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Intellectual Property: No One Wants to Pay – Everyone Wants to Get Paid

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The Big Shill:
Massive Hypocrisy –
and Juicy Rationalizations

“Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.”  Francois de La Rochefoucauld exquisitely captured Man’s inherent inconsistency to Man.

Hand in hand with hypocrisy – goes rationalization.  Which an exchange in the flick “The Big Chill” aptly describes thus:

Michael: “Don’t knock rationalization.  Where would we be without it?  I don’t know anyone who can get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations.  They’re more important than sex.”

Sam: “Aww come on – nothing’s more important than sex.”

Michael: “Oh yeah?  Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?”

Immediately prior to this, actor Jeff Goldblum’s Michael perfectly describes the hypocrisy-rationalization nexus:

“I’m not even claiming that people always think they’re doing the right thing.  They may know they’re doing something dishonest, insensitive or manipulative – but they almost always think there’s a good reason for doing it.  They almost always think it will turn out for the best in the end.  And even it just turns out best for them – because by definition what’s best for them is what’s best….Really all that’s happening is I’m trying to get what I want.  Which is what everybody does.” More

You’d Never Have Heard of Google and Facebook, Netflix and Uber Without…

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

The Key Ingredient – That Gets You to All the Others

The Washington, D.C.-New York Bubble has a decidedly skewed view of what constitutes things like “Tech” and “The Internet.”  The Bubble references Tech or the Internet, and they mean companies like Google and Facebook, Netflix and Uber – and only those types of companies.  This is a ridiculously partial, partisan perspective.

Because before you can search the Web or stream some ‘Flix – you must first connect to the Internet.  And that requires an Internet Service Provider (ISP).  Companies like Comcast and Verizon, Clear Channel and AT&T.  Without whom – Google, Facebook, Netflix and Uber would still be…absolutely nowhere.

Netflix is a quintessential example of these titans’ irrelevance without ISPs.  Just a few years ago, Netflix was a snail-mail DVD delivery company – and struggling to survive.  But the ISPs relentlessly kept up their massive investment and technological advancement.  And the download speeds they deliver increased to such routinely high levels that Netflix could confidently sell their streaming movie service – “Over The Top (OTT)” of those screamingly fast Internet lines.

Boom – Netflix became a giant.  In fact, it is predicted that there will by 2019 be 330+ million streaming video customers.  All made possible – in fact, impossible without – the ISPs.

But in The Bubble, being an essential ISP – is just about a totally thankless task.  ISPs are the people who lay the World Wide Web roads – on which all these Bubble “Internet” companies ride.  Yet somehow in The Bubble – ISPs aren’t even considered to be Internet companies. More

Phil Gramm is Woefully Wrong on the Border Adjustment Tax

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Still His Approach Today

I have long liked former Texas Congressman, Senator and presidential candidate Phil Gramm.  I in fact voted for him in the 1996 Republican presidential primary.  The one time I got to meet him – years thereafter, at a UBS event (with whom he’d landed a post-politics gig) – I told him I had cast a presidential ballot for him.  His response was a deadpan “That was you?”

Gramm received my 1996 vote – in part because of a move he made in 1983.  Then a conservative Democrat Congressman, Gramm had been just about excommunicated from the Donkey Party for working on budget issues with Republican President Ronald Reagan.  So he announced he would switch Parties – and that he would resign his seat to do it.  Having been elected as a Democrat, he felt it dishonest to make the change without again facing the voters.  His voters re-ensconced him in a special election.

Gramm called his move: “(T)he only honorable course.”  He described his situation thus: “My crime was that I dared to practice in Washington what I preached here at home….That I should be punished for representing the people who sent me to Washington is unfair.” More

The Constitution Protects Us…from Government. And Only from Government

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Most of DC? Uber-Fail

Candidate Donald Trump ran on massive regulatory rollbacks.  And won thereon.  Since being sworn in, he’s – in very un-Washington-D.C.-fashion – adhered to and started implementing his campaign promises.  Including his regulatory rollbacks – pledging cuts of “75% or more.”  Serious business.

