Schreiber: ABORT THE TELECOM BILL! [cr-960101]


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995
Sender: •••@••.••• (William Schreiber)
Subject: Telecom legislation

                        ABORT THE TELECOM BILL!

This legislation should be rejected, regardless of its final provisions.  Its
history ought to serve as an object lesson in how not to write laws that
make even a pretence of serving the public.  Although much of the pressure
to shape its various provisions has been cloaked in public-interest
clothing, what we have seen, for the most part, is nothing more than a
battle for future profits among the different wolves of the telecom
industry.  A good deal of money has been spent by the interested parties,
much of which has gone to members of the Conference Committee.  The public
interest has mostly gone unrepresented.

Ironically, the lobbyists may well be wrong about what will eventually make
for rapid growth and high profits in the industry.  We all remember the
bitter fight over dismantling AT&T.  As it turned out, the net result was
greatly increased profits for the various pieces, although that was not the
intention of the court.  (IBM was next on the DOJ's list; except for a
change of adminstration, IBM would probably have been taken apart also, much
to its eventual benefit.)

If we really want to reform the regulatory framework of the telecommunications
industry and also serve the public interest, a different approach is needed.
 Let Congress and the administration appoint a blue-ribbon commission
representing the public, the government, and academia, taking care to omit
those with a financial interest in the subject matter.  Let hearings be held
at which representatives of industry and labor and other interested parties
present their views, and let the commission then make a proposal to
Congress.  Although the use of this method does not guarantee success, at
least a rational proposal will be produced in the full light of day.

William F. Schreiber, Prof. of Elec. Eng., Emeritus, MIT.  30 December 1995


Evidently William copied Rick on the above submission, because Rick's reply
below got to me simultaneously.


Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995
Sender: •••@••.••• (Rick Crawford)
Subject: Re:  Telecom legislation

I agree your idea for a blue-ribbon study would have produced
a result that was far closer to optimal, from the standpoint of
public interest criteria.

But that was never the goal of those in power.  Pardon my French,
but really; it's 1995/6 -- Wake up and smell the napalm ;-(

The telecom bill (and its propaganda sheath of telecom "reform")
was merely the latest exercise of naked power.  Why naked?
Because the Media Monopoly has so reduced our capacity for
democratic action, that these days there is scant need to cloak
naked corporate aggression in the guise of "public interest".

All you need to know, is that richer people than you or I
have decided this will "boost Competition"  (all hail ;-)
Whatsamatter?  You don't like competition?  Are you a
Communist or something?  Or do you have difficulty accepting
the judgement of your social betters, that Mass Media Mega-Mergers
and oligopolies will benefit the lowly Consumer?

To encapsulate the Social Darwinism of the 90s,
if you're so smart, why aren't you rich enough
to buy your _own_ Senate seat?

(caustic sarcasm not intended personally)

-rick    •••@••.•••


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.