Twitter: @ProfZavala, #Zavala4CHGO
After my interview two weeks ago with attorney Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing Trayvon Martin-young man assassinated by George Zimmerman, I consider what he said in our conversation: no one should be above the law. Besides the Martin-Zimmerman case, an example of such would be the antitrust case against Carlos Slim.
Super billionaire and Mexico’s wealthiest resident, Carlos Slim, is facing a $1 billion fine over practices of his telecom company, Telcel. The company is charged with unfair pricing practices. Telcel is part of the “Slim monster empire” anchored by America Movil, which dominates 70 percent of Mexico’s mobile market. Carlos Slim, who owns Telcel, has been bogged down in court appeals and dispute for a year. Mexican federal competition commission, Cofeco, slapped Telcel, the cash cow of Slim giant telecoms with the record sanction in April 2011 after ruling the company charged excessive prices to wireless and wireless competitors to connect to its network.
Telcel appealed the fine and even managed to ban Cofeco’s President Eduardo Perez Motta from taking part in a second vote, arguing that Eduardo Motta had made biased comments to the media. Cofeco said it was notifying the affected parties of its decision. If it ratifies, drops or modifies the fine against Slim, the world’s richest man would have some serious issues to consider.
While Slim remains the richest man in the world, he is not immune to the rules and regulations that govern society.
Why is it that the United States, often the nation that brags about how it defends human rights internationally, does not do anything to regulate companies such as ComEd, Nicor, Comcast, and Ford Motors, among others? Just to mention an agency, CUB (Citizens Utilities Board) is supposed to regulate ComEd and Nicor. CUB regulates the price rates of these companies yet for some reason allows them to abuse their pricing. ComEd uses Smart Grid, an instrument used to detect the occurrence of power shortages, as a means to increase pricing, stating that they need the extra money to fix their infrastructure. Smart Grid would allow ComEd to know where problems arise in their system. However, it is not the solution: it was tested in Park Ridge, Illinois and the power was gone for 3-4 days.
What ComEd needs to do is reinvest some of the profits it made over the years. ComEd needs to have its structure underground, but if it is not possible they need to update their equipment. This is not much to ask for considering how much people pay for their services. ComEd is charging an additional 97 cents per bill as of now. It does not only abuse the people with hefty charges but also has the authority to shut your service in case one doesn’t pay a bill.
How can this country not do anything for its people? In the end, we are the ones that pay taxes and go out to fight for this country. Wars are not bringing about any positive changes to the local people. Instead, they leave us in debt. In legal cases, it is important that the facts are presented so that the court systems could take whatever means they consider necessary to enforce the law. As in the cases of Martin-Zimmerman and Carlos Slim, evidence needs to be placed for others to examine in order to take the most appropriate action.
Whether one is a working-class individual or the richest man in the world, it is crucial to acknowledge that we must hold everyone accountable for their actions and that no one is above the law.