So why don't US citizens get this?

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Sat Jul 26 23:37:09 CDT 2008


> On Sat, 26 Jul 2008 18:53:29 -0500 (CDT)
> Joe Greco <jgreco at ns.sol.net> wrote:
> > http://www.newnetworks.com/ShortSCANDALSummary.htm
> > 
> > Obviously this has its own axe to grind, but anyone who doesn't understand
> > the fundamental truth, that the telcos greedily accepted this, took the
> > money, and then ended up complaining and lobbying until they were allowed
> > to provide much less, virtually noncompetitively, on terms extremely
> > favorable to their own interests, well, if you don't get that, you're
> > blind.
> > 
> > The problem with the free market is that it doesn't work in the public's
> > best interest, but rather in the best interest of the companies involved.
> 
> Say What?  You talk about government mandated monopolies, government
> subsidies and massive government regulation and then point to it as a
> failure of the free market?  Do you even know what "free market" means?

Yes, I do.  The free market is a system where corporations like to take 
the easiest road to do the least work to maximize profits, while everyone
else is doing the same thing.  Normally, this might merely result in the
sort of situation you have with Wal-Mart vs K-Mart vs Target, where the
consumer gets to trade off different variables (quality of goods, price
of goods, condition of store, etc).  In the case of telecommunications,
however, certain telecommunications companies looked around at the situation
and determined it was most easily accomplished by lobbying the government
for pseudo-monopoly status, in exchange for promises of an "open network,"
followed by repeated backpedaling so they wind up providing less on a
closed-to-the-competition network, and an easily hoodwinked government 
that agrees to all of this, with the end result that you wind up with a
monopoly (or duopoly).  By doing so, one (two) large corporation "wins,"
maximizing profit while minimizing expenditures *and* competition.

The free market created this situation, because, without separation of
the network from the service providers, or without stern and fair
oversight and regulation, the natural tendency of the free market system
will be for the party that owns the last mile infrastructure to see it as
"theirs" (hello Ed Whitacre!) and to try to make it as difficult as
possible for the competition.  This results in things like Ameritech
selling wholesale DSL circuits to CLEC's and ISP's for *more* than what 
they're selling them at retail for via Ameritech's own ISP service.

If it isn't readily apparent that I understand what "free market" means,
and how our government has caved in to give us anything BUT a free market,
well, sigh.  The free market has a really tough time operating in an
environment where the government ultimately enables and gives a blank
check to monopolies.

The telcos might disagree...  it's a free market...  they're free to
market whatever they want.

... JG
-- 
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.




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