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AT&T: Meet the New US GSM Monopoly 189

Posted by timothy
from the for-some-values-of-monopoly dept.
itwbennett writes "Why should consumers care about the AT&T/T-mobile merger? Already, Verizon has dropped unlimited data plans and the US trails Japan, South Korea, and others in variety and performance of mobiles. Don't think for a second that those aren't the direct result this new monopoly, says blogger Tom Henderson. '...Those pesky State agencies that used to have regulatory authority has been usurped by the US Federal Government,' writes Henderson. 'This wasn't an accident. Who would you rather deal with, 43 different state regulatory authorities, or those convenient people on Capitol Hill?'"
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AT&T: Meet the New US GSM Monopoly

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  • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:50PM (#36624984)

    It certainly seems appropriate for this article.

  • free market (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:54PM (#36625060)

    I'm sure the free market will take care of this issue.

    • by Shatrat (855151)
      Open up spectrum so that smaller telecoms and bigger non-telecoms (Google Towers?) could easily launch a network and it certainly would.
      Competition is the reason that other companies have better mobile infrastructure, not regulation.
      • Re:free market (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CyprusBlue113 (1294000) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:04PM (#36625214)

        Umm, no, it is the regulation of the single tech spectrum that is exactly why other countries have better mobile infrastructure, not stupidly creating more islands of spectrum.

        • by Shatrat (855151)
          My understanding is that the EU uses spectrum auctions and has fragmented frequency blocks like we do, they're just spread across more competing companies.
          With the M&A activity in the wireless sector it increasingly like the wireline sector did decades ago.
          When that monopoly was broken up and more carriers were allowed to set up shop long distance prices dropped from around .25 to .05 per minute within the decade and hundreds of regional and national carriers popped up.
          Wireless would be even easier
    • Re:free market (Score:5, Insightful)

      by __Reason__ (181288) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:19PM (#36625410)

      AT&T is a bit like the liquid metal terminator from Terminator 2. You can break it into little pieces, but somehow, eventually, it'll find a way to reassemble itself and become a monopoly again.

  • incoming calls (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @01:58PM (#36625116)

    Are you, Americans are still paying for incoming calls and SMSes?

    • by vranash (594439)
      In a word: Yes. Thankfully I've got unlimited text now, but unless you want to spend 100+ dollars a month you won't have unlimited talk/text, and LIMITED data (5gb) will put you up to 150+ for a single user (family plans lower this slightly but not a whole lot. 70+ dollars per phone, plus 30 each for data. And that's T-Mobile/Verizon's prices, not ATT)
      • by smelch (1988698)
        I was pricing phone plans with Verizon just yesterday, actually and I was able to get "Unlimited" data + Unlimited Text + 400 anytime minutes + free nights and weekends + free mobile-to-mobile (I assume within Verizon's network) for $79.99. Since I'm at work where they provide me with a phone all day, 400 any time minutes is virtually unlimited when you consider all the calls during the night and weekend and to other verizon users don't count against it. That's almost half of your "150+" number.
      • This is incorrect. I'm a T-Mobile customer. I have unlimited talk/text and supposedly unlimited data (which I believe becomes "slow" at around 5GB). My monthly bill is officially $79.99 (no contract). Additionally, I can use my Nexus S phone as a mobile wi-fi hotspot so I can connect to the interwebz using my netbook wherever I have phone signal. Granted, there are some taxes on top but it still comes in well under $100. For equivalent service on AT&T, I would in fact pay $150 a month -- roughly d

        • by guruevi (827432)

          Read the T-Mobile small print. The "unlimited" data is "unlimited" until 200MB (69.99 contract), 2GB (79.99 contract), 5GB (89.99 contract) or 10GB (119.99 contract) after which you'll be throttled to 50kbps speeds but they reserve the right to throttle or even block your data transfer whenever they feel necessary or use any data that is duplicated by their plans (such as VoIP, online messages etc.) or whenever you use a 'disproportionate' amount of data.

      • For various reasons (one being the impending AT&T merger) I recently switched from T-Mobile to Sprint.

        They have plans that give you 500 minutes with unlimited text and data for 69.99 (59.99 + 10.00 smart phone addon).

