A major concern raised by opponents of the FCC’s new claim of Title II authority to regulate the Internet as a utility instead of a communication service was that the commission would use it as a means of taking over management of the Internet (in direct contravention to the 1990s laws that made possible the explosive growth of the medium).
Turns out it was true: Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission admitted yesterday that the new regulations they’ve written under alleged Title II authority could allow the FCC to manage how much companies charge for internet service.
While the rules themselves don’t set any limits on what companies can and cannot charge, they do allow people to come to the FCC with any action they feel is not “just and reasonable.”
That could include overly high rates, commissioners said during questiong in a Senate Commerce Committee hearing.
“We don’t have such a case before us right now,” added Jessica Rosenworcel, a fellow Democratic commissioner. “But I think it’s a matter of due process that any provider … has the opportunity to come to the commission and seek resolution.”
The Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama, has engaged in a strategy called “sue and settle,” in which the agency settles lawsuits brought by environmental groups, without a trial, by imposing heavy regulations on businesses and the public. It’s a gigantic perversion of the agency’s mission, and you can be sure that the FCC will pursue the same strategy under this president. Get ready for your internet service prices to rise, not fall, as competition is driven out.
Writing at American Thinker, Norm Rogers provides an excellent overview of what political correctness really is and how it works. The entire article is informative and instructive. Here’s an important snippet:
If you want to intimidate people it is better to make the rules of behavior vague. That way they cannot defend themselves because it is never clear what the charges are. An example of vague rules is this gem from San Jose State University:
“Any form of activity, whether covert or overt, that creates a significantly uncomfortable, threatening, or harassing environment for any UHS resident or guest will be handled judicially and may be grounds for immediate disciplinary action, revocation of the Housing License Agreement, and criminal prosecution. The conduct does not have to be intended to harass. The conduct is evaluated from the complainant’s perspective.”
Under this standard, anyone who says much of anything can be disciplined if he authorities don’t like him. Rather than rules of behavior, the standard of bad behavior is whatever the person who complains says it is.
That’s how things were done in the old Soviet Union and still are handled in current-day totalitarian nations (insert your own thoughts about the contemporary United States here): make the laws so numerous, obscure, and contradictory that no one can obey all of them, and then use those laws to prosecute and destroy any perceived enemies or potential opposition. That’s what political correctness amounts to: a totalitarian regime.
Writing at The Federalist, Robert Tracinski draws parallels between the FCC’s power grab over the internet and the government’s immensely destructive imposition of controls over the production and distribution of industrial metals and other materials, called the Fair Share Act, in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. As Tracinski points out, the Fair Share Act is net neutrality for the manufacturing industries. You may remember how well that worked out in the book. Tracinski writes,
Net neutrality bears some relationship to the Fair Share Law, under which Hank Rearden’s production of his new metal alloy has been restricted at the same time that every manufacturer has been told they have a right to an equal share of it. This means that the highest-value, highest-volume users, the ones for whom access to large quantities of high-performance metal is vital—such as Ken Danagger’s coal mines—are required to wait in line behind those who are making golf clubs and coffee pots.
The imposition of price controls and de facto takeover of industries, however, proves even more destructive, Tracinski notes:
But the perverse rate regulations of net neutrality most resemble the Railroad Unification Plan and the Steel Unification Plan. These are the plans offered by government regulators in an attempt to prop up weak, government-connected businesses. They consist of creating industry-wide “pools” in which all railroad revenues are collected, then shared out equally based on the amount of track each company has to maintain. The details aren’t the same, but the intent is: to collectivize the cost of infrastructure by deliberately divorcing the expense of the service from the actual amount you use it.
In the case of net neutrality, this is an obvious bit of cronyism that is intended to serve the interests of one faction—the faction that has won the political battle for the moment—at the expense of everyone else. It is meant to serve the interests of companies that are heavily reliant on large amounts of bandwidth, such as the Netflix video-streaming service, by giving them equal access to high download speeds at no extra charge. Like many of Jim Taggart’s machinations on behalf of his company, you can see how this will actually be detrimental to firms like Netflix over the long run. A big Internet service provider like Comcast will have much greater incentive to build extra infrastructure to provide for the needs of a client like Netflix, if they can charge extra for it. If they can’t charge extra—if they are banned from charging extra—then they have less incentive and fewer resources to build infrastructure. In essence, this is a plan to slow down or even halt the construction of new Internet infrastructure.
This is about to come to pass: see item 1, above.
Tracinski then notes that a similar process is being forced through in regard to fracking, and he summarizes all of this with a section bearing the following subhead: “Government Shuts Down Any Runaway Success.”
That statement is correct, and it happens because government cannot abide competition, and any successful industry is seen as competition because it possesses an authority over the market, which the government sees as a threat to its ability to assert its authority, which it wrongly presumes to predominate over all things.
Welcome to the fantastic exaggeration of the 1930s in which we now live.