Mayor Bill de Blasio Supports Net Neutrality, Because of Income Inequality

Bill de Blasio testifies in this AP file photo.
AP Photo/Mike Groll

New York’s socialist mayor, Bill de Blasio – who apparently lives in a grim alternate universe where access to the Internet is “a luxury only available to the privileged few” – wrote an op-ed endorsing the secret new FCC rules that he hasn’t read, because he thinks government control of the Internet will solve “income inequality:”

It’s no secret I consider income inequality the greatest challenge of our time. And whether you’re my age or my teenage son Dante’s, it’s clear: the Internet has become fundamental to solving it. Like electricity in the 1800s, the Internet is now an essential building block of economic opportunity.

It doesn’t just connect us to our friends and family through Skype or Facebook. It links us to job opportunities, critical services, and troves of information. It allows us to check whether our children have homework, take advantage of new education tools, or build a business. More and more each day, the Internet — like electricity — is turning into a basic utility. And this critical resource should be treated as such.

All this points to one conclusion: we must have affordable broadband.

But far too many Americans struggle to afford this common service — or lack it altogether. In New York City, home of the second largest tech sector in the country, we pay more for less when it comes to broadband access. And the reason is fairly evident.

Internet access is now essentially controlled by four companies. Comcast and Time Warner nearly have a complete lock on broadband in the markets they control, covering some 50 million American homes. They’re now looking to merge, which would put them in control of about half of the nation’s broadband subscribers. A significant number of Americans also use their smartphones for broadband access — and Verizon and AT&T together own 64 percent of cell phone service.

That’s why we need the right rules safeguarding the fast and open Internet. Access to it shouldn’t be a luxury only available to the privileged few.

At least these Net Neut supporters have given up all pretense of being high-tech forward-looking bridge-to-the-future types. This is all about using 1930s regulations to impose 1920s collectivist ideals on the Web, which is just like the electrical grid in the 1800s. Twenty-three skiddoo!

As mentioned yesterday, anyone who still believes government price controls make things cheaper and better is a shambling relic of a previous century who probably shouldn’t use a smart phone without supervision, lest they tap on those pretty flashing ads for free magical phone tuneups and end up infesting their machines with viruses.

Bill de Blasio doesn’t think about these issues much further than left-wing slogans about how all that is good should be free, FOR THE CHILDREN!, but after watching what he’s doing to his city, the rest of us should take his endorsement as a huge warning sign, especially when he starts waxing nostalgic for the glory days of telephone regulations and presenting Net Neutrality as a magic elixir that will cure “income inequality:”

The latest findings show: the fastest growing and best-paying jobs are coming from the tech sector. And tech start-ups need to know they can get their content out there without prohibitive fees.

But it isn’t just the tech sector that needs a fair and open Internet. Small businesses added about two-thirds of all new jobs over the past decade and a half. We need to ensure that all businesses can come into existence, grow and thrive in New York City.

That’s why the Commission’s proposals mark such a momentous milestone. They demonstrate a steadfast commitment to ensuring this technology remains a tool for advancing goals related to equity, education, innovation, economic growth, and smart and responsive government.

Take a parent trying to connect to our Department of Education services online — or a high school student trying to complete a history project. The Internet has become crucial for parental engagement, and sometimes it’s the only way kids can do their homework. Without unambiguous rules protecting it, these connections could become much slower and more cumbersome — for communities who already have limited access to fast and open Internet.

I’ve often said that Net Neutrality is a “solution” in search of a problem. Don’t take it from me – take it from Bill de Blasio. All sorts of things “could” and “might” happen, unless we give the government crushing regulatory power over the Internet right now! Never mind the fast, inexpensive, ubiquitous service that has been provided across an immense nation with astounding speed – we need to freeze the Net solid and start chipping it into little pieces with regulatory hammers so we can redistribute it!

If you want to reduce “income inequality,” get rid of socialism, government wage controls, government mandates that eat up our disposable income, and quantitative easing policies that print bales of money and hand them directly to wealthy investors.

Tear down the tottering edifice of statism people like de Blasio endorse so we can have a real economic boom, unencumbered by fabulously expensive, incredibly inept, and thoroughly corrupt government. Keep your grubby paws off our Internet. (And for God’s sake, don’t fall for the trap of “municipal Internet,” in which the government gets to run the Internet access business directly, while completely insulated from market reality… dumping the cost of failure and bureaucratic bloat onto helpless taxpayers.)

By the way, some of those ostensible “monopolies” including Comcast actually support Net Neutrality, even though they’re targeted as robber barons in rhetoric like de Blasio’s.

That might seem strange, unless you remember how anti-competition works. Anti-competition is an incredibly expensive product sold by Big Government to its largest corporate supporters, with the rest of us quietly compelled to subsidize much of the price. The product is delivered in the form of regulations that hurt the big players a bit… but absolutely murder their smaller competitors. Remember how ObamaCare began with health insurance companies portrayed as heartless profiteers… and ended with them having a direct cash pipeline from the U.S. Treasury, complete with a bailout plan, plus a regulatory scheme that made entry into their protected markets harder than ever? Same thing with Net Neutrality.