Yesterday I heard and read a lot of commentary about net neutrality almost all of which was specious and had only a tangential relationship to the truth. What the ISPs want to do is something that hasn’t even been contemplated by the power company or the telephone company. I’ll trying making a correct analogy.
Imagine that your power company went to Frigidaire and GE and demanded that, unless they paid your power company a fee, they’d produce brownouts and intermittent power outages in every home that had a Frigidaire or GE refrigerator. Frigidaire and GE cough up and raise the prices of their refrigerators. BTW, this is one of the reasons we shouldn’t want the Internet of Things.
What I want is for consumers to get what they’ve contracted for and what they’re paying for. The ISPs shouldn’t be able to demand protection money from the Googles, Facebooks, and Netflixes of the world. What’s next, Vinnie the Leg Breaker? Cable companies and telephone companies merely getting into the ISP or content businesses are classic examples of the abuse of monopoly power. The Justice Department should be breaking up Comcast and Time-Warner.
I continue to be gobsmacked that alleged libertarians have allied with the ISPs, of which of the majors every single one has achieved its position through monopoly power, and against the upstarts. Every single business model argument I’ve ever heard can equally be made against GE and GM and I haven’t heard the same complaints about them.
That isn’t libertarianism. It isn’t even anarcho-capitalism. It’s corporatism and support of government monopolies. Everything is turning into its opposite.