.........................Internet access isn't classified as a utility......
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.........................Internet access isn't classified as a utility......
This is correct. I own a company and we put shit in the ROW all the time. It just takes a few forms and phone calls. What he's probably thinking about are cable franchise agreements. Back in the day cable companies told small towns they wouldn't bring in cable TV service unless the town signed this contract, most of which state something along the lines of "no one else can use our lines, and if another competitor comes in they must be able to serve 100% of the town prior to starting services". Which essentially kills cable competition, because no other company is going to run miles and miles of cable to every home in a town prior to selling service to a single customer.
This post gets at the core of my fundamental disagreement with libertarians. I think we actually agree on a lot here, but then diverge completely on the solution.Indeed, there isn't any market mechanism for stopping a company from allowing toxic chemicals to leech into the water supply, and that is the arena of the law, just as there is no market or social mechanism other than law to prevent personal fraud or a simple mugging. Laws are supposed to be to protect the majority from the harmful minority. In the case of many environmental laws and their penalties, I say many don't go nearly far enough. Criminal charges should be brought against managers who intentionally withdraw or prevent the use of safety mechanisms that result in worker deaths. That would get compliance up in a BIG hurry. There absolutely should be a corporate 'death penalty' for certain, wide spread actions, such as fraud that affects a majority of their customer base or an accident with widespread damage that happens because safety mechanisms weren't used. (Examples: BP, Bank of America, and Citibank.)
However, I do strongly protest "regulations" that force companies to spend unnecessarily on things that should be the realm of government spending (SOX compliance, EPA electronics recycling program approvals) or where there are more sensible alternatives. Did you know that the EPA has a regulation in place right now that anyone who "assembles a computer for financial gain" is considered a computer manufacturer, and has to have in place a "method of recycling products at the end of their useful life" that must be approved by the EPA before they can sell a single computer. The cost of the approvals process? $150,000. Their recycling program must stay in place until the estimated end of the device's useful lifetime, as well. Sound a little heavy handed?
As for my "without fail" it isn't so simple to disprove. I have yet to find a single government power that has not been abused in any way. I just have to find one situation where a government power was abused to prevent it from being disproved. It's harder than you might think to find a government power that hasn't been abused. Impossible, I'd say. Try it some time. Think of a power the government, state, local, or Federal, that hasn't been abused in history, and then look it up in a google search. (The power to designate a 'day' for something? Been abused to give free advertising for many manufacturers. Driver's licenses? Been abused by racists on all sides to prevent legal driving by their hated race. Professional licensing? Been abused to solidify a monopoly in nearly every city in the country.) Any seemingly harmless power can be abused somehow, and human beings are very adept at imagining how to abuse that power.
Free markets aren't a panacea just like the human immune system isn't full proof, however, it is far better at handling things than artificial means, like government or medicine. It just needs to be allowed to happen, and bad things happen when they are restrained. (Big corporations and autoimmune diseases. See, the parallel works. )
The rules were set form by the FCC last year, but had actually not gone into effect yet. Instead, the Trump Administration repealed them prior to them taking effect.
This post gets at the core of my fundamental disagreement with libertarians. I think we actually agree on a lot here, but then diverge completely on the solution.
Market forces have practically no incentive to protect the environment outside of wherever their shareholders reside: Check.
There should be severe criminal charges for essentially poisoning people with toxins en masse: Check.
Government can and is being abused in a state of regulatory capture: Check.
We should abolish the EPA because they can overstep their bounds: Well that's a very radical approach. The EPA is flawed, but it's currently the best protection we have against major polluters.
Replace the EPA with essentially nothing: Yeah, this is where I start thinking libertarians are nuts.
The EPA was founded BECAUSE state management of pollution was so bad people had to wear air masks in major cities and the Cuyahoga river was so polluted it caught on fire. It's not like everything was wonderful and happy, then the big bad government moved in to ruin everything. It was a direct response to how godawful pollution was getting. Sure, it's imperfect, and can lead to overregulation, but like you said, it doesn't go nearly far ENOUGH in plenty of other cases, especially with big money interests trying to tear it down at every opportunity because hey, it can actually WORK some of the time too, which cuts into profits.
Honestly, the fact that you recognize that market forces DON'T incentivize protection of the environment puts you way ahead of most libertarians I've talked to. There's plenty of them out there who don't believe that and honestly think free market forces will solve EVERYTHING. On the contrary, market forces incentivize profits at all costs, so there is a clear and present motivation to use up all resources and pay as little as possible for their disposal, because that leads to maximum short term income. For everyone with a conscience not to do that, they're at an immediate economic disadvantage over ones who DO, and tend to lose out in the end.
Government abuse happens when things GO WRONG and it has been corrupted by big money interests more often than anything else. Environmental pollution occurs when everything is FUNCTIONING AS INTENDED under market forces, because everyone in charge is pursuing their own immediate economic interests at all costs. Given the choice, I'd rather have an agency fucking up half the time than forces that are actively sabotaging everything. Can we do better than our current government? Absolutely. Is taking power away from it so that private businesses has even more influence than they do now the answer? Sure, if you want your river to catch on fire.
The bottom line is most libertarians value individual freedom above everything else. I like freedom, but I think there's a balance of things too. I value not having mercury in my drinking water MORE.
I was going to type something longer, but instead I'll exit with the point that eliminating government doesn't reduce corruption and power over others. It simply transfers it to different hands. In some cases, it's better, in many cases, it's worse. Who is worse for a community? A crooked police force, or an industry executive dumping toxins into the groundwater whom half the town depends on to earn a living? Well, if you're getting shot by a cop, it's the police. If you and your family don't want cancer in 5 years, it's the executive. Distrust of government is healthy. So is distrust of large money interests. I see a lack of government as only handing power over to the latter. Both corrupt government and psychopathic businesses can be terrible, just in different ways.I grew up in the Carter era, and as such, I have an inherent distrust of government. Couple that with sisters who constantly blamed me for everything and a mother that would always believe my sisters over me, and it gets worse. Over the years, through high school and college, I have been harassed by police repeatedly, and have them completely fail me when I was the victim of things, such as my lug nuts being loosened by a bully at school and having a rock put through my windshield by another bully while I was at work. Now, watching as a war hero and dedicated Republican changes over the course of 12 years into a Democrat supporter just because of power and money. My faith in authority figures has been completely eroded. Power breeds corruption, without fail. I have not seen a single person in my 45 years faced with government power that was not corrupted by it. So, I will always oppose government getting more power on any matter. I will only support taking power away from any government position, department, or other entity. Out government, as it is right now, is only corrupt, and it cannot be saved by obtaining more power in any fashion. It can only get worse.
I'm pretty sure the Privacy Rules and the Title II Classification action are two distinctly separate things.
What do you think?
P.S. Even if you decide I that I am correct, I can't take full credit as it was another member who schooled me on exactly this same point just a few weeks ago.
Good point, well said sir.