Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
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Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]
07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]
07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]
07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]
07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]
07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]
07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
Whatever Happened to Antitrust?
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
“Too big to fail” should mean “too big to exist.” It’s not just that giant companies put the economy at risk. Their size makes them way too powerful economically and politically, too.Now here’s a word you’re not hearing in America these days: anti-trust.
The country is being dragged down by monstrous businesses, all of which, we’re told, are just “too big to fail.” As a consequence of this, the nation’s taxpayers, and their progeny born and yet unborn, are having trillions of dollars sucked away to prop up these giant rotting corporate corpses.
Zombie banks, zombie automakers, zombie insurance companies, all bigger than nation states, and all on life-support.
There is a simple answer to this problem. Bust them up. Then sort through the pieces and let the worst parts go bust.
Looking at the nation’s largest banks—Bank of America, Citicorp, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and others—it’s clear that some parts of them are functional. They have, for example, massive deposits. They also have massive debts, many of these toxic and pretty much worthless. Instead of bailing these failed institutions out, which is not going to work anyhow, and which only delays and makes more costly the final day of reckoning, the answer is to have the government carve out the profitable banking parts of these financial institutions, and set them up as free-standing banks, and then let the rest of the carcass of each bank go down the tubes, taking gullible shareholders and bondholders with them.
Then the remaining banks left from this process should be broken up by anti-trust actions into regional or even state entities.
There is simply no need for national banks. Such institutions are a disaster for smaller companies and individuals, since they are only really interested in lending to big national or multinational companies. I remember years ago, back in the early 1980s, when bank consolidation was just getting underway, how Citibank began adding fees to its checking services simply because it wanted to drive away small customers. It was an indication of what was coming. Screw the little guy.
It doesn’t matter to large companies if there are no national banks. When they want a big loan, they simply arrange for a syndicate of smaller regional banks to put a package together. That is the way things used to be done, and it can be done again.
Insurance companies too should be broken up. It is ridiculous to have companies the size of AIG or Aetna or Prudential, any of whose failures can threaten the global economy. Again, there is simply no rationale for the existence of such mega-corporations. Insurance companies have ways of sharing risk through reinsurers, so that smaller companies are no more vulnerable to disaster than larger firms. They may, in fact, be less vulnerable, since their managers will be closer to their customers and probably more careful about what they insure and what they invest in.
Finally, let’s look at what used to be called “Detroit.” In its heyday, there were many more car companies than simply three. There were American Motors, Hudson, Packard, and Studebaker, there was Mack Trucks. Then we had a wave of consolidation and bankruptcy. In the end, several companies—Ford, GM and Chrysler—won the day, but not because they had better products. Rather, they were bigger, and had bigger marketing budgets and more extensive dealership networks. Unable to compete, good companies went bust.
As the number of car companies dwindled, so did the need to innovate. With Chrysler just a shadow of its former self, there are really only two domestic carmakers today, and they have spent much more time and money using their political clout to block efforts in Congress to force them to make better, more efficient and more socially responsible products, than they have devoted to actually competing in the marketplace. They have become “too big to fail.”
So now we’re being asked to bail them out to the tune of tens of billions, and ultimately probably hundreds of billions of dollars.
Okay, I’m willing to agree that it is a good idea for the US to have a domestic car industry, but there is no reason why it should consist or two or three giant companies.
Let’s break these companies up into smaller enterprises, each making one nameplate, and let them compete. With smaller, nimbler car companies, we would see quality electric cars at affordable prices in no time, and gas mileage would soar.
While we’re at it, let’s not stop there. The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department should conduct a broad study of the US economy, looking at every industry, with an eye to busting up every company that is deemed “too big to fail” because of the impact such a failure could have on the broader economy.
“Too big to fail” should mean “too big to exist.” It’s not just that giant companies put the economy at risk. Their size makes them way too powerful economically and politically, too. (Just look at how Microsoft, a company that has a mediocre product line, has been able to succeed in killing off its competition not by making a better mousetrap, but by simply crushing or buying up those firms that do make better ones.) Politically, breaking up mega companies prevents such monopolistic behavior. It also creates more diversity of interest within each industry, thus providing openings for other political groups—like trade unions, environmentalists, etc.-- to play companies off against each other on particular issues.
While we’re at it, let’s also break up the huge companies that dominate three crucial sectors of the economy, to the detriment of the public good: energy, the media and the military. Does anyone doubt that the phenomenal rise in energy prices we have been experiencing is related directly to the mergers that have occurred over the last decade in the energy industry? Or that America’s endless wars, and its military budget—now equal in size to that of all other military budgets in the world combined—are a direct result of the dominance of several giant military companies—GE, Westinghouse, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman and Raytheon? Finally, if it weren't for all those media mergers, we wouldn't have newspapers closing down all over the place, and we wouldn't have the homogenized, sanitized network news we're stuck with now, either.
The tools are already at hand to tear all these anti-democratic, anti-social and uneconomic corporate monstrosities apart. So let’s fire up the legal chainsaws and start cutting them down to size. Instead of bailout, we need to start hearing the word anti-trust in Washington.
About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on February 18, 2009.