Bernie Sanders and Big Business

| December 6, 2019

Bernie Sanders wants to interfere with the cable/internet/communications companies by breaking them up.

Shades of Ma Bell and the Anti-Trust Act! I remember quite well when that happened. It had to do with monopolizing telecommunications and blocking the development of microwave communications, which is what cell phone and WiFi service grew out of. And what do we take for granted now?

Bernie has a very, very poor sense of history. AT&T didn’t go out of business. Out of the breakup of Ma Bell came more communication services companies that are now just as big as Ma Bell ever was and moving forward with more stuff for you to use (spend money on).

From the article: “Access to the internet is a necessity in today’s economy, and it should be available for all. We are going to take on the greedy internet, telecom, and cable monopolies and put an end to their absurd prices gauging,” Sanders said in a statement.

The plan would also require service providers to offer a “basic” broadband plan at an “affordable price.” In addition, it would put $7.5 billion toward high-speed broadband in Native American communities and ensure that public housing residents have access to free broadband. – article.

He really does not understand the business world at all, does he? Nor does he seem to be aware that satellite  and cell communications exist in rural areas and I have zero doubts that the tribes are benefiting from that access. There are at least three competing for a permit to build a casino not to far from my kingdom. They didn’t get there by being stupid about modern stuff.

I’m sure he’d like to break up Amazon, except that Amazon doesn’t make anything, any kind of product. It simply provides a market place for people who have something to sell, and derives a commission from the sales of products. Any retailer can start a spot on Amazon, if so desired.

Why isn’t he doing something about all those retailers that have closed or will be closing their outlets because people want to shop online these days?  And yet, there are still plenty of small shops with individual owners staying in business and doing quite well.

Oh, the headaches he must have, trying to stay afloat in a World of Unfettered Capitalism!

He’s more of a threat to the capitalist economy and its opportunities that have made this country so prosperous than any of the Big Telecomm Companies he so despises. Well, it isn’t just Big Telecom, either: he just hates real businesses that provide jobs and benefits to their employees.

He hasn’t said yet that he’ll ban fracking, but that may be because Lizzie beat him to it. But I think he’ll pick up on that, too, before long.  Just keep an eye cast in his general direction. Or maybe he’ll just go after big law firms – you know, break them up into smaller firms so that more people can have an affordable lawyer… or something.



Category: "Teh Stoopid", 2020 Election, Politics

Comments (38)

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  1. Bim says:

    Bernie doesn’t seem to understand that new technology is expensive and infrastructure must be upgraded and maintained constantly. And, unless I’m mistaken, there are already reduced internet and cellular plans available because the market demands it in a free enterprise system.

    Maybe he should start by focusing on the media empires that own 90% of the newspapers, magazines, and TV & radio stations and use that power to push their agendas without discretion or fear of repercussions. Those are the ones that conspired against Bernie to put the anointed one up against Trump in 2016 (snicker), right?

    • Roh-Dog says:

      Facts have nothing to do with such a weighty task. If the Corporations want a candidate, they get that GD candidate! Bedamned FoS and the other Rights Enumerated.
      How about the platforms hiding behind publisher protection? I know thats on the CiC’s radar but Congress could care less.

  2. JBUSMC says:

    I can remember in 1994 at my first duty station I was a little homesick and I would call home 3 or 4 times a week. I didn’t understand the whole “long distance is expensive” thing until I got my first phone bill which was $300. Which is about what I was payed every 2 weeks. That ended the phone calls. Now days, one monthly fee, call from anywhere anytime for around $50 per month. The phone companies had a racket and a half back then.. smh

    • NHSparky says:

      1992, first month in Guam, $500.

      I pay about half that now for FOUR phones and a WiFi hotspot, all with unlimited data (and unlimited texting/phone minutes.)

      Sure have come a long way since my first cell phone around 1996.

  3. Slow Joe says:

    There are so many evil and/or stupid people trying to force their half-baked dreams of “equality” on the rest of us, that I fear sooner or later one of them its going to get the Presidency and fundamentally transform America into a 3rd world shithole.

    Eternal vigilance indeed.

