The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has just issued some regulations intended to further the cause of net neutrality, the idea that the people who control the flow of traffic on the Internet must do so in a nondiscriminatory manner. And they did so by a partisan vote: three Democrats favoring net neutrality, two Republicans opposing it. This is one case where I think the Democrats are in the right.

The problem is that there are two conflicting ideas here. The Republicans are upholding the idea that Government should keep its hands off the free market, a concept that I find generally agreeable. But in the absence of net neutrality regulations, we find ourselves in a situation analogous to what we would have if, say, Ford Motor Company owned the Interstate Highway system, and refused to allow General Motors cars on it (or allowed it, but only at a much higher toll rate than Ford owners paid). I don't think we would put up with that.

Unless we have some system to prevent vertical integration, so that providers of content and providers of the connections would be divorced from each other, net neutrality regulations are the only way to ensure fairness. And net neutrality is a less intrusive way to do it than forcing that prevention of vertical integration. So I favor it.

Some people say the FCC is trying to solve a problem that does not exist; this may be so, but it's a problem that could exist in the future; Internet carriers have threatened to do such things, and it is better to head this off at the pass, before it becomes a problem.


Anonymous said...

Hey great post. Thought I'm not sure I agree with you 100%. Keep em coming. Are you interested in having anyone guest post opposing views?

Opinionator said...

I don't have guest posts on this blog. But if someone has opposing views they can post them as comments, and if they are written in a civil manner, they will be responded to in an equally civil way. Also, if you want to link to other relevant posts, you're free to do so. Jost please, no ads for Viagra: THOSE will be deleted!