the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

Archive for August, 2010

Google: do no evil

Posted by ecoshift on August 15, 2010

I’m still looking for Google’s justification for this move with Verizon. I’m a Verizon customer. Between my broadband provider and Verizon’s data access charges I already pay 100 a month for internet access. The potential for carving off elements of my current data access for additional charges (particularly if you are asking me to trust Verizon to be fair and reasonable in assessing charges for additional services) is a bit disturbing. Up till now I’ve appreciated Google’s ad based rather than access based business model for data services. Particularly their bid in the 700mhz spectrum auction several years ago. What’s up Google?

Update: Here’s Google’s justification.

This is just in from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
A Review of Verizon and Google’s Net Neutrality Proposal
Legislative Analysis by Cindy Cohn

Efforts to protect net neutrality that involve government regulation have always faced one fundamental obstacle: the substantial danger that the regulators will cause more harm than good for the Internet. The worst case scenario would be that, in allowing the FCC to regulate the Internet, we open the door for big business, Hollywood and the indecency police to exert even more influence on the Net than they do now.

On Monday, Google and Verizon proposed a new legislative framework for net neutrality. Reaction to the proposal has been swift and, for the most part, highly critical. While we agree with many aspects of that criticism, we are interested in the framework’s attempt to grapple with the Trojan Horse problem. The proposed solution: a narrow grant of power to the FCC to enforce neutrality within carefully specified parameters. While this solution is not without its own substantial dangers, we think it deserves to be considered further if Congress decides to legislate.

Unfortunately, the same document that proposed this intriguing idea also included some really terrible ideas. It carves out exemptions from neutrality requirements for so-called “unlawful” content, for wireless services, and for very vaguely-defined “additional online services.” The definition of “reasonable network management” is also problematically vague. As many, many, many have already pointed out, these exemptions threaten to completely undermine the stated goal of neutrality.

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Vulgar Keynesianism

Posted by ecoshift on August 1, 2010

Goldwater looks good in retrospect…

Four Deformations of the Apocalypse
Published: July 31, 2010

IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.

More fundamentally, Mr. McConnell’s stand puts the lie to the Republican pretense that its new monetarist and supply-side doctrines are rooted in its traditional financial philosophy. Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes.

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