It's not that there's some reason to preternaturally trust corporations and to distrust the state, it's that the apparatus of the state is infinitely more powerful. If a corporation acts unethically, you lose the benefits and service it provides. If the state acts unethically, you lose your freedom and/or your life. That's a colossal difference.
Likewise, if the choice is between Google controlling access to the internet and Chinese-style regulation controlling access to the internet, there's really no choice at all: who would pick Chinese internet service over Google Fiber? And make no mistake: with utility-style regulation the only boundary between the FCC and the PRC is "the people", and if this year's election has shown anything, they are a fickle and largely ignorant bunch. "Utility-style regulation" isn't an epithet because the internet shouldn't be treated as a utility; it's an epithet because utility regulation over the past hundred years has been absolutely disastrous, enabling the supreme power of corporations, not limiting it. It's really, really sad to see the internet falling into the hands of telecoms and the FCC.
I am 44 years old, which means I remember growing up at a time when you were not allowed to own a telephone -- because AT&T exercised its corporate monopoly to control what you could plug into your AT&T phone line, and they would only permit that to be an AT&T phone, and they would not ever sell you an AT&T phone, they would only rent you one at an exorbitant price. And they didn't bother to provide you any variety in models, because why would they? There's one phone, that is what you get.
Also, if you wanted to call someone in a different area code, then I hope you are ready to shell out some cash...
If it weren't for state-exercised power, it is quite possible that things would still be this way.
I do not consider today's situation a disaster at all, relatively speaking. (For sure there are still many un-ideal things about it.)
But for the most part, it is just that AT&T kept buying smaller companies, which is just what happens in capitalism when one party starts to win, which is why checks on capitalism are necessary.
In no way is the free market responsible for the AT&T monopoly.
The difference is that in a competitive market, this self-interest happens to lead producers to do what is in the public interest, but in the monopoly case it generally leads to lower production and higher prices than would be optimal. For more explanation, here's a Wikipedia article that jibes with my college Intro to Econ class:
> The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers in its handling of operating system and web browser sales. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Microsoft Windows operating system. Bundling them together is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft's victory in the browser wars as every Windows user had a copy of Internet Explorer. It was further alleged that this restricted the market for competing web browsers (such as Netscape Navigator or Opera) that were slow to download over a modem or had to be purchased at a store.
I get what you mean, but at the same time, a monopoly these are not. Just because there are companies that have a very large market share does not mean there are no alternatives.
That's pretty much what the Open Internet Order (both the 2010 one that was, except for transparency provisions, struck down and the current one that was just upheld by the same court that struck down the earlier one) does.
> You don't have to have utility-style control,
Which, largely, the FCC isn't doing here. Now, the FCC had invoke the provisions which allow utility-style control because the courts previously struck down its attempt to institute similar "people can plug legal devices into their internet connections and access legal content over their internet connection" rules without invoking the "telecommunication service" common carrier, "utility-style" provisions of the law.
But, while the details of the current order are different from the 2010 order (for one, more of the provisions apply to mobile broadband in the same ways as fixed broadband, because that market had matured in the intervening time period such that the argument that it was too new and evolving to know if the same style of regulation would be appropriate), it mostly doesn't apply "utility style" regulation, even though it invokes authority which would allow utility-style regulation.
"petition for rulemaking was filed with the FCC by Skype, requesting the FCC to apply the Carterfone regulations to the wireless industry—which would mean that OEMs, portals and others will be able to offer wireless devices and services without the cellular operators needing to approve the handsets. However, on 1 April 2008, FCC chairman Kevin Martin indicated that he would oppose Skype's request."
This is a straw man argument, that's not the only choice, in fact it's not even the actual choice facing us right now.
>it's an epithet because utility regulation over the past hundred years has been absolutely disastrous, enabling the supreme power of corporations, not limiting it.
This is not universally true. In the comparatively economically conservative Southeast where power generation and the electric grid have been regulated as public utilities for as long as anyone can remember, there was never a temptation to experiment with deregulation as in CA, and no small bit of schadenfreude when Enron wrecked havoc on the CA energy system as a result.
Stability is an (maybe the most) important characteristic of national economic infrastructure that is susceptible to systemic risk. It enables the forces of innovation to confidently build on top of it - capital formation, ROI forecasting, planning & investment, long-term credit extension to wealth-creating industries, etc. Introducing shocks and instability into the base layer infrastructure makes that wealth creation activity much more difficult and constrained.
You're committing the fallacy of the excluded middle. There is a massive gulf between unregulated behavior of publicly-held companies and authoritarian dictatorship by an unelected body, and the USA is somewhere there in the middle.
oh I see this is an alias for that. false dilemma, false dichotomy and excluded middle are apparently all the same thing.
So what's your understanding of those terms? Mine is identical to that of treehau5.
Several thousands people who died in Bhopal on Dec 2, 1984 might think otherwise. Or 2,209 people who died in Johnstown, PA on 1889 when South Fork Dam failed. Or another 502 people killed on Jun 29, 1995 when Sampoong Department Store collapsed. Or...
But I digress -- in any free society people will eventually cause horrible things to happen, it just seems to me that the government inevitably causes much worse things to happen.
Now you say even unethical corporations normally kill much fewer people than unethical governments. Which is true. But I have to ask, why do unethical corporations kill so few people? After all, they're all led by the same greedy people. It's not like CEOs magically become conscientious and say "Well, we can make billions of dollars by screwing all these poor people, but fuck it if we end up killing them!"
The answer: governments. Governments keep corporations in line so that they can't get away with killing people. Where a government is run by better people, corporations tend to not kill people, because they'll face consequences.
So, you are right that an incompetent government can be much more dangerous. However, one way such a government can kill people is by colluding with corporations and voluntarily relinquishing its authority (and duty) to police them as a government should. When you're limiting the government's power over corporations, in some situations, you could be in fact ensuring that the government remains incompetent.
There is active push back from a whole host of multinational megacorps for any relatively toothless threat represented by todays FCC what should concern you is that those same forces are actively largely ok with the real existential threats to freedom on the internet today.
It seems that someone put a bunch of common explanations on a web page and stuck the word "fallacy" after all of them so that they could use it to try to win arguments with easily-intimidated persons.
Many situations exist wherein a series of steps could superficially be arranged in a progression or slope between points a and b but in fact individual steps have different costs and benefits and are in fact independently good or bad.
Often those arguing for/against a subset of the points in the graph have good arguments for/against then some jerk goes and implies that if you allow point 1-3 on the graph somehow by magic you will eventually arrive at point 37. They ignore the fact that its possible and in fact reasonable to support point 1-3 and skip right to the extreme and absurd.
They neatly bypass any and all relevant arguments in favor of 1-3. This is destructive to conversation because you can use it in nearly any situation. It is especially frequently used in anything involving government because somehow all roads that don't lead to anarchy somehow lead to hitler.
Its frequently useful to just point out the obvious fallacy and move on rather than giving a longer treatment because such tracks are frequently useless and drag the entire discussion inevitably towards stupidity.