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Bogus Experts Fight Your Right To Broadband 378

Posted by kdawson
from the just-gimme-a-pipe dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "Karl Bode of Broadband Reports takes aim at supposed telecom experts and think tankers who profess to love the 'free market,' but want to ban the country's un-wired towns and cities from offering broadband to their residents. If you didn't know, incumbent providers frequently determine towns and cities unprofitable to serve (fine), but then turn around and lobby for laws that make it illegal to serve themselves (not so fine). They then pay experts to profess their love for a free market and deregulation — unless that regulation helps their bottom line. A simple point: 'Strange how such rabid fans of a free-market wouldn't be interested in allowing market darwinism to play out.'"
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Bogus Experts Fight Your Right To Broadband

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  • by dada21 (163177) *
    If you are really a fan of a free market, you'd understand the reality that regulation means that it isn't free. Restrictions mean it isn't free. Taxation means it isn't free. Licensing means it isn't free.

    What we really see here are Statists who use the words "free market" are just pro-State pundits who, as the anonymous reader wrote, are paid to profess support for their employers while sounding pro-freedom.

    This is no different than war supporters who think that soldiers and previous war protect freedo
    • There are two ways to conduct business: competitively, or with the help of the State.

      Well that smacks of black and white thinking, doesn't it? You mean there's no middle ground between those two?
      • by Kijori (897770)
        There isn't, is there? If we rephrase it to what they mean minus the emotive language - free or State regulated - there is clearly no middle ground. If it's a bit State regulated, it's State regulated. If not, it's free.
      • by Z34107 (925136)

        You mean there's no middle ground between those two?

        Nope. "Competitively", in an economic sense, means that a business is all alone, by itself, sink or swim, fighting to make a profit or go bankrupt.

        This changes if you have government "help." Depending on how extensive said help is, you can make a lot of screw-ups and still get billions in pension forgiveness, forced contract re-negotiations, bankruptcy protection, etc.

        "Competitively" is a good thing - because state help shifts the burden of busin

        • by dangitman (862676) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @01:12AM (#16669383)
          "Competitively" is a good thing - because state help shifts the burden of business' poor planning from this business to the taxpayer. There is also no "middle ground" - either you have help or you don't, you succeed by your own merits or have assistance or gimped opponents.

          But what if the State does the opposit of helping - i.e enact regulations that shift the burden from the taxpayer to the private corporation, and make corporations responsible for actions like pollution and product safety? That's not "free" and it's not "helping" - so I guess there must be more than two options, huh?

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Regulations, licensing, taxations, embargoes, tariffs, duties and other "pro-market" structures are "legal" uses of force by the State for one thing and one thing only: to take care of the businesses friendly with the State.

      Yeah. Because businesses like paying license fees, taxes, tariffs, and duties, and having their goods embargoed.

      TIME OUT! Hi, Slashdot. I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that YOU, too, Slashdotters, can vote against the American two-party system in the upcoming electi

      • Yeah. Because businesses like paying license fees, taxes, tariffs, and duties, and having their goods embargoed.
        No, but established, big businesses can pay them better, and keep track of them with their legal staff better than smaller or future competition. These create a barrier to entry that protects establish business, limiting competition.
      • Yeah. Because businesses like paying license fees, taxes, tariffs, and duties, and having their goods embargoed.

        "Business" as such, is indeed hurt by these. But don't make the fallacy of composition -- specific businesses can certainly benefit from them through elimination or hindering of rivals. For example, Sarbanes-Oxley -- ostensibly to promote a fair environment -- actually imposes disproportionate costs on smaller businesses. ExxonMobil can easily adjust its finance department to comply. A newer f
      • by DeadChobi (740395)
        No, a vote for anything is a vote wasted. I'd prefer not to vote to show that I don't care about the system anymore. I also don't care that the Voter Apathy party is giving me this generic button to show their lack of support in my non-cause. If you don't care as much as I don't care, then don't even bother joining a party. We might accept your application, so long as you share our apathy about voting.

