Why Not Allow a Foreign Multi-billionaire to Socially Engineer Your Country and Civil Society?

Soros Serves the Common Interests

Have We Reached Peak Soros?

George Soros is losing.  He still thinks he’s winning.  But, in reality, he’s losing.

All around you, if you look closely enough, you will see the spectre of George Soros lurking behind the headlines.  The caravan, net neutrality, regulating Facebook, the de-platforming of independent media, color revolutions and election meddling, refugee creation and manipulation, the trolls on Twitter, your blog and YouTube, etc.

All of these things we see in the headlines today are a product of George Soros’ money and his singular obsession with re-creating the world in his image.

Soros himself is a product of the times.  A multi-billionaire who could only exist in an era of unprecedented corruption of the basic foundations of society.  An age where the dangerous mix of Marxist ideology governs the somewhat unfettered free flow of capital has resulted in the mother of all bubbles in making money on money.

Read More: https://tomluongo.me/2018/11/27/have-we-reached-peak-soros/

Net Neutrality – The End Of Google’s Biggest Subsidy

do no evil

DECEMBER 16, 2017 / TOM LUONGO

Net Neutrality is gone.  Good riddance.

Lost in all of the theoretical debate about how evil ISPs will create a have/have-not divide in Internet access, is the reality that it already exists along with massive subsidies to the biggest bandwidth pigs on the planet – Facebook, Google, Twitter, Netflix and the porn industry.

Under Net Neutrality these platforms flourished along with the rise of the mobile internet, which is now arguably more important than the ‘desktop’ one in your home and office.  Google and Apple control the on-ramps to the mobile web in a way that Net Neutrality proponents can only dream the bandwidth providers like Comcast and AT&T could.

Because, in truth, they can’t.  Consumers are ultimately the ones who decide how much bandwidth costs, not the ISPs.  We decide how much we can afford these creature comforts like streaming Netflix while riding the bus or doing self-indulgent Instagram videos of our standing in line at the movies (if that’s even a thing anymore).

Non-Neutrality Pricing

Net Neutrality took pricing of bandwidth out of the hands of consumers.  It handed the profits from it to Google, Facebook and all the crappy advertisers spamming video ads, malware, scams, and the like everywhere.

By mandating ‘equal access’ and equal fee structures the advertisers behind Google and Facebook would spend their budgets without much thought or care.  Google and Facebook ad revenue soared under Net Neutrality because advertisers’ needs are not aligned with Google’s bottom line, but with consumers’.

And, because of that, the price paid to deliver the ad, i.e. Google’s cost of goods sold (COGS), thanks to Net Neutrality, was held artificially low.  And Google, Facebook and the Porn Industry pocketed the difference.

They grew uncontrollably.  In the case of Google and Facebook, uncontrollably powerful.

That difference was never passed onto the ISP who could then, in turn, pass it on to the consumer.

All thanks to Net Neutrality.

Undercapitalized Growth

With the rise of the mobile web bandwidth should have been getting cheaper and easier to acquire at a much faster rate than it has.  But, it couldn’t because of Net Neutrality.  It kept rates of return on new bandwidth projects and new technology suppressed.

Money the ISP’s should have been spending laying more fiber, putting up more cell towers, building better radios went to Google to fritter away on endless projects that never see the light of day.

The ISP’s actually suffered under Net Neutrality and so did the consumers.

And therefore, Net Neutrality guaranteed that the infrastructure for new high-speed bandwidth would grow at the slowest possible rate, still governed by the maximum the consumer was willing to pay for bandwidth, rather than what the consumer actually demanded.

And, once obtained that power was then used to punish anyone who held different opinions from the leadership in Silicon Valley.

Think it through, Net Neutrality not only subsidized intrusive advertising, phishing scams and on-demand porn but also the very censorship these powerful companies now feel is their sacred duty to enforce because the government is now controlled by the bad guys.

