May 22, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
I learned this past week, to my utter dismay, that the piggish multinational corporation AT & T had purchased American satellite TV provider DirecTV for $48 BILLION. They did so to protect themselves from the recent purchase of Time Warner Cable TV by Comcast, Inc. This is the latest in a long line of corporate mergers and buyouts that has been occurring all too frequently ever since that pro-corporate, anti-worker President Ronald Reagan took it upon himself in 1982 to stop enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act. This, along with Reagan’s dastardly attack upon striking air traffic controllers during his first term, have proven to be a foolhardy and literal disaster for all but a few 1%ers at the very top of the income scale. For the 99% MAJORITY of those below them, it began the rise of corporatism, the destruction of labor unions, and a general contempt of the federal government’s regulatory efforts which have now become so pervasive among today’s business community and has even clouded the thinking of much of our current voting public.
The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed back in 1880 to forbid certain business activities which prevented real marketplace competition from occurring. It basically created federal regulators to ensure that industries or certain businesses would not be able to set up monopolies to fix prices at a ridiculously high rate which most of the public could not afford.
Libertarians and current reactionary Tea Party-infested Republicans have long opposed ANY regulation from the federal government. Each time an attempt is made to get businesses to stop polluting, or to stop manipulating prices for top profit levels, or to deny their products access to the market due to possible toxicity concerns, these yahoos cry out with utter nonsense about how the government is trying to take over an industry; how its efforts to protect the public are too costly, inefficient, or will “cost thousands of new jobs”; and then they push for the weakening or even elimination of all federal regulations. To the new, reactionary Tea Party-infested Republican Party (led by insensitive, boisterous fools such as Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz), the federal government is nothing but a problem and not a solution, and much, of not all, of its regulation must be rolled back or done away with.
These notions are utterly absurd, of course, and should be ignored and opposed by all sane people. A very wise and visionary Franklin D. Roosevelt warned us way back in 1936 that “government by organized money is just as bad as government by organized mob.” We have unfortunately already seen what happens when federal regulation of business is weakened or eliminated altogether. For those of you who remain unconvinced, remember the Great Depression of 1929, the Great Recession of 2008, and the outsourcing of millions of good-paying American jobs to foreign slave-wage markets under the horrible “free” market economic policies of the worst administration in our history – that of George W. Bush. While you’re at it, think of how abysmally few jobs were created during that entire Bush misadministration, how your wages have stayed stagnant and your buying power has dropped tremendously since Ronald Reagan destroyed labor unions during his pro-rich, anti-worker regime, and how both Reagan AND “W” gave massive, huge tax cuts to the very rich even as they both began to reduce and / or deny federal aid to the poor and middle class. Think also of how relatively few and vastly lower-paying jobs have been created since the Great Recession of 2008; how the wealthiest 1% are getting richer and richer and RICHER all the time, while the rest of us are losing economic ground. And consider how this new reactionary, Tea Party-infested Republican Party has refused to vote for a livable minimum wage, and has voted repeatedly against numerous federal job creation programs. And then, just try to convince me that these reactionary “free market economics” policies have been beneficial to the majority of the marketplace; have increased our economic security and standard of living; and have modernized our crumbling bridges, roads, and electrical grid. You will soon discover how badly misguided this preposterous Chicago School of Economics delusion so advocated by the Milton Friedmans and the Paul Ryans of the world has been. For it should be abundantly obvious by now that trickle down economics did NOT benefit abyone but the very wealthy, nor did it create millions of good-paying jobs here in this country. It was a massive fraud, just as Paul Ryan’s Austerity Budget is now.
Regarding AT & T and DirecTV, we can be sure that once the dust settles on this purchase, THOUSANDS of employees will lose their jobs (they always do in these acquisitions), and, little by little, non-corporate TV networks like LINK YV and Free Speech TV will be removed from access to DirecTV. You can bet on it, and that is why this is so disturbing to this blogger, who believes wholeheartedly in SMALL, innovative businesses as opposed to the corporate multinational rot which surrounds us!
The course we must begin to follow is abundantly clear: we must STOP electing conservative, and especially reactionary Tea Party Republicans to high national office! Their ONLY goal is to promote big business interests and profit, to obscure and distort fact as it suits them, and they don’t care one tiny bit about the environment or the legitimate wants and needs of the lower 99% on the income scale! They will tell any lie they can to gain office, and have been busy for a long time trying to disenfranchise as many potential opposition voters as they can. They want power at any cost and do not respect democracy in the least. Therefore, they are wholly unfit to govern, and are completely unworthy of being on the public payroll! For every Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, this November, we must start electing FAR more Progressives in the mold of Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Sherrod Brown, and Bernie Sanders. For these progressives understand, and will deliver on, the wants, needs, and concerns of the small business owner as well as the workers, and the environmentalists of this country, Then and ONLY then will we see a profoundly beneficial change in the economic well-being of the 99% MAJORITY of this country!
We must completely abandon Republican economic theory. One method would be to resurrect and begin to actually once more enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act. Another would be to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, and prevent the economic meltdowns we have just begun to emerge from after 6 long years. But it actually begins with US. We must be determined to overcome corporate cash and elect only PROGRESSIVE candidates from now on! That is the ONLY way we can restore honor, fairness, equal opportunity, justice, and stability to our government!