Did a Republican U.S. Senator just imply that a federal regulatory agency was engaging in “regulatory overreach” from a recent ruling that actually benefits greater numbers of individuals and small businesses?
To no one’s surprise corporate-friendly Republicans declared a war on the little guy in America by vowing to pass legislation that would allow the larger, wealthier telecom companies to impose fees for providing faster broadband service, what John Oliver calls “cable company fuckery“. This of course would negatively impact consumers and leave those websites in the dust who couldn’t compete with larger, well-funded ones. At risk here is the loss of a democratic internet that we all benefit from.
Conservative misinformation has many people thinking that the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to regulate the internet much like they have with the phone companies for years is more government over reach that jeopardizes personal liberties. This is the narrative that has been spoon fed to congressional representatives by powerful, profitable telecom companies as a talking point to block the FCC’s recent ruling to ensure all Web traffic is treated equally. It’s also the narrative parroted by the talking heads at many right-wing media sources.
In reality the rule change would ensure that most people can surf the net without being encumbered by slower sites who can’t afford higher rates they would be charged by corporate giants Comcast, Verizon, Time-Warner and AT&T. This was a win for the little guy. A BIG win, let there be no doubt about it. Every freedom-loving person should hale the decision that gives them greater access to information. But one U.S. Senator has exposed the connection between the GOP and corporate special interests in his opposition to this win for the little guy.
In the Senate, John Thune, a North Dakota Republican, called on Democrats “to join a bipartisan effort.”
“The fight to keep the Internet unburdened from regulatory overreach is far from over,” Thune, who is chairman of the Commerce Committee, said in a statement. SOURCE
If this statement from Senator Thune didn’t immediately raise an eyebrow or turn your head with a WTF! exclamation then let me spell it out for you. The FCC’s ruling was influenced largely by concerned citizens and small businesses speaking out against a decision that would hurt them while it favored the telecoms. For Thune to characterize this as government overreach then is ludicrous.
These agencies are here after all to ensure that the public’s best interests are served, not the special interests – or so we would like to believe. It’s hard to tell anymore where promotiing of the general welfare ends and crony capitalism begins.
Republicans are always quick to let us know their opposition to most government oversight but almost always when it involves regulatory matters that they claim hurts businesses. And not just any business but the powerful, profitable ones like Comcast, Verizon, Time-Warner and AT&T.
Small businesses and the working class people seldom see such zeal from their congressional representative when it comes to their needs. In fact, if our complaint involves abuse by those powerful, profitable businesses you will find how quick your elected official is to point out to you how any attempt to balance the scale against being gouged by certain business practices could hurt the free markets and thus threaten a company’s profits. Then you would be accused of being a job killer for not allowing the invisible hand of the market to right those wrongs the way blue-blooded capitalists intended. You might even be accused of being un-American by the staunchest of free-markets devotees.
The income gap in this country gets wider every month. If the powerful, profitable special interests are successful with the aid of the Republican-controlled Congress in opposing the FCC’s recent ruling, it will gain momentum in widening ever larger. More and more people will be pushed even further from sharing in the prosperity that has already seen large gains on Wall Street. Main Street will once again be expected to deal with it on their own.