RUSH: I spoke about my friend Professor Hazlett’s book. It’s… Let me grab the actual copy of it. Switch the graphic to the professor’s book.
We’ve actually got it ready to go. If you’re watching on the Dittocam, you can see it there. It’s Thomas Winslow Hazlett. Professor Hazlett, my old buddy from Sacramento. The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone. Now, I’m recommending the book here. It’s not specifically and only about net neutrality. It’s one of the greatest ways that you can learn about government regulation — particularly of communications and technology — and how it stifles growth.
It does expose net neutrality for what it really is, as opposed to what people think that it is. A lot of media regulation is dated back to an act from 1934. It hasn’t been modernized since. It’s punitive, it’s old-fashioned, and it is unworkable, and it’s still being used to plug in things like net neutrality, which is the exact opposite of what the proponents want you to think that it is. The way to look at this is: Look at all the choice that we have in technology today and communications. Look at all of the choices versus what it was just 30 years ago. Thirty years ago, you had three… Well, if you count PBS, you had four.
You had four television networks in all of America, and you had one cable news channel with CNN. You had radio, which was so regulated that it wasn’t allowed and permitted to get into opinionated programming because of something called the Fairness Doctrine. It was very limiting. It put limits on station operators and owners. It wasn’t worth the hassle to engage in the kind of programming that exists on radio today.
Today we have millions of options for digital entertainment. And it’s all in your back pocket now. It’s all on your phone. You can watch anything from anywhere in the world. You can call anybody from anywhere in the world for a pittance, for a relative pittance. And most people think that the government is a minor player in this. And when it comes to the internet, they have been.
One of the reasons the internet has exploded and one of the reasons there is so much diversity and so much competition and why so much of the content is free, is because the government was caught totally off guard by it. And by the time the internet grew and expanded, the genie was out of the bottle. Net neutrality is nothing more than an attempt to get the government back in charge of the internet and regulating it under false premise.
And for people that want government in charge of everything, under the premise that only government can make things fair, and only government can make things equal. You know, net neutrality is a very susceptible thing. But it is the exact opposite of what net neutrality is. Net neutrality is an attempt by the government to grab regulatory power over what you have been able to do prior, which is buy what you want, watch what you want, go where you want, pay for what you want to pay for.
You’ve had a smorgasbord. We all have things that we can choose from, and that will change if the government is allowed, just by its very nature and existence, to start regulating this stuff under the false premise that none of this is fair.
Do you realize one of the great points Professor Hazlett makes in his book, The Political Spectrum — if net neutrality as it is advocated today, had been in place in 2007, the iPhone would not have been permitted. It would have been portrayed as unfair competition. It only had one cellular company, AT&T. That would have not been permitted. All of the technology in the iPhone would have been subject to much greater regulation because not everybody else had it.
In other words, there would have been a great penalty for the invention of the technology necessary to make the iPhone succeed. It was the fact that there wasn’t any massive regulation at the time, which allowed the iPhone. And it’s important because every cell phone since 2007 has been modeled after the iPhone one way or another, in industrial design, in industrial dress, trade dress, the way it looks. And not just the hardware, the software, too. That’s how impactful it has been.
And if net neutrality had been in place in 2007-2008, it would have been next to impossible to pass the regulatory hurdles to get the thing built and sold because it would have been said in one way or another: anti-competitive, unfair. The original price was five and six hundred bucks. That would not have been permitted. Any number of things.
Hazlett some great, great points, some great education, some knowledge about net neutrality. And then there was a companion piece by our old buddy Seton Motley about the Democrats’ and the left’s latest efforts to implement net neutrality and destroy the freedom that exists on the internet throughout our communications, a little bit more than that.