        Seriously, though, a simple little "no-confidence" option would go a long way to restore my confidence in t
    • by monkeydo (173558)
      I love the free market because I love watching markets change to meet the needs of the consumers (demand) as well as the manufacturers (supply). I love seeing both sides of a barter or exchange profit from that exchange, rather than one side gaining and one side losing. The free market is not zero sum: it is mutual gain. This is capitalism. The State-licensed mercantilistic market is not zero sum -- one party loses, one party gains. This is socialism or Western State mercantilism.

      Socialism: 1 : any of vario
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      " I love the free market because I love watching markets change to meet the needs of the consumers (demand) as well as the manufacturers (supply). I love seeing both sides of a barter or exchange profit from that exchange, rather than one side gaining and one side losing."

      Where exactly are you watching this take place? Where are you watching it from? Seriously?
    • Free (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @12:06AM (#16668951)
      The thing about "free" markets, is that they don't really exist. Without state intervention, regulation and domination will simply come from within markets. Monopolies, cartels, exclusivity deals that lock out new players, etc. State interference is a small loss of market freedom that prevents vastly greater losses in market freedom. It's no different than personal freedom -- you could try living in a society where the government doesn't intervene at all, but it would take a matter of days for gangs, organized crime, warlords, and other forces to strip your freedom away from you completely. That's why governments are created -- so that the limitations on freedom can be managed and minimized. Doing away with government regulation completely results in vastly greater losses of freedom.

      Frankly, I'm shocked that you would think that states should be forbidden to provide services THAT THE FREE MARKET DOESN'T PROVIDE. Small towns can't get high-speed, because no merchants want to provide it. It's not worth it. But if the people of that state feel that they want that service, and are willing to pay for it, what's wrong with them banding together to set that service up themselves? Should construction firms be able to pass laws preventing you and your neighbour from collaborating to build a tool shed that you can then share? A state is no different from you and neighbour working together -- it simply occurs at a larger scale.

      Finally, state-run businesses don't necessarily interfere with the functioning of competitors. Frequently, governments will create an organization to supply some service that the free market doesn't provide, and then once it has been established, they split it up and sell it off to merchants who are willing to run these services now that they've been established and proven.

      Socialism vs Capitalism isn't a one-or-the-other choice. There are productive balances that can be achieved between total government management of everything and slavery to an oligarchy of industrialists.

      But seriously -- how do YOU think small towns should get services like broadband, water-purification plants, sewer systems, and whatnot?

      Lastly -- "neoliberal Senators who think that minimum wage laws protect the freedoms of workers"?! You sir, are officially a retard. Neoliberalism is exactly the opposite of that. Neoliberalism is the philosophy that YOU are endorsing in your post -- that of total deregulation. Sorry man, but you're a neoliberal. I know, I know, anything associated with the word "liberal" is automatically evil because of that association with freedom, but deal with it.

      • First I'd just like to compliment you on your well-said, rational post.

        I consider myself to be basically a small-government borderline libertarian, and I agree with you. I have seen very little evidence to convince me that a society completely devoid of regulation, either in the criminal or economic sense, would be a nice place to live. Maybe it would be an interesting place to visit -- I mean, who wouldn't want to play at being a ruthless vigilante? -- but I wouldn't want to live there permanently. (And th
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dark_requiem (806308)
      Let's clarify this now: a tax-funded (read: theft-funded) broadband setup is not the free market at work. The only way a tax-funded system is comparable to the free market is if all taxed individuals consent. Tax just one person to pay for a service they don't want, need, or use, take money from just one person without their consent, and you're talking about statism, not the free market. The free market does not involve taxation, the free market relies on voluntary consent. This is not the free market
      • by dada21 (163177) *
        There IS a political system where taxes are fair as you said -- unanimous consent. See definition of unanimocracy.
    • by simpl3x (238301)
      "The State-licensed mercantilistic market is not zero sum -- one party loses, one party gains. This is socialism or Western State mercantilism."

      This is dada.
    • by pingveno (708857)

      Free markets often need regulation to be beneficial to society. Because being beneficial to society is the only point of a free market, some regulation is necessary.

      Don't you want assurance that there aren't harmful strains of E. Coli in your food? The federal government has regulations that handle that, even if there is an occasional slip up.

      Don't want a strip joint in the middle of your neighborhood? Zoning regulations mean that your neighbor can't suddenly decide to turn his house into a strip joint.

      E

    • by dangitman (862676)
      If you are really a fan of a free market, you'd understand the reality that regulation means that it isn't free. Restrictions mean it isn't free. Taxation means it isn't free. Licensing means it isn't free.

      How can the market be free if the government isn't free to participate in it? Are these "free market" people scared of a little competition or something?

      Regulations, licensing, taxations, embargoes, tariffs, duties and other "pro-market" structures are "legal" uses of force by the State for one thing an

    • There are two ways to conduct business: competitively, or with the help of the State. Regulations, licensing, taxations, embargoes, tariffs, duties and other "pro-market" structures are "legal" uses of force by the State for one thing and one thing only: to take care of the businesses friendly with the State.

      Actually there's a third way, have the local infrastructure owned by the local community but have them open it up to all comers. IEEE's "Specturm" has an article on A Broadband Utopia [ieee.org]. Several cite

  • Congratulations, I have a masters in computer science & you've managed to confuse me. I don't even know what I want anymore. I guess I want government regulation that prevents situations like the one I'm in. Where I can only buy Cox cable and only Cox cable because my neighborhood made some ancient agreement when I didn't live here. Where's the competition? Nowhere. Free market my ass.

    They then pay experts to profess their love for a free market and deregulation -- unless that regulation help

    • by Anonymous Coward
      "Congratulations, I have a masters in computer science & you've managed to confuse me."

      Computer science majors are easy to confuse. Just ask them how to ask out a girl.
    • Congratulations, you are a victim of state-mandated monopolies. Government regulation got you into this mess; the city signed a contract giving Cox exclusive rights to your town. It is illegal for another provider to string up lines and offer cable service. Don't like it, petition your city council, tell them to a) make such contracts illegal and allow any company that wants to provide cable service.
      • I just finished my comment when I noticed yours. Just to clarify, this isn't a "state-mandated" problem by any means. Also, the contract signed between the city and the cable company may not necessarily be exclusive--it may be that there are just significant financial barriers to entry in the market that have created a kind of constructive monopoly (nitpicking, I know, but it is important to distinguish between purely contractual and purely economic restrictions or else risk misleading others).

        "Petitionin
      • by BeeBeard (999187)
        This may be the beer talking, but I just re-read your post and I seriously can't point to a single statement you made that is even true. It's not personal, I'm sure you were just trying to be helpful. It's just discouraging because I'm sure you will be modded up further as "informative", even though you're not informing anyone--you're feeding them lies. I mean even if you were to go so far as to break down every sentence into independent and dependent clauses, it reads like "wrong"..."wrong"..."nope"..."
    • Where I can only buy Cox cable and only Cox cable because my neighborhood made some ancient agreement when I didn't live here. Where's the competition? Nowhere. Free market my ass.

      This isn't quite true. You see, there were market forces at work when the franchise agreement between Cox Cable and your town or county was being negotiated. Whenever your area was making a move from broadcast programming into the cable world, there were probably a number of cable television players vying for the contract. For

    • Where I live we have Verizon phone service and Charter cable. Neither of which care to offer broadband in the area. Fiber optics pass right by us near the highway on public right-of-way but can't be accessed. Enough people in the area would like broadband to cover expenses but the town can't offer it due to state regulations.

      As a result the ONLY option at this point has been satellite or dial-up. Try using a VoIP phone on one of those connections!
  • It is simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Art (3335) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @10:11PM (#16667993)
    Goverment helping people or doing nice things for them is Socialism. Socialism is BAD.

    Throwing them to the wolves, however is not Socialism, therefore it must be good.
    • by billsoxs (637329)
      You need to smile more

      like this ;-)

    • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @11:33PM (#16668685)
      Government helping people in the US is socialism. In fact, any social spending or infrastructure spending in the US is socialism. Paying for grandma's health care is socialism.

      Paying Haliburton and other US contractors to rebuild Iraq--that's not socialism. The discriminator is this--who makes the money? If money is being spread among a bunch of little people, then that's socialism. If money is poured into a few large corporations whose executives make tens or hundreds of millions, then that's the free market. If it's profitable for the rich, it's the free market, but if you're giving money to a single mother of 2, then that's socialism. If you're helping the working poor pay their medical bills, that's socialism, and probably creeping totalitarianism.

      But we can brag on TV about building schools for Iraqis, and that's NOT socialism. But--you guess it--large American corporations have won contracts to rebuild those schools, along with those huge military bases over there. What is an what is not socialism has more to do with who gets to pocket the money than it does with any fidelity to Karl Marx. Care to look into how much federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans, compared to how much is spent on rebuilding Iraq? If you spend money in New Orleans, then small local firms may get some of the contracts, and the money may be spent, and most importantly earned, locally. If you spend in Iraq, all of the money goes into the coffers of large companies with sweetheart deals, such as Haliburton.

      Small mom-and-pop contractors don't have contacts in the Department of Defense and White House. But if you get big enough, you get to engage in nation-building as part of someone's "vision," like PNAC, and then that isn't socialism, even if you're building the very things that WOULD be socialism if you were building it for Americans back home.
      • by dal20402 (895630) *

        Wow. Great post. Too bad I'm out of mod points and also already posted.

        In light of your post it's interesting to think not only about what government spending constitutes "socialism," but also about exactly how different big business today is from "socialism," not only in its work for the government abroad, but here at home as well.

        Of course the best example is Wal-Mart. I've always found their logo, with plain block letters and a star in the middle, creepily Communist. And, sure enough, they have an ef

        • by bnenning (58349)
          The only difference between Wal-Mart and a Soviet store is that the Soviet store was run much less efficiently.

          Why do you think that is? Even granting the dubious assertion that Walmart has an effective monopoly, they still have to be efficient and keep prices down because competitors would emerge if they didn't. Monopolies aren't necessarily harmful; barriers to entry are, and many government regulations have the effect of raising those barriers rather than lowering them. Large companies have armies of law
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by dark_requiem (806308)
      Governments don't do nice things for people. Governments force some people to pay to do nice things for other people, whether they want to (or can afford to) or not. Socialism is slavery. Slavery is BAD.
  • Those communites may be unprofitable to service today, but if in five or 10 years the technology comes along to make it profitiable, then their lobbying will put them in a position to exploit it. As for the consumer in those communites today, tough. The customer first fad is over.
    • No its not, now its a marketing gimmick companies like AOL and major banks use to attract new customers.

      Until you have signed up with them, they will do everything the can to make you feel like you are coming first, then as soon as they have you, they give you a number and tell you to wait in line.
  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @10:19PM (#16668077) Homepage
    Obviously, no one has an intelligent design for creating new markets where none exist.
  • I suppose we'll never have to worry about seeing a Broadband Unification Board, will we?
  • for your right
    to brooaaaadband.
    • by slughead (592713)
      You gotta fight
      for your right
      to brooaaaadband.


      Broadband is not a right, but partying is.
  • Bad idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @10:33PM (#16668189) Homepage
    Nobody wants to hear it but I'll say it anyway: Municipally owned and operated ISPs are a bad idea. No matter how hot your technology is today, tomorrow's technology will be hotter and the municipality won't be able to react. Governments and government contractors never can. Their taxpayer-funded presence in the market will, however, serve as a very effective means of encouraging for-profit companies to go elsewhere.

    I have direct experience with this in the dialup market in Altoona PA in the late '90s. If you weren't happy with the sponsored ISP, tough luck. The small ISPs pulled out when they couldn't compete with Joe Taxpayer. I worked for one of those ISPs.

    You want municipal wireless? Fine, but understand that means you'll ONLY get whatever products and quality of service your town's government is capable of. Servers and static IPs? Ho ho, good luck. And you'll be the last town in the nation to get anything better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PCM2 (4486)

      You want municipal wireless? Fine, but understand that means you'll ONLY get whatever products and quality of service your town's government is capable of.

      The current trend is for municipalities to take bids from private companies. It's the same way a lot of government services operate ... you don't think there's an office at city hall where a guy interviews ironworkers for jobs building bridges, do you? I have faith that at least some of the companies [com.com] that are interested in building out and servicing

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by monkeydo (173558)
      Seems obvious to me. Free marketeers are opposed to monopolies just like everyone else. When governments enter the private sector they behave very similarly to monopolies, because they aren't playing with their own money. This leads to market failure. The article has no logic whatsoever, and the author makes no attempt to examine the logic of the reports that it criticizes.
    • by Maclir (33773)
      Sorry, I have to call BS on your premise.

