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Phil Kerpen on June 30, 2021 | Protect the Free-Market Internet

by Phil Kerpen

Broadband has been America's greatest infrastructure success story – modern, reliable, and passed the stress-test of soaring demand from COVID lockdown with flying colors.  That stands in stark contrast to government-run infrastructure—water, sewer, transportation—which in many places is in a state of disrepair.  It also stands in contrast to broadband in Europe, where regulators opted for government-managed pseudo-competition, as networks struggled and strained and had to be throttled when demand surged.

As the University of Pennsylvania's Christopher Yoo reported: "Between 2010 and 2016, American providers invested on average annually 2.35 times as much per household as their European counterparts. This allowed the average U.S. household to consume more than three times as much data as the average European household in 2017, according to Cisco. This is a significant jump over the 44% difference between U.S. and Europe that existed a decade ago."

Even Obama's FCC chief Tom Wheeler admitted at the height of lockdown: "Credit is due to the nation's broadband providers. The fact we can work from home is the result of hundreds of billions of investment dollars and construction and operational skill."

A sensible infrastructure policy would look to broadband as a model to bring more private management and investment into other types of infrastructure.  The Biden administration is doing precisely the opposite— massively funding a government takeover of broadband.

The justification for government-run broadband keeps changing.  As recently as 2010, Obama National Economic Council member Susan Crawford warned "consumers will have just one provider to choose from: their local cable monopoly."  Wireless couldn't compete.  Telco Internet – with the exception of Version FIOS – didn't count as broadband.  "This is the central crisis of our communications era," she wrote.

The exact opposite happened.  Competition kept increasing—every year, more Americans have more options for Internet access.  Today, it's not just cable and telcos competing—it's 5G providers, fixed wireless providers, and low-Earth orbit satellite companies all vying for broadband dollars.

So now, just one Democratic administration later, the primary justification for government-run networks is that private networks are great at downloading but don't upload fast enough.  Really?

The U.S. Treasury is proposing a redefinition of broadband to symmetrical 100 megabit upload and download speeds that would instantly make 58 percent of all households unserved—surprise, even your gigabit cable Internet isn't broadband anymore!

The idea is absurd on the merits.  Broadband consumers in 2019 used 14 times more downstream than upstream; asymmetrical networks were deployed not just for technical reasons, but to serve actual usage patterns.  Zoom's posted technical requirements only call for 0.6 to 3.8 Mbps of upstream capacity. While video conferencing increased due to COVID, this asymmetrical usage barely budged.

Meanwhile, we have more evidence than ever that government-owned networks are boondoggles.  A recent report from Citizens Against Government Waste found:

"From Bristol, Virginia to Provo, Utah, GON projects have proven to be costly, unsustainable, and anti-competitive, while they divert taxpayer resources from higher priorities and fail to solve connectivity issues… Proposals...

Jonathan Decker on May 20, 2021 | End Regulatory Tyranny

Don't Expand Durbin Amendment by Jon Decker on Scribd

Photo Credit: MB-one

Jonathan Decker on May 19, 2021 | End Regulatory Tyranny
by Phil Kerpen
 
 
Sometimes we all need a little tough love, and boy did I get a dose from one of my board members recently.
 
“You might as well roll up shop,” she said. “COVID’s been over for six months out here, but you’re still obsessed with it. Meanwhile Biden’s radical agenda is advancing every day.”
 
I can’t say she was wrong (although those of us with kids have had a tougher time moving from pandemic to post-pandemic while they are still masked and messed with). And I’m afraid that if I’ve failed to keep my eye on the big-government ball, so have a lot of other people. So that ends today.
 
Let’s take stock of the bewildering array of misguided tax hikes, regulatory power grabs, corrupt union giveaways, and assaults on constitutional rights advancing every day in Democrat-dominated Washington.
 
On energy, Biden’s aggressive anti-oil-and-gas agenda has already vaulted some of America back to Obama-era $4-per-gallon gasoline in just a matter of months. Biden rejoined the Paris climate agreement (which imposes expensive limits on the U.S. but not China), banned oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Those were well covered in the media. But he also repealed Trump’s transparency rules to bring back secret science at the EPA and has the Treasury Department and the SEC cooking up ways to leverage financial regulatory power to make fossil fuels more expensive and less available.
 
On labor, the attention-grabber is his legislative proposal, the PRO Act (which has already passed the House), which would effectively gut all state right-to-work laws (imposing forced union dues as a condition of employment nationally), hamstring freelancers and gig economy workers by misclassifying them as employees, and undermine private ballot protections in union organizing elections by bringing back “card check.” Some or all of that may be too much for the Senate to swallow. But Biden also granted ethics waivers to top union officials to move seamlessly onto his White House staff and work directly with their former employers, and you can be sure that every administrative and regulatory decision possible will tilt the playing field away from employees and toward union bosses.
 
On health care, Biden scored a big expansion of Obamacare subsidies in his $1.9 trillion COVID exploitation bill — rewarding the health insurance industry by capping the amount paid by enrollees for an even larger percentage of their customers and forcing taxpayers to soak up the cost of premium increases. The big fight now is over prescription drugs, with Biden reaching for Nancy Pelosi’s government price control bill — HR 3 — to use a pay-for in one of his next spending extravaganzas. That bill would essentially have government dictate the price of drugs under the guise of a “negotiation” in which the company can take or leave the government set price, but if they say no they get...
Jonathan Decker on May 17, 2021 | End Regulatory Tyranny

Letter on Drug Tax by Jon Decker on Scribd

Photo Credit: 401k2012

Jonathan Decker on May 6, 2021 | End Regulatory Tyranny
by Phil Kerpen
 
Excerpt from The Daily Caller 
 
Locking kids out of school for months (over a year and counting in some places) is likely to be by far the biggest policy blunder of the pandemic era. One study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that missing just the first two months of elementary school will result in a loss of 13.8 million years of life, because there is a strong relationship between education and life expectancy. Other studies have shown a gap of five years in life expectancy between high school graduates and drop-outs, which are likely to spike dramatically with large urban districts reporting many high school students never logged on to remote learning. In years-of-life-lost terms, school closures may well prove more deadly than coronavirus.
 
But because school closures have essentially no effect on the spread of the virus, there is not even a tradeoff between the two. Extended school closures simply layer catastrophic educational, social, and health harms on top of the virus harms that happen anyway. School closures have nearly no effect on virus transmission because children are less likely to be infected than adults and less infectious when they are infected. This is true even with schools operating completely normally, as they did in Sweden throughout the pandemic. The New England Journal of Medicine published results showing 15 total pediatric ICU admissions out of 1.95 million children in Sweden with zero deaths. Schoolteachers had age-adjusted risk 57 percent lower than the overall population. 
 
This is unsurprising, because it was clear by February 2020 that the coronavirus overwhelmingly spares children, for whom it is less dangerous than influenza, and that therefore adults in school buildings were at lower, not higher, than typical occupational risk. Now that vaccination has been offered teachers have the option to further reduce their risk to near zero. By April 2020 we had strong evidence from Europe that schools could open — without masking or other extraordinary measures — without any impact on community spread. Schools closed and stayed closed not to advance public health interests but out of panic — and that panic was stoked and exploited by teachers unions.
 
Read more at The Daily Caller 
 
Photo Credit: Alejandro (Alex) Quinones, Flickr, CC 2.0

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