There’s a reason the words “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help are a punchline. Government involvement rarely helps. In many instances, in fact, it exacerbates the situation.
We’ve seen it happen in the financial sector. The Dodd-Frank legislation that was supposed to prevent another crisis is instead mandating regulations that simply make things more expensive for ordinary consumers — all while increasing the chances of a bailout. We’ve seen it happen in health care, with Obamacare saddling the economy with costly requirements that aren’t making anyone healthier.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that this change will mean a freer, fairer Internet. They take the phrase “net neutrality” at face value. While it’s alliterative and catchy, it’s also dangerous. Ironically, it sets up a situation under which the online rules are anything but free, fair or neutral.
To understand why, consider how net neutrality would change things. For years, the broadband services provided by such companies as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast have been treated differently than traditional telephone and utility services. They haven’t had to operate under “common-carrier” rules that prohibit them from varying rates and services for their broadband offerings.
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