I agree to Idea Stand with Freedom: Oppose the oxymoronic 'Net Neutrality'
Voting Disabled

211 votes

I disagree to Idea Stand with Freedom: Oppose the oxymoronic 'Net Neutrality'

Rank10

Idea#221

This idea is active.
The Open Internet & Public Engagement »

Stand with Freedom: Oppose the oxymoronic 'Net Neutrality'

Ok, so what we have here is the basic argument that is consuming America on all levels, and not just about Internet Neutrality. On one side, we have the capitalists who believe that "The Government" is the enemy and that "The Market" will balance everything out and solve all the problems. On the other side we have (for lack of a less antagonistic term) the anti-capitalists who believe that evil corporations will screw everybody in their quest for money and power, and the only solution is for "The Government" to take over and ensure everyone is treated fairly.

Let's take a look at history and see which view is more likely to be accurate:

For all of known history, individual large economic powers (cf. evil corporations) have existed for relatively short periods of time. While some have lasted for centuries such as the Rothschild banking houses, most have barely outlived their founders. These organizations reached their pinnacle of power by providing services that most people found useful and satisfactory, regardless of the fact that a small percentage of persons received less than adequate (if any) services. When an organization blocked innovation, they were either quickly surpassed and they fell (check out IBM, once the biggest seller of Business Machines in the world, now barely hanging on because they couldn't compete), or they populace rose up and broke the strangle-hold, as was done with the original AT&T. This was done through Government intervention, but WITHOUT Government take-over either outright or through massive legislation. As a matter if fact, the breakup of AT&T is the opposite of this net neutrality idea, and was to foster competition instead of equality of service. So, while there have been some bottle-necks, over time quality services become available to everybody, and the level of quality continues to increase.

Now, let's look at those services that are Government run or highly Government regulated:

Social Security: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 30 years turned to FAILURE

Medicare: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 20 years turned to FAILURE

Universal Health: FAIL (everywhere but here, where we will obviously do it different because everybody else just got it wrong - FAIL,FAIL,FAIL)

Banking: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 15 years turned to FAILURE - It wasn't the "fat-cat" bankers who got us in this current pickle, it was the Libs in Government who mandated that the banks HAD to loan money for housing to people THEY KNEW couldn't pay it back.)

Postal Service: FAIL - Raised their rates again today, and are talking about cutting delivery on Wednesdays and Saturdays

TVA: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 25 years turned to FAILURE

CCC: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 15 years turned to FAILURE

DMV/DOT: FAIL

U.S. Highway system: Started off with good intentions and a strong plan which, after less than 35 years turned to FAILURE

All these programs have the same thing in common: in order to be "Fair" and "Just" and help the lowest 10% get what everybody else had to pay for, The government "stepped in" and over-ruled the prevailing market forces. This worked fine for a relatively short period of time but, as the systems went more and more out of balance, the wobble and gyrations eventually caused system failure.

Every single time, in every single case, when "The Goverment" has taken over or massively regulated a service, either the cost has gone up and the quality has dropped like a rock, or the service itself has crashed and burned, leaving everyone without.

That's why I don't want the government messing with the internet, or the health-care system, or banking, or the auto industry or anything else. While a particular service may suck right now, capitalism will surely improve on it because it's in a business' best interests to do so. If company A doesn't give you what you want, Company B will come along a offer it. You may not like - or be able to afford - the solution (right now), but under capitalism, the quality will continue to go up and the cost will continue to go down. That is a proven historical fact.

The exact opposite is true of Government run systems. The only one in the U.S.A. that works worth a tinker's damn today is the Post Office and they do it by outsourcing to Federal Express!

Submitted by 4 years ago

Comments (20)

  1. Thank you. Very good points. Let us not forget the failure of the public education system, in which students are forced into watered-down learning and brainwashing political and social bias, by half-well-meaning "teachers," professors, and administrators who never grew up and can never be kicked out once they're tenured. They protect teachers union interests over children's learning. They get rid of the trade schools and push kids to go to endlessly to community colleges for a meaningless and useless degree. And they force us to put more tax money into a failing, unnecessary, and increasingly wicked system.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  2. Net Neutrality is not in any way similar to any of the other regulatory programs you cited. The government will not be stepping in to regulate the content of the internet, or how it can be accessed, or who can access it, except to insure that the content is "everything," how it can be accessed is "in any way possible," and "everyone" can access it.

