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In six months FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will be a VP at NBC Universal/Comcast.

Not a bribe; just coincidence.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Wheeler_(FCC)

"Tom Wheeler is the current Chairman of the FCC.[1] Prior to working at the FCC, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry."

Wow. This looks especially bad for consumers.


By "prior", they mean 30 years ago, at a time when the cable industry was the underdog fighting against the powerful broadcasters, and cable lobbyist [1] was a pro-consumer job.

Looking at what he's been involved in since then [2], it's all over the place. There's stuff in cable, stuff in wireless, stuff in phone, co-founder of a company that repairs aerospace components, PBS director, and a bunch of other things. I'm kind of at a loss to comprehend how someone can have held so many positions.

[1] It's not all clear that lobbyist is even accurate. He was the head of the largest cable industry trade association. Lobbying was one of the things they did. Calling their executives "lobbyists" would be kind of like calling the head of the American Medical Association a lobbyist.

[2] http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/pe...


In fairness, the head of the AMA is probably reasonably described as a lobbyist.


Examples of IRC § 501(c)(6) organizations include the Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, American Bar Association, American Medical Association, and National Association of Manufacturers.

The AMA is a c6 because: lobbying

The organizational definitions in IRC §§ 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) do not contain any explicit limitations on lobbying. The organizations described in these three sections may participate in an unrestricted amount of lobbying so long as the lobbying is related to the organization's exempt purpose. In fact, organizations whose sole activity is lobbying may be recognized under these sections...{etc}

Citation> Tax-Exempt Organizations: Political Activity Restrictions and Disclosure Requirements, Order Code RL33377


The AMA is, I believe, the largest lobbying organization in the country.


There are several larger; the US Chamber of Commerce is #1 -- AMA is big, but not even the biggest healthcare lobbying entity (BC/BS and the American Hospital Association are bigger than AMA) [1].

https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=s&showYe...


In fairness to whom?


What do you think the primary motivation for industry trade associations is, in general? The Cable TV business has been under constant threat of regulatory action since its inception. This is like its principal business risk because they are basically monopolies everywhere they operate. It is extraordinarily specious to compare it to the AMA.


Seems like he left the CTIA in 2004. IMO, he should be at the bottom of the list, if at all. Can someone expand the Wikipedia article?


Chris Dodd spent ~30+ years in congress and now he is the chairman/chief lobbyist for the MPAA. Funny (sad) how that works

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Dodd


There should be laws against this sort of stuff. Like you can't work for a company in a related domain for 5 years before and after taking the government job. As it is, it just leads to too much corruption.


The flip side is that you won't want someone in said position that doesn't know anything about the industry. Do you want a luddite making technology policy, for example.

Not that I'm all for regulatory capture or anything.


> Do you want a luddite making technology policy

No and that's exactly what we have right now.


> Do you want a luddite making technology policy, for example.

Would that be worse? Say 50% of the time they get the policy right where the corrupt policy maker gets it deliberately wrong all of the time.


That is not a flip side, it's a false dichotomy, because there is an enormous middle ground there.


I never said it was a dichotomy. Just because I presented an opposing side of an issue does not mean that I'm presenting a dichotomy.

One of the reasons that people are pulled from industry to fill these roles is because there is a view that they will understand the issues at play. This is true. We don't want people making policy decisions on issues that they barely understand. At the same time, it becomes the incestuous relationship that we have (aka Regulatory Capture) where there is incentive to make policy decisions that are pro-business while being anti-consumer.

There is some sort of a middle-ground to be had, but saying things like "people should not be allowed to hold office if unless they've been out of the industry for at least 5 years" seems a bit naive.


Well yes, "flip side" implies a dichotomy. What's the middle-ground of a coin's faces?

It's not helpful to characterize alternatives as naive, ignorant, or Ludditic. The question is not one of naivety, but of actual policy, which is the stuff that affects all of us. How would the work of an outsider (or statutory redshirt) differ from a revolving-door candidate, one whose foundation is sell side? Seeing that we have a documented public history of the output of people in this role, what conclusions can we draw? Should the incestuous relationship merely be noted, as you do, before dispensing with alternatives?


