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Comments on news posted 2006-08-22 13:19:45: Editorial: The "American Consumer Institute" yesterday issued a press release proclaiming that the call for net-neutrality regulation was coming from the "largest and most profitable Internet firms. ..

page: 1 · 2


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to nasadude

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

You have to wait for the trickle down effect I guess?

I don't know.

The plan:

Step 1: Give corporations everything they want.

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Consumer's win!

Sounds utterly fool proof to me.


guest77

@64.69.x.x
reply to Karl Bode

Re: Sinking to a New Low

I dont know anything about that group American Consumer Institute. Maybe they are great, maybe they are scum. But the automatic assumption that a free market buisness group must NOT be representing what is good for consumers says more about your bias then thiers.


yock
TFTC
Premium
join:2000-11-21
Miamisburg, OH
kudos:3

3 recommendations

reply to Karl Bode

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

said by Karl Bode:

You have to wait for the trickle down effect I guess?

I don't know.

The plan:

Step 1: Give corporations everything they want.

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Consumer's win!

Sounds utterly fool proof to me.
You have this notion that de-regulating an industry is in some way "giving" corporations something. In fact, you're simply removing roadblocks to profitability. Sure, they'll do business precisely where they want, at what price they want, and that's it...

Doesn't that make perfect sense?

Corporations aren't purveyors of goodwill, they aren't charitable, and they sure as hell aren't looking out for anyone but themselves. Why should they? It's business.

If consumers would work harder to be better informed, and actually act on the disgust they find in the actions of corporate America, then corporate America would feel the penalties for their actions where it matters: their bottom line.

Uncle Sam has no business dictating where I, you, or Verizon does business.
--
Wiki Wiki
Laughter is the closest distance between two people. --Victor Borge

nasadude

join:2001-10-05
Rockville, MD
said by yock:

You have this notion that de-regulating an industry is in some way "giving" corporations something. In fact, you're simply removing roadblocks to profitability. Sure, they'll do business precisely where they want, at what price they want, and that's it...

Doesn't that make perfect sense?

Corporations aren't purveyors of goodwill, they aren't charitable, and they sure as hell aren't looking out for anyone but themselves. Why should they? It's business.

If consumers would work harder to be better informed, and actually act on the disgust they find in the actions of corporate America, then corporate America would feel the penalties for their actions where it matters: their bottom line.

Uncle Sam has no business dictating where I, you, or Verizon does business.
that's the most incredible thing I've ever seen anybody post on this site. You apparently have no knowledge of the history of the ILECs and legislation that has affected the telecom business.

The incumbent telcos and cablecos were government granted monopolies. The 1996 telecom bill wasn't enforced very well (at all? half-heartedly?) and competition couldn't surmount the obstacles the ILECs put in their way. The telecom industry is back to monopoly/duopoly status. In my case, monopoly status - my only choice for broadband is comcast; no dsl, no fiber.

The current environment of deregulation has allowed the incumbents to once again dictate the price of broadband and the pace of progress. Now ranked 13th? or is it 16th? I forget, but it's not very high. That's what our policies of the last 10yrs have gotten us - from #1 in broadband in the world to 13th (or 16th).


yock
TFTC
Premium
join:2000-11-21
Miamisburg, OH
kudos:3
We've never experienced de-regulated telecom, so I don't know where you're coming from. In fact, you've demonstrated why it is so perilous for government to regulate commerce in this country. Had government-sanctioned monopolies not occurred in telecom then perhaps we would see a more diverse collection of CLECs and a more stable oligopoly of ILECs than what we have now.
--
Wiki Wiki
Laughter is the closest distance between two people. --Victor Borge

grandpinaple

join:2006-01-03
New York, NY
reply to guest77

Re: Sinking to a New Low

Read what he said earlier he has done his research on this group and clearly knows far more than we do. Whether free market economics is good or bad is irrelevant, he is criticizing the people's intentions not the result of those intentions. Any means to end in your book eh?

bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
reply to richardpor
said by richardpor:

A new Broadband Reports Low! This is a classic Ad hominem attack.
You clearly don't know what an ad hominem attack is...

