Monday, March 06, 2006

All Hail Consolidation of the Telephone Companies!

Consumer Union and other consumer "rights" outfits are gnashing their teeth over the latest re-consolidation of the telephone companies. The Red and the Black says hooray for monopoly in this industry! The problem isn't concentration of this industry per se, it's that the companies are controlled by a tiny elite of plutocrats and that there is very little control over how they run and charge you for this service. At least the Progressives and the Naderite activists of the 1960's and 70's advocated some control over industry, in Wisconsin with the Citizens Utility Board and later with the Public Intervenor, that allowed citizens to have at least a small say in rates and investment decisions. Today's crop of populist consumer rights activists actually want more capitalism that gives more opportunity for inequality, the myth of upward mobility through the market, massive opportunities for scam and hucksterism of all stripes, price gouging, overlapping services, and lots of other inefficiencies that cost us all more.

Onward to consolidation of Ma Bell and more! We want more democracy and equality not more brands of toothpaste and cellphones!

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