November 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

The WSJ Ed Page on "Net Neutrality:"

These rules weren't at the cutting edge of innovation even in the 1930s. As former FCC attorney Randolph May notes, this regulatory framework was written into the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 to oversee monopoly railroads. The Communications Act drafters then copied the 1887 law, replaced the references to railroads and clarified that the new regulations would apply to telephones as well as telegraphs. Eighty years later Mr. Obama has decided, in his market wisdom, that these rules should apply to the Internet.

BONUS UPDATE (same column):
Like the telephone companies of old, broadband providers would be required to "file a tariff" at the commission, meaning they would submit mountains of paperwork and ask the government to approve the prices they intend to charge for services. The bureaucrats would then consider whether the prices are fair. FCC bureaucrats would also hold sway over plans to expand or build digital networks. Under such conditions, who would invest to build the next generation of broadband technologies?

Quote of the Day Posted by John Kranz at November 11, 2014 11:50 AM

If only they looked to 1887 for tax rates.

Posted by: jk at November 11, 2014 11:53 AM

You have something against the 19th century? That's where the left gets its ideas for transportation and energy too.

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 4:14 PM

This article seems to be a main source of the argument that, because of his Tweet that "Net Neutrality is Obamacare for the internet," Senator Ted Cruz is "the world's stupidest, most bewildering whack job..." Problem is, he was repeating what the WSJ called it.

"The Wall Street Journal is the world's stupidest, most bewildering whack job..."

Posted by: johngalt at November 11, 2014 7:26 PM

I did get exposed to some intemperate language on Facebook directed toward the Junior Senator from the great state of Texas.

I'm not exactly a "no labels" guy, but it is too bad that an issue deserving of nuance is thrust into partisan camps. I'm willing to blame my buddy George Takei. He came out full throttle (see what I did there?) for it, sprinkling a full screen paean among his funny nerd jokes and gay rights offerings.

That and the President have placed all the good thinking people and SJWs (I had to look that up yesterday -- it's Social Justice Warrior for the other slow kids) onto one side.

I might fault Sen. Cruz for adding more heat than light to the argument. ObamaCare for the Internet is a bon bon mot, but it is not a good description.

The real issue is that this has failed legislatively in GOP and Democrat controlled Congresses. Along comes President Pen-and-a-phone to resuscitate some New Deal regulations and apply them to the freest, most Hayekian thing this world has ever encountered.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 10:02 AM

Holman Jenkins at the WSJ is ready to double down:

You have our solemn assurance that Mr. Obama doesn't know any more about net neutrality than slogans he could have picked up listening to Jon Stewart. Oh, and that it polls well with his "base." This is not policy making: He has no idea what incentives guide the behavior of broadband carriers, or how regulation might affect the ability of intelligent networks to deliver a growing and potentially infinite variety of services in the future over a common digital network.

Hard to argue, though I would have included some name-calling.

Posted by: jk at November 12, 2014 10:29 AM

Sure... ad hominem is FUN! I tried to pick a FB argument with Dave Perry (no, not Berry) editor of the Aurora Sentinel, but no bites. My last comment: "Government never met a problem it couldn't make worse. This is no exception." still stands unchallenged, 16h later.

Posted by: johngalt at November 12, 2014 12:24 PM | What do you think? [6]