The article doesn't attack the people or organization based on a characteristic, rather the claim that said organization represents "consumers." In other words, the article attacks the statement of said organization that they are "consumer advocates".

Would you like to try again ?
--
"Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong."
—Dwight Eisenhower

bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
reply to FFH

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

said by FFH:

A business environment without onerous government regulation is GOOD for the consumer. So, in effect, it is consumer advocacy.
Too bad the concept of "onerous government regulation" can't objectively be drawn in the sand. There is no way to factually establish when such a point is reached.

As for opposing "onerous government regulation" being "consumer advocacy," the problem is that people who typically oppose "onerous government regulation" present ideas and solutions that leave business holding all the power and consumers out in the cold. In other words, screwing one pooch to help another.
--
"Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong."
—Dwight Eisenhower


yock
TFTC
Premium
join:2000-11-21
Miamisburg, OH
kudos:3
Consumers are only powerless when they have no choices and no alternatives. Show your "power" by not buying their products, and if necessary just go without a particular good or service.

If you can't live without internet access, then the market is charging what it will bear.
--
Wiki Wiki
Laughter is the closest distance between two people. --Victor Borge


LegoPower77
Abecedarian
Premium
join:2002-08-03
Midlothian, VA
reply to nasadude
Damn, man. The government needs to do everything.

There are reasons we're supposedly low on broadband progress (whatever that means). The main one being population density. I guess we could have a massive public works project to give the 10 people who live in Montana 100 mbs like they have in Hong Kong, but is that a good use of federal money?

Like was said before, when you choose to live somewhere, you have costs and benefits. I think, since I live in the Washington Metropolitan Area, that Montanans should subsidize my rent. How about that? Is that a wise use of the Treasury.

Also, there are reasons why most of this stuff is invented here. One being because compared to the rest of the world, we have the free-er markets. Even communist Russia had to piggyback on the free market pricing system to tell the commissars what output to produce.
--
"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the government have too much or too little power."—James Madison
It's right, it's free.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

What is the hidden agenda?

Broadband Reports had a dog in the fight. Look it up.


LegoPower77
Abecedarian
Premium
join:2002-08-03
Midlothian, VA
reply to bmn

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

said by bmn:

Too bad the concept of "onerous government regulation" can't objectively be drawn in the sand. There is no way to factually establish when such a point is reached.
That's what political arguments like this one are for, buck.

said by bmn:

As for opposing "onerous government regulation" being "consumer advocacy," the problem is that people who typically oppose "onerous government regulation" present ideas and solutions that leave business holding all the power and consumers out in the cold. In other words, screwing one pooch to help another.
Ah yes, the eeevil bogeyman business. People get profit from serving people. Also, people are scared of things they don't understand; do I sense fear in your point of view?
--
"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the government have too much or too little power."—James Madison
It's right, it's free.

bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
said by LegoPower77:

said by bmn:

Too bad the concept of "onerous government regulation" can't objectively be drawn in the sand. There is no way to factually establish when such a point is reached.
That's what political arguments like this one are for, buck.
Yeah, but since politics is bullshit and political discussions are bullshit discussions, nothing of value comes from them.

said by bmn:

As for opposing "onerous government regulation" being "consumer advocacy," the problem is that people who typically oppose "onerous government regulation" present ideas and solutions that leave business holding all the power and consumers out in the cold. In other words, screwing one pooch to help another.
Ah yes, the eeevil bogeyman business. People get profit from serving people. Also, people are scared of things they don't understand; do I sense fear in your point of view?
You sense nothing... You make stuff up. I understand the conflict of interest between for profit groups offer services and those who purchase services. The interests of both parties are contradictory.
--
"Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong."
—Dwight Eisenhower


LegoPower77
Abecedarian
Premium
join:2002-08-03
Midlothian, VA
reply to Karl Bode

Re: Sinking to a New Low

Fair enough.