        You have to sign up with this (not really) secret method to get the plan for 59.99...
        http://mcguireslaw.com/2008/07/16/psst-have-you-heard-about-everything-plus/ [mcguireslaw.com]

        With my wife constantly calling me and the long conversations I have with my Dad, at first I was afraid that 500 minutes would no

        • If you don't actually roam off of Sprint, take a look at Boost or Virgin. Both use the Sprint CDMA network, but offer lower rates than Sprint. Virgin is $40/mo for 1200 anytime minutes, unlimited SMS/MMS, and unlimited data. Boost's unlimited plan is $50/mo, but the selection of phones isn't so hot. Will Sprint collapse? Maybe. I sure hope not. But, at least in metro areas, there are other options like Cricket, MetroPCS, and US Cellular.

    • by Benfea (1365845) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @03:17PM (#36626296)

      Having a market dominated by a smaller number of larger companies is the ideal capitalist system according to rightist ideology. This is why they like mergers and hate it when antitrust laws are enforced. In this way, the few remaining companies don't have to deal with as much of that pesky "competition" thing, and through economies of scale they can deliver better goods for less money. At least, that's the excuses libertarians and conservatives usually give me.

      This is also part of the reason why I argue that they are not in fact capitalists, but rather neo-feudalists.

    • by Algan (20532)

      Yes.
      Are you still paying different rates, depending on which network you're calling to?

  • Keep voting in the Republicans and Democrats! They clearly have your interests in mind!
  • Capitol Hill (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:03PM (#36625194) Homepage Journal

    For all your one-stop shopping needs.

    Ever notice how few people are really paying attention? How along the campaign trail nobody ever asks an important question like, "Would you oppose an AT&T / T-Mobile merger which really harms competition in the US?"

    They had an Ohio farmer on the news, back when W was running for re-election, when asked which was more important, Social Issues or Economic Issues, the farmer said, "As long has be works to block abortion, he doesn't mind if a few eggs get broken." Really. Wonder how he's doing on that farm after the Bank Collapse. When are people going to wake up and realize they have put far too much focus on a social agenda and too little on Business and Economic issues which affect them to more devastating effect?

    I suppose someone, somewhere is fine with the merger, as long as their important Social Agenda gets lip service.

    • Really. Wonder how he's doing on that farm after the Bank Collapse

      Probably quite well, since food prices and futures have risen solidly (since he's in Ohio if he's farming wheat, corn, orsoy -- ZW, ZC, ZS -- he's probably pretty happy).

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Really. Wonder how he's doing on that farm after the Bank Collapse

        Probably quite well, since food prices and futures have risen solidly (since he's in Ohio if he's farming wheat, corn, orsoy -- ZW, ZC, ZS -- he's probably pretty happy).

        As long as he didn't have a mortgage on his property and his customers paid him for his harvest, that is entirely possible.

        During the late 1970's a lot of farmers lost everything, thanks to economic issues in banking (skyrocketing interest rates, double digit inflation, revenues not keeping up with costs)

        • As long as he didn't have a mortgage on his property and his customers paid him for his harvest, that is entirely possible.

          How is he hurt if he has a mortgage? Banks having problems don't just automatically make people lose their properties. Now if people were foolish and had huge payments they couldn't afford (and never could have afforded) or no downpayment loans AND an ARM, yeah, they might be in trouble.

          But no, if he -- like the majority of people -- had a standard fixed rate loan, he probably is just fine. Don't forget that inflation helps fixed debts (like a 30-year mortgage) become less important. I'm paying (eg) $1000/m

          • by mlts (1038732) *

            Not really... Farmers have to compete with large agribusinesses that have access to patented crops that grow with fewer resources spent. Larger businesses have economies of scale on their side.

            Trying the "organic" route might work, but there are only so many farmer's markets, so trying to compete against large businesses who can flood the market with dirt cheap crops is becoming more and more difficult.

            Farmers are becoming an endangered species. Especially due to the fact that land is becoming more and mo

            • Aww! Poor things! While we're bitching about shit the rest of us got over a long time ago, I think it's un*fair* how my one-man operation can't compete with the big, well-capitalized players in the field of semiconductor manufacture!