His Cabinet almost inarguably is the most deregulatory in our nation’s history.  To wit: Four years ago former Texas Governor Rick Perry ran for the presidency pledging to close the Energy Department.  Trump just named him head of the Energy Department.  Former Oklahoma Attorney General spent the last six years suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – fending the over-reaching, invasion-ary agency off of his state (and others) with a whip and a chair.  Trump just named him head of the EPA.

And then there’s Ajit Pai – Trump’s choice to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Ostensibly an independent agency (Trump predecessor Barack Obama certainly didn’t treat it as such), it would be up to the Chairman to set a deregulatory course.  Trump again chose inordinately wisely – elevating Commissioner Pai to the lead role.

Of course, when the average politico hears “FCC” and “deregulation,” they think of the ridiculous policy known as Network Neutrality – and the massive power grab known as “reclassification” that the Obama FCC executed to get there.  Of course, the Obama FCC executed a whole host of massive power grabs – but Net Neutrality retains the highest profile. More

Apple Sues to Get Paid for their Intellectual Property – and to Not Pay for Everyone Else’s

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Snooki –
NOT an Experienced
DC Hypocrisy Observer

As someone who for a living follows Washington, D.C. and its denizens – I have developed a pretty high threshold for hypocrisy.  Perhaps part of it is innate – I was born just outside of DC, so maybe being so close to the source puts something in the water that inoculates you.

No matter how or why – it takes some whiplash-inducing dissimulation to garner my attention and interest.  In the field of intellectual property (IP) and its protection (or lack thereof) – my high hypocrisy resistance is routinely overwhelmed.

There is currently underway an IP fight – that is full-on hypocrisy overload.  And the company causing my neck to spin all the way round – like an owl eyeing a sprinting mouse – is Apple.

Apple Sues Qualcomm Over Patent Royalties: “Apple also wants back some of the billions of dollars it claims it was overcharged in ‘Qualcomm’s illegal scheme’ to control the market for mobile phone chips.”

No, what Qualcomm is doing – is engaging in a legal, very reasonable effort to control the market for its patents.  Apple wanted to use Qualcomm’s patents, Apple signed contracts to use them, Apple used them – and now Apple is trying to get out of paying for using them.

Having not a toe – let alone a leg – on which to stand, Apple Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook is hurling lame insults and really terrible, totally un-analogous analogies: “Cook took a shot at Qualcomm, one of the main chip suppliers for the iPhone…Apple sued the chipmaker earlier this month,…alleging that Qualcomm charges Apple ‘at least five times more in’ royalty payments than all of Apple’s other patent licensors combined.”

Look, I don’t manufacture smart phones – so I don’t know if Cook’s charge that Qualcomm charges that much more than everyone else is true.  What I do know – is that at this point in the process, it is utterly irrelevant.  Apple signed patent deals at those rates – so Apple needs to pay those rates. More

Obama’s Assaults on Trump – Are Assaults on our Governmental System and Nation

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Disorganizing America

There was once a long and fabulous tradition in American politics.  A president, once no longer President, kept his trap shut about his successors.  This is a very (small “r”) republican thing to do.  Americans peaceably elected the next person – and Americans and the world need only hear from one president at a time.

(That we for the rest of their lives refer to ex-officials by their official titles is inordinately non-small-r-republican – but that is a discussion for another time.)

Cracks in the dam of Presidents not speaking ill of their successors began with Democrat Jimmy Carter.  And the new tradition that has developed – is Democrat ex-presidents speaking ill of Republicans who follow.

Once out of office, Republican Ronald Reagan night totally held his tongue.  So too, for the most part, have both George Bushes.  Democrats – not so much.  Democrat Bill Clinton had a built-in excuse to denigrate – his wife continued in government work after he left it.  And now there is Democrat Barack Obama.

