Net or ‘Nut’ Neutrality?: An Old Idea to Regulate Us

Of net neutrality, Obama said: “In plain English, I’m asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.”

And of course anything that is essential in life must be regulated by the government. It’s the Progressive way.

The left’s argument appears to be that “net neutrality” is essential because all internet traffic, no matter what it is or where it comes from, should be treated equally. And who wouldn’t be for equality? I mean really. Only racists and bigots and homophobes – you know – free market conservatives would be against equality (as defined by the left).

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See, in the utopian world of the socialist, everybody is equal – equally miserable, and those on the internet who innovate and profit unequally must somehow be doing so without thought or consideration of the collective.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La) said in a statement that the President’s attempt “to have the FCC reclassify broadband Internet as a public utility is yet another example of the Obama Administration’s radical effort to have the government take over more aspects of our economy where there is no justification. Title II reclassification would have a chilling effect on the Internet, which is a sector of our economy that has thrived under the current light-touch regulatory model, and sends the wrong message that regulation trumps innovation in the Internet ecosystem. The best way to guarantee a vibrant Internet economy is by keeping the federal government out of the way, not getting it more involved. The FCC should not allow itself to be bullied into embracing this dangerous proposal that will harm our economy.”

And he’s absolutely right. The best way to kill innovation is through heavy-handed government regulation.

Just look at what happened to telecommunications from the 1930s through the time when Ma Bell was broken up. The only innovation we essentially got from that entire period was the touch-tone telephone. That’s about it.

Now look at what has occurred since — an explosion of free market innovation which has benefited everyone down to the poorest among us.

The highlights of Obama’s plan for the internet are that internet providers wouldn’t be allowed to block websites offering legal content; they wouldn’t be allowed to intentionally slow down or speed up certain websites or services based on their own preferences; and they wouldn’t be able to offer paid fast lanes.

Now, to the average low information citizen (and resident) these may seem reasonable, until one realizes that it’s not that the administration is against these ideas, it’s just that they want to be the ones making those decisions. It’s not fair for private citizens and evil corporations to have that kind of power.

I wrote in an article recently, explaining that there are no new ideas pertaining to politics and government. There are only old ones that fall out of favor only to be resurrected, sometimes generations removed.

For Progressives then and now, their ideas are identical in their want of total government control and regulation.

I am reminded of that great progressive Teddy Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech from 1910. He exclaimed that the national government must “control necessaries of life, such as meat, oil, and coal, or which deal in them on an important scale. I have no doubt that the ordinary man who has control of them is much like ourselves. I have no doubt he would like to do well, but I want to have enough supervision to help him realize the desire to do well.”

“We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows.”

In other words, you can make money, only if we deem it is for the betterment of all.

“No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned.”

See what I mean. No new ideas – just progressive retreads. Obama has been laying the groundwork – convincing us that “the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.” And now we know why he’s setting this up.

His progressive views are no different from what Roosevelt’s were over 100 years ago.

Government must “control necessaries of life!”

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