      Now, why should a private company, whose main responsibility is to make profits for their shareholders, voluntarily upgrade their technology, particularly when they enjoy a monopoly in their service area? And you assume that a local government, whose main responsibility and accountability is to their citizens (who can vote them out every few years) would not be responsive to changes in technology?

      Are you sure you aren't automatically assuming government = bad, priva
      • by Spazmania (174582)
        Now, why should a private company, whose main responsibility is to make profits for their shareholders, voluntarily upgrade their technology, particularly when they enjoy a monopoly in their service area?

        If they enjoy a monopoly then there is little motivation. That holds true whether the monopoly came about as a result of earlier competition or as a result of a MUNICIPAL CONTRACT. You might even say that the point of my "premise" was that municipal involvement tends to creates such a monopoly where one mig
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chill (34294)
      No, you're wrong. You're making the assumption that a municipal wireless service will be a monopoly. As you state in your argument, their service will suck in pretty short order. That is when competitors step in and offer a "premium" service for a fee.

      Free wifi is nice, but if it boils down to dial-up speeds because of sub-standard equipment and implementation, then there will be a market for premium services. I can even envision the advertising "Tired of not being able to use your VoIP phone and comput
    • by toddestan (632714)
      And that is different from the large telecoms who have dragged their feet at upgrading their infastructure how exactly? Atleast if it's locally run, you'll have a better chance to do something about it when the time comes. If the telecom company doesn't care about your small town on 33.6kbps dial up right now, do you think they'll care in 2025 when you're still on 1.5mbps DSL?
    • I think the point is that sometimes, these are the last towns to get anything better anyway. Besides, is it really much worse to have a municipality running other ISPs out of town, denying users static IPs, than to have some other ISP doing the same thing?
    • No matter how hot your technology is today, tomorrow's technology will be hotter and the municipality won't be able to react

      [sarcasm]And Bells are really speedy about rolling out new technology [/sarcasm]. . . They promised video phone in the 1960s "real soon now".

      You say municipal governments won't upgrade their technology. Monopolies, regulated or not, aren't real quick to deploy new technolgy either. Like for instance, broadband internet in areas that are now considering municipal wireless internet.

      • by Spazmania (174582)
        I agree. Monopolies are stifle progress. So how is a taxpayer-funded monopoly with an extra helping of red tape the solution to that problem?
  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @10:40PM (#16668259)
    Strange how such rabid fans of a free-market wouldn't be interested in allowing market darwinism to play out.

    Government "competing" with industry is not a free market and there is no "market darwinism" to play out. Of the two competitors here, one can confiscate any amount of money they choose from everyone to pay for their service. It doesn't matter if anyone wants it, they need no voluntary "customers." They take whatever money they want and provide whatever service they want.

    Pretending that a company can compete with government, where government forces everyone to pay for their service, is a terrible twist of the word "competition." It's like saying that Wendy's can "compete" with McDonalds if the government passes a new law that everyone has to pay to eat all their meals at McDonalds, and then can show up and get the food they already had to pay for for no additonal charge. In order to go to Wendy's, you have to also buy a McDonalds meal and throw it away. That's not "free market competition."

    Note that I'm not saying anything in this post about whether or not municipalities should be allowed to offer internet access, or (and this is an entirely separate issue) whether or not they should do so. I'm just saying that calling government "competition" with free enterprise companies some sort of free market is absurd. It's not competition when one of the competitors gets to force everyone to "buy" their product, can charge whatever they want, can loose any amount of money without fear of going out of business, can provide any service and quality level with no effect on revenue, and can tax and regulate their competitors. Yes, there are some areas where a company manages to service the same sector government services in a different way, and I'm not saying it's impossible that some people would pay for another internet service even after paying for the government one, especially if the government one is run as badly as many government things are. But even if a lot of people end up paying for both the mandatory government service and a second, private service, it's still not free market competition.
    • Government "competing" with industry is not a free market and there is no "market darwinism" to play out. Of the two competitors here, one can confiscate any amount of money they choose from everyone to pay for their service. It doesn't matter if anyone wants it, they need no voluntary "customers." They take whatever money they want and provide whatever service they want.

