Crony Socialism is private companies using Big Government’s enormous power to better themselves – or to hobble their competition.
It is free market success stories – bailing on the free market once they’ve achieved a comfortable share of the marketplace. Choosing instead to remain in sclerotic stasis, and have Big Government save them from themselves – and others.
Which is terrible for we consumers. It is far better to have an unfettered market – where every company strives every day to improve. It constantly makes things far better and much cheaper.
When some companies get Big Government to warp the market to protect their status quo, the market sags and lags – and we all lose.
Staying ahead of the curve is hard. Continuing to create and innovate in the ways that first made you successful is a lot of work. Long term, it is far easier to cop out and cozy up to Big Government as your protector – to become a remora on the bureaucracy shark.
Almost inherently, Crony Socialism is only a possibility for Big Companies – because only big companies have the financial wherewithal to entice the Leviathan to favor them with its largess.
By and large, the Mom & Pop Shops don’t have enough coin to get the government to do their bidding. They are in fact often the targets of Crony Socialism.
Mom & Pops threaten the Big Cos – through their creation and innovation, which the latter have forsaken. So the Big Cos have Big Gov tie them in knots – with miles and miles of regulatory red tape.
But Mom & Pops aren’t Crony Socialism’s only victims. No one is safe when Big Gov plays favorites.
Netflix is looking to get Big Govs the world over to impose a whole new, ridiculously expansive definition of Network Neutrality.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says that “net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” calling out giants like Comcast and Verizon for bad behavior.
Charging Netflix for their exorbitant bandwidth use isn’t “bad behavior” – it’s basic economics. Imagine the government mandating that gas stations charge the same to fill up Escorts and Escalades.
If Netflix doesn’t pay for what it uses, all the rest of us do – in the form of higher prices for our Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Why should a grandmother who only emails her grandkids pay substantially more – to subsidize Netflix Ned and his twenty-movie-a-day download habit?
In Europe, Netflix just had their Crony Socialist wish granted. Behold Escalade-for-Escort Net Neutrality:
The European Union has ruled that telecoms operators cannot make data-intensive services such as Google and Netflix pay more for using their network.
And as promised:
(I)t could have the unintended consequence of higher prices for consumers – either through their ISPs or through services such as Netflix, because someone has to pay for traffic.
Someone does indeed – right, Grandma?
President Barack Obama-appointee Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler remains undaunted – he has pledged to impose it yet again.
Thankfully, Wheeler appears unwilling to expand Net Neutrality to Netflix’s ridiculous limitlessness.
The Federal Communications Commission made clear today that it won’t heed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ call to expand the scope of net neutrality to regulate the way companies connect across the physical infrastructure of the internet.
We have spent the last half-decade emulating poorly-functioning Europe in myriad ways.
Glad to hear we’re not going to do it yet again with Net Neutrality – at least not down to the bizarre anti-free market levels those across the Pond are mining.
It would be better still if our Big Gov finally just gave up the Internet-uber-regulation ghost once and for all.
We already have more than enough Crony Socialism going on.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in the PJ Tatler.