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The Comcast-Time Warner merger: The case for public ownership

From World Socialist Web Site - February 19

Last week Comcast, the largest US cable television and broadband provider, announced that it would merge with Time Warner Cable, taking over the second-largest US cable company for $45 billion. The merger would create a vast monopoly that would control over one third of the cable television and broadband Internet markets in the United States.

The merger is yet another expression of the growing control of enormous corporations over ever-greater sections of media, communications, and economic life, and the effective abandonment of anti-trust regulation by the US government.

The company that would result from the proposed merger would have almost twice as many broadband Internet subscribers as its closest competitor, and would have some 32 million customers, according to figures by the Leichtman Research Group. Its two closest competitors, AT&T and Verizon, have 16 million and 9 million customers, respectively.

The UAW debacle in Tennessee

From World Socialist Web Site - February 18

The vote by Tennessee Volkswagen workers to reject the United Auto Workers was an entirely justified rebuke to an organization that has betrayed the working class for decades. After a two-year, multi-million dollar campaign, the 712-626 vote against the UAW was a stunning defeat for the organization, which believed that the backing of Volkswagen management would ensure its victory.

The so-called “union drive” was an attempt by VW and the UAW to impose the UAW on a work force that did not support the discredited organization, which has not called a national auto strike in nearly four decades and devotes all of its efforts to suppressing the resistance of workers to layoffs, wages cuts and speedup. The UAW and the company attempted to blackmail the workers into voting for the union by suggesting that failure to bring in the UAW would result in a new SUV model being moved to Mexico.

Kerry’s Asian trip and the build-up to war with China

From World Socialist Web Site - February 17

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Beijing last Friday was the latest move in the Obama administration’s provocative “pivot to Asia,” the purpose of which is to undermine Chinese influence and build up US military forces and alliances in preparation for war. Having deliberately inflamed dangerous flashpoints in Asia over the past four years, the US is seeking to press home its advantage, regardless of the consequences.

In Beijing, Kerry sought to lay down the law to the Chinese leadership across a range of sensitive issues. On the volatile Korean Peninsula, he insisted that China use “every tool at its disposal”—including crippling economic sanctions—to force its ally North Korea to bend to US demands on denuclearisation. In relation to the fraught situation in the East China and South China Seas, he called on Beijing to adopt “a calmer, more rule-of law based, less confrontational regime”—implicitly blaming China for the tensions that the US has deliberately stirred up.

The Workers Inquiry into the bankruptcy of Detroit

From World Socialist Web Site - February 14

On Saturday, the Socialist Equality Party in the US is holding a Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions. The aim of the Inquiry is to uncover the social and historical roots of the bankruptcy of Detroit and expose the political and financial interests behind this attack on the working class. The purpose of the meeting is to provide workers and young people with the knowledge they need to fight back.

The Inquiry is being held as Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s financial dictator, prepares to release his “plan of adjustment.” Worked out in collaboration with the city’s biggest creditors, the plan will call for the gutting of the pensions and health benefits of more than 20,000 retired city workers and the privatization of public assets, including the cultural treasures of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).


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