> Should the incestuous relationship merely be noted, as you do, before dispensing with alternatives?

My thought is that saying someone can't work in the industry for 5 years prior might help with breaking up regulatory capture to a certain extent, but could have consequences on the people filling the role actually understanding the issues at hand.

Your view seems to be closer to, "things are bad now, so we certainly can't do any worse." My view is that if we're going to make the effort to fix things, let's think things through rather than throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.


You're defining "the industry" as people with congruent CVs to Chairman Wheeler. And no, I'm not saying we can't do any worse, not the least because we've already had Michael Powell in this position.

I disagree that the revolving-door is equal to regulatory capture. While it may be a precursor, we do already know that supply-side policies like putting a time-lock on the door is a remedy. Note also that the door would be locked for industry to hire from the government agencies.

Revolving door people are no better apprised of "the issues at hand" than someone with a (e.g.) buy-side foundation. That's one of the places where you filter out alternatives, by assuming that the revolving door candidates are the ones who "actually understand the issues."

You also continue to perpetuate the dichotomy you said you weren't making by refraining from even acknowledging a middle ground, so maybe this is just a case of mauvaise foi on your part and poo on me for engaging.


> The flip side is that you won't want someone in said position that doesn't know anything about the industry.

CEOs rotate into of different industries all the time without knowledge of that domain.

The top-job isn't about making policy, it's about representing the organization's interests and setting strategy.


That may be, but the parent post did not limit the suggestion to just CEOs.


The colloquial term for this is "revolving door."


There's three kinds of corruption:

- apparent when there isn't (false positive - mistaken)

- apparent when there is (obvious)

- not apparent when there is (false negative - not obvious)

I'd define corruption as a pattern of putting profit/loss considerations ahead of public interests. Other than personal ethics, this is a really hard thing to control for because it goes to why people want to be public servants and what are their interests/relationships.


There's something to be said for lifetime appointments: "we trust you enough to give you this job and pay you enough to be comfortable for the rest of your life. If you clearly violate that trust, we'll impeach you and you will never again be trusted."

I could be wrong, but I don't think federal judges and Supreme Court Justices participate in the revolving door. Supreme Court Justices are deeply political, but they're not sell-outs like Chris Dodd.


Is the first kind really corruption then?

Corruption can be stopped when voters & consumers have more power than the politicians or their backers. No one can force you to vote a certain way or buy a certain product. You punish "public" "servants" by restricting their power, i.e. voting them out if they break the law or not enforcing the law equally.


The problem with that is that the only folks qualified for these jobs are folks with some sort of recent related experience, and the only future job that this is revenue-boosting for is in related domains.


But that doesn't mean that we have to appoint from within industry. There are probably many academics who would be just as qualified or more than former industry lobbyists. Moreover, these people would probably be more than happy to return to academia and research after serving their tenure.


Who could possibly have foreseen this?


What would it take to get someone who cares about the greater good (not an industry crony) appointed to these key roles?


Money.

There are 100 senators. 34 or so come up for election every two years. Each election is won, 75 - 90% of the time, by the candidate who spends the most. The most expensive campaigns spend about $20M; the tenth most expensive campaign spends about $5M. The margin between D and R in the Senate is 8. Form a SuperPAC and fund it with about $75M.

Ensure the election of a crop of senators who know what the key issues are for their big contributors... and that if they step out of line, they won't be getting those contributions next year.


If you think about it: lot of issues we can probably solve by writing a check of $20M to anyone who becomes senator and signs oath for not entertaining any lobbyists representing commercial interests. That would be a drop in a bucket in US Gov budget but would prevent lot of these guys from being lobbied by private interests or even cold calling them to funds their campaigns.


Tax pay funded campaigns with a ban on all other spending to promote candidates.


How do you ban a random person from spending to promote candidates?


They don't get access to the 'no strings' super-fund if they take money or favor from other lobbyists.

Still not going to solve the revolving door, but might make thing a bit more fair.


> Each election is won, 75 - 90% of the time, by the candidate who spends the most.