Getting rid of Net Neutrality will put the costs of delivering all of this worthless content back onto the people serving it.  YouTube will become more expensive for Google and all of the other content delivery networks.  Facebook video will eat into its bottom line.

The ISP’s can and should throttle them until they ‘pay their fair share,’ which they plainly have not been.

The Net effect of Net Neutrality is that your ISP may charge you more in the short run for Netflix or Hulu.  Or, more appropriately, Netflix and Hulu will have to charge you more and we’ll find out what the real cost of delivering 4k streaming content to your iPhone actually costs.

But, those costs will then go to the ISP’s such that they can respond to demand for more bandwidth.  Will they try and overcharge us?  Of course.  AT&T is just as bad as Google and/or Facebook.

But, we have the right to say no.  To stop using the services the way Net Neutrality encouraged us to through mispricing of service.  If the ISP’s want more customers then they’ll have to bring wire out to the hinterlands.

Inflated Costs, Poor Service

Net Neutrality proponents kept telling us this was the way to help keep the internet available to the poor and the rural.  Nonsense.  It kept the internet from expanding properly into the hinterlands.

I live just over the county line in rural North Florida.  To the south is a town with cable and DSL.   Between cable franchise monopolies retarding expansion across county lines and Net Neutrality keeping margins thin, my home was 10 years behind everyone else getting decent bandwidth to keep up with the needs of the modern Internet.

Bandwidth needs artificially inflated, I might add, by the misaligned cost structure engendered by Net Neutrality in the first place.

It took forever for my phone provider to upgrade the bandwidth across the county line.  I begged them for a second line for internet service, they wouldn’t even talk to me.  Why?  The return on that new line wasn’t high enough for them.

If Google was passing some of the profits from Adwords onto the ISPs I’d have multiple choices for high-speed internet versus just one DSL provider.

As always, whenever the political left tries to protect the poor they wind up making things worse for them.

The Ways Forward

The news is good for a variety of reasons. With Net Neutrality gone a major barrier to entry for content delivery networks is gone.

Blockchain companies are building systems which cut the middle man out completely, allowing content creators to be directly tipped for their work versus being supported by advertising no one watches, wants or is swayed by.

Services like Steemit and the distributed application already built and to be built on it point the way to social media cost models which are sustainable and align the incentives properly between producers of content and consumers.

Steem internalizes the bandwidth costs of using the network and pays itself a part of its token reward pool to cover those costs.  So, all that’s left is content producer and their fans.  Advertisers are simply not needed to maintain the network.

Net Neutrality was a trojan horse designed to replicate the old shout-based advertising model of the golden age of print and TV advertising.  It was a way to control the megaphone and promote a particular point of view.

Look no further than the main proponents of it.  George Soros and the Ford Foundation are two of the biggest lobbyists for Net Neutrality.  Only the political left and its Marxian fantasies of evil middle men creating monopolies fell for the lies, as they were supposed to.

The rest of us were like, “Really?  This is not a problem.”  And it wasn’t until you looked under the hood and realized all they stood to gain by it.

Now, with Net Neutrality gone the underlying problem can be addressed; franchise monopolies of cable and phone companies in geographic areas.  These laws are still in effect.  They still hang like a spectre over the entire industry.  Like Net Neutrality, these laws concentrate capital into the hands of the few providers big enough to keep out the competition.

So, instead of championing the end of franchise monopolies, which county governments love because they get a sizable cut of the revenue to fund non-essential programs, the Left made things worse by championing Net Neutrality.

That also needs to end.  Even if you believe that franchise monopolies were, at one point, necessary.  They are not now.  IP-based communication is now fundamentally different than copper wire for discrete services like phone and cable.  Let people run all the copper and fiber they want.  There’s plenty of room in the conduit running under our sidewalks and streets.

Let a thousand flowers bloom, as the great Lew Rockwell once told me.

Then and only then will the Internet be free.

