December 5, 2013 |
When California's telephone market was deregulated in 2006, consumers were told that increased competition would improve service and reduce prices. It hasn't worked out like that. Carlsbad resident Steve Linke has received so-called measured service from AT&T for five years. That means he pays a flat rate each month for a limited number of local calls on his landline phone. "It's for peace of mind," Linke, 45, explained to me. "If there's an earthquake or some other major emergency, it's nice to know that we'd still have a landline to call out on when the cell towers go out. " When Linke first signed up for measured service, the rate was $5.83 a month - a relative bargain for knowing that you won't be cut off from the world when the whip comes down.
December 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg of Minneapolis admits being both a frequent flier and a frequent complainer. He flew on Northwest Airlines about 75 times a year, domestically and internationally, earning enough miles to qualify for "Platinum Elite" status. But he also complained a lot - about two dozen times in seven months, the airline says - demanding compensation for delays, lost bags and losing seats on overbooked flights that Northwest said the rabbi had reserved "with the purpose of being bumped.
May 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A New Hampshire man who had his car towed when he was in a hospital recovering from a heart attack and the amputation of his left foot won a measure of justice at the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 9-0 decision released Monday, the court said Robert Pelkey can sue Dan's City Used Cars for disposing of his towed car without telling him or paying him. The case began during a snowstorm in February 2007. Pelkey's 2004 Honda Civic was parked legally in a handicapped parking spot in his apartment complex in Manchester, but he was confined to his bed. Under the apartment's policy, cars were to be removed to clear the snow, and Pelkey's car was towed away.
February 14, 2013 |
Here's a question for you: Is there a single example of consumer prices going down and market competition increasing after deregulation of a U.S. industry? I'm serious. The phone industry? The cable industry? Regulatory oversight for both was eased - and in some cases eliminated - and look where that's gotten us. And now look at the airline industry, which witnessed its latest multibillion-dollar deal Thursday with the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, creating the world's largest carrier.
August 16, 2012
With a subtitle like "Who Stole the American Dream?" it's clear where Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher's financial meltdown documentary "Heist" is going, and it doesn't take long to get there. From an opening salvo of Occupy Wall Street protest footage, the film quickly embarks on a string of snappily edited interviews that efficiently breaks down the step-by-step deregulation of an American economy shaped by the New Deal. Ultimately reframing the advancement of free market ideology of the last four decades as class warfare against the have-nots, the documentary manages to widen its scope without losing its narrative thread.
April 20, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Members of the California Public Utilities Commission are criticizing a bill that would strip their agency of authority to regulate basic telephone services. Meeting Thursday in San Francisco, the five-member board expressed doubts about proposed legislation backed by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. The measure, SB 1161, would ensure that state agencies have "no regulatory jurisdiction or control" over telephone calls that involve sending voice signals over the Internet.