The FCC voted to regulate the internet so that service providers cannot charge different kinds of users or content providers (e.g., streaming a Netflix movie) more than any others. Some are hailing this ruling as “net neutrality,” making it possible for the internet to remain free and open. Others are condemning these rules as government regulation of internet that will quench innovation and create a cumbersome, poor-running “Obamanet.” What do you think? [Read more…]
President Obama has embraced the principle of “net neutrality,” meaning that internet providers shouldn’t charge some big-content providers more than others. Towards that end, the President wants to regulate the internet like any other utility. As opposed to just tailoring a specific and limited regulation dealing with the issue. He wants to take over the whole online universe, using a public-utility law written in 1934. [Read more…]
French economist Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Economics for showing the inter-relationship between markets and government regulations. According to Matt O’Brien’s explanation, government regulation of company’s “excess profits” is assumed to be a good thing. [Read more…]
The manufacture of traditional incandescent light bulbs will be illegal, as of January 1. Compact flourescent bulbs (those with the corkscrew shape) and Light Emitting Diodes, which look something like the old bulbs invented by Thomas Edison, will have to replace them. You can still buy the old bulbs and stores can still sell them until they run out of stock, but it will be against the law to manufacture or import them. The new bulbs use less energy and last longer, but they are more expensive.
If the new lighting technology saves so much money in the long run, shouldn’t the free market take care of this? As opposed to a legal prohibition? Or is this a case in which the free market doesn’t meet a social good, in this case, saving energy? [Read more…]