Posts Tagged ‘pros and cons of net neutrality’

Why I’m Against Net Neutrality but For California Doing It

Posted by Troy on 20th December 2017 in Current Events, Political

Tenth Amendment, ya’ll!

Okay, this is one of the very few issues where I am truly on the fence.  I think it comes down to two things, really:

If you believe that the internet is a public utility, you probably support Net Neutrality because no one should have substandard service from a public utility.  In exchange for these restrictions, utilities also get certain benefits such legal monopolies and the like.

If you believe that the internet is a product, you are probably against Net Neutrality because you believe that companies should be able to set their prices and policies.

I think that the internet is becoming such a massive part of people’s lives, that you could easily make the argument that it is a public utility.  If there were a power outage, many people would be most upset about the loss of the internet, not power or water.  Of course, those people are absolutely stupid, but there you go.

However, I am not in favor of Net Neutrality.  Why?  Because I haven’t been shown that the internet companies have been unfair.  If they ever start doing the nightmare scenarios where Amazon pays Comcast the most money so they throttle down Walmart’s internet speed, well, that’s a problem.  Of course, that is anti-competitive practices and could be considered collusion or extortion or racketeering.  But let’s put all that to the side.  Anyone COULD do ANYTHING.  You can’t punish people for things they can do.  Until such practices become common place, I do not wish to place the heavy fist of government on it.  Once the government gets involved in something, it’s difficult to get them out again.  Also, after ten to fifteen years, you could find that the government itself may start using Net Neutrality (as a base law) to add in a “Fake News” clause or something to control content.  It’s the old, slippery slope argument, but it is a valid argument.  I am always very cautious when it comes to given the government more regulatory power.

So why do I approve it for California?  Because California is a state and can do pretty much anything it damn well pleases as long as it does not conflict with Federal Law or the Constitution.  Boom.  If California is having problems, have your Net Neutrality.  If they are not having any problems and their citizens just want the law, have your Net Neutrality.  If it works out well, maybe other states will follow.  If it turns into a total shitshow, other states will learn from your example.

Long Live the Constitution!