    Net Neutrality is simply insuring that the internet remains open and accessible to all, regardless of what web sites users would like to visit or what protocols they want to use. If Net Neutrality fails to pass, we could see the introduction of tiered pricing schemes similar to cable TV, rather than the "everyone has access to the same internet" model that currently exists. How would you like to pay an extra $15 premium on top of your internet service so you can use "advanced" features like Netflix streaming or online gaming?

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  3. You like attaching to failure to a lot of government ventures, and maybe you went to private school, but I value the public education I received and have never felt I was at a disadvantage because of it. I think the public school system, while needing improvement are a testament to our society's strength. Our school systems bring in individuals from across the globe at a university and high school level -- and it's because of their quality.

    Back on the subject of net neutrality, is a free market one in which 1 or 2 ISP's control market spaces encompassing entire cities or states? What choice does that offer? What happens when they decide to attach a additional fee for features that are already standard? Well, perhaps additional competitive choices would prevent this..unfortunately I have to choose between Qwest and Comcast. To me it seems a lot more like a oligopoly or similar to state of the railroads and the robber barons of the 19th century.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  4. This is a completely false comparison.

    ISPs hate Net Neutrality for one reason, because the internet is making their business model obsolete.

    They make big profits on delivering your TV content, which is moving to the internet. When the transition is complete, they will lose billions in revenue.

    Providing bandwidth isn't sexy, it doesn't have great margins like being middle man on programming, but current rates support the infrastructure and leave room for profit. Not enough for them though, so they want to use legislation to protect their obsolete business model.

    It's as if when the telephone was invented, we made laws allowing telegraph companies to protect the profits by limiting phone service. That's a metaphor that sticks.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  5. Finally, a reasonable argument. To follow 'Net Neutrality' you need to follow the money paying for the 'Net Neutrality' argument. This is pressure from the application vendors not wanting to pay for freight in order to protect their product margins.

    A larger concern I have is customer privacy tied to the business model at Google. Google will face the same scrutiny as Microsoft by 2018.

    This is virtual Astroturfing.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  6. This argument is based on a very bad analogy to other public services the writer feels should never have been provided. The writer even calls into question the merits of a public school system, which is seen as an economic boon by every successful nation in the world. Should the author of this argument visit any country that provides none of these services I think they would have an alarming wake up call to reality.

    Beyond the inaccuracy of this general attack on government services, there is the general irrelevancy of the comparisons in the first place. Net neutrality is a simple regulation designed to protect the internet, not a large government institution. There are lots of existing regulations protecting the state of communications in this country from deteriorating into chaos. Just ask the FCC how vital they are.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  7. Absolutely, agree. Less Government is always good. Everything the Government takes over fails or is failing. This is more about Control of the people and is just another step towards Socialist control and the death of Freedom.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  8. I meant to vote this down. The government isn't going to run the internet, rather, the government is stepping out of the picture and saying to all the telecom corporations "Hands off the internet! It is for the people, and it is not supposed to be at the discresion of the 'greedy old telecom companies'!"

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  9. I meant to vote this down.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  10. I did vote this down. One problem here is that it's like one of those ballot proposals that you can't figure out which way to vote. I actually believe there are people opposing this simply because it is a government/business issue. Note comment about "following the money" above. If you follow the "money" in this discussion, you'll see it is individuals who are opposing this move by making their voices heard (the only "money" we have in this fight) against large corporations who are trying (with millions of REAL dollars) to get the FCC to allow them to screw up the internet as we know it so they can make more money.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  11. Well, um the capitalist did destroy this country in their ultimate quest for money...the second time its happened. I don't know how anyone could see it any differently. We had the president of the Ayn Rand fan club run our economy for 25 years...the last 10 of which we saw 0 net job growth.

    I think a lot of these anti-government types just don't like democrats. They're not serious about small government...never have been.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  12. Um, matt.bestudio, it was the government that brought the bad economic situation, not the free market. The free market has not been allowed to work due to government intervention. Before bad-mouthing capitalism, try it sometime.