Source? Tell that to Meg Whitman.

The biggest problem I have with the argument about limiting the amount of money that can be spent in elections is that it essentially implies that the electorate is uneducated and easily swayed. So shouldn't the solution be a more informed (however you want to do accomplish that) electorate?


> The biggest problem I have with the argument about limiting the amount of money that can be spent in elections is that it essentially implies that the electorate is uneducated and easily swayed. So shouldn't the solution be a more informed (however you want to do accomplish that) electorate?

This is true in somewhat the same way that the solution to teenage pregnancy is just to get all the teens to practice abstinence. Where that view falls down is that not all problems are equally tractable. Attacking a tractable problem generally gets better results even if attacking an intractable one seems more noble.


I grant there are problems that are relatively more tractable or intractable, but I challenge the notion that limiting how much money can be spent on political campaigns is the solution to a problem of an uniformed electorate. Why does limiting every candidate to some level n of spending necessarily lead us to better governance?

Further, in your analogy, I'd argue that the equivalent to teaching abstinence is the idea that we can somehow legislate political contributions and then large political contributions will disappear from the surface of the earth.


Because it limits the impact of those with immense wealth to unduly impact the funding goals of those running for office.


I imagine it's a whole lot easier to pass campaign finance regulation than it is to transform a population of hundreds of millions of people into an intelligent, knowledgeable, rational group.


That's not the only way of making a more educated electorate. Another method would be to limit the electorate.


You mean restrict who can vote? The public wouldn't go for it. Which is good, because if people were okay with having their right to vote taken away, we'd be in a much bigger mess.


> That's not the only way of making a more educated electorate. Another method would be to limit the electorate.

Care to elaborate? On what criteria would you limit the electorate?


https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/11/money-wins-white-ho...

Here are quite a few numbers that back his claim. There are of course exceptions, but for the most part the candidate with the most money wins.


Correlation is not causation; most Congressional races have either an incumbent or a structural advantage in registration for one party (often both, favoring the same party) and whichever party has one or both of those advantages will usually also gain more donations.

There's plenty of cases were elections where for one reason or another the money tips the opposite direction of those advantages -- and the money loses, while the structural advantages win.

Money is nice, but there's plenty of reason to think that it is more likely to be the product of structural electoral advantage than the source of it.


This is useful, thanks. Though I wonder if the connection is causal.


It doesn't necessarily imply that the electorate is uneducated and easily swayed. I think it's more likely that most of the time these elections are a close call and campaigning sways people who are in the middle or motivates people who might not otherwise vote.

The argument basically just implies that advertising has some influence. Which is true - even for an educated and informed audience. Nothing you do to the electorate can make them immune to advertising. So money will always be a motivation for politicians. Especially since extra campaign money can always be spent on all kinds of fun expenses, and giving well paying jobs to friends and family.

Also, bear in mind that even the most well informed educated electorate has a very limited feedback mechanism. Many people care so strongly about particular issues that they will never change their vote. Which means people in the middle ground only really get to choose between the two main political parties. In practise, it works out a bit like a price fixing cartel. Basically both parties take turns screwing everyone over. Candidates only have to make the appearance of being better than the last guy during election time. During their last term they can do whatever they want, which sets the bar really low for the next guy. It's a race to the bottom.

As long as the influence of money is present, politicians will behave as corruptly as they can get away with. Improving the education level of the electorate reduces the amount politicians can get away with, but because of the two party system, they'll always be able to get away with a lot.


A big problem is candidates with little cash might have problems getting their existence out there. More than limiting spending, providing more airtime for registered candidates might go a long way.


The educated and informed are also easily swayed. Advertising works.


The system should work like jury duty - much like in ancient greece where they had a system of lots (based on black + white balls) - you get chosen then have to do your best for your alloted time.


Combine this with a TTL of 10 years for all laws. Hopefully, keeping theft, rape, and murder from going legal preoccupy all of lawmakers' time.


Seems like riders would become a huge problem under that system. I guess you could try to make them unconstitutional, but a rider is hard to define; it seems like you would always be able to sneak unpleasant but tangentially-related things in.


