The FCC’s new net neutrality rules are socialism at its finest. The rules are a direct affront to your freedom. They are a case study in crony politics. President Obama and his Harvard Law School friend FCC chairman Julius Genachowski are on the left, squashing private enterprise while horse-trading with big cable companies on the right who are lobbying to keep the status quo.
How frustrating is it when you can’t find anything to watch with over 700 channels to choose from? More often than I care to admit, I find myself scanning all the channels more than once, figuring that there has to be something on; it’s me, right?
How about renting a movie-on-demand that skips or doesn’t play for some reason? Isn’t that fun? And isn’t it relaxing calling your cable company on a Friday night? Cheery service it’s not. It’s a shame we have to put up with it, but the FCC created this problem by overregulation that keeps competition out.
You do have some choices. Netflix by mail is good until you forget to return one or two and you begin collecting expensive movies. Streaming Netflix is better, especially with Apple TV. But that’s assuming your Wi-Fi service doesn’t get interrupted, an event that is quickly followed by your spouse asking what’s wrong with the TV, as if you’re suddenly the tech guy. Having options is certainly a sign of technological growth, but we’re way behind the curve in terms of the consumer viewing experience.
Lack of competition has allowed the big companies to get fat. Every time you turn on your TV, you have two guests watching alongside you. On the left (that’s the überliberal political left) you have the FCC, and on the right you have big business (which is sitting on top of and crushing small business). Both have skin in the game. You’re stuck in the middle holding their popcorn. And it’s your house.
The liberal left begins with President Obama, who has said “I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality.” Julius Genachowski, who heads the Democrat-heavy FCC, is a frequent guest at the White House. And even though the courts have already voted against net neutrality, Genachowski and his colleagues decided they are still going to go for it. As Phil Kerpen writes,
These Obama-FCC regulations have been rejected already by Congress and the American people. More than 300 members of Congress signed letters of opposition to FCC Internet regulation, and just 27 have sponsored Rep. Edward J. Markey’s bill to impose network-neutrality rules. The bill has not even been introduced in the Senate this Congress. Last Congress, there were just 11 Senate co-sponsors. (Mr. Obama was one of them.) During the recent election, the issue proved an embarrassment for Democrats. A group called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee touted a net-neutrality pledge signed by 95 candidates. All 95 lost.
The new net neutrality rules are another example of the left completely ignoring the midterm mandate. But what’s making this worse it that big businesses, with all their money, are desperately lobbying for their piece of the pie. It’s understandable since they’ve already spent billions in investment dollars building the infrastructure. But there has been overregulation every step of the way that has destroyed competition or any semblance of a free market. In the end, the consumer ends up losing.
With net neutrality, the additional costs from government regulation keep small businesses or entrepreneurs out of the game. They don’t have the cash. As Andy Kessler writes, “By discouraging competition in local access and refusing to change arcane licensing rules, this regime would freeze in place Google, Comcast, Verizon Wireless and ESPN just as the next wave of services will emerge to delight us.” It’s a government-run marketplace.
Beginning in January, the 112th Congress needs to step up to the FCC and strike down President Obama’s net neutrality. Cutting off funding to the FCC would be a good place to start. If we allow this to go unchallenged, the next thing you’ll find is that you’ll only have one government-run channel to watch. How is that better for America?