Patterico's Pontifications


“Am I The Only Techie Against Net Neutrality?”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:45 pm

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:

“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.

Immigration Reform – Sooner Rather Than Later

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So it looks like the president’s move on immigration will be happening sooner than expected, and will be more far-reaching than what was being discussed:

President Obama is planning to unveil a 10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via executive action — including suspending deportations for millions — as early as next Friday, a source close to the White House told Fox News.

The president’s plans were contained in a draft proposal from a U.S. government agency. The source said the plan could be announced as early as Nov. 21, though the date might slip a few days pending final White House approval.

Along with increasing security at the border and increasing the pay for immigration officers, the proposed plan also serves up a significant call for deferred action:

The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates.

Another portion that is sure to cause consternation among anti-“amnesty” lawmakers is a plan to expand deferred action for young people. In June 2012, Obama created such a program for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, entered before June 2007 and were under 31 as of June 2012. The change would expand that to cover anyone who entered before they were 16, and change the cut-off from June 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010. This is estimated to make nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants eligible.

It’s not as if this comes as a surprise: the president has repeatedly said that he is tired of waiting for congressional movement on immigration and as such, he simply has no choice but to act alone. No matter that some Democrats feel a bit nervous about the the president’s decision to act alone. And no matter that Republicans have suggested they will use immigration as a benchmark in Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearing to replace Attorney General Eric Holder. None of this seems to phase the president who appears more determined than ever to have his way in the matter.


ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: Here’s Something Else the American Voter Is Too Stupid to Understand

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 am

Yes, this is a different video from the one revealed Monday. The video is here. And the Daily Caller sums it up:

Gruber was talking about the so-called “Cadillac tax” in Obamacare, which increased the tax on high-end insurance packages. The fact that Obamacare would raise taxes was seen as politically toxic. But then-Senator John Kerry came up with the idea of taxing the companies providing the Cadillac plans, rather than taxing Americans directly.

Gruber told him that it was the same thing, and he didn’t see why that’s matter. “You’ll see,” responded Kerry. Sure enough, the provision passed, in Gruber’s estimation because ”the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

The thing about this guy is that, because he’s not a politician, he’ll just come out and say what the rest of them are thinking.

UPDATE: Why does it matter that Democrats lied to the American public? Let John Sexton explain:

A list of administration lies might be a good topic for a book. But to just hit a few of the health care related highlights, we were told that the public option was not a Trojan horse, that it was about choice and competition. This was a bald faced lie. We were told we could keep our plans and doctors period, end of sentence. That was a lie. We were told Obamacare would reduce premiums by $2,500. That was a lie. That Obamacare was not a tax. Lie. That the VA was a model of socialized medicine. True, but not in the way they meant. All of these lies built upon one another, creating a vision of health reform that was all upside and no downside. And the Democrats barely, despite the obvious displeasure of citizens, forced it through, though only just barely.

What followed was several more years of various lies being told to adjust and protect the program. We were told, still incredible, that the White House had no idea what a disaster the launch of the federal exchange was going to be. We were told it was off to a great start, when in fact it only managed to enroll 6 people on the first day. We were told the problem with the site was too many excited customers when in fact the site crashed under just over a thousand users. We were told HHS had no enrollment targets when in fact there was an enrollment target memo. We were told the figures on enrollment were not available when in fact HHS was collecting data from insurers. We were told the rollout was just like the one in Massachusetts when in fact it was not. We were told the rollout was just like Medicare part D when in fact it was not at all. We were not told about a hidden Obamacare exemption that could have applied to almost anyone (it was finally added to the website after a WSJ report about it). On and on the administration and its allies in the media just lied about what was happening.

. . . .

It has taken a long time, but Gruber’s embarrassing admission may be the last one some people needed to see what has really been going on all along. What his statement shows is that if there’s any possible political advantage in doing so, this administration is going to lie to your face. And that applies not just to Obamacare but to everything.


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