This would result congress becoming a body whose major action was reaffirming existing laws that were expiring, and would minimize their ability to take on further responsibility.

There are many cases where they have in the past given laws a time limit, and most of those either

- get up/down extended, at which point why bother with the limit, or - mire congress for weeks because someone decided to pick a fight over a normally non-controversial law.

I'm not sure that would improve the system or help us move more power back from czars and appointed directors toward our elected representatives.


That kind of system really hasn't worked out too well with things like the debt limit in recent years...


I am thinking of something similar, but for a much longer term like up to 20 years.


Is that because juries of neophytes work so well?



Stop electing the politicians who appoint cronies?


One of the first things Obama did on entering office was write an executive order contractually banning lobbyists for working for the administration for 2 year after their most recent lobbying job, or going ot work from the administration into a lobbying job in the same field for 2 years after leaving office, as well as posting a list of such restrictions publicly. It's somewhat effective: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/01/19/obamas-revolvi...

However, at the moment it has to be contractual because constitutionally it's quite hard to restrain people from taking whatever job they want, and also because many voters want elected representatives to 'bring home the bacon' by getting government subsidies for business that will lead to more job creation. I don't think this should be the role of representatives or senators, but a lot of people do. Even people who argue for smaller government and campaign against 'pork' seem quite happy when government largesse lands in their own community.


A) Of course, how do you know they'll do so until you elect them? B) Many politicians who get into office are quite busy, so they tend to trust the people they actually talk to, which are often the people at campaign fundraisers. Cronies may just be people who, conveniently, are always at fundraisers, hence are familiar to politicians.

I don't think that's proper, obviously, but easy explanations rarely capture the complexity from which corruption arises.


Not to mention that a major skill in politics is to hide who pulls your strings. It is anti-democratic for Obama not to call this kind of thing out when it happens, to speak for the citizenry rather than the industrialists. If Obama was on the customer's side at all, he would be leaking information. "Sorry guys, but the way it actually works is..."


So with only two parties, both of which are corporatists, and money=speech means those with the most money buy the best laws (for themselves), you end up blaming the voter?

Remember in 2000 when Ralph Nader was prevented (by both parties) from attending debates? How many third parties get any visibility from the corporate-funded media?


Appointing cronies seems to make it easier to get reelected or prepare a nice landing for after you political career is over.

What incentives can be applied to promote appointing the competent and unbiassed?


Too bad there aren't any.


You could run for office. Would you appoint cronies?


You could run, but how to get the funding to be an actual contender?


Oh, c'mon, that's just an excuse. In fact, it's the same excuse people use to avoid entrepreneurship.

Money helps you run a campaign, just like it helps you run a business. But sometimes the scrappy, bootstrapped startup still beats the big entrenched enterprise. That's why we're on HN, right?


Kind of ironic that you're making this statement on this thread. The Net was indeed supposed to democratize the world, including, presumably, politics. A candidate would then be able to run a bootstrapped, grassroots campaign.

But, that didn't happen, and for reasons very similar to the subject: entrenched interests use their money to continue advancing their own agenda through the media, other corporate gatekeepers, and regulatory capture.

It will soon take $1B to run for the presidency, and about as much to pay ISPs in order to launch a competitive streaming company.

So, you might just have it backwards: the current rules have to change in order to allow for a viable bootstrapped candidate. This, instead of such a candidate miraculously making her way to success, then changing the rules.


Who says it costs $1B to run for President? Obama didn't exactly win the 2008 primary by being the rich establishment candidate. He wasn't personally wealthy. He did have a very internet savvy campaign staff, though...

Why don't you ask Linda McMahon how much it costs to buy a Senate seat? Not only did she spend tens of millions, she lost to a guy who is still paying back his student loans.

There's nothing stopping a candidate today from using the Net to spread their political message and, as odious as the alleged FCC changes are, they won't really change that.


>Obama didn't exactly win the 2008 primary by being the rich establishment candidate.

You may be confusing personal wealth with campaign wealth.

