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Best columns: Web wars, Working rich
The growing battle to sign up new Internet customers, says Vishesh Kumar in <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>, means &ldquo;fresh opportunities for consumers to cut their bills.&rdquo; The chances are that you didn&rsquo
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ow to benefit from Internet price war

The battle to sign up new Internet customers “is heating up,” says Vishesh Kumar in The Wall Street Journal, and that means “fresh opportunities for consumers to cut their bills.” Phone companies Verizon and AT&T are cutting prices to attract new DSL customers—Verizon actually lost DSL subscribers last quarter—and analysts expect cable companies to “become more aggressive in their own promotions as they compete to retain customers.” The decade old phone-cable competition isn’t new, but the market saturation is—about 60 percent of Americans now use high-speed Internet. For now, cable is winning the fight, and phone companies are cutting harder. But stay tuned, this fight isn’t over.

The burden of affluence

The chances are that you didn’t go into the office yesterday, as it was Labor Day, says Dalton Conley in The New York Times, but it’s just as likely that many of you were unable to turn off your BlackBerrys, laptops, and work-oriented brains. Workaholism is nothing new in America, but what is new is that “it is now the rich who are the most stressed out and the most likely to be working the most.” This marks a “stunning moment in economic history”—the rich are working more hours than the low-wage earners for the first time on record. Why? Growing inequality between the haves and the have-mores. The more you make, the poorer you feel compared to the next income rung. So much for “the good life.”

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