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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2000
Deregulation of utilities equals unregulated corporate greed! ROBERT E. PRESLEY West Hills
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BUSINESS
January 17, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Extending and expanding upon our recent observations about deregulation by budgetary starvation--" defund to defang " is how we put it the other day--economist Bruce Bartlett examines the sad case of the IRS. " Republicans have been playing this trick with the Internal Revenue Service for years," Bartlett writes in the Fiscal Times. "The agency has become the all-purpose whipping boy to excite Tea Party members and divert attention from the performance problems resulting directly from Congress's failure to fund it properly.
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BUSINESS
February 14, 2013 | David Lazarus
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.
BUSINESS
January 14, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
When all else fails, defund. This technique is spectacularly on display in the $1.1-trillion federal spending bill unveiled by House and Senate negotiators Monday and scheduled for debate this week. The measure provides $215 million in funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. That's one-third less than the budget the agency requested, and nearly $100 million less than it got a year ago.  " It's not everything anybody wanted, but we've been working hard at it," said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
BUSINESS
April 19, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Four out of five members of a divided California Public Utilities Commission are strongly criticizing a bill moving unopposed through the Legislature that would strip the agency of its last vestige of authority to regulate some basic telephone services. The members debated Thursday but did not vote to oppose legislation by the powerful chairman of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee at the behest of AT&T, Verizon Communications and a number of high-tech business groups.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Extending and expanding upon our recent observations about deregulation by budgetary starvation--" defund to defang " is how we put it the other day--economist Bruce Bartlett examines the sad case of the IRS. " Republicans have been playing this trick with the Internal Revenue Service for years," Bartlett writes in the Fiscal Times. "The agency has become the all-purpose whipping boy to excite Tea Party members and divert attention from the performance problems resulting directly from Congress's failure to fund it properly.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 1998
Am I missing something about electrical deregulation? Most major utilities sold their power plants to newly formed companies. These new producers have to recover their initial investment, their operation costs and make a profit. The utilities now buy their power from the Power Exchange at the going rate, which rises and falls upon demand, and resell it to the customers at a profit. They all say that this will cost the consumer less. People who think that their electric rates are not going to increase must have their heads in the sand.
BUSINESS
May 10, 1999 | Bloomberg News
The European Union will end its flirtation with government-funded job creation policies when finance ministers meet today to endorse deregulation, wage restraint and the expansion of stock markets as ways of spurring the economy, officials said.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2013 | David Lazarus
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.
NATIONAL
December 3, 2013 | By David G. Savage
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.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
February 14, 2013 | David Lazarus
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
April 18, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — An industry-backed bill that would preempt state agencies from regulating Internet-enabled voice and data transmissions won unanimous approval from a state Senate committee in its first legislative hearing. Amid protests from consumer advocates, the bill's author, Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), tried to downplay the significance of the measure, which proponents said would simply lock the state's current hands-off policy into law. Such a reiteration of existing practices would give Silicon Valley businesses "the certainty" to continue developing innovative, Internet-powered products and programs, Padilla argued at a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee.
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