It is an interesting plan devised by a man who has bankrupted more businesses than anyone in the history of modern American entrepreneurship, and backed by dinosaurs from the Industrial Revolution run under the guise of some Eisenhower-era dream of the old, America First, anti-global economic structure that has zero chance of working in the current 21st century landscape.
The main goal of this Republican-controlled federal government has been to deregulate everything in sight, cede the entire ecological, moral and structural game to not the private sector, but the corporate-level powerbrokers. The idea is to make things so easy for multi-billion dollar businesses they will rush back to this country and provide jobs. This, as stated many times in this space, has never worked in a long-term growth of the economy. I am not going to bore everyone with details, but it can be verified by simply doing the research and crunching the numbers. I invite you to do it.
Having said that, it is important to point out that my criticism of this does not mean I support the complete government-controlled regulation-happy opposite argument. There is free market and then there is fixing the game for corporations. The latter is what we discuss here today.
So far Republicans have done next to nothing in the way of legislation. There is no administration that I can find — at least in the 20 century — that has gone a calendar year having done nothing with or without control of the entire government. Aside from an alarming spate of executive orders, which have purportedly moved the unemployment rate from 4.8 to 4.5 since Donald Trump has taken office, and the continued spike in the stock market, which today, as for the past eight years under the previous administration, means less than it did a half-century ago, because the main percentage of trading is done by the famed one-percent of the citizenry.
It is important to note that I write “purportedly” on these figures, because normally unless a major law is enacted, like say the 2001 Bush tax cuts or the 2009 Obama stimulus package — both passed by single-party control in the first year of those presidents — the economic indicators in the first year of any administration is the result of the previous one’s agenda. This is especially prevalent among two-term presidents, as George H. W. Bush found out in his first term after eight years of Reagonomics.
Either way you stand on this issue, it is easy to see that Trump and the Republicans mean to hand over all control of the American economy to the most powerful corporations, first and foremost through the language in the current tax bill before congress, which has a 29 percent approval of the American electorate. Not that polling or even popularity means anything. It is only illuminating when viewed through the lens of those polled that voted for the Donald Trump that ran as a populist, forgotten-man candidate. Despite being crushed in the popular vote, the president carried the Rust Belt to electoral college victory due to this weak Huey Long charade, which has now emerged as the predictable land-baron, big business stooge he truly is and has always been. The whole “con job” thing Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio bitched about in the primaries is coming home to roost.
But again, if honey deals to the one-percent and corporations in the current language of the proposed tax bill, as covered in this space a few weeks ago, was not enough of a sign that Citizen Trump, The Voice of Johnny Lunch Pale, was a ruse, then the repeal of Net Neutrality by the always upstanding FCC (someone should have sacked this nonsense in the 1970s, but that is a column I have written too many times to fathom, so let’s leave it at that) seals it.
This repeal is the government’s gift to gargantuan service providers to decide the economic structure of the Internet, where, the entire country and really the world lives and breathes. Whether they pledge to or not, your service provider can now gauge consumers, block content they do not have complete or part ownership of, and dismantle any even playing field for start-ups, free-lance users or anyone not a massive, faceless conglomerate.
The chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai says this will free the Internet for investment and innovation, as if this is a new thing. Never happened before. There was no 1990s boom, which was the last strong economic period. Everything that has transformed the brick-and-mortar economy into the cyber one never happened, according to Pai, who was an attorney for (ha!) Verizon and has railed against Net Neutrality from the second he took this unelected office in 2012.
No matter where you stand on your economic theories and principles, how exactly is Net Neutrality bad, unless you have the strings of providing access to the Internet.
It reads: “Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. For instance, under these principles, Internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.”
You want to pay more money for what you already can do now and/or have your service provider decide what you can and can’t see, to allow only those with more money than you to have better, more complete access to the Internet? Then this is a fantastic ruling.
Again, no matter where you stand on this, we are in a new era of a complete corporate take-over of the American economic landscape. This was mostly true under every previous administration dating back to the earliest days of the American Century, but now it is unashamedly absolute. For the results of this, immediate and long-reaching, we will see whom it benefits.
But make no mistake, we are back in Corporate Land.
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”
And coming in June, 2018; “Accidently Like a Martyr, The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”