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)
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When government “helps” run something – that something is terrible. The bigger a hand government has in running it – the more terrible it is. If it is exclusively government-run – the terrible-ness is ingrained and inherent. And the longer government runs the show – the worse the terrible-ness becomes.
But one example: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is full-on government medicine – and has been since 1930. A government-only monopoly. And its delivery…is terrible – when it isn’t non-existent.
Untold numbers of veterans are dying waiting for care. We don’t know how many – because government is placing tens of thousands of veterans on secret waiting lists. And government is leaving completely of these lists tens of thousands more.
And there is zero accountability. After this abomination was identified in 2014 – the government actually kept growing the wait lists. No one – NO ONE – has been fired.
Executed in the face of this top-to-bottom terrible-ness was the #1 DC defense – “We aren’t spending enough money.” As is nigh always the case – that is another DC lie.
In 2002, President George W. Bush declared a War on Terror – and the VA budget (in current coin) was $53.5 billion. In 2012, President Obama had mostly ended our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and the VA budget was $125.3 billion. A roughly 250% increase over ten years.
The amount of money we give government – isn’t the problem. (We in fact now set new records every year in coin taken by the Feds.) Government’s incredibly incompetent and horrendously wasteful use of our money – is a huge problem.
Contrast this government VA track record of terrible-ness – with the World Wide Web.
The Web was born in the mid-1990s. At its inception, a bipartisan DC decision was made – to leave the Internet alone. As nigh always happens when the government leaves something alone – the Web exploded. Arguably nothing in human history has grown better, stronger, faster than has the Internet.
Flash forward two decades to 2014 – and the Internet is 6% of the entire U.S. economy. $966 billion in economic activity – and responsible for 3 million jobs.
That is an inconceivably huge growth path. An inconceivably huge private sector success story. So the question is – why on Earth would anyone mess with it? An even better (worse) question is – why on Earth would anyone want the Internet to look more like the VA?
The government will now apply to the Internet – 1934 monopoly landline telephone law. But if you apply law written for a monopoly, the regulations will strangle out competitors one by one – until you get down to a monopoly. (That’s from the Department of Duh.) And the proponents of this inanity – want that monopoly to be government:
“(T)he ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
Well isn’t that special. Government as our sole Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Killed will be thousands of private providers – and untold tens of thousands of attending private companies. And the millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of investment and economic activity they provide.
Born will be a sister agency to the VA – the IA, the Internet Administration.
And we’ve all seen how that will go.