The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Opposite

A Wall Street Journal reporter relates his 30-day quest to detach his mobile phone from AT&T and instead rely solely of WiFi connections for all of his communication and data. His quest was an attempt to achieve the ability to have a mobile phone bill of $0. For the most part, he succeeded.

Reporting on this as a growing tend, particularly among the young, the middle and lower middle class, the reporters tells us about dozens of tech start-ups in the WiFi space that will try to make disconnecting from the major communication carriers easier and much, much cheaper. Innovation, coupled with market-based competition will change our mode of connecting dramatically over the next 10 years, except ...

Now, it probably won't.

The still secret (why?) Obamanet FCC regulations will result in more power gravitating to major carriers, all in the name of "net neutrality"—a largely meaningless phrase that resonates with low-information supporters of the administration. Of course, Obama's Team of 2s tells us that exactly the opposite will happen, but if the past is prologue, these unnecessary and destructive regulations will stifle innovation and be used as a cudgel by large communications carriers (who are able to make massive campaign contributions to Democrats who support this "Net Neutrality" travesty) to drive smaller innovators out of business in a blizzard of bureaucratic applications, reviews, legal fees, and nightmarish paperwork that only large businesses have the resources to absorb (by passing the costs along to their customers).

In some ways the Obama administration is amusing in its hypocrisy. They cry about a lack of "process" when, say, Bibi Netanyahu is invited to give a speech to congress. But the administration jettisons a constitutional process that would have the Congress pass legislation that affects a broad segment of our economy.  Instead, the administration, through its appointees at the FCC, passes still secret regulations with no input from the public, from congress, or from the broader Internet business community (except, of course, those chosen companies that have an in at the White House). That's the kind of "process" this president likes.

Net Neutrality will hurt the very people we're told it will help—individual citizens who would like to lower their communications bill, small businesses who are making their way on the Web, and tech start-ups that might disrupt the plans of larger more powerful companies (who will now hold all the cards). But no worries, the Dems keep telling us they're all for the middle class, all for small businesses, and all for technical innovation—until they push through regulations that accomplish exactly the opposite.