Critics of libertarians seem to worry most about our full-throated endorsement of and enthusiasm for the proven benefits of unhindered free-market competition. They believe that we are cynically defending a corrupt system of power and privilege, carrying water for capitalism’s exploiter class. There is, they argue, a need for governments, ostensibly pledged to “the greater good,” to intervene to counteract some of the perceived undesirable side effects of the free market system, which they say moves society toward inequitable accumulations of wealth in the hands of a few.
With due credit to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!®,”so much odd and bizarre is happening at the FCC in the “name” of “privacy” that the topic calls for its own collection of: “Believe it or Not!®” oddities.
John and Donny continue their exploration of think tanks in #41 of the In The Tank Podcast. This weekly podcast features (as always) interviews, debates, and roundtable discussions that explore the work of think tanks across the country. The show is available for download as part of the Heartland Daily Podcast every Friday. Today’s podcast features work from the Independent Women’s Forum, the Mercatus Center, The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, and Reason.
As more evidence comes to light exposing Google’s much increased search and Android dominance in the U.S. since the FTC closed its search and Android antitrust probes in January 2013, it only becomes clearer that the FCC’s AllVid proposed rulemaking to “Unlock the [set-top] Box” is obviously anticompetitive overall, not pro-competitive as the FCC naively claims.
The world is threatened with a renewed wave of anti-capitalism and anti-business sentiments and policies. Many who cheered the demise of Soviet communism in the early 1990s, presumed that this meant that, by default, the case for free markets and competitive enterprise had won in the battle of ideas. Over the last twenty-five years it has become clear that the same misguided arguments against free market capitalism constantly reemerge, like an ideological vampire waiting to rise from the intellectual grave and drain market freedom of its lifeblood by more government regulations and controls.
Why does the company that by far collects the most private information that the FCC claims it wants to protect, and that also has the worst consumer privacy protection record with the FTC, (Google), get 99% exempted from the telecom and cable privacy protections expected of telephone, broadband, cable and satellite providers?
A Leftist governmental principle is the Butterfly Effect: “A property of chaotic systems…by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system.”
Looking backwards at 1934-era Title II telephone utility law, the FCC concluded in its 2015 Open Internet Order that only broadband providers could be “gatekeepers” warranting net neutrality regulation to “protect and promote the “virtuous cycle” that drives innovation and investment on the Internet.”
Google’s dominant search engine + its dominant Android operating system (OS) + its world-leading Chrome web browser + its uniquely-comprehensive, Internet utility functionality of193 products, services and tools = a virtual Google “Inner-net” regime.
Presidential election years, more than many others, focuses our attention on politics, those running for political office, and the promises the competing candidates make to sway our allegiance and votes toward one or some of them in comparison to others. They want us to give them political power by promising to use that power to benefit some of us in ways that can only come at the expense of others in society.
Personal choice and freedom of association are two fundamental and essential principles of any truly free society, and this includes a free market workplace. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is spending taxpayer dollars to undermine those principles in other countries around the world.
Many state governments facing budget crises are still trying outdated, proven-failed policy ideas such as higher taxes and increased government spending, hoping they’ll work this time, somehow. Instead, they should copy tried-and-true ideas for successfully attracting residents and fostering an economic environment in which people can prosper.
Competition has long been proven to improve services, lower prices, and give consumers more choices, but despite the success of the free market, Georgia has decided to restrict competition in its health care industry. Georgia is one of 36 states that limit the ability of health care providers to expand their businesses by mandating an approval process known as a certificate of need. The system gives current suppliers of health care services an unfair advantage and keeps out new entrants into the marketplace.
There are troubling signals that the FCC is gearing up to further increase regulation of cable — on top of the extra-legal new utility regulation the FCC already did in its 2015 Open Internet Order.
Kudos to Senators Mike Lee and Orin Hatch, and Rep. Blake Farenthold for their leadership and wisdom in advancing the SMARTER Act, H.R. 5402, “Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules.”
Elected officials often say using taxpayer money to pay for the construction or renovation of sports stadiums is an easy way to boost local economies and revitalize the flagging fortunes of downtown areas. But what really happens is that these teams pit cities against one another in competition for franchises, using their scarcity as a way of wresting ever-greater subsidies from taxpayers while team values rise to astronomical levels.
Northern Virginia has experienced strong and consistent population growth over the past decade. Loudoun County grew more than any other county in the commonwealth over the past three years and recently became Virginia’s third most populous county. A booming population has led to growth in Northern Virginia’s economy, with competitive markets developing in all manner of industries, save one: health care. A single provider that has developed a near-monopoly, Inova, dominates health care in region.
There should be no innovation or competition double standard where government politically picks winners and losers by rigging competition via denying some companies the freedom to innovate and compete spectrally while granting it to their competitors.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Jesse Hathaway, managing editor of Budget & Tax News speaks with Leonard Gilroy. Gilroy is director of government reform at the Reason Foundation. Gilroy joins Hathaway to discuss the benefits of privatization.