Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I ran into an article whose title, "Why Your Phone, Cable [and]
Internet Bills Cost So Much", is somewhat misleading. The closest it gets to
explaining why such services are more expensive than they ought to be is the
following excerpt from an interview with an anti-capitalist author:
"The telecos got the rules changed while we weren't watching," says [David Cay] Johnston ... Basically, the phone and cable companies lobbied Washington to change laws and regulations to favor their business over their customers.The article also notes that many people don't even understand their complicated telecommunications billing statements. Regarding the quote above, I'd like to know why the Pulitzer Prize winner doesn't bother to question why the government should have the power to cause any transaction to favor either party. Regarding the billing arcana, shouldn't "consumers" take some responsibility for how they spend their money? And why would anyone just sit there and take a snow-job where their own money is concerned?
The real answer, I suspect, lies in a synergy between the entitlement mentality and the kind of government that inevitably results. First, too many Americans have grown accustomed to the government running everything in their alleged interest to be especially discriminating or proactive about what they get for their money. And second, pragmatist, short-range, "businessmen" know how to game the resulting system of pressure group warfare.
Whatever the nitty-gritty cause, I doubt such a state of affairs -- or even my pet peeve, billing for stateside long distance (in this day and age!) -- would exist on such a long time scale or natonwide under actual capitalism. This is what has happened to our cable and phone bills, as well as to the disappearing admonition, "Buyer beware."
It is up to us -- and not the government -- to improve this state of affairs.