    It was running on newly printed money, excess regulation, cronyism (in regs, subsidies, tax breaks, pork, grants, etc.), saving disincentives and high taxes that have harmed the market. Especially, the federal reserve has been using the Federal Reserve to create money out of thin air.

    An economy is not run. It emerges from the actions of individuals. Attempts to manage the economy does not work.

    You can't blame the bad economic situation on the free market. Washington has been chaining the market and growing toward a socialist/fascist system for years. Obama is just doing the same only more so. Obama is worse than Bush.

    I don't get how you think being for small government is against democracy. What can be more democratic for this century than freedom? Majority rule, even over the rights of individuals, is a 20th century thing and it has failed. The constitution limits the power of the federal government and even reiterates some of what it cannot do. It was designed to be small. As those in power enhance their own power beyond constitutional boundaries and can do what they want to us, how is that democratic in any sense?

    Many people work hard to protect our freedoms. I would never say they are not serious.

    To bring this back on topic... Lets stand for freedom, let the market work, and get quality Internet access the honest way, rejecting methods that threaten our freedom and even the existence of the Internet itself.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  13. "If company A doesn't give you what you want, Company B will come along a offer it."

    This principle may be true of free markets in general, but broadband Internet access in this country is not a free market for the majority of citizens. Many only have one regional provider, leaving them with no alternative if they are unhappy with their service. What should these people do?

    Also, Net Neutrality does not mean that the US Government would operate the Internet. Net Neutrality is simply a term to represent Fair and Open access for everyone.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  14. I agree, dfj225.

    In this proposal, the author mentions that all the programs that the government have stepped into has been a failure. That may or may not be true, but that has no comparison to the Net Neutrality idea.

    Think about it: You let the government handle crimes (police) right? Well the telecom companies are committing a crime--they are violating the first amendment!

    In case you don't know-the first amendment protects FREEDOM of speech.

    Stand with REAL freedom: Stand with Net Neutrality!

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  15. This has got to be the weakest argument yet. Ignoring all of your ultra skewed interpretations about what constitutes "failure", you are making abstract general points that do not get to the core of the issue with net neutrality. When making such general points, you lower yourself to nonsensical babble that can't be argued for or against. Here, have a dose of your own idiotic medicine...

    Ok, so what we have here is the basic argument that is consuming America on all levels, and not just about Internet Neutrality. On one side, we have people who believe that "The Government" is utterly useless and that "The Market" will ensure competition, ironically, despite the utter lack of competition among ISPs right now. On the other side we have the other PEOPLE who believe that corporations will screw consumers over in the name of greed, and the best solution is for "The Government" to enforce net neutrality and ensure everyone is treated fairly.

    Let's take a look at history and see which view is more likely to be accurate:

    For all of known history, individual large economic powers (cf. evil corporations) have existed for relatively short periods of time. While some have lasted for centuries such as the Rothschild banking houses, most have barely outlived their founders. These organizations reached their pinnacle of power by providing services that most people found useful and satisfactory, regardless of the fact that a small percentage of persons received less than adequate (if any) services. When an organization blocked innovation, they were either quickly surpassed and they fell (check out IBM, once the biggest seller of Business Machines in the world, now barely hanging on because they couldn't compete), or they populace rose up and broke the strangle-hold, as was done with the original AT&T, which has now re-emerged and re-bought all the companies it was broken up into. This was done through Government intervention. As a matter if fact, the breakup of AT&T is exactly what this net neutrality idea represent. To foster competition, and letting consumers (NOT AT&T via extortion fees) decide which online business survive. So, while there have been some bottle-necks, over time quality services become available to everybody, and the level of quality continues to increase.

    Now, let's look at those services that our Government REGULATED:

    Social Security: GREAT idea to ensure. We as a society came forth and continue to help those who need it the most. It by no means has failed and as a society, we overwhelmingly approve of it.

    Medicare: See Social Security.

    Universal Health: People everywhere decide they can't live without it once it is implemented in a country. It makes it so that doctors will ask about your injuries instead of your wallet.

    Banking: We didn't regulate banks enough and they were allowed to run amok. Ultimately, we all paid the price for not regulating corporate greed. Let's not let the same thing happen with the internet, regulate the sucker!