Obama raised nearly a quarter billion during the primaries and 3/4 billion overall in 2008. Sure, he used the Net to raise a significant amount, but the extent to which small donors fueled his fundraising was greatly exaggerated [0].

In any case, Obama was certainly rich as a candidate, and wildly so.

>Not only did she spend tens of millions, she lost to a guy who is still paying back his student loans.

Certainly, no one is saying that the candidate who raises the most money always wins. On average, however, money matters--big time, and has an outsized impact on our electoral process. This is why so many incumbents confess that they spend an inordinate amount of their time on fundraising.

>There's nothing stopping a candidate today from using the Net to spread their political message

Well, there's nothing stopping them from trying any moreso than a startup can try to market online without a budget. In practice, it is insanely difficult to be heard and/or gain momentum in the political world without a ton of cash to spend on exposure. And, rulings like Citizens United exacerbate that problem.

Yes, there will be outlier underdogs who miraculously scratch out a win from time to time. But, the Net is nowhere near the democratizing force it could be. It is trumped handily by plain ol' cash. And, it shouldn't take a miracle for an otherwise better-qualified candidate to win an election simply because of a financial disadvantage.

>as odious as the alleged FCC changes are, they won't really change that.

Apologies for the miscommunication. I am not saying that the FCC changes will prevent candidates from trying to use the Net. I was simply noting that both our political process and the FCC have been co-opted by entrenched interests.

[0] http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/study-obamas-s...


> So, you might just have it backwards

Not really. It's a chicken-and-egg problem, not causality. This is a problem that predates the concept of America. Monarchies addressed it by having a three-way tug-of-war between the monarch, the entrenched interests, and the masses, and American politics have tried very hard to ape that with a very powerful central executive.

With, you know. Predictable results.

Changing the rules won't actually make a difference, much respect as I have for Lessig's Rootstrikers' efforts. That is, as Colbert put it, rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenberg. The fundamental problem isn't that no one gets elected without spending oodles of cash; the fundamental problem is that oodles of cash have to be spent at all.

We live in an age where democracy requires marketing. That's the rule you need to change.

Not coincidentally, that's also the rule that makes free markets impossible.


Well, what I was trying to do was point out a bit of irony in the GP comment. Judging by your and eli's responses, obviously I wasn't successful. I'll give it another shot.

At a time when our political process is broken, full of cronyism, regulatory capture, and co-opting by moneyed interests, we get this new position from the FCC. The position itself is about giving those with money (e.g. Netflix) advantages on the Net. The Net, of all things, which was supposed to be a democratizing, equalizing force.

So, what did the GP say in response? "Hey, money doesn't matter. Scrappy bootstrapped campaigns can overcome!"

This, even while the very topic of this thread is moneyed interests' de-democratization of the single greatest potential tool for making scrappy, bootstrapped campaigns an actual possibility.

I mean, at what point do we consider that democracy is losing and money is winning?

>Changing the rules won't actually make a difference

>We live in an age where democracy requires marketing. That's the rule you need to change.

You're not going to change the need for candidates to communicate with the electorate, nor should we want that. Instead, you change the rules such that candidates simply do not have the money to spend, then you watch as the media, parties, candidates, and entire political process re-structure themselves to allow for viable candidates to be identified and subsequently engaged with the electorate.

Here's where the Net can truly be a democratizing force, and even moreso when combined with other media. There's no need for candidates to spend money on marketing. They are the story, and the media clamors endlessly to get their messages out.


> The Net, of all things, which was supposed to be a democratizing, equalizing force.

No, it wasn't. You were made promises, not by politicians, but by a powerless counterculture who spoke loudly and had no clout. There is nothing democratizing or equalizing about the Internet.

> I mean, at what point do we consider that democracy is losing and money is winning?

Well, I would have put it somewhere in the 19th century, but that's just me.

> You're not going to change the need for candidates to communicate with the electorate

Why not? Why does this need exist? We have the Internet now. There is no such need anymore.

Let me ask you a different question: why do we need to have any candidates whatsoever? What are they for? Or the more important question: what is a public office for? What is the purpose of that concept?

> Instead, you change the rules such that candidates simply do not have the money to spend, then you watch as the media, parties, candidates, and entire political process re-structure themselves to allow for viable candidates to be identified and subsequently engaged with the electorate.

If you don't subscribe to Rootstrikers, you are seriously out of touch. Unlike you, Lessig has actually been doing things along this line, and unlike you, he has some notion of how to build political capital.


>You were made promises, not by politicians, but by a powerless counterculture

No. The promises were made by the technology and its potential. But, you're reading my statement out of context anyway.

>We have the Internet now. There is no such need anymore.

Wait. So, you're now a representative of the powerless counterculture? You just said "there is nothing democratizing about the Internet. Now, you're hailing it as the solution to what is arguably the single biggest threat to democracy in U.S. politics today: money.

Make up your mind, man.

>what is a public office for?

Direct democracy has its place, but you're not seriously suggesting rule by referendum, right? I mean, I'm having trouble seeing any implied alternatives in your question that don't lead to utter silliness, so please feel free to make your point.

>If you don't subscribe to Rootstrikers, you are seriously out of touch

Says who? But, hey, color me seriously out of touch. If you put any stock in third party traffic analysis, I'm in good company (unfortunately). But, thanks for the pointer.

>Unlike you, Lessig has actually been doing things along this line, and unlike you, he has some notion of how to build political capital.

Awesome that you know me so well. I feel like we're old pals from way back. But, of course, your opinions of my capabilities in this area--even if accurate--have nothing to do with the merit of the statements to which you are responding. In fact, I'm trying to name all of the fallacies there: Appeal to authority? Red herring? False dilemma? Am I missing any?


> The promises were made by the technology and its potential.

Still bullshit. By this measure, the machine gun and the IED are also democratizing and equalizing forces. An armed society is a polite society, yeah? Technology amplifies. A pen makes it possible to communicate with someone you cannot be face-to-face with, but it still comes down to the way you formulate and express your ideas. A sword makes it possible to cut and stab in ways that your hand can't, but it's still your hand being raised against another.

If you want to invoke technology, then all technology is a "democratizing and equalizing force". And, while we're at it, all technology becomes a tool for elitism and oppression when it fails to be equally distributed. And is it ever, really equally distributed to begin with? You have to pay people a profit to receive internet. There is no possibility of equality there while wealth and income inequality remain significant.

> So, you're now a representative of the powerless counterculture?

"Representative" is going too far. How about we stick to calling me powerless, rather than give me credit for participating in an actual culture?

> Now, you're hailing it as the solution to what is arguably the single biggest threat to democracy in U.S. politics today: money.

Hahaha. No. But it's funny that you can't read. I'd certainly take advantage of the Internet as part of the solution, but I would also take advantage of the fact that we have bookbinding technology.

And money is not the biggest threat. Democracy? Doesn't exist in America. Not really. The media is right: we are a country ruled by elites. Those elites might be liberal or conservative, but they're not us. There is no government by the people, because the people don't give a shit. That's why Dubya went up and thought that getting some elections happening in Iraq would make democracy happen.

I repeat: The fundamental problem isn't that no one gets elected without spending oodles of cash; the fundamental problem is that oodles of cash have to be spent at all.

> Direct democracy has its place, but you're not seriously suggesting rule by referendum, right? I mean, I'm having trouble seeing any implied alternatives in your question that don't lead to utter silliness, so please feel free to make your point.

No, if you can't answer the question one way or another, then I have no point worth making. My ideas aren't coherent enough for people who don't already have the solid grounding in what democracy actually is. Which you demonstrably don't, because you keep saying that the Net will save democracy or something. Indeed, you can't seem to get your mind off it.

> But, of course, your opinions of my capabilities in this area--even if accurate--have nothing to do with the merit of the statements to which you are responding.

It's pretty convenient, then, that I wasn't responding to any of the statements you were making there, right? It's almost as if I was responding specifically to the section I quoted. I mean, it's great that you feel we're in high school debate club or something, but I graduated from high school a while back. I assume you did, too?

Here's a fallacy you missed: the fallacy fallacy.


>Still bullshit.

Really? Because immediately after you dismissed hopes that the Internet might be a force for democratization, you said the following in reference to candidates' corrupting (and incompatible with democracy) need for money:

"We have the Internet now. There is no such need anymore."

Were you thinking of something more democratizing than that?

The rest of that paragraph and the next are ridiculous strawmen.

>If you want to invoke technology, then all technology is a "democratizing and equalizing force".

That argument is just plain stupid. Are you being deliberately obtuse? Trolling? Or are you really that prone to committing such gaping logical fallacies?

FWIW, I didn't just "invoke technology". I referenced the Net.

>And money is not the biggest threat. Democracy? Doesn't exist in America. Not really. The media is right: we are a country ruled by elites

And who are the elites? The poor?

You know, this is pointless. Your entire comment is void of any introspection and is not even internally consistent. It just argues with itself. Worse, you sincerely can't seem to follow a thread. It's so bad that I really do hope that you are just trolling. But, in any case, I'll leave you to your "self-stimulation".


Google, Apple and Netflix just have to bribe harder


Why? Fastlane charges are just another barrier to entry for potential upstart competitors. The companies you've listed are big enough to negotiate separate contracts for a lower rate or create solutions like OpenConnect to lower their costs. What better way to ensure that they have little-to-no competition than to have a crippling fee that smaller competitors would have to pay just to compete with them?


I'm not sure. Google is very aware that 100% of their userbase (and revenue) are one click away from using another search engine. If this decision makes it more difficult for a start up to create a better way for people to search the internet, you can see why Google might not put up a fight..


> Google is very aware that 100% of their userbase (and revenue) are one click away from using another search engine.

Actually, google outperforms all other search engines. It seems some people prefer duckduckgo (as search engine i mean, not just for the other features), but most i heard people couldn't get the same results (including myself).

Secondly, Google is much more than search nowadays. 100% of their income isn't gone just like that.

And they have the means to make a stance against paying extra by informing the public. Not to mention Google Fiber.


You're right, Google is by far the best. I tried using bing,duck,yahoo and none of them even come close, but that doesn't mean everyone else who uses Google values the same features that I do. Pretty soon people might want to search based on what their friends like, and suddenly Facebook becomes the new discovery engine. It's not too far fetched.

And yeah, not 100% of revenue, but it's like 95%


> It seems some people prefer duckduckgo (as search engine i mean, not just for the other features), but most i heard people couldn't get the same results (including myself).

Try https://startpage.com/ instead, then.


Why? If the ISP's push the issue too hard, the public will be up in arms for net neutrality. If they just push hard enough to keep small companies from competing it will be a win/win for everybody since the ISP's make even more money, and the internet companies get to avoid new players.


I'm not sure how you'd categorize Google, Apple and Netflix generally as "ISPs."


I didn't, but I can see how my wording was misleading. In my eyes I see the ISP's at odds with the companies which require heavy internet usage. Comcast/Time Warner/Verizon/etc don't like Apple/Netflix/Google. If they had their way, they would impose the pay per site model that we are all afraid of. This obviously won't fly so the ISPs throttle the non-isp media providers until they are willing to pay up (as we are seeing with Netflix especially). As long as this process is more or less transparent to the end user, nobody will make a big deal about it and all parties involved will get something positive out of the deal (besides the consumer).


It's a mistake to consider Comcast/Time Warner/Verizon pure ISPs. They are media companies who happen to own last-mile internet pipes into homes in addition to other products which are in direct competition with data which users may want to access through that pipe.


"...and the internet companies get to avoid new players."

I think you missed that part of GP's comment.


This is all good news for Netflix because the barrier to creating a competitor will be getting much higher now.


You can't really blame Wheeler. The courts tied his hands.


bs. The courts tied his hands on a surprisingly weak argument. All he had to do was resurrect direct Net Neutrality language and everything would have been fine. He didn't...this administration hasn't raised its regulatory voice, anything. I don't understand how anyone can defend their record. They just killed small internet business.


You have a source for that? I'm not denying just curious. I've seen multiple decisions go against neutrality, but don't fully understand the precedents.




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