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Monday, April 11, 2011

Societal Issues


I want to take a few minutes today to talk about cable companies.. However, what I talk about in this post isn't at all ONLY about cable companies. You can find identical behavior in virtually ALL sectors of the economy.. In my own opinion this lack of morality, honesty, integrity is one of the largest problems facing the United States economy and indeed the economies of the entire world..

But on to the cable company..

We have had cable TV for decades.. Many years ago we signed up for a "bundle package".. When/if you purchased 3 separate "services" from the cable company you received a so-called "discount".

So we took the bait and signed up for basic cable, like 62 channels of mostly worthless crap, internet service and something called the "digital cable package".

At any rate years went by and cable TV became more and more worthless as far as enlightenment goes.. While I did and do like the "digital cable" portion of our "contract" with the cable company we realized that of the many "extra" channels it offers (most of which are counted as "channels" even though they are music that doesn't even include video) there were/are a few channels that I appreciated.. Including History International, I used to watch the Military Channel fairly often but not so much anymore, the Science channel has some good programming and I sometime enjoy National Geographic..

But we found ourselves in something of a "cost cutting" mode a few years back.. An effort to simplify our lives to a degree and cut back more to what we needed vs what we wanted..

So one thing that stuck out, to me, was the digital portion of our cable bill.. The "bundle pricing" on three "services" is billed at $30.00 per month per service.. Or $90.00 a month. Plus taxes and fees it comes to about $110.00 a month for TV and internet connection..

So my bright idea was to drop the, seemingly overpriced, "digital" portion of the package. While it contained a few channels we enjoyed it didn't seem to have enough "value" to justify the $30.00 a month expense.

To make a long story short we called the cable company and checked on the impact of dropping the "digital" portion of the package.. And this is the part that really bugs me.. Though we are, purportedly, PAYING $30.00 a month for the privelege of having the digital portion dropping it would lower our monthly cable bill by a whopping $5.00!

So we PAY $30.00 to get it OR we PAY $25.00 NOT to get it!

Also we got the cable internet because it was the fastest connection available and I like/need/want that..

Well.. somewhere along the line that has changed without my knowledge.. For a little while we had the slowest internet connection because the cable company came out with faster connections than ours.. At the time I discovered that they then had 3 speeds.. Slow, faster and fastest.. $30.00, $40.00 and $50.00.. I'm not sure how many they have now.. I should check for this post but I'm not doing it.. I do know for a fact that they have an even slower connection than mine available now for like $20.00 a month which also has limited time allowed on-line.

This infuriates me..

There was a time that companies strived to offer their customers the VERY BEST they had to offer at a fair price..

Now days it seems they want to break their offerings down into multiple "levels" in order to take advantage of the tremendous income inequality that exists in the United States of America..

Corporations seek to use envy, pride, lust, any and every human emotion they possibly can to "drive sales", "drive profits".

This splits society itself into classes of NOT the haves and have nots.. But the "have the mosts", the "have almost but not quite as much as the mosts", the "sort of middle of the road have some expendable cash available", the "living hand to mouth each paycheck", and the "living strictly on credit and not much else because we have no money".

When there was integrity, honesty and morality in business corporations felt it their responsibility to provide to the purchasing public the very best product they had at a competitive price.

In my opinion that model left us long ago..

Seems instead that everything in business now days is more like "Bait and Switch".

And, as I said in the beginning of this post, the cable company is used here merely as an easy and convenient example as far as what passes for so-called "business" in this country.

In my opinion at some point in the evolution of capitalism providing the public with the BEST products available at the lowest, most competitive price possible, was replaced with greed and a pure unadulterated lust for profits..

Witness sub-prime loans in the housing market.. auto loans, payday loans, rent to own, etc..

And not only that..

Every corporation in existence, that I know of, uses teams of lawyers to draw up extremely complex consumer contracts that seek to deny as many rights from the customer as legally possible while at the same time granting the corporation the power to do anything they decide to do with virtually NO consumer recourse at all!

Insurance companies, cell phone companies, cable and satellite providers, credit card issuers.. You name it they ALL do it.. It's ALL plain to see in their own (unfathomable) fine print.. We (the corporation) have the legal right to screw you and rob you blind while YOU have absolutely no recourse at all.. (<-- fine print summed up)

When did this happen? And how do we reverse its harmful, detrimental effects?

Very simply by NOT participating! By NOT buying! By NOT agreeing to horribly biased fine print!

Thanks for your time..



  1. It's all about getting bigger profits and better returns for Wall St. Every company and government agent defers to what Wall St wants.. ie greed. If Wall St doesn't get what it wants, Wall St throws a tanturm

  2. Thanks much for the comment.

    And yes absolutely agree. I saw the other day on TV that during the so-called budget talks K-street was queried about the decision before it became public.. Politicians had to 1st check with their masters before approving a bill which does virtually nothing at all to address the debt issues faced by the country. The 33, 38.5, 40 billion dollars in "savings" will be eaten up quickly by nothing more than interest payments alone.

    At risk of sounding like a Marxist it seems inevitable that we should end up in this situation because once the most important thing becomes ever increasing corporate profits on a quarterly basis then corporation are pretty much forced to abide by those rules or be crushed in the market place. Eventually they reach a point where HOW you get there matters far less than getting there itself.. At that point you have lost all possibility of fairness, quality, honesty, integrity, and so forth.. It's all gone.. All replaced by simple, pure greed and the need for ever increasing profits at any costs simply to avoid failure in the market place.

    At one point in history America represented far more than that to the entire world..