This piece is months old, but is highly relevant today:
The U.S. government has shown time after time that it is ineffective at managing much of anything. This is by design. The Founders intentionally created a government that was slow, inefficient, and plagued by gridlock, because they knew the greatest danger to individual freedom came from a government that could move quickly–too quickly for the people to react in time to protect themselves. If we value our freedom, we need government to be slow. But if government is slow, we shouldn’t rely on it to provide us with products and services we want in a timely manner at a high level of quality. The telecoms may be bad, but everything that makes them bad is what the government is by definition. Can we put “bad” and “worse” together and end up with “better”?
I don’t like how much power the telecoms have. But the reason they’re big and powerful isn’t because there is a lack of government regulation, but because of it. Government regulations are written by large corporate interests which collude with officials in government. The image of government being full of people on a mission to protect the little guy from predatory corporate behemoths is an illusion fostered by politicians and corporate interests alike. Many, if not most, government regulations are the product of crony capitalism designed to prevent small entrepreneurs from becoming real threats to large corporations. If Net Neutrality comes to pass how can we trust it will not be written in a way that will make it harder for new companies to offer Internet services? If anything, we’re likely to end up even more beholden to the large telecoms than before. Of course at this point the politicians will tell us if they hadn’t stepped in that things would be even worse.
That’s what government does, from health care to education costs to the Internet: they regulate the market into dysfunction, and offer to cure the mess with (you guessed it) more regulation. As libertarian Harry Browne said:
Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, “See, if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.”
Ted Cruz had it just right when he said:
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
“We’re from the government and we’re here to help” is scary whether they’re “helping” you with your health care plan or your Internet provider. Maybe they can promise us that if we like our Internet, we can keep it.
Corporations often wield too much power and become infuriating — but if the government stays out of it, this is cured by competition. If the government steps in, you’re screwed.
Too bad these net neutrality folks can’t see that.