Friday, February 27, 2015

Net Neutrality: Liberals Ignore Settled Science on Regulation

John Fund writes that George Soros and the Ford Foundation have spent about $196 million funding the "net neutrality" campaign. And the long-term goal is control of internet content -- and funding public news organizations.

And now they have got what they wanted, with the Federal Communications Commission decision to regulate the internet as a public utility.

The price of moving data across the Internet has been falling by about 30 percent per year, according to the Wall Street Journal edit page.
That isn't good enough for the likes of Netflix, which now generates more than a third of all Internet traffic, and other major bandwidth users that are the chief lobbyists for the new FCC rules. Netflix doesn't detail its spending on Internet transport, though a telecom source estimates Netflix spends less than a penny for every movie it sends to a customer. 
Now, for some reason all our liberal friends are worked up about "net neutrality" and the evil bandwidth barons like AT&T and Comcast. Don't they know about the settled science? That the regulators always end up being captured by the interests they regulate? Are they determined to deny the fact that the price system almost always guarantees a more just distribution of resources than government?

Yeah. Like maybe Netflix and its customers should actually pay for hogging one third of Internet bandwidth. Hey, maybe a big greedy corporation like Netflix with its sky-high market valuation could afford to pay $0.02 per movie downloaded. Whatever.

But that's not the point. Nobody knows what Netflix should pay for bandwidth: that's what the price system is for. People compete for the use of a scarce resource by paying for it. If your customers can't afford to pay for the resource at market prices maybe that is an indication that your business plan has a flaw in it. The price system is much better and much more just than getting Congress to vote you a subsidy or cuddling up to a regulator. Or getting the president to bully the Federal Communications Commission into giving you free stuff.

Really, sometimes you have to wonder. Are liberals and their activist lefty pals really as educated and evolved as they claim?

I suppose that the liberal universe is divided, as Steven F. Hayward writes of the university, between its educated wing that believes in tenure and government by experts and its activist wing that believes in grievance and government by activists. Nowhere in these two world views is there space for the idea that maybe the experts and the activists should bug out and leave people to settle their differences without the option of going nuclear by calling in the strategic air command of big government.

The way to understand President Obama and his actions is to simply understand that he represents the Democratic Party coalition. The "over" part of the coalition wants to save the planet from global warming and legislate liberal morality and put everything in America, e.g. the Internet, under the supervision of liberals. The "under" part of the coalition just wants free stuff. Hey! That's what Obama delivers! Does he know his base, or what?

But if you are in the middle, neither over or under, you have to be feeling by November 2016 that Obama's America is not your America, and that it's time for a change.

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