Net Neutrality is Newspeak for Cronyism

Net Neutrality needs to be “unmasked” so to speak.

via GIPHY

The government wants it. Progressives want it. High bandwidth-consuming companies want it.

The story goes:

[insert giant ISP here] is the great evil of big business wielding its power against free speech. Only the humble government can ride in on its white steed of Justice to protect the poor children from being exploited by the greedy capitalists.

The concept of “Net Neutrality” sounds noble and fair.  All traffic gets treated equally.  What would be the problem with that?

Even those espousing the freedom position can get caught up in this Orwellian newspeak.

What they “want” you to think.

The reality is though, that boot would only smash the snake…not the Net Neutrality part.

But, it’s a warm and fuzzy boot and it matters not if the boot of government is from the Left or the Right, it is ALWAYS squashing the free and open internet.

What is actually is

Net Neutrality = Cronyism

Net Neutrality is a nice sounding term for government control. Net Neutrality is a trojan horse. It does not equal freedom.

What if you as a consumer or provider would like the opportunity to choose to pay more for better service?

Net Neutrality tries to remove the pricing system from the equation. All traffic is equal.

You can’t pay for higher speed.

You jam everybody through the same pipe.  And what happens when you try to jam more stuff down a decaying pipe with no incentive for technological innovation and improvement?

You get government roads:

No price system in place leads to overuse

You get government schools:

No price system means no competitive incentives for improvement

You get the government post office:

No real price system leads to long lines and poor service

If only “Net Neutrality” meant “Free from government control”

If they meant “neutral” as in how the Swiss mean it…not picking sides; then I could get onboard.   But no, “neutral” in this sense means….grab all the power.  All the “hand”.

It is an intentionally obfuscating term that couches the evils within it with warm fuzzies, pictures of puppies and rainbow-pooping unicorns.

It would be more aptly “Net Atrophy”.

In contrast, the internet should be more so of the following terms:

“Spontaneous”, “Unencumbered”, “Dynamic”, “Competitive”, “Unfettered”, “Unshackled”, “Emancipated”?

Not sure I’m happy with any of these….but perhaps a start to spark the right word.

Steven Crowder with a fairly decent explanation:





One final note on this:

All of the fear-mongering in support of Net Neutrality about censorship, throttling data, big business charging higher rates, etc… IS ONLY MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GOVERNMENT RESTRICTING COMPETITION.

In a freely competitive marketplace, it would be company suicide to use such tactics if a consumer had a choice to go elsewhere and anybody with a better mousetrap was able to offer it.

These people are supporting more government control to try to solve a problem of government control.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” – George Carlin

For further reading:

http://www.freedomworks.org/content/amazon-“day-action”-corporate-welfare-not-free-internet

https://mises.org/blog/against-net-neutrality

https://mises.org/blog/ditch-net-neutrality-now

https://mises.org/library/net-neutrality-scam

https://mises.org/blog/libertarian-take-net-neutrality

https://mises.org/library/net-neutrality-unwarranted-intervention

https://mises.org/library/peter-klein-net-neutrality-lie

Rothbard on the Radio Act and the FCC starts at 36:10 of this video:


For the history you didn’t learn in school, check out Liberty Classroom:

Get the equivalent of a Ph.D. in libertarian thought and free-market economics online for just 24 cents a day….

8 Replies to “Net Neutrality is Newspeak for Cronyism”

  1. Wow, nice astroturf campaign.

    “What if you as a consumer or provider would like the opportunity to choose to pay more for better service?” – I can do that right now. I can call Comcast and up my network speed. And you know what happens? Everything gets faster. Not just the things Comcast was slowing down on purpose, because they can’t do that today.

    And the argument about a “decaying pipe” works if you don’t understand that every year we figure out how to split light into finer and finer frequencies, and each frequency is a channel, so the capacity of networks goes up just by leaving the fiber optic cable in the ground (and putting it there is part that’s expensive).

    If we didn’t have net neutrality in the 90s, there would be no Google – we’d probably all be searching using AltaVista or whatever search engine made enough money to pay to make Google too slow to use. And it would suck, because they would have no incentive to improve it, since they could just pay off ISPs to whack any competition.

    We have laws and regulations for a reason. If I start a florist shop, and burn my competitor’s shop to the ground, nobody gets all wacky (yet?) about how the laws against burning my competitor’s shop are the boot of government on everyone’s neck, and how much better a world it would be if people were “free” to do that. The only difference here is that the destruction happens invisibly.

    1. A decent attempt to shill for the state, Tim!

      You say you can choose higher speeds, between how many ISPs I wonder?

