November 17, 2014
By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher
My dad was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 or so. They told him he had months to live unless he removed both his kidneys, his adrenal glands, and his lymph nodes. He would have to be on dialysis and the recovery time would be rather lengthy… assuming he lived through that. He turned his act around for sure in terms of habits and diet, but ten years after that zombie prognosis, he was still sharp as a tack, walking about and doing for himself. Medicine had changed quite a bit as well. It was time for him to lose one of his kidneys, but only the ONE. Rather than that ridiculous procedure they told him about 10 years prior, they had to perform a small microsurgery. It required an incision of a couple inches, and his recovery time was a couple weeks.
It wasn’t until another 8 years after that that he had to have his second kidney removed via the same procedure and finally go on dialysis.
Similar accounts can be made for other invasive procedures like hysterectomies.
What’s the point of all this? It’s to point out the enormous strides and advancements in just the medical field alone… despite an over regulating government. The medical industry is one of the most regulated fields out there. Imagine if it weren’t as regulated. How much quicker would these developments have come to market?
Like most developments, only a handful of wealthy people can afford the new innovations. But as it becomes integrated into common practice, the prices normalize. Look at prescriptions. Once the patents are up, you can get very affordable generics. Look at computers. What was once a complicated piece of machinery that occupied the space of a football stadium, is now so portable, it can fit in a lunch bag.
Sadly, when something great rolls out, many people have lost the patience to wait for it to become more accessible, more affordable, more portable. The impatient ones who build on the known and innovate solutions are nothing short of heroic! The impatient ones who just feel entitled to enjoying the fruits of other people’s labor, on the other hand, are just vultures.
Look at what happened with healthcare or more specifically health insurance. Prices are going up for the young and healthy, so that the older and/or less healthy can afford to get insurance and care. Look at what happened with wages, specifically the minimum wage. People feel entitled to a “living wage” for jobs that don’t deserve them. There’s a lot of price distortions when the government gets involved. Rather than the problem of low income workers being isolated to just that sector, it becomes a socialized burden for the entire consumer population. Consumers and employers have now become responsible for keeping the under-skilled employed at wages they can’t match in production.
Net neutrality is similar. With the expansion and seemingly unlimited potential of the internet, comes the issue of allocation of bandwidth. Who should determine the allocation of resources: the telecom companies or the government? Well, I’m not going to lie, those two choices suck. As the great Steeler’s Wheel once said, “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”
And indeed the consumer once again finds themselves in the crosshairs of large conglomerates and government. So who do we choose? I’ve taken the government off the table as a solution for anything a long time ago. And I certainly won’t entrust a government that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on a website that flopped flat on its face when it was time to roll out. I can’t possibly expect a government who still relies on some antiquated process just to process retirement benefits in a cave to administer my internet properly. And above all, I can’t trust a government that has done everything it can to spy and interfere in the private lives of innocent individuals, with the one utility that is responsible for circulating the greatest amount of information to the most amount of people.
Net neutrality seeks to make the internet a public utility. So it will run like many water and electric companies. By and large, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with that considering we do get water and electricity distributed fairly well… except when we don’t.
Austin, TX has recently hiked up its electricity rates nearly double what it needed to just to pay for other pet projects.
Detroit is a fantastic example of what government is willing to do when it’s desperate enough. It jacked up the cost of utilities to offset their bankruptcy trajectory, but the poor people who can’t afford that bail out in the city, are now living without electricity or water.
Utilities becoming government run is just another taxable line item that can be used to manipulate the masses and get more revenues.
Think about the Lois Lerner IRS scandal for a second. If this quasi-private entity known as the IRS can target people of a certain political persuasion, then what makes you think the internet is best left in the hands of that same government. The same government who sentenced Bradley Manning for holding them accountable. The same government that is on a man hunt for Edward Snowden. The same government that has been spying on its population through the NSA.
Do I trust the telecom companies? Not even a little bit. But they aren’t the government. They are subject to delivering on a profit margin and pitted against their market competitors. I see no difference between the telecom industry and the fuel industry. They make their profits and they are largely just a cartel. But they are subject to various other competition. Not just the generic gas proprietors, but other forms of energy like electric and solar. I do think that if we are willing to wait it out, rather than turning gas into a Carter era rationed resource, complete with long waiting lines, the market will sort this out if given the opportunity.
No different from the internet: I believe that at some point frustration will lead innovation and rather than broadband, there might very well be satellite internet. We have satellite television after all.
I realize it is virtually impossible to hide something from the government, but clamoring for its involvement and politicizing things like commerce and trade is not going to lead to anything productive. It’ll get regulated, it will become punitive, and it will be used as another source of income.
This is one of the major reasons why I wished libertarians didn’t insist so much that Bitcoin become a recognized form of currency. If it becomes money, it becomes regulated. If it becomes regulated it becomes taxed. Yes, telecom is already regulated and taxed, but do we really need to just hand it over altogether to the government to control it when government has clearly demonstrated that it can’t even keep its jurisdictions profitable or efficiently run?