Will Monopolies Steal the Infrastructure Money?

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    • #448397
      ZimInSeattle
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      • Total Posts: 2,440

      We tend to talk about infrastructure in terms of spending amounts. But infrastructure in a monopoly-dominated economy is not just about money, it’s about who governs.

      Today I’m writing about the Congressional debate over what we call ‘infrastructure,’ meaning our ports, roads, railroads, broadband, and the physical plant on which the U.S. operates. In this debate, there’s a lot of focus on the amounts of money, but not a lot on the rules setting market power over these different sectors. So that’s what I’m going to write about, specifically looking at two sectors, railroads and broadband. Both of these sectors have been critical during the pandemic.

      Also, I’ll have some stats on the extent of shortages in the U.S., and a few thoughts on the Facebook whistleblower who released a tranche of sensitive documents over the last few weeks.

      First, some house-keeping. I turned the series of shortages into a piece for the Guardian that went sort of viral. I’m getting a lot more tantalizing tidbits on what is happening in the guts of U.S. supply chains, more on that in future issues.

      And now…

      Here’s a 2010 map of public requests for Google Fiber to enter their community and deliver high-speed broadband.

      Why Does Rural England Have Better Broadband than Manhattan?

      A few months ago, I got a note from a reader deeply involved in broadband policy. He wanted to explain why competition, and not just investment, is a driving factor in what kinds of internet access we get. Here’s what he wrote:

      Can you imagine living in a place where internet service can be as fast as 3 gigabits per second, there are lots of internet providers, and they compete on speed, price, and quality of service?  If you lived in London, UK, or indeed in York or rural England or much of Europe (where the average price of an internet connection is about $20 a month cheaper than in the US), you wouldn’t have to imagine, this would be your reality.  But as any of your readers in the US know from their own experience, this is not the experience we have in the US.  Why not? 

      More: https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/will-monopolies-steal-the-infrastructure

      "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK "If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth." ~ Julian Assange #SurviveAndRevolt

    • #448398
      Electrolyte Orchestra
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      • Total Posts: 393

      The moment I saw Mayo Pete installed as Transportation Secretary, I suspected an infrastructure bill would be a priority. He will make sure it goes to all the ‘right’ places.

    • #448400
      Utopian Leftist
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      • Total Posts: 785

      We need a word for government run by corporations, for corporations. That’s what we have now. I propose Corporocratic, primarily because it contains the word ‘rat’ within.

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti
      "Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voter will choose a Republican every time." ~ Harry Truman

      • #448410
        jbnw
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        • Total Posts: 6,531

        Close to, and more descriptive than corpument 🙂


        @utopianleftist

        • #448437
          Utopian Leftist
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 785

          That would be a good one, except corpulent is already a word in English: it means ‘fat’.

          Which is appropriate, since Corporate “citizens” are by nature, fat cats.

          But ultimately, confusing? I suppose it could work. English has lots of words that have double meanings. Bear the animal and bear the weight. Same word, different meaning . . ..

          “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti
          "Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voter will choose a Republican every time." ~ Harry Truman

          • #448441
            jbnw
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 6,531

            Just that one letter difference, and government by fat cats comes down to one word!


            @utopianleftist

            • #448443
              Utopian Leftist
              Participant
              • Total Posts: 785

              But now you’ve given me another idea: corpulation. It’s like copulation but you’re getting screwed by a piece of paper, instead of by a partner.

              “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti
              "Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voter will choose a Republican every time." ~ Harry Truman

      • #448549
        snot
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        • Total Posts: 1,333

        I thought that was the definition of fascism; but I guess it’s just one definition.

        https://discover.hubpages.com/politics/What-Is-Corporate-Fascism-Is-The-Government-Of-The-United-States-a-Fascist-Form-Of-Governance (scroll down):

        “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

        – Benito Mussolini (speaking of corporate fascism)

        (That said, the source at the link above does not give a specific citation for the quote; however, I’ve seen this concept elsewhere, fwiw.)

        Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

    • #448403
      GZeusH
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,502

      How much of it will they steal?

      That is the correct question.

      Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.

      My pronouns: vuestra merced, monsieur, господин, pana Bogu, πανίσχυρος Δίας

    • #448405
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,317

      It is one thing to get congress to agree to any kind of proposal – and that is clearly very difficult (not really, but they like to pretend it is) but to actually spend the funds wisely?  To avoid giving them to some shmuck who charges one hundred grand for a toilet?  Well…

      They know this, we know this.  Nonetheless, that won’t change the reality of the situation.  Whatever amount goes through… If we are very lucky, some ten percent might be spent on actually improving public infrastructure.

      Those who govern this Country (the corporations) are far too greedy and corrupt for anything else.

    • #448500
      doobieornot2be
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4

      …Corphustle?

      Like a corpuscle it’s a small isolated cell, seemingly only interested in serving itself.

      Plant a seed...

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