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Comment Re:I thought all /.ers were libertarians... (Score 1) 598

There are certain situations where the pure capitalistic model does not comply with the common good. Whenever there is a product or service that goes beyond "want" and transcends into "need", it may be beneficial for the public to have such a service regulated. This is especially important in areas where demand exceeds supply. Also, it may also greatly benefit the public to have certain services offered where there is no profit to be made, or worse, a loss incurred.

Some excellent examples of this are education, utilities, and libraries. Schools do not operate with profit in mind. As such, the whole amount given to the schools through your taxes are used solely to educate your children, as opposed to lining the pockets of the executives that would run them if they were a private organization. Regulated Electric Utilities operate in a much different version of this. In their case, their is an overseeing body that determines the maximum amount that they can charge for their goods or services, and that charge includes a modest profit margin built into the price. Libraries also do not operate with profit in mind.

The Internet has evolved to the point where it is a conglomeration of communication and information that necessary to do business in this world. If communications companies are allowed to charged based on the content of this service, prices will escalate without benefit to the public. The public will in turn use this service less, and the common good is now no longer being served.

I'm all for smaller government, and feel that corruption and pandering for the upper 4% has gone on long enough. However, leaving a necessary service that serves the public unprotected from price fixing and collusion is not the answer either. When a third party company demands money for a service that you may happen to use with no increased benefit for you, it has a name.

It's called extortion.

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