FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Stop Crony Capitalism: Protect the Net!

Pretty soon, we’ll all be paying a whole lot more money for Internet service. A few days ago the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality went into effect. If nothing is done, it easy to see the handwriting on the wall. After a waiting period of no changes (intended to diffuse public outrage), it’s expected that the telecom giants will broker deals with massive companies like Google and Amazon, giving them the virtual version of a bulk shipping discount while the rest of us pay premium rates to download, upload, and stream. It’s a death knell for struggling small businesses.

There’s still hope for the supporters of Net Neutrality, however, as a Congressional Review Act in the House could overturn the FCC’s ruling. While the left has mobilized repeatedly to defend Net Neutrality, and many conservative citizens have spoken up in earlier phases of the campaign, Republican elected officials are dragging their feet.

It’s hard to figure out why. The attack against Net Neutrality comes as a heavy-handed act of good-ol’-boy crony capitalism that favors the profits of telecom giants over small businesses’ (and everyone else’s) need for fair Internet access and affordability. Conservative voters want Net Neutrality. Senate Republicans have stepped up and helped the CRA move through the Senate. Hundreds of small to mid-size businesses across the political spectrum have demanded Net Neutrality.

One Net Neutrality advocate group is keeping trackof officials’ stances as people struggle to get the House of Representatives to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the repeal of Net Neutrality. The Democrats are lined up in a neat little row in defense of equal access to the Internet. The Republicans, on the other hand, seem strangely reluctant to walk their talk and fight back against crony capitalism that rewards Big Business at the expense of John Q. Citizen.

It’s one of those awkward moments when the populace on the right and left shares a common protest chant: Don’t Raise Our Rates! None of us need to pay more money for worse Internet service just to satisfy telecom companies’ greed. And that’s what this is all about.

Whether you think of the Internet as a commons-based resource or an equal-access marketplace, both lovers of capitalism and the commons should know that ending Net Neutrality is just plain unfair business. The Internet is a vitally important aspect of contemporary economies, businesses, education, communication, arts and culture, politics and so much more. When fast and slow lanes (guess which one you’ll pay more for) let concentrated wealth buy Internet privileges, the little guys (and that’s the vast majority of us) are going to have a harder and harder time running our businesses, accessing information, and contributing to our society, culture, and economy. Telecom companies’ greed shouldn’t be allowed to aggravate the already horrific inequalities in our country, especially when doing so is flatly unjustified.

Conservatives, this one’s on you. House Republicans are the ones that need to move into action to stop this act of crony capitalism. They’ve certainly campaigned enough on that theme to recognize it in action; now it’s time to stop it. The Congressional Review Act is the mechanism by which they could act to ensure small businesses have a fair chance. Whether you’re on the right or left of the political spectrum, take a moment to visit the Battle for the Net websiteand contact those representatives.

More articles by:

Rivera Sun is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and other books, and the cofounder of the Love-In-Action Network.

January 24, 2019
David Rosen
Roe: 47 Years and Counting
Joseph Essertier
Warmongering Over Warmbier: US Hypocrisy and a Double Standard on North Korea
Glenn Sacks
L.A. Teachers Strike Dispatch #9: What We Won
M. G. Piety
An Essay on Grief
Karen J. Greenberg
Creating a Global Lost Generation
Jesse Jackson
America Has Lost Its Common Sense
Noa Mendelsohn Aviv
Rebranding Canada’s Solitary Confinement Policy Doesn’t Change What It Is
Ramzy Baroud
False ‘Victories’: Is the PA Using the ‘State of Palestine’ to Remain in Power?
Binoy Kampmark
Eyeing the White House: the Democratic Field
Russell Mokhiber
Single Payer Gold Standard HR 676 Rest in Peace
David Swanson
The World Will End in Fire
David Macaray
Celebrity Bullshit
Dean Baker
How Worried Should We be If China’s Growth Rate Slows to 6.4%?
Wim Laven
What Makes America Great?
January 23, 2019
Paul Street
Time for the U.S. Yellow Vests
Charles McKelvey
Popular Democracy in Cuba
Kenn Orphan
The Smile of Class Privilege
Leonard Peltier
The History Behind Nate Phillips’ Song
Kenneth Surin
Stalled Brexit Goings On
Jeff Cohen
The System’s Falling Apart: Were the Dogmatic Marxists Right After All?
Cira Pascual Marquina
Chavez and the Continent of Politics: a Conversation with Chris Gilbert
George Ochenski
Turning Federal Lands Over to the States and Other Rightwing Fantasies
George Wuerthner
Forest Service Ignores Science to Justify Logging
Raouf Halaby
In the Fray: Responses to Covington Catholic High
Kim C. Domenico
No Saviors But Ourselves; No Disobedience Without Deeper Loyalty
Ted Rall
Jury Trial? You Have No Right!
Michael Doliner
The Pros and Cons of Near Term Human Extinction
Lee Ballinger
Musical Unity
Elliot Sperber
The Ark Builders
January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Glenn Sacks
Teachers Strike Dispatch #8: New Independent Study Confirms LAUSD Has the Money to Meet UTLA’s Demands
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposable Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail