ABC’s World News Tonight, and NBC’s Nightly News from August 1, 2013, through January 31, 2015, found no mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. By contrast, PBS NewsHour mentioned the TPP on during eight broadcasts, most of which were substantive discussions of the trade agreement.
So, the public is left to fend for themselves and seek out information about the TPP from smaller media sources. Try the ones below for a good overview of the issue, then contact your Congresscritter.
Call me crazy but if you Google computer crash and freezing all you see are tips regarding viruses and the need to clean your hard drive and no doubt-----this really does create performance issues. But, as we see below it seems more likely to be part of moving the internet to different speeds. I know it has been bad on computers I use for over a year. Verizon openly advertises SPEED MATCH as if down loads and up loads are two different things ----all of this is tied to ending net neutrality. So, will this move forward as communications take this to Federal court? Of course -----and will TPP be voted into place before this gets out of Federal court -----absolutely.
This FCC stance would have happened in 2009 when Obama was just elected and consolidations would have been stopped if there was any intent on Clinton neo-liberal Obama to protect the people in these deals. When they come at the end of a two year term full of expansion and consolidation---THIS IS PROGRESIVE POSING.
Having this ruling in place while electing a progressive President like Bernie Sanders would mean you would have someone in place that would fight TPP and in Federal court. Elect a Clinton neo-liberal like Hillary, Biden, Cuomo, O'Malley, or Reich-----and you will get a President that allows TPP to stand and allows this Federal case to die on the vine.
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Europe still has a functioning anti-trust and monopoly enforcement and as you see below----have a long history of breaking up US telecommunication corporations hold on European markets. Look at how Google corrupts search results making all we see ---from what makes the front of the list in searches to the advertisements ---all determined by profit. We used to have an internet that showed search results by how much interest an article had with viewers. Guess where articles critical of government or corporations and/or progressive articles are usually found-----I go to page 25 of the search results on a topic to find relevant articles.
Antitrust Law in the European Union
By Larry Bumgardner, JD
2005 Volume 8 Issue 3
Major differences have existed in enforcement of antitrust law in the U.S. and the European Union. However, recent political changes and new regulations in the EU could have significant impact on business decisions for global companies.
After walking away without so much as a slap on the wrist from a U.S. antitrust investigation, Google is about to get into a major fist fight with the European Union. If Google (GOOGL, Tech30) loses, it will get pummeled. The EU wants blood.
Google faces a fine of up to $6 billion -- more than a quarter's worth of profits for the search company. It also could have to change the way it displays search results in the EU (the changes wouldn't affect results in other countries, including the United States).
The European Commission's main complaint with Google involves the way it favors its own search results above competitors'. The most relevant links are not always listed first on Google.
For example, people searching for "running watch" will see photos, prices, ratings and links to five watches from companies that paid Google to advertise on the site. They won't see Amazon or other rivals' results listed first, and they're not necessarily seeing the best or most relevant products at the top of the results. "It's not based on the merits of Google shopping that it always comes up first in search," Europe's top anti-trust official Margrethe Vestager said. "Dominant companies can't abuse their dominant position to create advantage in related markets."
The fact that the EU brought the case against Google isn't surprising. The European Commission has been probing Google's business practices in fits and starts for five years, spanning two different commissioners who have made countless threats against the search company.
Just when it seemed like Google had gained the upper hand, the European Parliament voted in favor of a non-binding resolution to break up Google, the EC voted in a new competition commissioner, and the tide turned against the search company.
The EU has also been notoriously harsh on U.S. tech companies.
WHO IS HURT MOST BY DEREGULATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF UTILITIES? MOST OF SENATOR PUGH'S CONSTITUENTS----GET RID OF SENATOR PUGH!
- Senator Pugh from Baltimore is the biggest corporate shill in the world and if deregulation and consolidation of our local and state utilities is to occur as under O'Malley she is right there to present that bill. Nothing shouts I AM A REPUBLICAN than handing control of our public utilities and deregulating so they can do anything they want than this. SO WHY DOES BALTIMORE'S POLS RUN AS DEMOCRATS AS THEY WORK FOR A VERY NEO-CONSERVATIVE JOHNS HOPKINS WHO IS BEHIND THESE POLICIES?!
Public Utilities - Telecommunications Law - Modernization
Bill Number: SB0577Bill Sponsor(s): Sen. Pugh Committee: FinanceBill Summary: This bill would deregulate the landline telecommunication industry in Maryland, by:
- Allowing telecom service providers to detariff their services while posting their rates and charges on a public website
- Removing the need for the PSC to approve service rates
- Allowing telephone companies to discontinue regulated retail services upon written notice to the PSC (14 days’ notice)
- Removing PSC oversight of certain corporate transactions between affiliates
- Allow traditional telephone companies to provide service using any available, lawful technology, including fiber-to-the-home networks
- The fiber network is a superior network – more capacity, more capabilities, and fewer repairs. It’s less susceptible to outages caused by the weather.
