cr> re: regulations


Sender: •••@••.••• (Richard K. Moore)

Dear c-r,

        A thoughtful batch of posts -- that most recent "re...abuse?".  And
nice to hear from some lurkers.

Marilyn said:
>-- from Glen Raphael
>> If you reworded it "government must not pass regulations that drive up the
>> cost of access to email" I could probably support that, but it would be
>Richard, isn't that what you wanted all along?  I don't remember that
>you ever said that you wanted the government to step in at this point.
>You just worried that they'd step in badly.  When you talk about some
>central control, you're talking about the long-term vision, aren't
>you?  We have plenty of time to think about that, don't we?  If there is
>central control, why should it be the US FCC?
>> roughly equivalent to saying "government must not pass regulations."

        Actually, I had no intention of proposing _any_ consensus statement
at this time.  I just put the analysis out there for consideration and
debate.  I do recoil at undue pessimism re/ consensus as a possibility, and
even more from discouragement of the very attempt.  I must say, by the way,
that trying to force agreement can give the whole consensus idea an
undeserved bad taste.

        Re/regulation:  My own view is that the regulatory regime we had
prior the Telcom Reform bill was an excellent one -- evolved over time --
and was giving us vibrant competition, rapid innovation, and affordable
prices -- especially on Internet.  I can see no other motivation for the
bill than to destroy competition and make it possible for the biggest
players to control the medium and the prices.  No surprise, since they
funded relevant congressional campaigns, drafted the legislation, and
lobbied the hell out of it.  A coup of the first order, enabled by the
reactionary Contract On America.

        From that point of view, the government has _already_ "passed
regulations that drive up the cost of access to email" -- if you project
forward the consequence of the new regulatory regime.  Several people have
dismissed the "Straits" analysis as silly, but I've seen no well
thought-out rebuttal (don't mean to insult anyone by that, btw).  With due
respect, I think Raphael's revisionist view of Rockefeller et al was
completely irrelevant to the current situation, as well as being a very
narrow analysis in its own domain (oil, steel, railroads, et al).  Consumer
prices aren't the issue!  Control over our access to informaton is!  My
pricing concerns are _structural_ -- I'm sure Bambi video-casts will be
quite affordable, monopoly or not.

        In mathematics, when you divide by zero, you get no meaningful
result.  Similarly in politics, when an elite-controlled government passes
regulations, the result has no meaning re/ democracy or public benefit.
Hence discusion of the role-of-government and the efficacy-of-regualtion is
grossly warped in our current elitist (neoliberal, NOT liberal) regime,
since it is in no way representative of the people.  If we are to avoid the
current plummeting dive into outright fascism, we MUST reclaim our
democracy.  (No room in the margin to say how right now.)

        When the government becomes democratic, then my view is that
regulation becomes a very desirable thing.  For people, government passes
laws.  For corporations, government passes regulations.  Laws and
regulations are really the same thing -- a defining of the rules of the
game.  Deregulation means there are no rules, which means that the biggest
guy on the block tells everyone else what to do.  Just as if there were no
laws regarding murder or robbery, then the mafia would _be_ the government.
Some think it already is.

Charles Bell said:
>I believe that such papers will carry a useful payload to the target with
>a greatly reduced risk of explosion on the launch pad.

        Nice poetic image Charles (:>)  Why does it make me think of Scuds?


(Note from moderator: Richard forwarded to me a related posting about
competition in telecom, which I will send to anyone who asks.--Andy)

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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