OT: Net neutrality

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Higgs Boson wrote:

Only problem is people in general do not have long memory. By the time election comes around back to business as usual. I used to vote all the time but not any more. What's the use? They only listen to you at the best only during election time until next election time. In the mean time nay body cares. People are screwed no matter what. How about bloody revolution?
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On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 10:21:37 AM UTC-7, Tony Hwang wrote:

n on the Internet.

ousands of constituents flood a Congress-critter's office with demand/prote st/whatever, he/she IS wet their pants worrying about re-election (except i n "safe" districts. Believe it or not, there still IS strength in unity.

YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN!!!

THAT'S EXACTLY THE POINT! HIT THEM WHEN THEY'RE VULNERABLE.
In the mean time nay body cares.

Yeah, sometimes I wonder... problem is, revolutions fought with the best in tentions tend to go sour when some high-testosterone type takes over and he re we go again.
Wish you would go back to voting, if only to honor the millions of people a ll over the world who put their ass on the line and DIED and are STILL dyin g for the right to voteI
Also: Think again about voting not making a difference. Maybe you're thin king, as many do, on a macro level -- Presidential elections. BUT you woul d be amazed to learn how many House/Senate seats from State X were won or l ost by just Tony's vote and a few others. They make the laws that govern yo u & me.
Not to mention LOCAL elections, which I wish more people would study up on. If you have a majority of buttholes on City Council, which we do right no w, SOMEBODY voted for them -- or DIDN'T vote for good people running to rep lace them. Result: Some really stupid deci$ion$, which have the whole city up in arms. You can bet your "I voted" sticker that a couple of these B.H .'s will be looking for work at McDonald's come November!
Now promise me you'll think about studying the issues & voting. If a confi rmed cynic like me can still get it up, so can you.
HB
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On 7/14/2014 7:47 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Sir, may I have another?" it's a good idea to understand the subject. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the_United_States
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On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 6:25:09 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That is a very good point. It's not a trivial subject. And I doubt the OP even understands the first level of the onion. If she did, then I doubt she would be posting this:
"We have ONE DAY to tell the FCC that the Internet belongs to us too, not just to corporations that want to get faster speed than just us regular users."
Business users of various kinds not only need higher speed than a typical residential internet user, but they've also been getting it since day one and it's not at the core of the net neutrality issue. Apparently HB thinks that both Ebay and grandma need the same capacity. And even with regard to residential service, many internet providers are offering higher speed for higher pricing. If you want 15MBits it's $50 a month. Want, 30Mbits, it's $60. That's how it's worked with Cablevision for a long time and there is nothing illegal or unethical about it.
And I also don't see that there is anything wrong with charging those that put the heaviest bandwith on the network, eg streaming video, a higher rate. If you have to spend more on network resources to support that, why shouldn't the internet companies recover it from those that actually use the service?
There are all kinds of potential net neutrality issues, but when you lead off with and try to make your case by saying that it's about businesses and consumers having the same speed, clearly you're clueless.
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On 7/15/2014 8:06 AM, trader_4 wrote:

I've noticed some of the most passionate calls for action come from the most clueless.
Stamp out clueless! You need to contact your elected rep TODAY!!!! and DEMAND the Stormin Mormon American Restrictions on Tiddlywinks (S.M.A.R.T.) bill. The window of oportunity is closing rapidly. Act in the next five minutes and get the free potato dicer as seen on TV!!!
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| Business users of various kinds not only need higher speed than a typical | residential internet user, but they've also been getting it since day one and | it's not at the core of the net neutrality issue. Apparently HB thinks that | both Ebay and grandma need the same capacity. And even with regard to | residential service, many internet providers are offering higher speed for | higher pricing. If you want 15MBits it's $50 a month. Want, 30Mbits, it's | $60. That's how it's worked with Cablevision for a long time and there is | nothing illegal or unethical about it.
That would be a good example of Net neutrality. The only way it can work is if people pay for the bandwidth they want, as we do with phones. If they do it the way you describe I think that would be ideal. We can't honestly expect ISPs to foot the bill for streaming movies.
The main question is whether ISPs will be utilities -- like a phone company -- or services. If they're utilities that's Net neutrality, as you describe above. If they're services that can control what/who can come down the wire then the Internet will be turned into a commercial service rather than a public communication medium. It then becomes something like cable TV. The essence of the Net neutrality position is that ISPs should have no more right to affect content than the phone company can control your telephone conversations. If the person who wants to stream movies pays for that bandwidth themselves then we have fairness *and* Net neutrality.
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On 7/15/2014 9:30 AM, Mayayana wrote:

It is kind of funny everyone is screaming about the speed they are paying for. Every ISP agreement (ATT, Verizon, Charter and Comcast) I have seen says up to some Mb rate. So, whatever speed you get, the ISP is covered. Not to mention that many sites can't or won't deliver content at the speed you think you are paying for.
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| It is kind of funny everyone is screaming about the speed they are | paying for. Every ISP agreement (ATT, Verizon, Charter and Comcast) I | have seen says up to some Mb rate. So, whatever speed you get, the ISP | is covered. Not to mention that many sites can't or won't deliver | content at the speed you think you are paying for.
That's an interesting point. I was thinking the whole thing could be solved if people who download over x number of GB just pay more. But I suppose for that to work they also have to be ensured that they'll have adequate speed for the download, if it's video. I guess it would be more fair if the ISPs sold minimum speed rather than maximum speed, then had to provide some kind of rebate if the speed dropped below the promised rate.
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On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 10:23:38 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

That alone is enough to show that like HB, you're here pontificating about issues about which you don't have a clue. Net neutrality is about a lot more than just that narrow issue. So, before getting your shorts all in a knot, bashing former FCC commissioners over their lineage, dragging Bush and the Iraq war into it, maybe you should figure out what it's all about, so you could have an opinion that's worth something? But then that's why you libs have to drag Bush and the Iraq war into it, because it's all you have.
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wrote:

Your download speed is much like having really really fast sports car in the driveway. While the car CAN go like hell local cops can slow you and everyone else down to creep speed.
It's no real hill for any ISP to slow your feed down as a function of the source, the content or both. And the determination can be made in advance and applied dynamically.
Our (you me the folk behind the tree) best chance is to send emails to the FCC and every politican we can. Sames applies to the TPP.
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On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 3:47:43 PM UTC-4, NotMe wrote:

Let's say we have two consumers that have a high speed internet connection to their house. Guy A uses it all day long, plays realtime video on multiple TVs, downloads movies, etc. Guy B uses it for accessing Ebay, weather forecast, about 20 mins a day. What inherent right or rational is there that both should pay the same amount and have totally unlimited access for their very different usage?
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| Net neutrality is about | a lot more than just that narrow issue. .... | maybe you should figure out what it's all about
I haven't seen you actually voice an opinion yet on this topic. You're only criticizing others. Do you have an opinion? Do you favor your ISP having control over what uyou can access? If so, why? Do you expect to get lower fees with no significant restriction by letting your ISP do that?
For the sake of anyone who may find this a confusing issue, *the gist of it is whether ISPs are going to be utilities or services. Do they just rent you a wire, like the phone company, or can they control content, like a cable TV service*.
Issues of download speed and end-user volume allotments are things that can be ironed out. Netflix can't just keep creating 20% of Internet traffic without someone paying for it. But the main thing is to get ISPs regulated as utilities. That's the "neutrality" part. They should just be carrying data, no controlling it.
To see the difference, imagine phone companies regulated as information services. In that scenario they would be able to refuse to connect you to competing services. That actually already happens with CallerID: CallerID works through small fees. If someone on Ace Phone Co calls someone on Acme Phone Co, Acme pays a small fee to Ace to know who that caller is, and vice versa. Small telcos have to pay big companies in order to provide usable CallerID, but big companies sometimes just refuse to pay the smaller companies. If you're on Verizon and a friend calls who's on a small rural service in Texas, Verizon may not be willing to pay that company, so you don't get CallerID. You get "out of area" or "unknown caller" reported on your phone instead.
If phone service were regulated as an information service, the same could happen with your phone calls. If large ISPs are allowed to treat different data differently, under the assumption that Internet data is not a critical utility that every citizen should have free access to, then in the long run it's likely that they'll gradually strike deals with large "content" companies and the Internet could be reduced to something like the AOL walled garden. Large, commercial companies like Netflix will pay to get through, while small companies and non-commercial sites may just get dropped. That would also mean unfairness similar to today's cable TV. For instance, someone who doesn't watch sports nevertheless has to indirectly pay the fees for sports networks. In the same way, without Net neutrality we could all pay for things like Netflix, whether we stream movies or not.
Here are two links that provide somewhat of a synopsis of the utility vs service issue. One of them is from former FCC commisioner Michael Copps:
http://consumerist.com/2014/01/27/former-fcc-commissioner-fcc-needs-to-reclassify-broadband-isps-save-net-neutrality/
This one is about how the Internet got regulated as an "information service" by Michael Powell while he was at the FCC, thus preventing the FCC from having real jurisdictional power. Powell's view was that the Internet would thrive best "watered by private capital and a light regulatory touch". It's essentially the Libertarian/plutocratic view that business is good and government is usually bad:
http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/04/cable-lobbyist-who-once-led-the-fcc-is-glad-he-didnt-regulate-the-internet/
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On Wednesday, July 16, 2014 8:53:52 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

You're only criticizing others. Do you

That isn't even on the FCC agenda, never has been. No one is suggeting that an ISP be allowed to block access. Show us one FCC commissioner that is of that opinion or one rule they are proposing. Why are you making stuff up?

Do you expect they guy who uses the internet 20 mins a day for the weather and Ebay to pay for the infrastructure to support folks who use the internet to stream live video, download movies all day?

If that is the gist of it, then you've already lost. Nobody expects the FCC to issue rules that turn the ISPs into utilities. Where do you think the internet would be today if it was regulated like Ma Bell was or the water company is today? Or take a look at a cable companies, which are highly regulated. I suppose you're going to tell us that you're very happy with the cable companies? If you took an opinion poll on how well cable TV service is liked versus internet, what do you think you'd find?

Which is precisely part of what the current rule making is all about. So, what's your beef? And note that "ironed out" is not an answer. They are ironing it out, it's just that you don't like how.
Netflix

Then you've lost, because no one expects the FCC to regulate ISPs like cable companies. And you have to define "control". If by control, you mean they shouldn't be able to block you from going to some website, they aren't doing that, no one on the FCC is in favor of that, so no need to write letters. If you're talking about prioritizing certain traffic, treating VOIP differently, that's an essential part of being an ISP.

Nonsense. No one is suggesting that ISPs would ever be allowed to just refuse to connect you. Why do you make up strawmen?
That actually already happens with

The smaller companies don't have a lawyer? If they believe they are owed money, they have a remedy, so I find it hard to believe this is actually going on and they are indeed owed the money.

Well, if the company wants $$ and Verizon won't pay it, I guess that's Verizon's right. Sounds like the solution isn't to force Verizon to pay it. The obvious, simple, free market solution is for Verizon to offer that additional service to it's customers who really want it for an additional cost. See how easy that was?

You painting extreme hypotheticals that don't exist. The problem is that some content providers, eg Netflix, are responsible for a huge portion of the bandwith consumed. The ISP want to charge Netflix for higher speed, priority that their material requires, etc. That then pays for the infrastructure to support it.

That would also mean unfairness

WHAT? Unfairness in the highly regulated, govt controlled cable TV business? How about that......
For instance, someone who

Good grief! You actually have it totally BACKWARD. Right now, you *are* paying for the infrastructure to support Netflix, whether you use it or not. The ISPs want to charge Netflix and treat them differently for the content they deliver. That would place the cost burden on Netflix, which would pass it on to it's customers who are using Netflix. That part of net neutrality is exactly what's before the FCC now.

And of course it's been proven to be the right approach. Just look at the huge innovation that's occured in the internet over the past couple of decades. Compare that to any utility, highly regulated market. I'm quite happy with how the internet has served me.
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<stuff snipped>

In the end, both father and son turned out to be someone else's tools. The Internet is a pipeline/transporter if only because much of the terminology relates to such endeavors. Data pipes, packets, hubs, gateways, tunnels, etc.
What almost has to happen is what the telcos did in big cities with message units for POTS. Metered service. Want a big data pipe? Pay for it. Part of the problem is that there's really still very little real competition between ISPs so there's little incentive for them to do anything differently.
I think more importantly, wireless internet access needs strong regulation because that's where it's all going to end up. No one wants to be tethered when they can roam free. Local wifi hotspots are a poor substitute for real-time wireless internet access from anywhere in the service area (or, eventually, the world).
What's really sad is that despite inventing the internet, we place very, VERY poorly when it comes to connectivity compared to other countries:
http://dailyinfographic.com/internet-speeds-around-the-world-infographic
<<Not only do we have a turtle-like internet connection when compared to places like Japan and Korea, we also seem to have one of the more expensive mbps (megabytes per second) rate at $3.33.>>
I think what ever Comcast and the other big ISP's want is *exactly* what we shouldn't do. It sounds a lot like they're whining that they didn't build their "highways" to actually carry real cars during rush hour traffic. Got enough money to buy Time-Warner while providing zero customer service? Spend it on building out your network. They'd have to if there was real competition, but there isn't, so they don't.
They really want to get paid for both ends of their pipelines. The ultimate irony is that those ISPs would have very little demand for high speed internet access if *somebody* like Netflix didn't offer something people would pay $ to watch. It's a naked power grab likely to be blessed by a regulatory agency long ago captured by the industry it's supposed to regulate. )-:
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On Wednesday, July 16, 2014 10:48:17 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

What exactly are you suffering from that Powell was responsible for when he was at the FCC? I asked a similar question of M, and she admits she doesn't know WTF he did or didn't do. She just knows, Bush, Colin Powe ll, Iraq War suck, so Michael Powell sucks too.
The wikepedia description doesn't sound like he was anti-consumer:
"As the chairman of the FCC, Powell led the charge to open up markets in Vo IP, Wi-Fi, and Broadband over Powerline (BPL). His approach believed that t hese new communications technologies would allow small companies to take on established corporations, and that regulations often stood in the way of p rogress. His deregulatory policy coincided with a period of significant consolidatio n in the communications market. He advocated an updating of media ownership rules to reflect new communications technologies such as the Internet, a m ove that critics derided as increasing rampant media consolidation. He oppo sed applying telephone-era regulations to new Internet technologies, a move critics charged would deny open access to communications facilities. He ar ticulated a policy of network neutrality, and in March 2005 fined Madison R iver Communications for blocking voice over IP applications, the first-ever government action of its kind.[2] Powell worked so consumers could keep ph one numbers when switching wireless carriers and championed the National Do Not Call Registry.[3]"
And if he was a "tool", then he must have been Clinton's tool, because Clinton is who put him on the FCC.
The

Why exactly does that "have to happen"? Ain't it working fine right now? Why do you want to fix what isn't broken?

I have that here right now. Internet starts at 15MBits. If you want 50 or 100, it's available for a little more.
Part

That may be true, but they sure have done a hell of an outstanding job of rolling out technology and supporting the consumer. In the later 90s all I had available was dial-up. By 2000, DSL became available and just a few years later, cable modem. I have a 15mbit connection, it works for me and I'm happy. I can get 100mbit if I want it. That's an increase in speed of 1800x over 15 years. Why is it that libs always want more regu lation and to complain about businesses that are working perfectly fine and that they have little knowledge about? It's like the pope telling people how to have sex.

No it isn't because there isn't the bandwith to support it. I can get 15 to 100 Mbits into my house right now. No way you're going to support that for everyone connecting wirelessly. Nor is there the compelling need.
No one wants to be tethered

That should make Obama and you libs happy. You don't believe in American exceptionalism, that we should be #1. So, why the fuss because our interne t isn't the fastest in the world? You hurting for speed? I'm not.

Right. Instead of listening to those that are actually in the business, those that know the issues, the technology, I guess we should listen to some hippies.
It sounds a lot like they're whining that they didn't build

They've provided a leap in bandwith from 56K to 100Mbits to me. And yet you're bitching.

Which may not be a bad idea. If you're Netflix, you pay and pass it on to your customers. A few paragraphs ago you were lobbying for metered service. This is a similar concept, ie making those that suck up the bandwith pay for it.
The ultimate

High bandwith video is all the internet is about now? News to me.
It's a naked power grab likely to be blessed by a

Sigh, first you lobby for metered internet service. Then you bitch because the USA isn't number one in speed, nor do we have the cheapest service. NExt you complain because ISP want to charge companies like Netflix that put huge traffic on the internet, which is very similar to metered service. Now it's about a "naked power grab"? Good grief, you're all over the map.
If you look at this thread, those that want the most regulation, know the l east about the issue. I mean look at who started this thread:
"tell the FCC that the Internet belongs to us too, not just to corporations that want to get faster speed than just us regular users."
She's writing letters when she clearly doesn't understand what net neutrality is about, because it sure isn't that.
Or M:
"For instance, someone who doesn't watch (cable) sports nevertheless has to indirectly pay the fees for sports networks. In the same way, without Net neutrality we could all pay for things like Netflix, whether we stream movies or not. "
We *are* paying those costs today. It's precisely the problem of trying to get those that consume the most bandwith, eg Netflix to pay for it, that the ISPs want to do that's part of the net neutrality discussion. Yet she wants you to write a letter to the FCC telling them apparently not to allow the ISPs to fix it.
In short, if you don't understand it, why the hell do you think you know what, if anything, is wrong with it, how to fix it, how to regulate it ? Good grief.
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On 7/16/2014 1:21 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Because it is always easy for the person that doesn't have to do it (whether they know anything or not).
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Per Bob F:

What I see playing out long-term is that as my ISP (Verizon) gets more and more into providing content, they will throttle the competition in order to make their versions more attractive to me - either by being faster or cheaper. From a competitive business thinking perspective this seems inevitable to me. I would certainly do it if the rules allowed it.
It seems particularly insidious in that the most efficient provider is now hidden to me. The free-market ideology being based on an informed consumer and all that....
Sort of like going to the supermarket to find that milk from Soprano Brothers Dairy is cheaper than milk form ABC Dairy... except that what I don't know is that ABC's production costs are much lower than Sopranos but they have to pay much, much higher turnpike tolls to get the milk to market.
--
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<stuff snipped>
<<Not only do we have a turtle-like internet connection when compared to places like Japan and Korea, we also seem to have one of the more expensive mbps (megabytes per second) rate at $3.33.>>

There you go with your anti-Obama obsession. Who the F ever said that Obama or anyone else doesn't believe in American being a world leader or being exceptional? Because he doesn't do what YOU want him to do? That's hardly a test of anything except your personal unhappiness.
There IS a difference between types of leadership. We can choose to be the most aggressive nation on earth, engaging in two huge and mostly pointless 4 trillion dollar wars. Or we could choose to be a leader in science, medicine, education, engineering, etc.
I don't know about Obama or the liberal views on "exceptionalism" but I want to be number one where it counts. That DOESN'T mean I want to pay dearly in American blood and treasure to protect foreign lands on the other side of the world or to keep Muslim fanatics from killing each other.
I most certainly don't care to claim the ambiguous and often hypocritical title "Leader of the Free World" if that's what you mean by "American Exceptionalism." That and $5 will get you a Starbuck's latte. Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) will create wealth and respect where it matters.
No country on earth can best us militarily. Probably no coalition of countries can. But that, apparently, isn't exceptional enough for some people. It's good enough for me. Got a problem with your fanatical neighbors? Call the UN, not Uncle Sam, *former* head of the "World's Free Police." I'm tired of footing the bill for military excursions whose benefits are very hard to quantify but whose costs are very, VERY real.

