Thursday, June 08, 2006

Internet Neutrality - Free Market Issues

Some people argue that the U.S. government should pass the bills which the big telecommunication firms are pushing. They actually propose this on the basis of a "free market".

This absurd. These companies are clearly not satisfied with putting their product out on the "free market". The free market, as it is now, has allowed grass-roots companies to form and take away their marketshare.

The fact that these big companies are lobbying government to pass repressive laws in order to try to get the upper hand shows that these big corporations are actually afraid of a free market. Because a free market would challenge their unquestioned dominance.

The concept of "free market" is inseperable from the libertarian principle of freedom from government meddling. And yet these big telecommunications corporations are proposing to use government force to "ensure" that we have a "free market".

A free market is about competition and companies out-manouevering their competition by offering a better product and better service. Allowing the market to be rigged through the use of repressive laws is not what a "free market" is about.

I wish people would stop using the term "free market" when they are unwilling to deal with the realities of what "free" really means (in terms of having a playing field free of artificially imposed obstructions).

Can monopolies form in a free market? Yes, technically. Are they likely to survive long? No. A long standing monopoly is a sign that the market may not really be as free as once thought. Monopolies usually survive on circumventing the freedom of the market, unless of course all competition falls on its own nose (which is rarer than you may think). The neutrality of the Internet is being threatened right now because companies are posturing in order to try to make U.S. law play into their schemes to monopolize the Internet.

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Blogger Ian said...

I guess I agree with you on that though, in spite of what I just said about Google. I am all about a free market.
Are you into economics at all? There's a great seminar on June 24 at the Ciaciaro Club on free-markets, libertarianism, etc.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm not completely intereted in economics, though I think that seminar (which I've heard about) look interesting.

I've studied libertarianism a bit and several years ago, I used to listen to some of Harry Browne's web casts (he was a former libertarian candidate in the U.S.).

I remember having seen a web page for this seminiar, I think? Could you provide it?

12:38 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Hey Mark,
Regarding what you said in the other post, I didn't realise that about Yahoo! I guess it's hard to do anything these days without somehow contributing to something unethical. Thanks for the heads-up though.
Regarding the seminar, the site is
I attended one in the Spring and thought it was excellent. I would love to go to this one, but alas, I must stay in TO. I would have liked to have seen Richard Ebeling speak though.

3:13 PM  

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