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Credit Card Settlements, Wireless Networks and What's 'Killing the Earth'

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Credit Card Settlements, Wireless Networks and What's 'Killing the Earth'

Visa and MasterCard reach a $2.75 billion settlement with Discover Card over an antitrust complaint first brought in 1998.

Cox Communications plans to roll out wireless service in 2009.

A New Scientist report declares that the modern Western economy is “killing the Earth.”

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. BUSINESS

Visa and MasterCard reach a $2.75 billion settlement with Discover Card over an antitrust complaint first brought in 1998.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Fran Smith on the government’s original rationale for the legal case:

“Antitrust advocates claim to be protecting consumers from anti-competitive practices. Yet consumers benefit from creative institutional and technological change and are likely to be injured by politically imposed restrictions on such change, especially when the restrictions favor particular competitors. Trustbusters' vision of the market as a static snapshot of yesterday could well frustrate the creative search for innovations tomorrow.”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Cox Communications plans to roll out wireless service in 2009.  

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of New Media Cord Blomquist on one potential threat to the deployment of new wireless networks:

“[Early] termination fees don’t just serve the purpose of cost recovery, they also provide an incentive for customers staying loyal to their wireless provider and giving these providers revenue predictability. With predictable revenues, it’s easier for cell phone network companies to get the financing they need to build the multi-billion dollar networks of tomorrow. Rep. [Ed] Markey’s bill may save consumers in the short-term, but in the long run adding volatility to the marketplace will stem investment and slow the roll-out of 4G and Wi-Max networks.”

 

3. ENVIRONMENT

A New Scientist report declares that the modern Western economy is “killing the Earth.”

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Analyst Steven Milloy on what the green gurus recommend as an alternative:

“Andrew Simms of London’s New Economics Foundation describes as ‘disingenuous’ the argument that global economic growth is needed to eradicate poverty. He says that ‘we have to overcome knee-jerk rejection of the ‘R’ word — redistribution’ and that we need a ‘Green New Deal’ that controls capital and raises taxes to create environmental jobs. Susan George of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute advocates developing a World War II-type mentality toward life including rationing, ‘victory’ or home gardens and the government run by wealthy elites who would work for a salary of $1 per year.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI weekly podcast, here.