All over Facebook and Twitter, and even on major news media, the main question everyone is asking is “what color is this dress”? Meanwhile, the recent FCC decision on net neutrality should have everyone on the internet seeing green. As in, the money that is likely to disappear from our pockets, never mind the government regulations that may leave many citizens asking, “How did we ever let this happen?”
For fans of Atlas Shrugged, proponents of net neutrality are probably wishing John Galt was around for real right about now. The FCC is basically taking the stance that in order to effectively maintain net neutrality, the federal government needs to be capable of regulating the internet as a public utility. Why couldn’t the solution simply be keeping their mitts away from it? Of course, this is the same U.S. government that loves to make laws when the First Amendment clearly starts out with “Congress shall make no law.”
So what does the question about the dress have to do with net neutrality? According to NewsBusters, the amount of media coverage extended to net neutrality was about three times less in comparison to the color of a dress photo seen on social media. The two issues are also indirectly related since the cost of seeing that colored dress is also expected to rise, according to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), which predicts that American households “could pay an additional $156 in fees to federal, state, and local governments if regulators reclassified the internet as a public utility in a report released in 2014. Revenue from those fees would total $15 billion per year, according to PPI.”
The basic assumption with the FCC’s net neutrality decision is that regulations will not expand over time and become the very thing net neutrality proponents feared. CNET also published an article explaining how the net neutrality FCC ruling could make a sticky web out of the internet.
“Consumers are likely to see higher bills from new taxes and fees and expenses related to regulatory compliance, along with a host of unintended consequences. They will wait longer to receive faster next-generation services. Internet providers, which spend massive capital to dig up streets, hang wires and connect homes, will see this intense chain of activity subjected to regulatory second-guessing that will slow the dynamic improvements we all desire. And garage startups, which today assert with confidence that the new regulation doesn’t apply to them, will soon find themselves caught in the government’s ever-expanding web.”
So while everyone is debating what color is this dress, what America should be debating is why we’re not seeing red based upon what the U.S. government has done.
[Photo via Google Image Search]