08 August 2016

That Damn Slippery Slope, Again

There are few true constants in this world, but one that just won't die is the Slippery Slope mewling from the Right whenever those on the Left propose any action to level the economic playing field. "We're just a few days away from Socialism, Communism, and even worse -isms which will destroy American Exceptionalism!!!" And such.

Some time back I pondered the capitalists' success in blocking publicly owned utilities. But I can't find any of the articles on point. Sad. But I have found this Slate piece which, at least, lays out the issue. There are lots of articles on banning existing public utilities from offering high bandwidth innterTubes connections.
The FCC's action specifically targeted bans in both Tennessee and North Carolina, both states where incumbent telecom lobbyists quite literally control state legislatures. Both states' dysfunction on this front is legendary, yet both chose to sue the FCC in court to, they claim, defend "states rights" from federal government "overreach" (defending state residents from shitty telecom law written by lobbyists isn't much of a concern).
North Carolina has been a particular joke on this front, with Time Warner Cable successfully getting its own protectionist legislation passed in 2011, after three consecutive failed attempts.

Which brings us to the counter argument today. Life is so much better if those damn monopolists just get out of the way and leave us alone.
In 2013, the Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative created its broadband subsidiary, Bolt, after local businesses and younger residents complained there was no future for them without modern infrastructure like high-speed internet. A year later, the co-op said it would provide fiber-based internet with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second; the service began last year.

The real slippery slope is that all those rural pencil necks will end up becoming fodder for a tsunami of New Mumbai. "You, too, can earn $2.00/hour running SAS programs thanks to that real fast innterTube connection!!"

No comments: