Like with all huge new government power grabs, there are a few very predictable post-grab outcomes. Let’s look at a few through the prisms of relatively new grab Net Neutrality – and ObamaCare, a more vintage grab thus doing even more predicted damage.
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.
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 Sunday Telegraph reports that the EU is poised to fine Google an EU record ~€3b for “web search monopoly abuse” and that “Google will be banned from continuing to manipulate search results to favour itself and harm rivals.”
Google’s puppeteering of FCC-sponsored piracy in the FCC AllVid set-top box proposal is not the first time Google has anticompetitively used piracy promotion to gain an anticompetitive market advantage for YouTube’s monopsony power — i.e. its market power from being the only repository in the world where one can access a copy of most every video created whether it is legal or pirated, and where Google often promotes pirated videos near the top of its search results.
Few outside of Alphabet-Google understand the immense market, economic, and technological power of an unaccountable monopoly over the underlying software that controls most all mobile devices in the world. Fortunately EU antitrust enforcers are some of the few who understand it.
In just eight years, Bitcoin and the idea of “virtual currency” have gained acceptance and use both online and in the physical world. Spread by word of mouth and other “viral” means, decentralized virtual currencies have gone from a mere thought experiment to a tangible economic reality.
The age-old analogy describing a good salesman is “He can sell ice to Eskimos.” Let us now contemplate the opposite. What if someone has repeatedly screwed up so terribly – they could damage the sale of the hottest of commodities to a full panoply of desperate buyers? How could anyone hamstring a water auction – in the desert?
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Heartland Vice President of External Relations James Taylor sits down with Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News H. Sterling Burnett. James joins Burnett to discuss the proposed solar amendment in Florida.
A new kind of business model connecting customers and providers is cutting out inefficient middlemen and reducing costs. Unfortunately, some governments are trying to undercut these new services at the request of the old-economy companies that are displacing them with their greater efficiency.
Almost everyone outside the world of the Austrian School of Economics unquestionably assumes that the regulation of so-called “natural monopoly utilities” is both fair and necessary as well as efficient and effective. This is — to borrow a buzz word from the Left — “unsustainable,” in both theory and practice.
The collateral damage is beginning to pile up from the FCC’s February decision to trigger Title II telephone utility regulation of the Internet. Long called the “nuclear” option, the FCC preemptively triggered Title II Internet regulation ostensibly to prevent potential new net neutrality problems, which the FCC admits it can’t yet identify.
In Today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, we listen in as Senior Fellow James M. Taylor speaks with Marita Noon, host of America’s Voice for Energy. Taylor and Noon discuss solar energy in the United States. Noon and Taylor have both recently focused some of their work on the topic of solar power.
How obscene is it for a Florida jury to award $23.6 billion to the widow of a man who died of lung cancer in 1996? She sued R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company by asserting that her husband had been “fooled” into starting the smoke at age 13. Apparently he had never heard cigarettes referred to as “coffin nails”, a slang term that has been around since the last century. And how come all those patches, chewing gum, and other means to stop smoking had no effect, if used by her late husband?
In the past two decades the Internet has come to be a dominant part of people’s lives. For work, pleasure, communication, and countless other uses, the Internet is an indispensable tool to many individuals. Without it, much of the information-based civilization that has been built up would stop working the way we are accustomed to.
For more than two hundred years, practically all of the leading advocates of individual liberty and free markets have assumed that money and banking were different from other types of goods and markets. From Adam Smith to Milton Friedman, the presumption has been that competitive markets and free consumer choice are far better than government control and planning – except in the realm of money and financial intermediation. They have been wrong on this important issue.
Aside from whether you think the proposed Comcast – Time Warner Cable merger ultimately should be approved or not, it’s hard to suggest that Comcast’s announcement that it will divest 3.9 million subscribers does not advance the company’s pro-merger case by alleviating claimed competitive concerns. Without getting into the complexities of the proposed three-party subscriber divestiture transactions involving Comcast, TWC, and Charter Communications, the end result is that, as Comcast promised when the merger was announced in February, Comcast’s total number of subscribers, post-merger, will be less than 30% of the total number of U. S. cable subscribers.
Seventy years ago this month, on March 10, 1944, “The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich A. Hayek was first published in Great Britain. For seven decades it has continued to challenge and influence the political-economic landscape of the world. Hayek delivered an ominous warning that political trends in the Western democracies, including America, were all in the direction of a new form of servitude that threatened the personal and economic liberty of the citizens of these countries.