Daily Archives: June 5, 2019

Rep. Connolly introduces “Housing For All” legislative agenda

In a message to the members of the Massachusetts House and Senate, Rep. Connolly introduces “Housing For All” legislative agenda

Our Commonwealth is facing an ongoing emergency in the shortage of affordable housing, extreme rent burden, foreclosure, and homelessness.

While we can all be proud of the work we did last session to enact the $1.8 billion Housing Bond Bill, and while there are many promising pieces of legislation on the table this session, as a lifelong tenant and as someone who grew up in public housing that was built by the Commonwealth, I believe we must broaden our ambitions and work toward a program of guaranteed Housing For All.

All of these bills deserve close scrutiny as to their workability, but they all deserve to be recognized as creative proposals worth discussing.

It does not make sense to let “the market” be totally responsible for providing some basic human needs when meeting those needs cannot make a profit. The public can pay the private sector to provide some of these needs, but ownership needs to be in public hands. Contracts with private companies to provide service must be relatively short term – no more than 1 year. Before there can be a contract renewal, the previous contract performance must be evaluated, and it must meet at least some minimum standards spelled out in the contract.

What Democratic Contenders Are Missing in the Race to Revive Antitrust

The Atlantic has the article What Democratic Contenders Are Missing in the Race to Revive Antitrust. There is not enough emphasis in the article of this excerpt.

By the 2000s, the ideas of the conservative Chicago School had become mainstream in antitrust circles. Robinson-Patman, a law intended to protect small businesses, was an easy target for Chicago School critics narrowly focused on efficiency and low consumer prices. Their attacks found a receptive audience in the federal judiciary. Among insiders, Robinson-Patman is now known as “zombie law.” It remains on the books, but regulators no longer bother trying to enforce it.

The naivete of this view of ant-trust is just astounding. The trusts and monopolies can get away with whatever they want if consumer prices are not raised. Corporations have figured out that if they hammer on suppliers and employees from their position of power, the courts won’t blink an eye. Never mind that monoply practice has always been to drive competitors out by lowering prices, only to raise them after they have driven all the competitors out. Big pharma is using that tactic today in obviously obscene ways. Where are the courts if they still belioeve that raising consumer prices is the one harm worthwhile stopping?