              Businesses invest. In better tech. That makes it harder for you to compete using the tech of decades (or millenia) ago. Normal people adapt. Farmer bitch and moan, and then manage to get subsidies, even for not growing crops.

              Fuck 'em.

          • Don't forget that inflation helps fixed debts (like a 30-year mortgage) become less important.

            Only if your income growth outpaces inflation. If inflation is 3% per year, your income has to grow by at least 3% per year or your buying power has actually declined. If your income remains constant for 30 years, it doesn't matter what inflation is with respect to your mortgage.

            My parent's actually experienced what you are talking about. Their mortgage when they first took it out really stretched them. $350/month was a lot of money in those days. Fast forward 25 years and it wasn't much of a problem

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:04PM (#36625220) Journal
    ...never was unlimited. So spinning this into 'the end of Verizon's unlimited plan is spurred by ATT monopoly" is a pretty lame argument.
    • Care to define unlimited? If you don't have a tethering plan you can download/upload to your heart's content. If you do have a tethering plan you're capped at 5 GB. However they'll throttle your bandwidth regardless of your plan.
    • by fermion (181285)
      Furthermore ATT dropped unlimited data long ago. Unlimited data only makes sense when one has low bandwidth devices or limited number of devices. With droid selling like crazy and the iPhone coming out with an update, Verizon was going to be a negative profit situation in the data center. What we will have to wait and see if the current users are grandfathered in like ATT did.

      Verizon is the top US provider, complete with the pay our prices or leave, and at one time the most stringent criteria for allow

  • I am not saying the US telecom industry has done a great job nor isn't greedy assholes. It is unfair to compare US telecom to any other region when almost all the countries are the size of a single state in the USA.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe European telecom plans are per country with significant roaming costs from country to country (or buy a SIM for each country). Whereas in the US all the wireless carriers allow at no "extra cost" use across the entire country -- and the US is approximately

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:30PM (#36625572)

      Bullshit. I work for a telco in Finland, and covering a piece of land is as easy/hard in both as the average population density is in the same ballpark. I would even accept that covering rural America is harder, but by that logic most Americans in the cities should have the best broadband in the world. The real difference is that we have four national networks for a population of 5M and the competition is fierce. The regulator is here FOR the people.

      Every nation gets the government it deserves.

      • You missed the point of my write-up. When you go to Spain, how does your telecom provider work for you? Cost a lot extra to use in spain right? Or just buy a pay as you go sim, but your number is now different so not that useful while there...

        • I'm not sure how much water you argument holds when the worst European country in terms of telecom price/quality is still better than the best states in the US. Finland has a lower population density than the United States, and simultaneously better telcom.

          So while true that Europe is a patchwork of carriers across its different states, every state there is better than any state in the US.

          • by amorsen (7485)

            So while true that Europe is a patchwork of carriers across its different states, every state there is better than any state in the US.

            But if you travel you get raped on roaming charges. Especially data roaming which is completely unaffordable.

            Europe has somewhat-decent per-minute charges due to fixed line users paying way too much to call cell phones and because of roaming charges/charges for international calls. The US doesn't have that kind of make-money-fast schemes for cell phone providers but unfortunately the lack of regulation means that it is difficult to start another provider and for the users to change providers.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          How often does your average American leave the state? I don't personally consider that to be a major concern when I leave the state so infrequently. The bigger issue is the shit service around town.

          The fact that I can't get decent coverage in a major city is an absolute embarrassment. And As for ISPs, Qwest apparently has written off much of Seattle in terms of upgrades deeming 1.5mbps to be fast enough. Same basic problem, shit regulation and a company that's figured out that it's cheaper to not bother to

          • by Coren22 (1625475)

            I have several coworkers who live in other states and drive to work in my state every day. How would you work it if you lived in France and worked in Spain?

            • by hedwards (940851)

              Well for one thing, most people aren't required to have cell phones in order to have a job. And for another, cell coverage is hardly the only issue at play when living in France and working in SPain.

      • by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @05:38PM (#36628106) Homepage

        One of the biggest problems in the US is simply finding a spot to put a tower.