Read More: https://tomluongo.me/2017/12/16/net-neutrality-the-end-of-googles-biggest-subsidy/

Why ‘Net Neutrality’ Is a Problem

Net Neutrality under the FCC

By PETER VAN DOREN and THOMAS A. FIREY

Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention to reverse Obama administration “net neutrality” rules governing the internet that were put in place in 2015. Some commentators are criticizing the announcement as a give-away to large telecom companies and an attack on consumers. But the Obama rules create some serious problems for consumers—problems that Pai says he wants to correct.

Under the Obama rules, internet service providers (ISPs) are subject to “rate-of-return” regulations, which the federal government previously applied to AT&T’s long-distance telephone service back when it was a monopoly more than 50 years ago. Ostensibly, rate-of-return regulation gives government officials the power to review and approve or reject ISP rates. In reality it basically guarantees ISPs government-enforced market protection and profitability, in exchange for regulators ensuring that ISPs won’t be too profitable.

As explained in this 2014 post, rate-of-return regulation involves more than just telecom. It is an attempt to settle fights between “producers” and “shippers”—whether those are farms, mines, and factories on one side and railroads and shipping lines on the other, or Netflix and Hulu on one side and ISPs on the other. In all those cases, the producers and shippers need each other to satisfy consumers, but they fight each other to capture the larger share of consumers’ payments. If shippers charge more, then farmers, factories, and Netflix must charge less in order to maintain the same level of sales.

The political resolution of the producer–shipper fights was the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and its rate-of-return regulations, which were initially written with railroads in mind. Similar efforts were later extended to trucking, air transportation, energy, and telecom. It took about 100 years for policymakers to accept that those efforts hurt consumers much more than it helped them, forcing on consumers too many bad providers with high prices and poor quality.

Since 2007 Regulation has published seven articles on traditional telephone regulation and why such regulation would be inappropriate for the internet:

  • Bruce Owen explicitly makes the link between the concerns of traditional transportation common carrier regulation and the contemporary notion of “internet neutrality.”
  • Hal Singer and Christopher Yoo argue that the one-size-fits-all architecture that policymakers envision of the internet has been a myth for some time. Network providers employ an array of business arrangements and prices to manage congestion and maintain quality of service, but that diversity will be weakened by net neutrality rules.
  • In another article, Yoo notes that traditional rate-of-return telecom regulation assumes a monopoly service. The expansion of wireless high-speed internet has allowed multiple competitive providers to offer service to a large majority of American consumers while restraining capital costs.
  • Gerald Faulhaber explains that service quality will suffer to the extent that internet access providers can’t charge more for streams that impose greater costs on the system.
  • Dennis Weisman points out that internet regulation will likely protect competitors from competition rather than serve consumer interests, just like the old telephone regulatory scheme did.
  • And Larry Downes argues that the movement to re-regulate telecom is propelled by some firms’ quest for rents under new regulation, and by the FCC wanting to regain its former political power and the benefits that come with it.

Hopefully, Pai’s efforts will mean that bad regulations on internet service will be thwarted before they have been allowed to take hold. However, the news isn’t entirely good. As this June 2016 post explains, an appeals court approved the Obama rate-of-return regulations despite previous court rejections of other attempts to regulate the internet under different provisions of the Telecommunications Act. The 2016 decision may complicate Pai’s attempt to reverse course.

No Neutral Ground: The Problem of Net Neutrality

Willy Net Neutrality Wonka

Brian Dellinger
12/13/2017

On November 21, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to revisit its Obama-era internet regulations. It seems likely that the resulting vote will repeal the policies often referred to as net neutrality. The name is, perhaps, misleading; to support net neutrality is to support placing the internet more fully under government supervision. The related political debate often divides traditional allies with arguments for free expression pitted against defenses of small government.

To understand net neutrality, one must see its position in technical history. Traditionally, internet service providers (ISPs), such as Comcast and Verizon, have guaranteed their customers a certain quantity of bandwidth – that is, a certain amount of data per unit of time. It was assumed that even a voracious user would rarely use his maximum bandwidth, and services were priced under this assumption. ISPs also de facto allowed customers to access whatever websites they wished; while there was no legal protection for this behavior, technical complexities made discrimination by website infeasible. The result was a largely open web: anyone with a blog could potentially reach millions.