Obama’s successor – Republican Donald Trump – was sworn in on January 20th.  Candidate Trump became President Trump – in large part because the American people had tired of Obama’s way-too-much-government approach to things. More

Trump Proposes EPA Budget and Staff Cut: Farmers, Ranchers and Energy Producers Rejoice

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

It’s Been a Little Excessive

The people who grow and raise our food – and produce energy that actually, you know, produces energy (coal and petroleum, for instance) – have for decades been under relentless governmental barrage.  Laws and endlessly mounting regulations have rendered ever more difficult the lives of anyone who makes their livelihood from the land.

This actually way predates the Barack Obama Administration (though that particular administration dramatically amplified and accelerated the assault).  The original sin in this nightmare mess – was most likely the Richard Nixon Administration’s unilateral creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Ever since, it has been the government’s chief weapon of war against private sector activity.

Our farmers, ranchers and energy producers have ever since been targeted by the ridiculous EPA – and abandoned by both political Parties. The Democrats have been doing the assaulting.  The Republicans have been doing nothing to stop it – that is, when they’re not actively helping the Democrats in the assaulting.

Then along comes Donald Trump. More

The Internet – Is an Amazing ‘Less Government’ Success Story

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Unleash the Freedom Beast

Nothing in the history of humanity has grown bigger, faster or better – than the World Wide Web.  In just about a quarter century, it has become an economic and political force of nigh immeasurable impact.

The Internet is a magnificent, unparalleled private sector success story.  Yes, the Left reflexively and rightly states that the earliest, nascent Web steps were taken by the government – in the 1950s and 1960s.  But there it sat, as a tiny little undeveloped lump – for a quarter century.

Then the magic happened.  In the United States in the 1990s, the Republican Congress and the Democrat Bill Clinton Administration – up to and including the Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – privatized the Internet.

This is the Internet’s Big Bang.  But it isn’t a theory – it is demonstrable fact.  The Web in government hands sat idle for more than two decades.  Once the Web was handed to the private sector – the revolution happened.

In the U.S. – thanks to our privatization – it has become a $1-trillion-per-year free-speech-free-market-Xanadu.  And its unleash has dramatically improved the lives of literally billions of people on our planet. More

Republican Business Tax Reform: Less Government in Businesses’ Wallets – and Yours

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Finally Headed in the Right Direction

Congress hasn’t done major tax reform since 1986.  We are WAY past due.  And it is WAY past necessary.

The current tax code is an economy-stifling combination of sky-high rates – and stupid mandates and stipulations.  Most of what our government has ensconced in tax law – works to drive businesses out of business and out of the country.  Taking with them the jobs and salaries they proffer.

Our elected officials say they want to foster a business-friendly environment – so as to make available the most opportunities to the most Americans.  Their tax code belies them.

We invite you into our house – and then our tax code simultaneously picks your pockets and beats you about the head and shoulders with a bat.  We should at least have the decency to not act surprised when you get up and leave.

We need to rewrite tax law – that has for decades incentivized a mass American business exodus. This America Last, “Made In America Tax” code – is terrible policy. More

It’s Not ‘Free Trade’ – If They’re Stealing Tons of Our Stuff

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Stop the Theft, Shall We?

President Donald Trump became President Donald Trump because he saw a whole host of naked emperors – and publicly pointed out the dearth of respective wardrobes.  Establishment Washington, D.C. has spent decades pretending a whole host of things labeled “A” – are “Not A.”

We the People were tired of DC lying to us – and itself.  So we elected Trump – the guy who joined with us in decrying the lies.  “Drain the Swamp,” anyone?

The examples of DC snowing us – are myriad.  Social Security and Medicare are a combined nearly $300 trillion short – a looming cataclysm of monumental proportions.  Yet in DC, both are hailed as “successes.”  Obamacare is a premium-and-deductible-exploding, choice-contracting disaster.  Yet in DC – it is another “success.”

And then there’s DC’s definition of “free trade.”  In which DC has for decades cut one-sided deals – in which we didn’t impose any limits on imports, while nigh every other nation on the planet imposed all sorts of taxes and limits on the things we export to them (while subsidizing the daylight out of their domestic production).

The United States is an $18-trillion-Gross-Domestic-Product-800-pound-gorilla in the global trade room.  We have leverage to burn when it comes to cutting deals.  We have thus far used…none of it. More