        Can't put it anywhere within a city limits without permission from the city. Can't put it on any land the city owns, period. Can't put it on any private land without a permit from the city. Can't put it anywhere near people that complain about the radiation hazards, how the sight of the tower offends them or any other complaint unless you like spending millions in court.

        This means in non-rural areas finding a spot for a tower is a huge challenge whereas I suspect most other countries the siting for a tower is easy - you get the government permission at a high level and nobody is allowed to argue with you. This is especially true when the telephone provider also happens to be state-owned.

        Sure there are "regulators" involved but they aren't listening to the lunatic fringe. Here in the US between the environmentalists, the radical environmentalists (you know, all progress since 800 AD is cruel, inhumane and against nature) and the basic nutjobs (cell tower radiation hazards, power transmission line hazards, magnetic cure-all bracelets that are negatively affected by any other EMF fields in the area, etc.) have the ear of the government and the courts.

    • by Manip (656104)
      That would be a fair point, if the US had tons of small inter-state cellular companies, with a few big evil cross-state providers. But that isn't the situation. Fact is, almost NO small businesses are currently operating in the US cellular sector. There is almost no competition at all in the US, the big two just make agreements on territory so they can both keep their prices high.

      Honestly the EU isn't perfect but at least competition is healthy. The US has become so bad, the only solution I see at this
    • Compare US telecom to Indian telecom..

      Indian telecom is WAY behind on Data, but calls and SMS are one of the lowest in the world.
      ( incoming SMS are actually free nationwide, and incoming calls statewide)

    • You tell me how you think the roaming charges stack up.

      T-Mobile UK roaming in Germany or Spain
      Outgoing calls $0.62/min (38.8p)
      Incoming calls $0.30/min (14.3p)
      Outgoing SMS $0.16 (10.2p)
      Outgoing MMS $0.33 (20.4p)
      Incoming SMS free
      Incoming MMS free
      GPRS/3G $2.46/Mb (£1.532)

      AT&T roaming in Germany or Spain
      Incoming calls $1.39/min (86.5p)
      Outgoing calls $1.39/min (86.5p)
      Outgoing SMS $0.50 (31.1p)
      Incoming SMS
      Outgoing MMS $1.30 (80.9p)
      Incoming MMS
      GPRS (no mention of 3G roaming at all) $19.97/Mb (£1

  • I'm not even interested in reading the blog post when I see a horrible conclusion that Verizon dropping its unlimited data plans are a result of the AT&T/TMO merger. It makes MUCH more sense that a response to the merger would be, "hey, everyone! We have unlimited data plans!!"

    • by Obfuscant (592200)
      And the assumption that the desire to be regulated by the feds instead of 50 separate state government has anything to do with corruption or bribery. ANY company would rather be regulated by ONE common set of standards and not 50 "almost the same but not quite" different sets. That's just good business practice. Even if that one set is more difficult to comply with, at least you don't have to worry about a customer in Idaho using a tower in Montana and which laws cover that situation.
    • Haven't you ever heard of price fixing? Same idea, but it's feature fixing. It's tacit collusion and highly profitable.

    • But, this way verizon can spend less on infrastructure, and people dont really have another choice

  • by JBMcB (73720) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:09PM (#36625288)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_wireless_communications_service_providers [wikipedia.org]

    Just because they don't have stores on every street corner doesn't mean there aren't a hundred different wireless providers to choose from.

    • Re:No competition? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by crow (16139) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:19PM (#36625414) Homepage Journal

      Yes, but how many of those are just resellers? Essentially, they a virtual carriers with roaming agreements with the ones that you've heard of. Some may have a small area of real service, but I doubt that many do.

    • by dgatwood (11270)

      List of actual carriers:

      • AT&T
      • T-Mobile
      • Sprint
      • Verizon
      • MetroPCS

      Unless I'm missing something, that's pretty much it. Everybody else is either a regional carrier that only provides service in a small area or is an MVNO that leases service from one of the services above. And frankly, even MetroPCS is basically a glorified regional carrier....

      • by bkaul01 (619795)

        Probably add US Cellular (they have a mix of their own towers + roaming agreements with Verizon).