    U.S. Highway system: I won't say anything about this because it would be ridiculous to use something as different as the highway system to make a point about net neutrality, I'm not THAT dumb

    All these programs have the same thing in common: Regulating corporate greed to ensure competition improves the quality of life for us all. Let's make sure small online business can compete online, make net neutrality a reality.

    Every single time, in every single case, when "The Goverment" has regulated corporate greed, we win. When the government stops regulating, monopolies emerge, leaving everyone wit crappy service.

    That's why I want the government to regulate the internet, and the health-care system, and banking. While a particular service may suck right now, capitalism will surely improve on it because it's in a business' best interests to do so. If ISPs get to charge extortion fees, they then get a god-like power in the online ecosystem, where they pick who gets internet traffic as opposed to consumers, thus killing competition. Typically, if company A doesn't give you what you want, Company B will come along a offer it, but such is not the case with ISPs. People are often stuck with only one or two ISPs to choose from!

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  16. No company B can exist and succeed in a monopolized market though and Comcast and other ISPs are already discriminating -- Comcast was found guilty in 2008 by the Bush FCC of violating Net Neutrality rules when they were accused of slowing down or blocking access to Bit Torrent services. They tried to do it deceptively -- even hide the fact they were doing it to escape being punished but it came out and then Comcast was penalized for doing so by the FCC. Their response to sue the FCC for punishing them for breaking the law. Also, even if there is a company B -- broadband Internet access market has become a duopoly -- duo meaning 2 with few big cable and phone companies controlling access. The Internet I maintain is a collection of private and public networks and as such is public property -- the public domain on the Internet is public property.

    Internet as a public utility like electricity is public property -- the Internet represents the future of all media and we cannot allow anyone company or even a few companies to own the future of the media. Monetizing technologies in and of itself is not problematic but allowing big companies to co-op them is. During the 1970s we had a lot of diversity on the radio dial with plenty of station owners and independent/minority ownership of course this was before The Fairness Doctrine that said the airwaves belonged to the public and all station broadcasters had to comply with the public interest was overturned.

    We had at least 60 companies owning radio stations -- there was room for commercial radio but we also had plenty of choices of noncommercial radio stations. Today a majority of the radio stations are owned by 5 or 6 big companies and there are insufficient voices on the radio -- rather than giving a voice to the voice-less radio like TV has become consolidated and there are very few points of view expressed.

    With health insurance -- 1 thing that certainly needs to change in reform is lifting the insurance industry's outrageous antitrust exemption -- mandating affordability and competition. A few days ago U.S. Rep Anthony Weiner spoke well on the issue the insurance companies don't care about the country, or about the American people. They don't care about our welfare, our health etc at all.

    They only are in the business of providing health insurance to make a profit so why don't they exit the health insurance market and offer a product or service in another market they can make a profit from that does not affect the country as a whole.

    To the people wanting Social Security privatized that's saying you want to allow the big commercial and investment banks who caused this financial crisis to be able to gamble with your retirement money. I know you didn't mention privatization but mentioned Social Security as a failure -- you know what the biggest problem though is with Social Security -- managing the Trust Fund falls under the Department of Treasury and whenever former President Bush and Congress needed money after passing such huge tax cuts for the rich would raid the Trust Fund and use that money for their spending programs while flooding the Trust Fund with IOUS that if never paid back would become worthless.

    Also, at the time Social Security was created life expectancy was lower but with more people living longer there is a strain on the system which is why some reasonable reform minus privatization is needed.

    Postal Service raising rates is bad news especially for independent publications -- at one time Free Press had a campaign to challenge unfair postal rate hikes that would threaten independent publications that are the lifeblood of our democracy. While large publications could afford to keep operating with the postal rate hikes it would harm independent publishers.

    When government acts in the public's best interest I'm all for it but when govt sides with corporations that is wrong.

    It is never in a crony capitalist's interest to improve their business -- big health insurance companies who have a monopoly of the health insurance market can continue to ration care, pay less etc to cover the care of people who need it when they need it couldn't care less about the country our the public's health. They only want to make a profit something they could easily do in any other market as well. However, they profit by denying care to their existing customers, raising premiums each year, and canceling insurance to some of their customers who use their insurance when they need to (or use their insurance too often as the insurer sees it that insuring these individuals while the right thing to do is unprofitable) there is a moral and an economic imperative for health reform.

