|RFRA – Big Government Means Big Losses of Freedom and Choices and Big Cronyism|
|by Seton Motley|
The solution to many, MANY public policy problems is – less government.
Governments’ regulatory hammers and checkbooks are simply gi-normous. The federal government alone spent last year nearly $4 trillion – and its regulations cost the economy more than $2 trillion more.
That’s $6 trillion a year with which to punish enemies and reward friends. Which sets up the Leviathan to be the Crony Deal Broker.
Government is so huge – way, WAY beyond the bounds proscribed by the Constitution – it keeps bumping up against the individual freedoms of a free society.
There is in Indiana (and elsewhere) no religious freedom “tension” with respect to their Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. There is only government dramatically overreaching. The Constitution mandates government make no law abridging the freedom of religion.
The Constitution mandates government its own self treat everyone equally before the law. The Constitution does not empower the government to mandate that every individual treat every other individual equally.
Have you said yes to every person who has ever asked you out on a date? If the answer is no – congratulations, you discriminated. Do you want the government to mandate that you say yes to everyone? Because that would end your discrimination.
You want real campaign finance reform? Reduce the power and money government wields (again, to its Constitutional limits) – and the pay-to-play donations go away. If the Feds can’t write multi-billion dollar checks – or regulate your competitors while leaving you alone – there will be less campaign contribution “investments” on the front end.
And then there’s the Regulations-for-Thee-Not-for-Me cronyism that is now rampant beyond words. To wit:
Amazon is warning (Federal Communications Commission-FCC) federal regulators not to saddle its upstart video service with new regulations by treating it like a traditional cable service….
(S)haking up the process “could impair the success” of the current “thriving” market, Amazon warned….
Of course Amazon doesn’t want to be regulated. No one who is in – or understands – business does. But they were specific – “don’t regulate us like cable.”
That’s interesting. Because the FCC just jammed down our throats Network Neutrality and the entire 1934 landline telephone regulatory regime. And did so by totally ignoring all other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – wireless, satellite, etc. – and pretending only cable Internet service exists. And then decrying the lack of ISP choices as “justification” for their ridiculous power grab.
But as Amazon rightly (if accidentally) points out – governments and their massive regulatory regimes are why there are fewer cable providers.
Local governments and their public utilities charge ISPs far more (for building rights) than these things actually cost. For example, rights of way and pole attachments fees can double the cost of network construction….
These (government) incumbents – the real monopolists – also have the final say on whether an ISP can build a network. They determine what hoops an ISP must jump through to get approval.
This reduces the number of potential competitors who can profitably deploy service.… The lack of competition makes it easier for local governments and utilities to charge more for rights of way and pole attachments.
It’s a vicious circle…(A) system of forced kickbacks….(also) includ(ing) ISPs…building out service where it isn’t demanded, donating equipment, and delivering free broadband to government buildings.
How bad does it get?
Video franchises are the revenue-sharing agreements that cable TV companies sign with local governments in return for the exclusive right to offer video services to customers. (Emphasis ours.)
Get that? It’s governments beating down private sector competitors – and creating monopolies – not the (very un-free) market.
You can certainly understand why Amazon wouldn’t want to be regulated like that. If only they were consistent in their deregulatory perspective.
Amazon is ignoring the governments-induced problem – just like the governments are.
Why would Amazon favor yet another regulatory body blow to ISPs? Because it is a bandwidth hog company – it uses a LOT of Internet capacity. And the government just outlawed Amazon’s being charged for being a bandwidth hog company. That’s great for them – not so great for us.
ISPs can only charge two people for the bandwidth they build. The Bandwidth Hogs – and us. So our prices will skyrocket – to augment the profits of the Bandwidth Hogs. Net Neutral, right?
So Amazon just received a huge Crony anti-ISP regulatory boost from the Obama Administration – while beseeching the Obama Administration not to uber-regulate them in similar anti-ISP fashion. Regulate thee – not me. How did this come to pass?
(S)ince 1988 some 88 percent of Bezos’ donations went to Democrats.
Of course. More anti-freedom, anti-choices, Crony Socialist business as usual from Big Government.
|Seton Motley is the founder and president of Less Government. Please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@SetonMotley) and Facebook. It’s his kind of stalking.|