One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
The bigger government is – the more room there is for big companies who wish to do so to rig the system. And the more small companies – without the wherewithal to similarly rig – suffer.
The long-term, permanent solution is to reduce the size, scope and sphere of influence of government. The less government tries to micromanage things – the more it steps back and lets the private sector do its magical goodness – the better off we all are.
In the meantime, may we please at least stop the government busy-bodying that is so bad even the busybodies in question acknowledge its absurdity?
In what appeared to be an unprecedented move, Dish also secured all of its winning bids through entities that qualified for a 25% discount set aside by the Federal Communications Commission for small businesses. As a result, Dish and its partners will only owe about $10 billion, saving more than $3 billion….
Wait – what set asides?
Federal regulators plan to set aside a portion of choice spectrum for smaller wireless carriers at an auction of TV airwaves scheduled for next year….
According to people familiar with the matter, the Federal Communications Commission plans to reserve a portion of that spectrum to prevent the two largest wireless carriers (Verizon and AT&T) from purchasing it all.
Wait – I thought an auction was…an auction. Everyone can participate and bid – and the highest bids win.
But this isn’t Reality – this is GovernmentLand. In GovernmentLand, bureaucrats try to warp reality to meet their perverse worldview. It’s unfair that successful entities are successful – government must rig the system against them.
Yet again, government isn’t picking winners and losers – it’s picking losers at the expense of winners.
Except Dish isn’t a loser – and it certainly isn’t small. It’s currently worth $17.9 billion. Not exactly the Little Guy for whom government was trying to rig the game. And that’s the point.
The road to Hell is paved with good government intentions. Its attempts at making things “fair” nearly always fail – miserably. Big companies can always find a way around whatever attempts at “fairness” government makes.
Dish has said it followed all of the auction’s rules….
Dish probably did. And that’s the point.
And no matter how many times bureaucrats fail at micromanaging – no matter how many times the private sector eats their lunch – each and every time they are surprised anew.
Shortly after the auction wrapped up, (Federal Communications Commission) FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told the commission’s staff to study SNR and Northstar’s (the two Dish front companies) applications closely, and told the staff that he thought something didn’t smell right, one of the people said.
Get that? Government sets up stupid rules. Company adheres to their letter – while eviscerating the ridiculous spirit. Government then unilaterally undoes the legal result it ham-handedly created.
How’s that for economic and marketplace certainty?
Look, the government should pull the plug on Dish’s purchases – as a way to unwind the inanity of its own making. We the Consumers are best served by the best winning – not those winning by best rigging the system.
And going forward, rather than government yet again breaking the private sector and then having to attempt to repair it – just leave it alone.
It is under those unfettered circumstances that things always go best.
[Originally published at Red State]