[TriLUG] Call and urge Perdue to veto H.129 or it becomes law tonight!
cmp at cmpalmer.org
Fri May 20 12:57:38 EDT 2011
On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM, Warren Myers <volcimaster at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't know enough to have an opinion on the matter, but arstechnica had an
> op-ed on it today, as well:
-----8< snip 8<-----
This means that cities have been free to discriminate against private
business, they have been free to cross-subsidize competition with
monopoly utility revenues, they have been free to incur debt without
taxpayer approval, and they have been free to subsidize their
competition through tax exemptions not available to private industry.
-----8< snip 8<-----
Every part of the snip above is false and/or misleading.
1st clause: private businesses with standing to sue can and have done
so, so it's unclear what they mean by "free to discriminate" here.
2nd clause: what this guy calls "cross-subsidize" is no different from
what TWC and others already do, except that with the city utility it's
limited to services in one geographical area. There's nothing to stop
TWC from losing money in one whole market--across all its products--in
order to stay even with a perceived competitor. Furthermore, all
utilities are more or less monopolies. Cable TV is a regulated
monopoly, for example, and TWC is in that business.
3rd clause: "without taxpayer approval" is totally bogus. Worst-case
scenario: local employees did not consult voters in Wilson before
beginning the project. This project has been going for multiple
election cycles now. How does one vote out the management of TWC? How
are TWC rate hikes taxpayer approved?
final clause: tax exemptions not available to private industry. Local
governments also can't earn a profit and can't take funding from
The core of their argument is essentially the idea that government is
the only corporate structure that can have unfair advantages, be
unaccountable, abuse trust, and waste precious resources. Any and all
human institutions larger than a certain size have the capacity for
these problems, and TWC itself has been (I think rightly) accused of
all of these.
Please call the governor and oppose a bill that was written by and for
incumbent telecom interests.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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