  4. Hack Stone says:

    If you feel that a communication company, health insurance provider, pharmaceutical company or any other large successful business is gouging consumers by making “obscene profits”, feel free to start your own company where you put the customer ahead of profits. Don’t know how you will get anyone to invest in your company by providing some capital with that business plan, but as long as you have good intentions it will be rainbows and unicorns for everyone.

    Hack has a particular axe to grind with a commercial that has been airing recently on WTOP (Washington DC) where a lady is complaining about the high cost of medications, and if they can sell it in a 3rd world nation for $2, why does it cost $75 in America? Hack can answer that question, The American consumers are underwriting the cost for those who can’t afford it. If Big Pharm charged the going rate for medication to a 3rd world patient, you would never hear the end of it. Plus, add in all of those settlements from the shyster lawyers suing because you took Medicine X and MAY HAVE BEEN exposed to cooties. That has to add to the bottom line for that magic pill. And don’t forget that the money these pharmaceutical companies generate from a successful medication provides research into other medications. Don’t sweat it, once the Democrats nationalize all of the industries, America will be just as successful as Venezuela.

    • JBUSMC says:

      and we’ll be back to paying $300 a month to talk on the telephone. Well, the ones who work will….

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I foresee, if Bernie gets the job, that we’ll be back to party lines if we aren’t “in the city”, which means that you’ll have to wait while two farmwives gossip about who will get the blue at the pie contest at the next county fair.

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Ok time for me to wade in here. Was distracted by having to get the guns laid for the TOT Fire Mission on the TAH Friday Weekend Open Thread. FIRST things FIRST. Playing catchup on the other threads and keeping an eye on the Gunsmoke Episode kept me busy.

    Spent 20 years in line construction for Ma Bell. We strung literally hundreds of miles of copper and fiber optic cable dribbling sweat all over hell and half of the country. A lot of that cable went to cell towers. It cost a BLOODY FORTUNE to do that and the ROI (Return on Investment) was calculated a long way out to the break even/profit point. Years out. I can’t give specifics due to proprietary information and disclosure constraints, but trust me, it was a great big boatload of money. Way back yonder when I was designing/installing SMATV/CATV systems we calculated a minimum of 25 houses (customers) per mile of wire. And that was for RG8/11U single conductor cable. Telephone cable (copper) was way yonder more density than that. In extreme rural areas we were required by the FCC to provide telephone service no matter how far we had to run that line. It would literally take years to see a ROI in those cases. We had told the gubmint that we would love to provide high speed low drag www to everyone but just could not afford to pay for the men, machines, material, and money it would cost. Technology has been changing at a very rapid rate over the last few years what with wireless, satellite, and what have you but at the end of the day all of that still requires a cable of some sort going back to a Central Office, somewhere. Your cell phone is only wireless from your phone to the tower or satellite. And as we all know, if it is transmitted it can be received/intercepted. The whole “smart phone” is just another way that Big Brother is watching you.

    Bernie can scream all he wants to about giving everyone more “free sh^t” and the telecoms will tell him to go piss up a rope. Or to go take the old proverbial flying phuque at a rolling donut. Who is gonna pay for it?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      WE are going to pay for it, remember? Bernie has never paid for anything in his life.

    • MCPO USN says:

      I also was a Ma Bell employee. Cable/fiber splicer and then construction manager. Ma Bell does not do anything without knowing the profit margin. They would be even more insanely profitable if they could get rid of the union (CWA).

      Slight nit-picking, but the Bell System was broken up due to it being a true monopoly. Ma Bell owned both local service and long distance, thus every call made went 100% through the bell system. It was forced to break up into AT&T for long distance and 7 regional Bell operating companies for local service. Many workers opted to go with AT&T as long distance was the big money maker at the time. It spawned the following cartoon from Bloom County:

    • NHSparky says:

      Just finished a project in rural (sorta) upstate NY that required some fiber installed at 1 station and upgrading cable/comms to another.

      The cost? HFS. I’m in the wrong job.

  6. 5jc says:

    “He hasn’t said yet that he’ll ban fracking,”

    Um, yes he did.