        Everybody else is either a regional carrier that only provides service in a small area or is an MVNO that leases service from one of the services above.

        Sure, but even regional carriers like Cellular South still cover larger areas than many European carriers do ...

      • by tjb (226873)

        Virgin Mobile

      • by JBMcB (73720)

        The list above says whether or not the carrier is an MVNO or reseller. I'm guesstimating half are MVNO's. That's still a fair bit of competition.

      • by glassware (195317)

        Mod parent up - this is the key.

        MVNO means "mobile virtual network operator", which describes someone who buys bandwidth from AT&T, TMobile, Sprint, Verizon and uses it to run their own brand of phones. All those little companies you see are basically MVNOs.

  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @02:21PM (#36625450)

    Does anybody on Slashdot actually travel? Prices in general of most goods are _way_ cheaper in the US than in Europe or Japan (I haven't been to South Korea). US taxes are relatively low. Why do I care if a cell phone bill is a few hundred bucks a year more?
    And then people miss the point that cell infrastructure scales both with population and with physical area. Someone has to pay for that.

    • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @03:23PM (#36626372)

      Does anybody on Slashdot actually travel? Prices in general of most goods are _way_ cheaper in the US than in Europe or Japan (I haven't been to South Korea). US taxes are relatively low. Why do I care if a cell phone bill is a few hundred bucks a year more? And then people miss the point that cell infrastructure scales both with population and with physical area. Someone has to pay for that.

      I think it depends on where you go, and what goods you're looking at. I lived in Tokyo for three years. Moved back to the US, to California, and naively expected the cost of living to be lower.

      It wasn't.

      What was more galling, not only was I paying more living in CA, but the quality of the goods and services purchased was generally lower.

      A random sample list:

      • Eggs - cheaper in Tokyo, and fresher there too.
      • Dry cleaning - cheaper in Tokyo.
      • Prepared ready-to-eat foods (a.k.a. chûshoku in Japanese, a bit like a carry-out buffet) - hard to find in the US outside of grocery stores, but generally tastier, more varied, and cheaper in Tokyo. Great for anyone living on their own, or in a household where no one has time to cook.
      • Telecoms - both cell and internet service were *way* cheaper, with *way* better coverage and data speeds. I could place a phone call on the Ôedo line, the newest and deepest subway line in Tokyo, but I would drop out of service while driving on US 101 from Mountain View north past Google's massive campus. Yay, AT&T. :-P

      And would people *please* give the population density argument a rest? It's a red herring. The San Francisco Bay Area is quite densely populated and is supposedly the center of the US high-tech industry - and yet cell coverage is kinda crappy, and internet service is much more expensive and much slower than anything you get in Japan (unless you're out in the boonies). It's not about population density, it's about profit margins, and what regulators and the competitive environment will allow.

      Cheers,

      • Gah, whatever happened to unordered lists in HTML? Sheesh...

      • by tjb (226873)

        What was more galling, not only was I paying more living in CA

        For piddly stuff (prepared food? really?), yeah, maybe. How much does a 1000 sq. ft. apartment go for in Tokyo, though?

        • The initial comment was about goods. I lumped in services for fun.

          Rents? Sure, I had a ~800 sq ft place a short walking distance from Saginomiya Station (one of the express stops) on the Tôbu line for ~$1,500 / mo. ~1,000 sq ft in San Carlos right after that went for ~$1,800, but the rails were much more expensive, much less convenient, and traffic on 101 was so fun that 12 miles one way could take about an hour. Bicycling would often get your there faster, except drivers were not very kind to b

      • I lived in Tokyo for three years. Moved back to the US, to California, and naively expected the cost of living to be lower.

        California is the 3rd most expensive [msn.com] state in the US behind only Hawaii and Alaska. Try moving to somewhere that actually is inexpensive to live. I live in the midwest and it is FAR less expensive. My house would cost 4-5X as much anywhere remotely close to one of the bigger California cities. If you were looking for a place in the US to compare with Japan you could hardly have picked a worse example.

        It's not about population density, it's about profit margins, and what regulators and the competitive environment will allow.

