Saturday, May 13, 2006

Economics and the Free Market? Or an Excuse?

I'm not going to pretend to have pondered the whole 'Net Neutrality' question enough to have a full opinion. I don't want to say the broadband provider's arguments are wholly without merit. But I certainly lean in that direction. When you strip away the anti-regulation rhetoric (whatever its merits), I cannot get myself around this question: Are they not seeking to be paid twice for the same transaction? Already they are being paid by the end user to transmit the data from the content provider to the end user. If allowed, they would add payments from the content provider for that same service. That's a plan for more money for sure. But it hardly looks like a plan for a more efficient economy.

Let us not pretend that being paid twice for the same act is what any, honestly, mean when they appeal to the so-called authority of the free market. For if that is what is meant, then the free-market is nothing more than the opportunity to collect money in whatever way it can be collected. Few things can be more intellectually bereft than justifying whatever can be got away with. While there may be merit to the broadband argument, it certainly seems to be well hidden.


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