I can tell you, as one who works in the political arena, both (all?) sides do this, as you put it, astroturfing.

I suspect your weltanschauung is tainting how you look at these "consumer advocacy" groups. After all, you said yourself that free market advocacy should be labeled stock holder/owner advocacy. As an economist, I can tell you that by and large, free markets do help consumers; how do you think America became the economic colossus that it is? But I guess the field of economics was invented by corporate hacks.

I wonder, you spent all this time to dig into the background of this website, but did you look at any of the data they offer? There are valid reasons to be against net neutrality legislation without considering the corporate bottom line.

Indeed, the effect of proposed legislation would just shift the supposed advantage from one set of corporations to another, why do you think Microsoft, Amazon.com, Apple, Disney, EBay,
and Yahoo!, among others, support it?

To quote Adam Thierer (but don't think too hard about it, since Cato receives corporate funding), "So, if it’s a debate between two large corporate interests, we can drop the ad hominem and just discuss which group of large corporations is trying to protect its property and its investments, and which group of large corporations is trying to win rents through the legislative and regulatory process."

And there's the rub. One of the main effects of regulation is advantage the politically connected. I often see people in these pages complaining about bought-off politicians this and that, why do you think that is?

The irony is, most (not all!) of the time, corporations love regulation because it knocks the small mom-and-pops out of competition (Walmart coming out for a minimum wage increase anyone?). To say real consumers don't support such and such is shaky at best given the woeful state of economics education in this country. If people actually knew how markets work, they wouldn't have to be afraid of them just like people in the dark ages were afraid and superstitious because they didn't know enough about science.
--
"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the government have too much or too little power."—James Madison
It's right, it's free.

bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus

1 recommendation

reply to yock

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

said by yock:

Consumers are only powerless when they have no choices and no alternatives.
No, because even with choices and alternatives, you can have market collusion between players.

Show your "power" by not buying their products, and if necessary just go without a particular good or service.
The providers wouldn't give a shit anyway if you or I walked... Their churn rates would mask the affect of people who elect to take that method and no difference would come from it.

If you can't live without internet access, then the market is charging what it will bear.
Considering how the telecom market works, to say that market forces are determining price points is to be out of touch with the telecom sector.
--
"Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong."
—Dwight Eisenhower


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

2 edits
reply to LegoPower77

Re: Sinking to a New Low

quote:
I suspect your weltanschauung is tainting how you look at these "consumer advocacy" groups.
Again, anyone willing to label groups like this "consumer advocates" is drinking the Kool-Aid. Take the Heartland Institute for example. They argue smoking health concerns are "junk science" and thus the tobacco industry should not be regulated for the good of consumers. Reasonable? No. Consumer Advocacy? Hell no. They pose as "pro-smoker" while really working to keep government off of the tobacco industry. It's sleazy crap, not "consumer advocacy."
quote:
After all, you said yourself that free market advocacy should be labeled stock holder/owner advocacy. As an economist, I can tell you that by and large, free markets do help consumers
Perhaps. But these groups aren't just preaching for a free-market (already exists by and large), they're arguing for total deregulation and a largely impotent government regulatory authority, which, I don't care how you'd like to slice it, is not in the best interest of the consumer.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to yock

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

quote:
You have this notion that de-regulating an industry is in some way "giving" corporations something. In fact, you're simply removing roadblocks to profitability. Sure, they'll do business precisely where they want, at what price they want, and that's it...

Doesn't that make perfect sense?
No. It sounds like you've had your head filled with rhetoric by someone.

Deregulation absolutely gives Corporations something. The ability to slide on environmental pollution. The ability to lie in advertisements without repercussion. The ability to obscure true prices. The ability to merge without consequence with media companies, allowing undue influence on news. The ability to pass off PR as news segments.

Reasonable regulation is not poison, and total and complete deregulation is not consumer advocacy. Consumer advocacy is accountability and reasonable regulation, not some wishy washy trickle down theory disproven back in the 80's, and spun by think tanks as good for grandma.

That's nonsense.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to batterup

Re: What is the hidden agenda?

Care to clarify?


yock
TFTC
Premium
join:2000-11-21
Miamisburg, OH
kudos:3
reply to Karl Bode

Re: Conflict of interest? Maybe...

said by Karl Bode:

quote:
You have this notion that de-regulating an industry is in some way "giving" corporations something. In fact, you're simply removing roadblocks to profitability. Sure, they'll do business precisely where they want, at what price they want, and that's it...

Doesn't that make perfect sense?
Deregulation absolutely gives Corporations something. The ability to slide on environmental pollution. The ability to lie in advertisements without repercussion. The ability to obscure true prices. The ability to merge without consequence with media companies, allowing undue influence on news. The ability to pass off PR as news segments.

Reasonable regulation is not poison, and total and complete deregulation is not consumer advocacy. Consumer advocacy is accountability and reasonable regulation, not some wishy washy trickle down theory disproven back in the 80's, and spun by think tanks as good for grandma.

That's nonsense.
As has been said time and time again, reasonable regulation is fine. the purest forms of any economic system simply do not work. Where I get upset is when I start hearing about all this stuff the government is supposed to be doing to protect us. I don't know where you're coming from, but I don't need nor want a lot of protection. I'm intent upon decisions with my money based on personal observation, simply because I'm smarter than anyone else when it comes to things that directly impact me.

If others have no problem with Verizon or are simply ignorant to their exploits then that's just tough. American consumerism is ravenous and stupid, and it isn't just big business that exploits that on a daily basis. No amount of regulation will produce a smarter consumer and no amount of regulation will correct the market for that stupidity either. Reasonable regulation comes in providing incentives for personal investment, protecting nature and ecosystems, and penalizing monopolistic business practices. Government has no business influencing price or location.
--
Wiki Wiki
Laughter is the closest distance between two people. --Victor Borge


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 edit
quote:
As has been said time and time again, reasonable regulation is fine.
That hasn't been said time and time again by these groups. They want the elimination of all regulation. They desire a government that is utterly toothless in enforcing laws on all fronts. They believe corporations should have absolute freedom to do as they see fit. They do not desire reasonable regulation, they desire no regulation in order to maximize revenue for shareholders and owners.

My point, again, pretty simply is that this is not consumer advocacy. It's on the completely opposite end of the scale from consumer advocacy. Labeling it such isn't only lying, it's insulting.

Whether you can legislate morality or cure idiocy via regulation is a different argument we probably agree upon. Cultivating competition in the telecom sector via regulation is yet another conversation.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
reply to Karl Bode

Re: What is the hidden agenda?

said by Karl Bode:

Care to clarify?
All third party providers want to maintain the present set up.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
You're still beating around the bush.

If you're trying to infer a conflict of interest because we take ad money from CLECs (we take ad money from ILECs, too), try harder. Bring evidence.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 edit
said by Karl Bode:

You're still beating around the bush.

If you're trying to infer a conflict of interest because we take ad money from CLECs (we take ad money from ILECs, too), try harder. Bring evidence.
I have installed many high speed data lines for
»www.nac.net/ They are a CLEC and give *discounted* service to this site.
quote:
Our internet connection in the office is a DSL line, although our servers are now located at an ISP (nac.net, thanks to them for our discount bandwidth) and SPEAKEASY.net (a couple of clan servers).
»/about

No one is neutral in this mess, true consumers don't have a clue and don't care. It is all special interests.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

4 edits
That's your hidden agenda theory? Because NAC.net provides server bandwidth, the entire editorial integrity of the site is compromised?

The truth is, NAC.net has men in suits who sit over me as I write the news, ensuring that I frame things just so...

I cannot believe you've discovered our deep and insidious secret.


batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
said by Karl Bode:

That's your hidden agenda theory? Because NAC.net provides server bandwidth, the entire editorial integrity of the site is compromised?
I wouldn't say compromised, one sided yes but I would not say compromised.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
Ah, ok.

I will take your concerns back to my masters at NAC.net and see how they want me to proceed.