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FCC to America: We passed it, Now you can read it! #NetNeutrality

The FCC 313-page Internet Regulations Order is accompanied by 70-plus pages of statements by the five commissioners, and  the two that dissented in the vote to adopt the new regulations.

Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai had this to say:

“Americans love the free and open Internet, We relish our freedom to speak, to post, to rally, to learn, to listen, to watch, and to connect online.”

“The Internet has become a powerful force for freedom, both at home and abroad. So it is sad to witness the FCC’s unprecedented attempt to replace that freedom with government control.”

AT&T Vice President said:

“Unfortunately, the order released today begins a period of uncertainty that will damage broadband investment in the United States. Ultimately, though, we are confident the issue will be resolved by bipartisan action by Congress or a future FCC, or by the courts.”

Here is the direct link to the FCC.gov  for internet regulations (a.k.a. Net Neutrality) FCC.GOV

RELATED ARTICLES:

Why no FCC decision should be “historic”

It’s Here: The Roadmap for a Government-Controlled Internet

Internet at the Speed of Government

Warmed over regulations from 80 years ago won’t fix the Web by LAWRENCE W. REED.

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission launched a historic power grab over the Internet, euphemistically known as “net neutrality,” based on a Great Depression-era law to regulate public utilities. While entrepreneurs are pursuing cutting-edge business models and developing previously unimaginable technologies, Washington bureaucrats are reaching back eight decades to find a rationale to control a booming industry that didn’t even exist 25 years ago.

Conventional wisdom holds that government regulation is created by benevolent policymakers in order to protect the public from dangerous, exploitative private industry. But the idealistic progressives who push for an expansive regulatory state rarely follow up to see what the regulation accomplished in practice. That job is usually left to those whose warnings about incentives and unintended consequences were ignored in the first place.

People who support high-minded regulation in theory should survey how such bureaucratic “solutions” have tended to work (or not) in practice. That history gives us little reason to expect that the latest, greatest experiment in heavy-handed control will turn out any differently.

Consider one of the first attempts to control American communications. Mail delivery was humming along just fine until Congress banned privately-delivered first class mail in the 19th century. It did so not because private firms were lousy, but precisely because they were so good they were depriving the federal post office of business and hence congressmen of patronage jobs.

Or look closer at one of the textbook cases for regulation: the government’s noble attempt to save us from the predatory railroad robber barons. In reality, it was federal and state subsidies to railroads, not market forces, that produced the abuses that led to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, which then played a central role in bankrupting American railroads and strangling interstate commerce for decades.

Anti-trust regulations were also sold as a way to protect the little guy from the big guy. But now we know that, in practice, they’ve functioned to curtail competition, slow innovation, and stop the little guy from ever becoming a big guy.

The 1906 Meat Inspection Act, lauded as the first of many crucial “public safety” regulations, was inspired by Upton Sinclair’s fictional work The Jungle and was supported by the major meat packers who wanted to put the taxpayers on the hook for the cost of inspection. The upshot was that government inspectors actually spread deadly disease through unscientific and unsanitary methods of detecting meat quality.

Speaking of cattle, disease, and government, the sacred cow known as the Food and Drug Administration seems to actually cost more lives than it saves by keeping life-saving drugs off the market for more than a decade on average.

In 1913, Congress created the Federal Reserve System and told the country it would protect the integrity of the currency, iron out the business cycle, and promote full employment. A hundred years later, we have gotten a dollar worth perhaps a nickel of its 1913 value, a Great Depression, a Great Recession, and more volatility than in the century before the Fed.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was a blizzard of regulations designed to help prop up big industry and labor unions; we now know its principal effect was prolonging the Great Depression by about seven years.

The Civil Aeronautics Board, for instance, cartelized the airline industry for decades, restricting plane travel to wealthy citizens who could afford the high fares it mandated, until its dissolution in 1985. Interstate trucking also suffered from high prices under similarly byzantine rules and restrictions until it was deregulated in the 1970s and 1980s.

Remember the FCC’s Orwellian “fairness doctrine”? In the name of “fairness,” the FCC stifled diversity of opinion in broadcasting. The doctrine’s abolition led to an immediate blossoming of new voices and new media, but now the same government agency that censors radio and television is putting itself in charge of making sure the Internet is “fair” and “open” and “neutral,” so that corporations don’t slow down our content. Like so many benign-sounding schemes before it, Internet at the speed of government is liable to be more (and, in the end, quite a bit less) than regulation activists bargained for.