      That's maybe true in a totalitarian state, but less so in real-world US of A.

      Take the Post Office, for example. It's technically a g

    • Pretending that a company can compete with government, where government forces everyone to pay for their service, is a terrible twist of the word "competition." It's like saying that Wendy's can "compete" with McDonalds if the government passes a new law that everyone has to pay to eat all their meals at McDonalds, and then can show up and get the food they already had to pay for for no additonal charge. In order to go to Wendy's, you have to also buy a McDonalds meal and throw it away. That's not "free mar

      • by voidptr (609)
        FedEx and UPS are not "alternatives." They provide separate services from the primary role of the post office (first class letter delivery), and are required *by statute* to charge significantly more for it.

        I can't legally start delivering mail in the US tomorrow for 37 cents an envelope.
    • It's like saying that Wendy's can "compete" with McDonalds if the government passes a new law that everyone has to pay to eat all their meals at McDonalds, and then can show up and get the food they already had to pay for for no additonal charge. In order to go to Wendy's, you have to also buy a McDonalds meal and throw it away. That's not "free market competition."
      For another example where this is already happening, consider the public school system.

      (In cash-strapped California, for instance, about HALF th

  • The assets deployed for the old tip-and-ring telephony were and are public trusts; protected monopolies for municipal utility use. Telcos have stolen these assets, their incumbent rights-of-way and easements for their own purposes-- shareholder return and equity. This massive theft goes untested and unnoticed.

    The low-hanging fruit of public assets-- the big cities-- are easy pickings. High-density infrastructure pays first. Rural areas and marginal density suburban areas pay less and cost more. Gone is the
  • by Lumpy (12016)
    Cable Tv companies make deals with localities they come into to make competition "illegal" so they dont have to compete. Hell TCI cablevision, now called Comcast demanded that not only cableTV operators could not come into the town I lived in when they started up, but also asked that community TV in neighborhoods, be licensed and regulated to the point they all went away. (Community TV was a single large tower with antennas and a couple of C band dishes ot put Free to air content onto a small neighborhood
  • This is similar to the ridiculous advertisements the cable/telecom industry has been putting on TV regarding net neutrality. They proudly proclaim that they are defending the consumer against evil money-grubbing corporations like Google or Cisco, offering no concrete argument as to why their assertions might be true (if you say it often and loudly enough, it must be true!). At the same time, they deny the truth: what they really want to do is eliminate consumer choice re: VoIP and VoD.

  • Universal truth... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lord Aurora (969557)
    FTFA:

    ...the real agenda is simply maximizing revenue.

    My history teacher told us that there are three keys to understanding American history:

    1. Great Britain.

    2. People are stupid.

    3. Follow the money.

    Great Britain doesn't apply here, of course, but the other two are universal...this article is news, but it isn't new. We should expect people to do things entirely for profit. And we should expect people to be blatantly two-faced. Plato or Aristotle or someone like that said that "Those who are too sm

  • Boy, James Madison, George Mason, and the rest of those guys were sure forward thinking individuals! And I never even knew this was a right!
  • ...of bullshit.

    The Reason Foundation is yet another free-market think tank that believes that eliminating government oversight in the broadband sector will result in broadband utopia.

    In my neck of the woods, there is a small community called Lake George, MN. Lake George is a nice small lakeside tourist town, population ~150 and growing. It's got a few nice cafes, some tourist shops. They just got their first apartment complex, and there's a lot of tourist dollars that go there every summer. There's a lo
  • The Canadian Coalition for Fair Digital Access sounds like a positive group. In reality they are a group of retailers attempting to abolish the media levy in Canada to make the environment more friendly to suing file sharers and otherwise pushing online music sales through turning their customers into instant criminals.
    They claim they want to protect Canadians from an "unfair" tax, when in reality they want to abolish the small media tax we pay to impose a bigger cost and restriction on those who use MP3s.
  • As much as I'm in favor of letting local communities provide broadband it isn't part of a real free market.

    I mean imagine if I argued, people who don't want the government to provide health care don't really believe in a free market since they don't want the government to compete in health care. This would be absurd. If the government offered everyone free health care the fact that other people could sell health insurance wouldn't really be relevent.

    Similarly towns have powers of compulsion that corporati

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