Not just not the fastest. It's not the cheapest or the most reliable or the most accessible. It's certainly not the best by ANY measure whatsoever even though the net was born here. I say that's pretty plain proof the FCC fell down flat on its face. And that surge in mediocrity came at least partly under Powell's pro-industry watch. The problem now is that Comcast wants to enhance its bottom line by tacking on "fast lane" fees that will eventually come out of my pocket.

Spoken like a true "I got mine, eff the people in Montana" sort of guy. The people outside of huge metro/suburban markets will probably never have much better than dial-up if *only* the not-very-free market gets to decide what the critical infrastructure backbone of the nation looks like. I say it's madness to give them that sort of power because they've got very short terms goals and they rarely coincide with what's best for the nation.
Comcast offshores its tech support (AFAICT) and that's not helping the economy. Tell us how well things are working in the internet world after reading some of these:
http://www.google.com/search?q=Comcast+offshores+its+tech+support+

<<Right. Instead of listening to those that are actually in the business, those that know the issues, the technology, I guess we should listen to some hippies.>>
Hippies? Is this another obsession showing?
I suppose in your world near monopolies like Comcast are *never* self-serving and they ALWAYS care about how the strategic infrastructure of the nation is being built. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Monopolies buy out the competition to *eliminate* competition. What you euphemistically call "consolidation." Comcast is scooping up TimeWarner, a move that's sure to decrease competition in the cable area, another place where the FCC has fallen flat.
Comcast has one of the lowest customer satisfaction ratings of any American company. The FCC could fix that the way the Public Service Commissions have forced telcos to provide minimum service levels. But the former lobbyist and industry shill Powell chose the "light touch" which I am sure delights companies that don't want ANY regulation at all.

<<They've provided a leap in bandwith from 56K to 100Mbits to me. And yet you're bitching.>>
100Mbits to YOUR house, probably in a wealthy suburban neighborhood. Lucky you. Lots of people all across the US are not so lucky because the free market model leaves them out of broadband almost entirely. They're too far out in the boonies to make connecting to them at high speed profitable. So they'll languish with 56Kbps dial-up or DSL and perhaps never stream one frame of video.
That is unless the FCC does what the Feds did with power and phone service way back when to make sure they were accessible nationwide. Want to enjoy a virtual monopoly? Pay the piper and provide for the unprofitable segments that need access, too. It worked for the telcos and it would work for the ISPs. Unfortunately an ex-industry lobbyist like Powell is very unlikely to see things from a consumer's perspective and his tenure proved that premise. We pay more for crappy service than a *lot* of other countries do. Exceptionalism my a$$.
The internet is the equivalent of the country's critical nervous system. Everyone has a stake in everyone else being connected. Just like it was important to get everyone connected to phone and electricity in the past.
This chart shows how poorly we fare when compared to other nations.
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2?order=wbapi_data_value_2013+wbapi_data_value+wbapi_data_value-last&sort=asc
How can we expect to be world leaders in STEM or anything else when our internet access is so damn mediocre? It's that way because a few giants dominate the market and basically dictate terms to regulators. Worse than that, the direction is "consolidation" of the few big players making monopolistic practices even more likely. Our health care system is almost identically crippled. We're no world leader there, either, in cost, outcomes or virtually any other measure.

<<Which may not be a bad idea>>
Sure. What a great idea. I am certain consumers would love to pay Comcast et. al. twice for the same thing. I suppose you would be just as happy if UPS decided Amazon should pay them to ship your package and you should pay UPS as well to receive it. Not me. Double-dipping is nice work if you can get it but I am an old-fashioned Republican that a) wants value for my money, b) hates to pay again for something I already paid for and c) believes in a robust, well-designed critical infrastructure that doesn't devolve into a mess like our current health care system has.
--
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<stuff snipped>

Yeah. There's very little you can do to be an "informed consumer" when your market is served by just one or two providers, as is the case with much of the nation. If there was true competition, we might not have to sign our Constitutional rights to sue. There isn't a single provider out there that doesn't insist on binding arbitration which typically favors companies over consumers. But it's a take it or leave it situation for monopolistic vendors and the consumer usually takes it - in the shorts.

I'd know it was a fraud because as far as I remember, there weren't any Sopranos left with a brother. Isn't it about time for Sopranos - The Next Edition with dopey Anthony Jr. now running the organization? That's of course if he survived that family trip to the diner. We know big Tony isn't coming back except the way Livia did - as a CGI creation.
--
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| I remember Rush Limbaugh commenting on this. They deregulated wholesale | prices, so the power co spent a lot more for power, | but the power co was prohibited by law from charging fair | market price. As such, the power co got squeezed badly. And | people screamed "not in my back yard" about power plants. |
You really listen to Rush Limbaugh? Shouldn't you at least check into what he says before accepting it? He's primarily an entertainer, with an audience to hold.
There's a fairly simple issue happening now with the Internet. Telcos are hoping to take over the medium. (Though Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are also attempting that, from another angle.) No one is talking about making life difficult for those companies. The idea of Net neutrality is simply to ensure that the Internet itself stays open and that no company is allowed to control what you can access for their own profit.
| But of course, you libs don't care about the free market? | Just punish the achievers with high taxes, and try to force | the evil corporate giants to sell at "fair" prices?
I've been very curious about this point of view. There seems to be a growing libertarian/plutocratic segment of the US population who see all regulation as bad. I don't understand the logic. Is the feeling that trusting basic human drives of greed and ambition is the most dependable way to get things done? I can see why a rich person might be plutocratic out of selfishness. But the current libertarian/ plutocratic trend seems to be almost religious in nature. No matter what the issue, regulation is seen as wrong. And it's not confined to the rich.
I've found it virtually impossible to actually find out what my bill would be if I got a smartphone. Likewise with Cable TV. My landline phone bill went up about 25% last year with no notice and no explanation. I tried to find some official government oversight board to complain to and was told that there's no law restricting the phone company from raising prices as they like. My ladyfriend recently got a smartphone from T-Mobile. There wasn't a single printed word in the store about plans and terms. She accepted a contract based on what the clerk told her. (There was far too much legalese to actually sit down and read what she was asked to sign on the spot.) As it turned out, her bill is about 20% higher than she was told the total, including taxes and fees, would be. Is it unreasonable to ask that these companies should be required to clearly spell out their contractual terms in advance? (I'm thinking something similar to supermarket unit- pricing stickers. Let the companies market and charge as they like if there's true competition, but how about also making sure the customer can know what the actual product and price are?)
You have a phone, I assume? Maybe you have cable TV. You clearly use the Internet. I honestly don't understand why you would be so adamantly against controlling how those companies can do business when it comes to public services. Do you own stock in them? Do you perhaps hope to win a lottery and want to make sure you can enjoy as much of the money as possible, in case you become a billionaire? Do you believe that it was wrong to break up Bell Telephone in the first place? You'd rather still be paying to rent your phone at whatever rate Bell might set?
Do you really believe that government itself is the only problem? Isn't there some kind of rational middle ground between Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist on one side, and politically correct control freaks on the other side? It seems to me that society without government is basically a game of King of the Hill, which ends up taking the form of autocratic warlords, simply because there are always people who want power and will stop at nothing to get it. And there are also always a lot of follower types who want some kind of hierarchy that they can be part of. They support the warlords. In modern America it's taking the form of what might be called an oligarchic plutocracy, ruled by corporate leaders and rubber-stamped by the Scalia cartel. Is that really what you want? Isn't that what failed early in the 20th century? Could you explain what the core reasoning is behind your view?
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