In the early 2000s, the situation changed. Technological innovations enabled providers to determine which site a user visited and so potentially to restrict access. In principle, an ISP could now sell “packages” of websites, in a fashion resembling cable television: “basic internet” for news and Facebook, say, or “premium internet” for those who wanted more. These years also saw the rising popularity of streaming video services like Netflix and YouTube. Users now binge-watched videos, consuming their maximum available bandwidth for hours at a stretch. Such trends increased costs for the ISPs, leading them to investigate new responses: restricted access to high-usage sites, artificially slow downloads, and so on.

Net neutrality stands in opposition to these changes. Broadly, under net neutrality, the government requires ISPs to treat all web traffic in the same way: no limiting access, no reducing speed. Since 2005, the FCC has several times established net neutrality regulations; inevitably, the courts struck down such rules on the grounds that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate ISPs. In response, in 2015 the FCC redefined broadband internet as a telecommunications service, placing it under FCC jurisdiction, and promptly passed net neutrality rules. With the political shift of the 2016 elections, new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai began rolling back these regulations – hence the upcoming vote.

Both sides of the debate have merit. Concerns that ISPs might slow targeted websites are not idle speculation; Comcast did precisely that to Netflix in 2014. Indeed, Comcast and others have done little to engender public trust in their behavior. Comcast had pledged for years not to “prioritize Internet traffic or create paid fast lanes.” That pledge disappeared from its website less than a day after Pai announced policy changes.

It is also true that the meritocratic nature of the internet – its enabling of anyone to win a following through quality work – has been one of its most notable virtues. A world of “basic internet,” in which new entrants might be simply unreachable, would reduce its value as a platform for new ideas.

Despite these fair concerns, arguments against the FCC rollback seem insufficient. It is difficult to deny that price incentives have drastically shifted over the last decade; if streaming video is generating much of the ISPs’ expenses, it makes intuitive sense that providers might demand Netflix share those costs, or might price service by total consumption rather than maximum bandwidth. Nor are the corporations supporting net neutrality any more trustworthy than the ISPs. Setting Netflix aside, supporters such as Google and Facebook seek to block ISPs from trading in users’ private information – a trade on which these companies themselves depend. For them, net neutrality eliminates the competition.

Other objections rely too heavily on speculation. While a “fast lane” internet would be a marked shift, the brief history of the web is one of constant change. Indeed, the rise of mobile browsing, which often limits the user to app-specific websites and now constitutes a majority of all web usage, may produce a greater alteration than that net neutrality would prevent.

Further, the internet is historically the result of market activity rather than top-down regulations. If one approves of its remarkable evolution to this point, it seems peculiar to assert that this is the moment to freeze it through government action. Given how few accurately predicted that evolution, it seems hubristic to assert how it will change next. Perhaps, as the ISPs argue, the increased revenue from a non-neutral internet would enable the expansion of broadband networks, ending regional monopolies of service providers. Such a change might ultimately produce a faster, more accessible internet – or it might not, but the experiment seems worth the risk.

Finally, whatever one’s feelings on net neutrality, the 2015 rules should be seen for what they are: a staggering expansion of bureaucratic power, by decree of the bureaucracy itself. The result is an ugly patchwork of overlapping authority between the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, with ISPs disfavored over similar services. This reclassification can never be a stable solution; it will always be vulnerable to precisely the kind of unilateral repeal currently occurring. If the public supports net neutrality, then let it be defended through the proper channel: by laws, and not bureaucratic fiat.

Dr. Brian Dellinger is an assistant professor of computer science at Grove City College. His research interests are artificial intelligence and models of consciousness.

Read more: https://mises.org/wire/no-neutral-ground-problem-net-neutrality