Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


What financial regulation? What neutrality on the net?

Few people I know watch Bill Moyer's Journal. His broadcast last week was really thought provoking. He first interviewed Professor William K. Black, a one time bank regulator link here and then FCC commissioner Michael J Copps link here, each with videos followed by transcripts. Both were thought provoking, as is usually the case. Black slams all the regulators for failing to stop the financial community which either caused the financial disaster or greatly worsened it. One quote that will leap out at you, "The Fed had unique authority. And it had it since 1994 to regulate every single mortgage lender in America." Which implies it still does. I haven't been able to confirm that but elsewhere Black notes that with the end of Glass-Steagall, the authorities were indicating their disinclination to regulate and had concluded that all was for the best in unregulated markets.

Copps never mentions the Citizens United case by which the Supreme Court took away the FCC's authority to regulate the internet because the Commission had decided years back that the internet was entertainment, not communications (probably in cahoots with the companies) and the FCC did not have authority to regulate entertainment. The simple solution is to go back to the old definition of the internet as communication so that the FCC can reclaim its authority. But like so much involving making the internet more competitive, it is strongly opposed by most of the industry.

The broadcast next week will be Moyer's last. He says he wants to retire and do a few things with the rest of his life. PBS is supposed to be finding a replacement. We will see with what success.


Citizens United v. FEC determined that corporations could spend an unlimited amount of money on a campaign and reduced the restrictions on campaign advertisements. Comcast v. FCC was a deciding factor in the Internet regulation. This is, of course, if the FCC doesn't opt to appeal or move the Internet into another tier (Public Knowledge suggests the common carrier tier [along with POTS]). This is ignoring the FCC's landmark move for a truly neutral network.
Guilty as charged. I have no idea what I was thinking. But I wasn't thinking clearly.

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