In the Wall Street JournalL. Gordon Crovitz asks, “What if at the beginning of the Web, Washington had opted for Obamanet instead of the open Internet?” The thought is appalling: “Yellow Pages publishers could have invoked ‘harm’ and ‘unjust and unreasonable’ competition from online telephone directories. This could have strangled Alta Vista and Excite, the early leaders in search, and relegated Google to a Stanford student project. Newspapers could have lobbied against Craigslist for depriving them of classified advertising. Encyclopedia Britannica could have lobbied against Wikipedia.”

One would think that with such a sorry track record, Washington would be looking for market-based ways to solve problems, instead of constantly taking on the responsibility of fixing every real or imagined problem. But such is not the nature of the beast.

So here we are in 2015 with this massive, wondrous, global network called the Internet. It’s empowering billions of people, rich and poor, with a universe of knowledge and opportunities. While virtually everyone is going online for virtually everything, from education and entertainment to shopping and employment, here come the troglodyte regulators with their 80-year-old hammers, once again, planning to “fix” it for us. No thanks.

ABOUT LAWRENCE W. REED

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. He also taught economics full-time from 1977 to 1984 at Northwood University in Michigan and chaired its department of economics from 1982 to 1984.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Senator Rubio: FCC over-Regulation threatens the Internet with ‘speed limits’ and ‘speed traps’

Rubio: “Unlike the roads we drive on, the Internet is not a place where we need to start posting new speed limits and setting up new speed traps, but that’s essentially what this federal action threatens to do to the Internet.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding today’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase government regulation of the Internet by reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications utility under Title II of the Communications Act:

“Over the past two decades, access to high speed Internet and the freedom to use it have transformed our economy and created infinite new ways for people to achieve the American Dream. Millions of people have thrived in the Internet era in no small part because overreaching government regulations and devious international schemes to seize control of it away from the U.S. have been rejected – until now.

“A federal government board in Washington today took action that threatens to overregulate the Internet to the point of making it more expensive for consumers, less innovative and less competitive. The Internet has thrived on innovation, speed and healthy competition to become faster and faster. Unlike the roads we drive on, the Internet is not a place where we need to start posting new speed limits and setting up new speed traps, but that’s essentially what this federal action threatens to do to the Internet.

“The Internet doesn’t need more rules and mandates that take power away from consumers and hand it to a federal government board that every lobbyist, lawyer and crony capitalist with a vested interest in the Internet will now seek to manipulate to their advantage. The Internet has worked so well so far precisely because it’s been as level a playing field as we have in any industry today, but now this decision threatens to give government regulators the power to pick winners and losers.

“I’m also concerned that this needless government intrusion into the Internet distracts from what we should be doing to reach the next frontier in the Internet’s history: to bring it within reach of the almost 100 million Americans who remain offline. Closing the digital divide is a goal we can achieve in the coming years, but only if we pursue policies like the Wi-Fi Innovation Act and the Wireless Innovation Act that I’ve introduced to increase the availability of spectrum in order to connect more people and increase capacity for growing amounts of data being exchanged via broadband.

“Instead of allowing a Washington bureaucratic board to have the final say, an action of this magnitude should be debated openly in Congress, where I’m confident it would be defeated. Consequential decisions like this about the Internet’s future should be made by Congress, not a federal board of unelected commissioners who are not accountable to a single American citizen. Congress should act immediately to begin updating outdated telecommunications laws.”

As Obama Gets His Way America is Losing Hers

Once, or actually much more than once Obama gets his way at America’s expense.  Recently, President Obama did not take long to veto the needed Keystone pipeline bill as he promised.  At the very least, the necessary pipeline would have created many hundreds of construction and permanent jobs. The needed supply of oil would have also contributed to our nation’s petroleum inventory. Also America’s position as an oil exporting nation would have been enhanced. Unfortunately, because of an ignorant based choice of American voters, our republic is now enduring perhaps the most anti American president in our nation’s history.  His biggest rival for most anti American president might be Woodrow Wilson. He supported the injurious Federal Reserve System we put up with today, along with the League of Nations and the promotion of harsh democrat party style racism. Wilson also supported a powerful centralized federal government.

I tried, but failed miserably to find at least one major decision or action that President Obama has taken that strongly benefits America. I even reached out to several Democrat Party supporters of Obama and requested that they please instruct me on any major policies of the president that has positively affected or strengthened America. (Crickets!!!!) HA! Even they were unable to even make anything up, let alone tell me something that Mr. Obama has actually done to benefit our nation.

It is amazing how certain people claim that those on the political left, especially politicians and professors are smarter than the rest of us. Thus when they secure even a modicum of authority, they use it to run roughshod over any law, anybody, or any tradition in order to inflict their progressive will upon the rest of us. The FCC decision to do to the internet what has been heaped upon the U.S. medical industry is evidence of that fact.

The Constitution clearly calls on the government to protect our republic from enemies both foreign and domestic. Yet the president has diligently worked to prevent border patrol agents from inhibiting law breaking illegal immigrants from strolling into our sovereign nation.  Why? Because they want to.  I thank God that the great state of Texas is leading a legal battle to restore the common sense practice of protecting our borders.  Speaking of protecting our Republic!  Dedicated muslim terrorist organizations, such as ISIS and Hezbollah along with enemy nations like Iran have vowed to destroy us and even kill president Obama. But what has he done?  For starters, Mr. Obama has appointed numerous America, Christian Black, and Jewish hating dedicated Muslims to important positions in our military and other federal government departments.

At the same time, thanks to the President’s anti U.S. military stance as well as drastic cutbacks in some weapons systems, navy vessels and maintenance.  America is now incapable of engaging two major wars or battles simultaneously. Both Russia and China are building up their massive armies and missile systems. Meanwhile, the United States continues to less than halfheartedly deal with dedicated Muslims who are on a mission to kill, steal from, and destroy America.

Because the progressives supposedly know more than the rest of us, they united with President Obama and saddled the rest of us with Obamacare. So now at the expense of personal choice and citizen government, certain medical procedures and overall rising costs, Mr. Obama got his way. For the sake of our Republic, I pray that President Obama and Congress will heed the advice of Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson.  “As president, my plan to defeat radical Islamic terrorists would be to “destroy them first” instead of waiting to see what they will do to us and reacting to it.”

Thomas Jefferson understood that, as did General George Patton, and others who chose to govern America or deal with our enemies on behalf of our nations interests, as opposed to getting their way at America’s expense.

Unrest in Venezuela and Ukraine coming to America?

The prevailing theme for this week is liberty. A lot of attention is being focused towards the events in Ukraine. However, just south of us here in South Florida there is another example, Venezuela.

In Venezuela we see what always happens when socialism takes root, as described so aptly by Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” When Hugo Chavez rose to power in Venezuela, he promised everything for everyone: shared prosperity, fair share, economic equality. He enacted policies that directed the government to nationalize more of the country’s production — especially the lucrative oil industry.

He took over the means of informing the people – hm, I wonder if he started with a “critical information needs” study similar to what the Obama administration’s FCC is seeking to initiate?

What resulted? The same that always happens when you punish, demonize, and denigrate the individual entrepreneurial spirit. The same that always happens when you disincentivize work for a government subsidy check. The same that always happens when there is a promotion of a welfare nanny-state focused on dependency rather than opportunity.

The producers stop producing and flee. We see it right here in South Florida in Broward County in the city of Weston, where the Venezuelan flag flies right along with the American. So as Prime Minister Thatcher poignantly stated, socialism fails because its empty promises are rooted in the legal plunder of others based upon some ill-conceived – I submit, actually demented — sense of benevolence. And then come the riots — because after all, you promised stuff but in the end what do the people gain? Nothing. What do they lose? Liberty.

In the Ukraine the fight for liberty is not against socialism but rather totalitarianism. A quarter of a century ago, Ukraine was given a new lease on life, a chance to determine its own future. It had once been a central part of the Soviet Union but then became an independent state.

However, old desires don’t fade away easily and control is a powerful motivator. Ukraine is caught in the middle of a fight to gain control of its future and it centers around a very important commodity: natural gas. Control of energy resources is a vital aspect of foreign policy and national security strategy — as well as important to the resurgence of Putin’s Russia. Liberty is the result of independence. Subjugation is the result of totalitarianism. Ukrainians seek the former, not the latter, and so they are making a stand.

There are lessons to be learned for us here in America. Venezuelans and many from Eastern Europe have fled to our shores to enjoy liberty and freedom as they escape the ills of their home countries. But if America succumbs to progressive socialism and totalitarian control of our government, where will people go? If America succumbs, who will be the beacon of liberty and freedom? Let me refresh your memory about what’s happening in America. Democrats and the New York Times are advocating for the IRS to eliminate and attack Americans. The FCC is seeking to put monitors into newsrooms. Our president feels he does not need to govern by legislative process but rule by edict — executive order. Elected officials such as Obama and DeBlasio are leading the charge to punish hard-working successful Americans — for what purpose? Redistribute their wealth.

So where do Americans flee? What is actually perplexing is that liberal progressives run away from failing liberal states such as California and New York. Unfortunately, they do not leave behind their damaging political beliefs. Like locusts they migrate to states like Colorado, Montana, and Florida with their cancerous political philosophy and destroy those states — message to Texans: you may want to stop asking Californians to relocate, unless they renounce liberal progressivism!

As we watch unrest in Venezuela and Ukraine unfold, I wonder, will we soon reach a tipping point in America?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

RELATED COLUMN: Americans rising up against government – USA Today