        You say that as if you think profit margins and population density are somehow unrelated. While there a

        • California is the 3rd most expensive [msn.com] state in the US behind only Hawaii and Alaska. Try moving to somewhere that actually is inexpensive to live. I live in the midwest and it is FAR less expensive.

          Sure, the Midwest is quite less expensive. That said, the OP was arguing about the US as an aggregate whole -- which I think is a mistake, as it depends where you are within the US as to how much things cost. Hence why I brought up prices in California.

          It's not about population density, it's about profit margins, and what regulators and the competitive environment will allow.

          You say that as if you think profit margins and population density are somehow unrelated. While there are highly dense areas, the phone companies have to expend capital to cover the not dense areas too. If you spend the money to improve connections in the high density areas you necessarily are taking it away from the less populated areas.

          Except, as has been substantially covered here on Slashdot, the US telecom companies get sizable government subsidies and other public assistance to carry out such work. This muddies the waters and makes the zero-sum argument about high- vs. low-density ar

          • Except, as has been substantially covered here on Slashdot, the US telecom companies get sizable government subsidies and other public assistance to carry out such work.

            I presume you are talking about the Universal Service Fund. That fund is drawn directly from the revenues of telecom companies to build infrastructure where there would otherwise be none because there is NO economic case for it. It is impossible to justify the expense of serving many of the rural and even semi-rural areas of the US. That is not a government subsidy, that is regulated reapportionment of telecom revenues for specific purposes. True, it is not a black and white case for urban versus rural

      • by cdrguru (88047)

        Coverage in the US cities is a function of being able to put up towers.

        You can't put up a tower in a city without permission from the city. You can't put it on city land no matter what. To put a tower up on private land you have to not only negotiate with the landowner but the landowner's neighbors. When there is someone that believes cell phone radiation will cause cancer you aren't going to put a tower there no matter what. Ever, until that person moves. Trying to fight it out in court is a losing bat

  • It'll be interesting to see what happens with Sprint in late 2011 early 2012 when the 2-year contracts expire for all of those Motorola Droid early adopters. It probably won't stop the death of unlimited data plans as they're too small compared to AT&T and Verizon.
  • In Russia.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    In (Ex-Soviet) Russia, you can choose from MTS, MegaFon, Beeline, Tele2, or a few other GSM Providers.
    In China, you can choose from China Mobile (Easyown, GoTone, M-zone, Peoples, ZoNG), ChinaUnicom. (Yes, the main ones are state-owned)

    In the "Free" United states, you can choose any GSM provider you want, as long as you "want" to use the government-approved AT&T/T-mobile.

    So you say: "If there's customer demand, Capitalism shows another company will be created so competition remains..." Yeah Right. The

  • I swore I'd never do this but...

    I, for one, welcome our new Call Dropping Overlords.

  • "Why should consumers care about the AT&T/T-mobile merger? Already, Verizon has dropped unlimited data plans and the US trails Japan, South Korea, and others in variety and performance of mobiles. Don't think for a second that those aren't the direct result this new monopoly", says blogger Tom Henderson. I'm pretty sure "Japan, South Korea, and others..." were far ahead of the US in mobile performance LONG before any merger talks came about.
  • Oh for Pete's sake! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Thursday June 30, 2011 @03:35PM (#36626516)
    State Agencies get eaten alive by something as big as AT&T/T-Mobile. Did a State agency break up Ma Bell? All I can say to these State's rightser Loons is Divide and Conqueror.
  • I still pay $50 a month total for my iPhone and still have unlimited 3G data being with ATT.

    Now with the acquisition I have even more towers to cover me for the voice and 2G data end since T-mo towers are compatible with this.

  • by Fnord666 (889225)

    Who would you rather pay off, 43 different state regulatory authorities, or those convenient people on Capitol Hill?'"

    FTFY

  • All of those countries mentioned have centralized federal authorities regulating their companies. Trying to for some reason argue AGAINST federal regulation, and instead of state-level regulation, while simultaneously pointing at all these other counties ahead of the US, is total nonsense.

    Not everything should be state regulated. For a heck of a lot of things, it introduces huge levels of complexity and expense, and lots of opportunity for idiotic state legislators to pass nonsense laws to gain political po

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