    On Sept. 4, Sanders wrote that “any proposal to avert the climate crisis must include a full fracking ban on public and private lands.”

    Sanders is one of the old school socialists that wanted to undermine the US economy at every turn just to do it back during the Cold War. No one listened to him back then. The kids today are not taught how bad shit was under the Eastern Bloc and therefore socialism must be some really neat stuff.

    They want to be just like Sweden or Denmark (neither of which are actually Socialist, despite Sanders’ lies.)

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Let’s not forget that Bernie honeymooned in the USSR> I’m sure that he’d do all he could to return OPEC and Russia’s stranglehold on world oil prices and supply that they used to have, Bernie can go piss into a fan for all I care, it would likely improve his appearance and odor! Let’s also not forget that he was kicked out of some Happy-Hippie commune for not producing as well!

  7. David says:

    I remember when I was shocked at the German install ($70+) install fees, and skyhigh monthly/long distance fees… then when I got back to the US (post-ATT-breakup) lo and behold, I had to pay my local Baby Bell as much as the telefonampt.

    By the way, ex, Amazon does sell products under the Amazon name. Firestick, Kindle come to mind quickly.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      How about them-thar “Good Old Days” when you weren’t even allowed to own the phone in your home, you had to pay a monthly rent on it to the phone company?

  8. 5jc says:

    At least Bernie won’t have to worry about being investigated by Bloomberg News. It is now official policy for them to not investigate Democrats running for POTUS.

  9. Perry Gaskill says:

    One of the current potential game changers in telcom is that Elon Musk and SpaceX are currently involved in putting up a low-earth-orbit satellite network mesh. The Motorola Iridium project has operated a similar thing for a few years but it’s been targeted at commercial accounts. Point being that a reversion back to $300 per month phone bills is unlikely

    Personally, I have a hard time working up much sympathy for Big Telcom after having exposure to how they operated during the competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) wars. I also remember them being willing to call up legions of lawyers anytime a town would hint about implementing municipal broadband. With all those legal fees then passed to ratepayers via higher bills.

    Those who defend them based on the argument that unfettered capitalism should always be supported might also be reminded that phone companies operate as a franchise. They use easements and public right-of-ways and are normally controlled by a state public utility commission.

    Which pretty much makes Bernie Sanders’ plan to have the federal government force the phone companies to lower prices a non-starter. It’s yet another example of the feds trying to take over what should be left as a state matter.

    Another issue, a dog not barking, is that Sanders has somehow managed to ignore the more serious duopolistic threat posed by Google and Facebook, which tells you just about everything you need to know about Sanders’ grasp of the topic.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      “Which pretty much makes Bernie Sanders’ plan to have the federal government force the phone companies to lower prices a non-starter. It’s yet another example of the feds trying to take over what should be left as a state matter.”

      I’ve yet to see where and when the Government didn’t fuck things up nine ways to Sunday when they did something to “help the little guy”!

  10. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Snowflake Millennial: WE DO NOT WANT another rich old white man who owns multiple houses and cars – OH LOOK, it’s BERNIEEEEeeee…

    • Poetrooper says:

      AW/1 Ed: Do we really have to put up with this moron’s crap? There are plenty of websites where we can be dissed for being old white guys, racists, anti-Semitics, homophobics, misogynists and on and on, ad infinitum.

      Please not at TAH as well, just so we can be inclusive by making nice with this trash-mouthed libidiot.

      • Perry Gaskill says:

        I’d agree, Poe. My own view is that Lily brings nothing but vitriol to the discussion. There’s no apparent ability to stay on topic or stick to accurate facts. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we’re dealing with somebody who has mental health problems. There appear to be cognitive warning flags.

        It’s also been my experience that only fools and sociopaths choose to stick around where they are not wanted.

        I’m not saying this lightly. Newer TAH commenters should be welcome. The last thing we should want is an echo chamber.

        • Roh-Dog says:

          “TAH commenters should be welcome. The last thing we should want is an echo chamber.”
          Amen to health debate and vetting of ideas.
          More pressing issue, what is Lilith’s military affiliation?

