It’s always helpful when advocates for ever larger government remind us of how utterly unnecessary bigger government – and its advocates – actually are.
We just saw – and will soon see again – a percentage of the federal government’s approximately 850,000 “non-essential personnel” get furloughed due to a government shutdown.
I don’t call them “non-essential” – their government employer does.
None of these non-essentials – or their work – were actually missed by any actual Americans at any point during the entirety of this past all-time-longest shutdown.
Which begs the question: Why do we need said non-essential personnel – or the advocates for the government to hire even more of them?
Speaking of non-essential….
Thanks in large part to California’s highly fraudulent ballot harvesting, Democrats now control the House of Representatives.
The new majority on Thursday held a hearing – to whine about the Donald Trump Administration in 2017 wisely removing the government shackles the Barack Obama Administration had unilaterally imposed in 2015 upon the Internet.
Under the dishonest auspices of Network Neutrality, Team Obama had slammed down on the Internet 1930s monopoly landline telephone law.
Which is a highly restrictive and oppressive cacophony of regulatory and taxation nonsense for the Web as it is. And were it in place at the Web’s inception – we would now have but a tiny fraction of the Web as it is.
Keep in mind: In 2004, we reached a bipartisan consensus on four Net Neutrality principles:
“Freedom to Access Content. Consumers should have access to their choice of legal content.
“Freedom to Use Applications. Consumers should be able to run applications of their choice.
“Freedom to Attach Personal Devices. Consumers should be permitted to attach any devices they choose to the connection in their homes.
“Freedom to Obtain Service Plan Information. Consumers should receive meaningful information regarding their service plans.”
To which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) had already adhered for a decade. And to which ISPs have adhered in the fifteen years since.
Government’s default – should be to NOT regulate. And there should be deeply impactful and compelling evidence presented as to the necessity of regulation – before any regulation is imposed.
ISPs continue to not violate these Net Neutrality principles. So government: Don’t just do something – stand there.
But as those of us who know better knew – Net Neutrality was (and is) a Trojan Horse. An ever expanding definition – to serve as an ever-expanding opening for government to impose ever-expanding regulations.
The Obama Administration – massively over-imposed a massive set of ever-expanding regulations. The Trump Administration – rightly and reasonably un-imposed said massive set of ever-expanding regulations.
How do we know the Obama Net Neutrality over-regulation is unnecessary? Besides the nine trillion other ways we know?
Because of the testimony of the pro-Net Neutrality witnesses at the Democrat House hearing. Oops.
These people – in the interest of expanding government – accidentally and repeatedly bolstered the case for the Trump Administration’s right and reasonable regulatory rollback.
Here’s witness Tom Wheeler. He is the Obama Administration lead bureaucrat who imposed the massive Internet over-regulation – which the Trump Administration rightly and reasonably undid:
“The early digital era’s ‘permissionless innovation’ was made possible by an absence of gatekeepers. The policy challenge today is the rise of digital gatekeepers – both telecommunications networks and the information services that ride on them…..”
ISPs – Wheeler’s “gatekeepers” – were in place and providing service during Wheeler’s “early digital era (of) ‘permissionless innovation,’” And they are in place and providing service now. Still doing none of the negative “gatekeeping” Wheeler baselessly fears.
Wheeler tends to ramble (and ramble, and ramble). Because he attempts to cloud his wrongness on things – with extrusions of irrelevant factoid squid ink. To make himself sound intelligent and informed – which does nothing to correct his wrongness.
Wheeler went into a long treatise on the history of US telecommunications laws and regulations – as if to justify imposing 1930s telephone law upon in the Internet. It didn’t.
To argue there are less ISPs now than there were in, say, 1998 – and therefore we need Obama’s massive regulatory overreach – is completely ridiculous. Because math.
To wit: Nothing consumes more Internet bandwidth than video. Nothing else is remotely close.
You can now watch HD video wirelessly – and do everything else online – via cell phone and satellite providers.
Wireless ISPs are vibrant competitors in 2019. They were literally non-existent in 1998 – Wheeler’s vaunted “early digital era (of) ‘permissionless innovation.’”
Wheeler’s assertion that we now have less ISP competitors – and thus need more regulation – is absolutely and ridiculously ludicrous.
Here’s witness Denelle Dixon – Chief Operating Officer of the Mozilla Corporation:
“Openness is the secret to the internet’s success. The incredible investment, growth, and social and economic value we have seen over the past (very!) few decades was only possible through a climate of permissionless innovation and aggressive competition, without walled gardens or gatekeepers.
“We need an internet where small businesses can flourish by delivering what users want….”
Ummm…everything Dixon says and describes – happened WITHOUT Obama’s completely unnecessary regulatory overreach. The entirety of her testimony – admits it. These “incredible…past (very!) few decades” – ALL happened without Obama’s completely unnecessary regulatory overreach.
Yet here she was in front of the Democrat Congress – demanding a reimposition of Obama’s completely unnecessary regulatory overreach.
And here’s witness Ruth Livier – Actress, Writer, and UCLA Doctoral Student:
“In 2014, I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on how net neutrality changed my life as a Hollywood entertainment professional.
“I shared that the open internet put worldwide distribution of media content at the fingertips of independent artists, like me.
“This gave us the unprecedented opportunity to tell our own stories, from our points of view, and to share them globally, without the financial and corporate gatekeeping roadblocks of traditional media. It empowered us to define ourselves.”
Get that date of her previous testimony? 2014 – a year BEFORE Obama’s completely unnecessary regulatory overreach.
Everything she so glowingly describes about the freedom and openness of the Internet – how it “changed (her) life” and gave her and hers “unprecedented opportunity” – happened before and thus without Obama’s completely unnecessary regulatory overreach.
Yet here she too was in front of the Democrat Congress – demanding a reimposition of Obama’s completely unnecessary regulatory overreach.
As is always the case:
It is most helpful when the other side steadfastly and repeatedly insists on making your case for you.
This first appeared in Red State.