The Loss of Net Neutrality

This just in: The FCC who has governorship over internet regulations has just voted, along party lines, to eliminate Net Neutrality.

What is Net Neutrality?  In it’s simplest form, Net Neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs)must treat all traffic that passes through their system equally.

This sounds kind of like “So what?” until you consider what eliminating it means.

Without Net Neutrality, your ISP can charge you different rates for different types of data.  Want to watch Netflix?  Pay more.  Want to watch commercials by Comcast…those will be free and provided at the highest speeds.

Suppose an evangelical organization purchases Comcast, (an Internet Service Provider).  Now, they may not allow you to watch porn or movies they view as contrary to what they believe.  They could only allow shows with staunch Christian values or prohibit international fare where English is not spoken.

In short, your ISP will be able to decide what you get to see and they can charge you more for that data that has the highest value for you.

Imagine Rupert Murdoch purchasing an ISP that may be the sole provider in your area.  You could watch all of the conservative news you wanted at a very high speed while CNN or MSNBC would be throttled back so far as to make them unwatchable.

There is an argument in favor of getting rid of Net Neutrality.  It is as follows, “By eliminating all regulation on ISPs, they will be free to innovate and offer better products at a much lower price.”

This, of course, is complete bullshit.

They are not prevented from innovating or competing today!

Now for a cute video…

Quote of the Day: “Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” ~Potter Stewart, United States v. Ginzburg, 1965

On the Political Page…

There are five members of the FCC that voted on the Net Neutrality issue; 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats.  The vote was 3:2 along party lines.  On a completely unrelated note, here is a link to a list of members of Congress that were paid by Internet Service Providers to push for the elimination of Net Neutrality.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Economic Tug-O-War

This just in:  I want to be clear…this post is NOT about politics.  It might feel that way but it’s not.  It’s about economics.

There are two basic ways to control the pace of growth, or fight off a recession: (1) fiscal policies – government spending or (2) monetary policies – the Federal Reserve raising or lowering interest rates.

Over the last year, including last week, the Federal Reserve has been raising the interest rate.  They do this for two basic reasons: (1) keep the economy from growing too fast – overheating and (2) prevent inflation.

Raising the rates encourages saving instead of borrowing.  This is true for companies and individuals.  By saving, like in a bank, we take money out of circulation and make it more scarce.  The more scarce it is, the more valuable it is and thus, stops inflation (the devaluation of money).

The fact that the Fed is doing this now is their way of saying “The economy has too much cash and is growing too fast.”

Let’s also add a bit of other current information: (1) There are 6 million unfilled jobs in the United States today, (2) American companies are sitting on $2 trillion in cash and (3) the last time their was this much income inequity between the rich and the poor was the months leading up to the Great Depression in 1929.

Now, let’s consider the current tax plan.

It’s stated goals are to create jobs and to give companies more cash so they can create even more jobs.  All of this is supposed to put more money in the hands of consumers and to stimulate the economy.

In short…it’s stated intent is to do THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE FEDERAL RESERVE IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH.

We don’t need the jobs and the economy is flush with cash as it is.

The economy is growing at a borderline “too fast” rate as it is.

Most of the tax cut goes to the ultra wealthy, thus increasing the already gross amount of income inequality.

So…This current tax proposal is not something an economist would consider “well thought out.”

Just sayin…

Cute clip of the day…

Quote of the day: “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”— Albert Camus

On politics…If I had voted for a politician because they promised to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, I would not consider replacing it with something “worse” to be keeping that promise.  If I had voted for a politician because they promised Tax Reform, I would not have considered Tax Cuts that increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion be be keeping that promise.   But hey…that’s just me.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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