Rand and Ron Paul have penned an Internet Freedom manifesto that is pretty terrible. It pans the idea of net neutrality, arguing that the phone companies who receive gigantic government handouts in the form of cheap (or free) rights of ways and hold natural monopolies over our connectivity should be able to use that government largesse to run a protection racket in which any website that doesn’t pay for “premium carriage” will be slowed down when you or I try to visit them. They also denounce the public domain as a collectivist plot, and argue that government monopolies over knowledge should be extended, and that tax-dollars should be used to enforce them. TechDirt’s Mike Masnick has some choice words for the Pauls:
Pay no attention to the lies already coming from the Right – corporations are paying less in taxes in America than they’ve paid in 40 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office – despite American corporations making enormous profits last year – their second best in a generation - they paid on average only 12.1% in federal taxes. That’s far below the 35% corporate tax rate that Conservatives claim is crippling business in America. At 12.1%, American corporations are paying the lowest taxes in the entire developed world.
It’s also a staggering drop off since the last quarter century – between 1987 and 2008 – when corporations paid on average a 25.6% corporation tax rate. When corporations and the very, very wealthy aren’t paying their fair share in taxes, then working people have to pick up the slack. That’s exactly what’s happened in recent years – and one reason why the United States has one of the highest level of wealth inequality in the developed world – and why the middle class is disappearing right in front of our eyes.
Take Action: ISPs Selling Out Customers, Pushing Backdoor SOPA
They’re selling us out. Just weeks after Internet users from across the globe came together to to beat SOPA, the major ISPs are cutting a deal with Big Content to restrict web access for users who are accused of piracy.
It’ll do much of the dirty work we were able to prevent when we took down SOPA, this time by restricting certain Americans’ access to the WHOLE Internet.
The details are fuzzy, but the head of the Recording Industry Association of America’s bragged this week that ISPs will start policing copyright by July of this year. Here’s RT’s take:
Some of the biggest Internet service providers in America plan to adopt policies that will punish customers for copyright infringement, and one of the top trade groups in the music biz announced this week that it could begin as soon as this summer….
RIAA CEO Cary Sherman was one of the guest speakers among a New York panel this week and he confirmed that, at this rate, some of the most powerful Internet providers in America should have their new policies on the books by July 12, 2012.
The ISPs are poised to start treating their customers like criminals, restricting their access to the Internet. And they’re cutting us off at the knees just ast we’ve begun to force a new conversation about Internet freedom and copyright law.
Please sign on to our open letter demanding they back down:
OPEN LETTER TO INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS: Just weeks after the Internet banded together to beat back SOPA you’ve apparently chosen to sell out your customers. You’re undermining the emerging new dialogue about Internet freedom in America. We need you to back down from your “graduated response” plan.
Here’s RT’s article on ISPs’ copyright enforcement plans.
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Okay, this is truly funny, however, all of these corporations have been FOISTED upon us, we did not CHOOSE them…and we also do not necessarily APPROVE of the greed that these corporations exhibit - they are our ONLY option for a lot of the products they offer, because they have literally CRUSHED all the competition. Just because we use their products does not mean that we LIKE the way these Corporations operate!!
If I COULD buy Poster Board and Indelible Ink Pens somewhere besides Michael’s I would!! I didn’t CHOOSE to buy from Michaels - they’ve just wiped out the competition. If my local art supply store was STILL OPEN, I’d shop there!! But Michael’s has gone into every suburb and bankrupted those little stationery stores and art supply stores nationwide.
And I do NOT PREFER the crappy, flimsy, poorly-made clothing and shoes, that only last for one season, that you find at America’s Malls, instead of the olden days concept of Mom and Pop specialty stores, where the functionality and long-lasting quality of a product had value.
When I was a kid (born in 1945), I remember walking with my mom to do the shopping. I remember being around 3 yrs old, and holding on to the bottom of my mom’s purse. We would walk together about 1/2 mile up to Kingsbridge Rd, where we went to the Vegetable Stand, the Cheese Shop, The Butcher, The Bakery, the Fruit Stand (yes, SEPARATE from the Vegetable Stand), and when we had a need, we also went to the Mom and Pop Hardware Store, Art Supply Store, The Liquor Store, etc. These store owners KNEW their customers. The butcher would tell my mom when specials were running on the cuts of meat she usually bought. Same with the other merchants. It was personal service. They gave me bits of cheese, or a muffin, or a beef jerky. They knew my name. And when I had my tonsils out in 5th grade, they all asked my mom how I was doing. I miss all that personal service we had before the corporations came in and took over.
Look, I love my Mac like crazy, and my iPod, and I couldn’t live without my iPhone, however that doesn’t mean that I approve of EVERY single move that Apple practices. There are so many suicides in one Chinese Apple Computer factory that Apple actually erected a net around the worker’s dorms to combat the deaths! That’s INSANITY!! Isn’t it? And the cancer rate in the surrounding areas around Apple’s manufacturing plants is way higher than in other parts of China. We here in the West tend to look the other way when hearing these facts. We should, instead, demand that a way be made to create better working conditions for these Chinese workers, as well as a more environmentally sound way to create our electronics.
This is true of all these corporations whose products have been foisted upon us. WE DIDN’T CHOOSE TO ONLY HAVE CORPORATE OPTIONS, it’s been FORCED upon the consuming public. I’m sure most people do NOT prefer the corporate, strip mall lifestyle, where you can spend an entire day on the phone just trying to right a wrong that has been perpetrated upon you by some corporation or other…I posit that most of us would much prefer to live in a less corporate world, especially reflected in our work environment, and in our retail shopping experiences, because most corporations suck at what they do. There are a few corporations that seem to still value and respect their workers (Starbucks comes to mind), but they are few and far between.
So, yes, we use the products that corporations have created — that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement!
i like this
|—||A professional Stock Trader, talking to the BBC in a surprising and disheartening moment of honesty (via deathbypolitics)|
35% Myth: Tax Cheater Hall of Shame
And charge $5 for every account holder who uses a debit card. In addition to the new $12 monthly “account fees.”