Net Neutrality, Congress, and Obama: The Scuffle Continues

by Stephan Kinsella on April 12, 2011

As reported on Wired, “The House of Representatives voted Friday to overturn net neutrality rules created by the FCC in December.” Obama said he will veto it.

Net Neutrality is complicated. It’s hard for some libertarians to figure out where to stand on it.

Here’s how I view it:

  1. It’s bad that the state helps cartelize industry.
  2. It’s bad that ISPs etc. probably have more market power than they otherwise would, and that there is less competition than there would be.
  3. But this is the state’s fault.
  4. Given it’s the state’s fault, should the state use its antitrust power/FTC power to block mergers or to break companies apart? I say no. You can’t trust the state that caused the problem in the first place to solve it by exercising unlibertarian and unconstitutional power and law.
  5. Given the current regime of state-intervention-caused limited competition, should the FCC impose Net Neutrality rules? I say no.1
  6. Given that the FCC did impose Net Neutrality rules, should Congress override them? I say a tepid yes.
  7. Given that Congress did the right thing, should Obama veto it? No.
  8. Will he anyway? Yes.
  9. Are we doomed? Yes. (Kidding. I hope.)


  1. Here’s why: Against Net Neutrality; Net Neutrality Developments; Libertarian Take on Net Neutrality; see also Harvard’s Yochai Benkler on Net Neutrality and Innovation. []

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