      Can you currently choose to have your data prioritized? No, and that’s the point made in the article. Net neutrality means ISPs can’t discriminate between data coming from any given source. But what if you want to have your data prioritized by that ISP? What if you’re willing to pay to have that happen? Then the incentive would be for the ISP to create faster infrastructure and lanes to accommodate that. Right now ISPs give you a certain speed and you’re stuck with whatever they provide. With open competition, firms would actually have a greater incentive to out-compete each other in a bid for your internet-buying dollars.

      You seem to be worried that large firms would pay people to strangle innovation. This is a good impulse, but you’ve got the cart before the horse here, sir. Large firms lobby the government to stifle competition, which strangles innovation. Now, firms will collude with others to stifle innovation, but with the greater number of firms in a market devoid of regulatory hurdles, that collusion would need to be on a far grander scale to achieve the sorts of market stifling you’re worried about.

      I grant you that in a free market, there exists the possibility that there would be ISPs that would take money to favor one customer over another (your Altavista and Google reference), but that would only be a market opportunity for another ISP to enter the market and offer faster data to Google. And where in the world are you getting this idea that firms love to favor one customer over another? In a world where reputation matters (like the one we live in), customers facing discrimination by firms make headlines. Remember the gay wedding cake story? The united airlines story? Discrimination by service organizations seems to rile people up in this world. Firms that behave this way face boycotts, and take a severe hit to their bottom line. It would be no different were ISP’s actually subject to market forces, and customers were able to jump ship to another ISP whenever the behavior of their current ISP failed to meet their standard of behavior.

      I also see a lot of fear-mongering that ISPs will censor content if given the chance. Look to the great firewall of china. Who built that? A company or a government?

      Bottom line: Violence is never the answer. Regulation and government control giving firms de-facto monopolies in a given area stifles innovation, it doesn’t help it.

  2. You can’t pay for higher speeds? Uh, yes, you can. And regarding your claim that the gov’t restricts competition- What the heck do you call the monopoly of the mega conglomerates who squash or buy up competitors? This entire “article” is either a joke or a paid plant by the telecoms. Give me freakin’ break.

    1. Mauricio – your economic illiteracy is no justification for violence.

      Without government propping up cartel arrangements and monopoly privileges, they fail.

      If you are unhappy with the current consequences of government intervention, why on Earth would you be clamoring for more?

  3. Hey government lackeys (or sheep, take your pick, both work properly) ots of history–anecdotal and empirical evidences–backing up the assertion that government is bad for business (except those that pay it–this is called cronyism) and free markets are a good thing. It’s more direct voting and representation via the wallet versus the ballot box.

    1. I own and operate a small, rural independent ISP, and I approve of this message. We don’t need government assistance to provide broadband, I and 1 other guy cover 850 square miles of rural Oregon with ‘fixed-wireless’ and there are hundreds of others like us operating all over the country.

      Competition is easy in the era of high capacity fixed-wireless equipment – the argument that the rights-of-way will be too cluttered with cable are invalid when I can push 1Gb across town to a customer using some Ignite Networks 60Ghz radio equipment, or Ubiquiti, or Mimosa, or Telrad, Baicells, CableFree, etc, etc. Cheap, fast, reliable.

      Where we’re going, we don’t need your “roads”. We build our own.

      Also, I can assure people that fiber-optic lines do not = infinitely scaling capacity. Glass fogs up over time, and older fiber was lower quality. All that stuff laid down in the Dot-Com boom of the 90s is obsolete foggy glass that needs ripped out and replaced for growth. Every Mbps that passes over them must be paid for, as the fiber replacement cost s amortized over time.

      Research the difference between ‘dedicated’ service and ‘best-effort’ service, and the economics behind running an ISP., and you’ll quickly realize that an ‘all-you-can-eat’ internet means congestion for everyone.

      Either it’s a shared best-effort medium, meaning you’ll see slowdowns in the evening, OR it’s a pay-by-the-usage system like power or water.

      Net Neutrality is a noble-sounding concept, but boils down to people’s desire for cheap entertainment at the expense of someone else. When everyone pays the same rate, light users are subsidizing heavy users. Fair? No, but then again it’s not about fairness. It’s about entitlement.

      Net Neutrality is a terrible idea in a nice wrapper, but it’s almost impossible to convince its proponents of that. It’s become an ideological plank in their manifesto for a ‘free-everything’ world, economics and the small businessman be damned.

      The future of the Internet is decentralized, but not free. Equipment costs money, and needs replaced/upgraded constantly. Professionals won’t work for free, especially overnight when most Network repairs happen.

      I wish this would sink in, I really do. But I’m not hopeful, given the effort needed to refute BS & propaganda that ‘sounds good’.

Leave a Reply