- Operating two parallel networks is inefficient and costly.
Chamber Staff: Mathew Palmer
Below you see the problem that exists when a Clinton neo-liberal controls the Democratic Party. Look at the Democratic Platform to see nowhere does it say ------hand control of the entire US economy to global corporations to kill Democracy in America!
Each time a President from Clinton to Obama allows these policies the US media -----labor and justice organizations should be shouting----WHERE IS THE ANTI-TRUST ENFORCEMENT-----When a national labor union or justice organization leader supports a Clinton neo-liberal every election cycle this is what they know will occur.
Telecommunications are key to this capture of our media and it is the basis for the NSA spying and surveillance. It would be impossible for hackers and spying if our utilities were small. Here in Maryland O'Malley made his entire terms in office about consolidating all utilities to create monopolies yet media is ready to paint O'Malley as progressive.
ByJeffrey PfefferMoneyWatchDecember 8, 2009, 4:20 PM
Ignoring Antitrust Laws Breeds Bullies and Bailouts
Last Updated Dec 8, 2009 4:20 PM EST
For decades now, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, antitrust enforcement in the United States has been virtually nonexistent. Companies have been gobbling up competitors in industries ranging from oil (Chevron buying Texaco) to software (Oracle buying PeopleSoft, which had already purchased J. D. Edwards) to banking (NationsBank merging with Bank of America) to pharmaceuticals (Pfizer's purchase of Wyeth). The reason for such lax oversight: a perspective out of the University of Chicago maintaining that there are relatively few real monopolies, markets are largely self-correcting, and government regulators and policy makers are not to be trusted to make economic decisions.
Numerous bad consequences flow from this misguided policy - or absence of policy. One is higher prices. There just might be some connection between the rise in pharmaceutical prices and the fact that this industry has seen mega-mergers among the major players for years.
Another is the recent financial meltdown and the taxpayer funds that have been expended to address it. How did so many financial institutions become "too big to fail" without imposing unreasonable systemic burdens and risks? Because no antitrust oversight precluded the numerous mergers and takeovers that created a financial landscape in which a few behemoths held most of the deposits and made most of the mortgages. And the "solution" to this problem, caused in part by having institutions too big to fail? Combine those entities with other, larger financial organizations - leaving mortgage markets, deposits, commercial loans, and investment banking even more concentrated than before.
Other negative effects on innovation and entrepreneurship have implications for the long-run competitiveness of the U.S. economy. To oversimplify somewhat, businesses can compete in basically two ways:
- Offer a superior value proposition in the marketplace - the bundle of product and service features coupled with the price.
- Use size and market power to bully or bribe your customers and forestall competitive entry.
All too many companies use their size and market power to intimidate or bribe customers into not pursing new offerings that may be beneficial. Intel recently paid an antitrust settlement of more than $1 billion. Although the company denied any guilt, the allegations were that Intel gave money to customers that would stop using AMD's chips. Oracle's strategy of using its vast cash hoard to "consolidate" the software industry - acquiring companies that make competitive and complementary products - provides it the market power to forestall customer defection even if the customers are unhappy, because they have few to no options left.
And then there is IBM. According to one knowledgeable industry source, more than half of IBM's profits still come from its mainframe business - and some of you thought mainframe computers were relics of the past! This fact is scarcely surprising when you think about how many mainframe competitors are left in the marketplace - approximately none - how many legacy applications and systems still run on large mainframes, and how long, costly, and difficult it is to migrate to new platforms. IBM will do anything to protect its mainframe business and margins. As Ashlee Vance details in her New York Times blog post, it's threatened customers with legal action for considering software that saves processing power and time, such as that provided by Neon Enterprise Software, and it's threatened other retaliatory moves, such as withdrawing support from customers' mainframe operations.
Fortunately, the European Union's antitrust authority has seen fit to be somewhat more active than its U.S. counterpart. The E.U. has given Intel, Microsoft, and now Oracle (with its proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems) trouble. Instead of complaining about the EU and its "bureaucrats," as many of my high-tech friends do, people should appreciate the importance of antitrust enforcement.
Markets provide numerous benefits in the allocation of resources and in stimulating invention and the renewal of companies and industries. But markets need competition to work properly. Competition requires competitors and a game that is not rigged in favor of the large, powerful, and politically well-connected incumbents. The importance of getting this policy right is huge, both for the companies adversely affected and for the economy as a whole.