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman says:

      Oh, look, lilie’s dealer is late with her meds again.
      Did he get arrested by the po-po again?

    • Roh-Dog says:

      I used to think the Confederate flag was racist, in fact I thought it was down right insurrectionist when flown from barracks windows. As a Soldier of the US of A, the ‘winning side’ of the Civil War, I felt it was skirting treason.
      Until one day, sitting on my front porch in southern Georgia…
      Big beautiful ol’ lifted Ford makes the corner, 5.0 clankin along making its sweat song, chrome polished but clearly it’d seen better days. Then, the then-MSNBC watching me sees the Confederate flag plate on the front. As I sip my beer, my smug liberal self says, “Great. Another POS dirty, racist redneck hick in the neighborhood.”
      As he evens with me on the porch, he’s looking over at me, throwing me a wave as I reciprocate.
      “That dude black?”, I inquired to myself.
      Fast forward a month, I got to ask him why, he said its a pride thing. It’s his South too, he said.
      That whole book/cover thing is easy, especially if you can’t or won’t take time to educate yourself.

      • The Other Whitey says:

        I wish I could find it now, but I once saw a photo of a tank crew from the 761st Tank Battalion, somewhere around the Franco-German border, with a Rebel flag whipping from the radio antenna of their M4 Sherman. For those ignorant of history, this was an all-black unit in the segregated Army of 1944-45.

        Cool historical fact: Baseball legend Jackie Robinson was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 761st. He was brought arrested for insubordination for refusing to move to the back of a bus at Fort Hood in 1944. The (white) battalion commander, LTC Paul L. Bates, refused to bring Robinson up on charges, so the Army went around Bates and transferred Robinson to another unit whose commander played ball, and added a string of additional bullshit charges including public intoxication (Robinson didn’t drink). Robinson was acquitted of all charges in spite of the racially-motivated pressure against him, but was prevented from rejoining the 761st when they deployed to Europe. He would later praise LTC Bates for his fairness in his autobiography.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

      Looks like Bernie has a little PR problem… a new campaign aide with a history of homophobic and anti-semetic tweets:

      Care to explain that one, lily?

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      Bernie Sanders is a commie aka socialist and you’re totally full of shit once again. I’m absolutely certain that your goal is to be at least twice as full of shit as Lard aka Commissar!

  11. Roh-Dog says:

    Preach Sister!
    Now we just need more slaves, er, I meant ‘immigrants’ to boost Social Security and pad the dole numbers thereby justifying a larger government!
    If we can subsidize them to have large broods we can displace the native population that has a historical and philosophical tie to the country!

    • Roh-Dog says:

      I take offense! I don’t have an ‘out-of-touch’ world view!
      I see it just fine though my NightForce scope!
      Besides, IDGAF what the world; wants, does, feels, values, demands, etc.
      I’m an American.
      Suck it.

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist B Woodman says:

      Lilie, I took on that name as part of my ID because a Libtard DildoCrat poly-tick-tion lumped us conservatives together under that moniker. So I wear it as a badge of defiance, a “fuck you”. And an equally hearty “fuck you” with Bill C’s crooked dick.
      Now where’s your dealer with your meds? Late again. If he hasn’t taken them him(her)self.

    • Commie-Tsar says:

      Preach it sister!!! Support the revolution!!!

      UH OH!!! My MICROPENIS OF HATE JUST GOT HARD for 15 seconds!

  12. 3/17 Air Cav says:

    That Greatest generation you speak of is the the same outfit that sent my ass to Vietnam!
    Free education and huge pensions? What crowd are speaking of? It’s certainly not the crowd here at TAH

    • 3/17 Air Cav says:

      And another thing, you really need to get out of mom and dads basement, and use that “Use Of The Library” degree you obtained with that 100k student loan your paying back!

      • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

        I’m sure that lily has spent at least six or seven years trying to get a four year degree in something like Gender Studies thinking that he/she/it is automatically owed a six figure salary and a home in Country Club Hills along with total forgiveness of all student loans upon graduating!

  13. 26Limabeans says:

    If he wants to break up something he can start with the EPA and move on to Windmill Companies.