An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Sam Pizzigati follows:
Americans currently pay much more for Internet than just about everybody else in the developed world. Other countries have established fast, cheap Internet access as a given of modern life. In the United States, we surf the Net at Model-T speeds — and tens of millions of Americans still have no broadband access at all.
This pitiful situation may soon get worse. Two corporate giants that share significant responsibility for our current digital state of affairs, Comcast and Time Warner, are now seeking regulatory approval for a $45 billion merger that would leave Comcast controlling the bulk of the nation’s broadband access.
In 19 of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, the “only choice for a high-capacity wired connection will be Comcast,” points out Susan Crawford, the author of last year’s widely acclaimed Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.
So how would thinking “superhighway” help us out of this mess? America’s only actual “superhighway” — our Interstate road network — demonstrates quite neatly the wonders we can realize once we start thinking about basic infrastructure as a public good, not a source of grand private fortune.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
That was a truly good read. I’m unhappy with the way the Left here in Canada isn’t talking about using government to force competition. I don’t know what that’s all about. Mind you, I can’t follow everything, 24/7, so maybe I’m being too hard on our Left. I’ll have to pop into Open Media and have a look. Maybe I’ll email someone there.
I have had this site in my blogroll for some time. I’ve collected/ bookmarked a huge pile of progressive websites over time, and added some to my own blog’s blogroll. For that reason, I’m hardly able to know all that those sites are doing. I certainly don’t come here often enough.
If Americans are at the top of countries whose citizenry are being screwed by ‘capitalists’, then Canada must be close enough to feel it’s body warmth.
I’m plowing through John Ralston Saul’s book, “The Collapse Of Globalism And The Reinvention Of The World,” and in it he talks about today’s type of capitalist. While I completely disagree with Saul on a few things (The US is a friend of Bosnia Herzogovina?! and globalism is dead?!!!), I always find him to be thought-provoking.
Managerial, or technocratic, capitalists eschew hard or aggressive thinking for easy scheming and force. And they certainly have no use for principles, let alone compassion.
“The modern obsession with size is managerial, not capitalistic. Technocrats, given a choice, will seek power through structure and the extension of structure rather than through the direct development or sale of goods. For a manager, success is measured by structural size and confirmed by bonuses.
“Their biggest problem as the structures grow larger is slowness, lack of creativity, risk aversion, stagnation at the top. The easiest way to energize such a structure is to buy another structure. This is managerial shock treatment. Bang two organizations together.
“The result has been a new world of mergers and acquisitions in which nothing is actually done, but large pieces are moved around, resulting in the effective printing of new sorts of money to finance it all…
“One fascinating aspect of gigantism is the marriage between the most superficial sort of financiers – looking for the ‘targets’ and ‘megadeals’ and ‘payoff bonanzas’ and ‘shooting for a big score’ – and the most serious of business managers, who don’t even like selling, because it is beneath them as working professionals. In their world, size replaces risk and innovation. What links the speculators and the managers is the shared assumption that size replaces the need to think.” (pages 80 & 81)