RUSH: I’ve had a bunch of people approach me overnight about net neutrality. We discussed it on the program yesterday. And a couple guys, one really good friend in particular said his stepson is a very well educated Millennial Libertarian who nevertheless — a Libertarian, you know what those guys are, you know what Libertarians are. Libertarians, they want as little government anywhere, in many cases, to an extreme. The only government they want is national defense and border control, and after that, get government out of the way.
But this particular Millennial, stepson, Libertarian, is all for the federal government regulating telecom, regulating the internet. And the reason why is because he is convinced that the government is the only agency that can make sure he’s going to continue to get high speed Netflix.
That if net neutrality is rolled back and done away with, that the AT&Ts of the world and the Comcasts of the world are going to be able to charge you through the nose for slower and slower speeds and you’re never gonna be able to afford what it would cost to get normal speeds. And so the government needs to come in and keep it fair.
And I wrote back a series of answers to questions and observations about this in an attempt to be persuasive. But, you know, what really got me about it was that even my good friend, I could sense from his notes that even my good friend is on the fence about this, which tells me how successful the pro-net neutrality BS is and how successful it has been. Net neutrality is a horrible name for what they’re talking about here anyway.
So here’s just a series of excerpts of things that I wrote back to my friend. Actually, this kind of inspired me to even be more persuasive, try to be more persuasive, come up with more explanations and arguments that would be effective. And one of the things I wrote is, “Tell your stepson that after every piece of legislation designed to keep the costs of cable and cellular service down, the rates have risen astronomically. It’s a rite of passage.”
I said, “If you want, I’ll go back through the legislative record and I’ll show you. I’ll show you every telecom — I’ll show you the McCain legislation designed to lower cable costs. I’ll show you exactly what happened to them within six months of the bill being signed.”
The government does not mean cheaper. The government has never meant cheaper. The government doesn’t mean equal. The government doesn’t mean fair. It never has. What the government means, in this context, is reduced services and less competence. It is competition that makes prices lower. It’s competition that enables innovation, better services. And this is a classic example of liberals succeeding in making people believe that corporations and industry are the enemy of people, that they are out to harm people, that they’re out to financially screw people. In the case of the pharmaceutical business, they’re out to kill their customers.
And the government is the great fixer, government is the tamer of these wild financial beasts who want to deprive you of your Netflix and your Hulu and whatever else you watch. It’s classic how they have succeeded in making people believe that only the government can fix problems and make things fair. When you look at anything the government has its hands in, it isn’t efficient, it isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t work!
Now, one thing my buddy said to me that his stepson is worried about is that his prices will skyrocket if net neutrality is rolled back. And he’s worried about the speed at which Netflix will be able to send data over his fiberoptic cable to his house. He’s afraid that the internet service providers are gonna roll back speeds and charge through the roof for them and his viewing will be interrupted by buffering or erratic, broken connections.
And I said, “You need to tell your stepson that speeds are already being regulated. Speeds are already being priced.” You know, AT&T and Comcast already throttle their customers on unlimited data plans. I don’t know how many people know this. But a lot of people go out and buy unlimited data because they think for a single monthly fee they’re gonna be able to use whatever amount of data they want, and there will be no additional charge.
And that’s true. But what people are unaware of is that right now, under net neutrality — because the Obama rules are in place — many of these providers throttle the speed at which the data is delivered to keep their costs down.
You may have unlimited data, but they’re the ones throttling it. Once you reach a certain ceiling, they’re slowing down the data speeds to their customers. They’re already doing it! And there’s no penalty for it. They don’t even know that it’s going on. It’s already happening. T-Mobile, in fact, got caught. T-Mobile, in their unlimited data plan, was only gonna provide data speeds to give you 720p video quality, not even HD. That was gonna be the tradeoff.
“You want unlimited data for a cheap price? Fine. You’re not gonna get HD quality.” When that was learned, all hell broke loose and T-Mobile had to modify their plan. But speed is like anything else; it’s like anything else you buy. You pay more for the best! There’s nothing new about it. There’s no fairness about it nor equality. That’s not even a factor. They love the UPS example. They love the FedEx example and Amazon. They love pointing out that Amazon ships its packages through FedEx and they’re all treated the same.
But they’re not! They’re not… In the first place, FedEx isn’t even regulated. Number two, you can buy any kind of speed delivery you want. The faster you want it delivered, the more you’re gonna pay for it. There is no equality and sameness in terms of FedEx or UPS delivery. You pay for faster delivery. Or, if you don’t want to pay for faster delivery, you don’t pay as much, and you don’t get it as soon. Imagine if somebody proposed delivery neutrality and claimed that all packages would be delivered at the same speed.
What incentive would any company have to get your package to you quickly if there’s something called delivery neutrality, where you can’t buy faster delivery speed and you just have to deal with whatever they want to do? If there’s no competition and if there is literally no pressure on the providers to get that package to you for any reason, you may never know when it’s gonna show up! And this is what they’re proposing for internet service? I don’t know. I just… I think this is not that complicated to understand. It’s that people aren’t taking the time.
Prices are rising now.
Prices have been rising since prices were established.
The idea that net neutrality’s gonna stop price increases is folly. Net neutrality is not gonna mandate that Netflix can’t raise prices or throttle delivery speeds. You know, even now with Netflix you have to pay more for 4K. If you want to stream in 4K, you’ve gotta pay more per month than what you would regularly pay for standard HD picture quality. How did that happen if net neutrality is designed to stop them from doing things like that? We’re living under net neutrality now. How come Netflix charges more for 4K? I thought everything was gonna be equal.
RUSH: Look, folks, it really isn’t that complicated. Net neutrality is a liberal idea just like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a liberal idea, just like Planned Parenthood’s a liberal idea, just like Obamacare’s a liberal idea. What’s good in it? What’s good about it? Why not be suspicious of it? Why not let the market work? Let the market work. Why have the government — the people that don’t know anything about any of this — start regulating it? ‘Cause you know what’s gonna happen: Whoever gives politicians the most money is gonna determine how the internet operates and where the power is there, not the market.
You know something else? If net neutrality had been the law of the land in 2007, the iPhone could never have come to market. Do you know why? Many of you iPhone owners may have forgotten, but the iPhone for the first two or three years was an AT&T exclusive. You know why? Steve Jobs had demands. He was not gonna let the carrier name be on the front or back of the device. He was not gonna let the carrier put any of their own stupid, gum-up-the-works apps on the phone.
Apple was gonna control the whole process: the manufacturing, the marketing, the customer service. AT&T is the only telecom that would do it, that would give up total control. Now, if net neutrality had been the law of the land, that would not have been permitted. Apple would not have been permitted to only offer the phone to AT&T customers. That would have been discriminatory. That would have been unfair to Verizon subscribers and Sprint subscribers. But because there was no net neutrality, Jobs had the option to create the best operating atmosphere and circumstances for his product — and look what happened, with zero regulation additional.