    Recently, Rep Anthony Weiner spoke that over the years insurance companies have always opposed reform and that in Congress one side of the aisle -- Democrats support health reform as the right thing to do, while Republicans support the insurance and pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Weiner said insurance companies don't care about our country, they don't care about or deficits, etc they only want to make money. There is nothing wrong with making money but the fundamental basis in our healthcare system is flawed -- of course they are going to deny care to save more money. They could be making their profits in any other market if they wanted.

    We need not for profit choices of health insurance -- and competition from such a provider would force big insurers to lower premiums as the non profit choice offers lower costs big insurers afraid to lose customers will be forced to do the same.

    Alan Grayson another Rep in the U.S. Congress once charged the GOP plan on healthcare is to tell people not to get sick, and if you do die quickly.

    I don't want monopolists messing with our free market enterprise system -- no more mega mergers should be allowed to even take place, and antitrust to breakup existing monopolies should occur.

    However, that's a completely different topic unrelated to the discussion here which is about an open Internet and Net Neutrality. So let's get back to discussing Net Neutrality.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  17. This is pure drivel. Remember when all the neoliberals economists who (like you, comguru) hate the government were claiming a few years ago that the markets were going to be self-regulating and there is no need for government?

    Global financial crisis caused by unregulated, profit hungry, short-term-minded corporations, anyone?

    So now you continue to assert discredited "markets solve everything" ideology even in cases where such ideas are clearly inappropriate.

    In reality it's like Aristotle said: everything in moderation. That means we don't turn to wholly unregulated capitalism, and we don't turn to having the government control everything. We regulate private actors to smooth out capitalism's rough spots and correct market failures. So take your ideological pap and present it to CPAC, because this is a forum on solving actual problems.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  18. Wow, all those facts and figures about everything 'failing' sure does make my head spin. Ohh wait, there were no facts, nor figures, just pure garbage rhetoric.

    Have you been alive the past two years? Things will get better because it's in capitalism's interest for them to get better? First of all, 'capitalism' has no interest. It's not a person, it's an idea; a system of economic policies and laws that differ in each country, but have some basic similarities. There is no one, unified, 'capitalism.' Two, if it's how you say, then why are we in the worst economic disaster in over 70 years? Capitalists (yes, they are real people, unlike 'capitalism') failed to regulate themselves in every way, and the market collapsed. If there had been government regulation of derivatives, it's highly doubtful that things would have gotten so bad. Yet people delude themselves (see the guy who unsubscribed above) into blaming the government. Markets are a very good thing. Capitalism, as we've seen in the past few years, is clearly not.

    I also love how people absolutely scream when government tries to do anything, like 'take over' healthcare, etc...!!! Why is it then that these same people just let business take over and assume it's all going to go so smoothly. At least the government is full of people who are elected and have constituencies (unfortunately full of people like the original author) to whom they have to answer. Corporations have shareholders, who are a very small, and typically rich, subset of the populace. And they're going to look out for the interests of the people as a whole? They don't care about rights or liberties, they care about money. Don't be fooled into thinking anything else

    Next time you write something, think about it before you do. This was garbage.

    3 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  19. Hmmm. Such a sprinkling of FAILs, all unsubstantiated, and in fact not true, from my persepective (and see all the other comments in this regard!). Health care is a good example; compared to the rest of the first world, the current US system is a big FAIL, precisely because of its for-profit nature. We spend more than other nations for worse results, since there is no business incentive to keep people healthy, since you make more money by selling health care to those who are ill. I would have to give a FAIL to this assessment.

    3 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  20. I think your assessment of these government programs (ss, medicare, etc) as all failures is factually/historically incorrect...but more important it's irrelevant to whether or not the FCC should enforce Net Neutrality. Having *real* Net Neutrality is in the interests of the people...because we all benefit from the continued innovation that comes from low barriers to entry. Those that wish to control the Internet for their own/shareholders benefit will/are trying to raise those barriers, because they know that innovation will eventually make them less dominant...unless they prevent it.

    The Net Neutrality rules as proposed by Chairman Genechowski are simply not strong enough (especially for wireless...which is where a *huge* amount of innovation would/will occur over the coming years...if that innovation isn't intentionally stifled by the entrenched interests).

    3 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed

Vote Activity Show

(latest 20 votes)