Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Democracy falling off the edge

From the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, "... consumers, of course, have options, They can go to another broadband provider if they want to reach particular edge providers or if their connections to particular edge providers have been degraded.” Replace the term 'edge providers' with 'liberal media', and you get what this is all about. The three hard right corporate owners that control all the major markets can simply tell you what sort of material you can download from, or upload to internet. The phrase, "want to reach" means explicitly that they can block content at will.

The Court actually used the Libertarian rational that 'competition' will protect you. Good luck finding another broadband provider that won't also block the content that disagrees with their goals of a Neo-Feudalist America. Remember, they can block either end of the connection, if not outright, by pricing you out of business, and favoring those that they approve.

The entire problem stems from regulations issued by Bush appointees to the FCC in 2005. Side stepping the law they created two different classes of internet carrier. The large long distance traffic carriers remained as so-called 'common carriers' who must carry all content without discrimination. But, they created another class of carriers that provides the actual connection to your house or business. These companies control both ends of the internet connection and these carriers are called 'content providers'. Think of them like a cable company or a radio station, as of today they can tell you exactly what you'll see or hear over the internet. In fact the 'common carrier' and the 'content providers' are by and large the very same companies.

The good news is that the FCC should be able to simply issue new regulations making the Court's ruling moot. Congress could at anytime amend the law to force internet neutrality. The Constitution is very clear about Congress having the power to "regulate Interstate commerce".

Remember this whole power grab is based on Bush appointees to the FCC (who are now gone) creating a fig leaf for the Fascists to hide behind.

Twitter @BruceEnberg - where we snatch away the Fig Leaves.




Monday, January 13, 2014

Staying home isn't just for slackers anymore

December only created 74,000 new jobs which was far below payroll services company ADP's estimate of 215,000. So I'm guessing the Bureau of Labor Statistics number will be revised upward later just as November was, adding an additional 38,000 jobs increasing the total from 203,000 to 241,000 jobs.

The Household Survey that establishes the unemployment rate showed a decline of three tenths to 6.7%. The right wing talking point is that people are discouraged from looking for work and aren't counted anymore. Another right wing talking point is that if people aren't given unemployment they'll go out and find jobs. All those discouraged workers are not getting unemployment, or they would be required to look for work, so why isn't the economy booming? Hmmm, contradictory right wing talking points, imagine that.

The Job Participation Rate continues to decline, something the right makes much of, as if Obama was to blame for it. In fact it declined all through the Bush Adm as the Baby Boomers began to retire. Every adult not in the Military or institutionalized is counted in the Participation Rate. So as long as your 101 year old grandma stays out of prison she is counted, no matter if she ever had a job or not.

You also have a large number of family members of all ages that have given up looking for work since their unemployment benefits have run out, they do so simply to save their family money. With five workers for every job opening, just giving up a fruitless hunt for work to stay home can be the best option for the family.

It's not to hard to figure out what the problem is, 2013 saw China pass the US as the world's biggest trader with combined imports and exports of $4t. Keep in mind that the entire US GDP is only $16t. Thanks to Reagan's trickle down economics with no regulation on corporate mergers and disastrous Free Trade policies the fate of the US is increasingly hopeless. We can't all stay home to save money, but that is the jobs policy of the Conservatives, no jobs, everybody can just stay home. Presumably you can just live off your trust fund.

Twitter @BruceEnberg - Welcoming tips from the Right how to spend your days at home.