03.21.10 FCC Broadband Plan Analogous to Healthcare Reform

The Washington Post’s Rob Pegoraro has a brilliant piece in today’s paper drawing an analogy between the FCC’s timid plan for bringing broadband internet access to the masses and the mishmash of a health care bill that might or might not get passed later today.  His conclusion is that the FCC’s plan is

not too different from the administration’s health-care plan– another middle-of-the-road measure that keeps much of the current market intact.

So will we have a grown-up debate about the ways and means of building out broadband, or are we in for a round of uninformed yammering about FCC disconnection panels?

Big surprise, eh?  Our political system is frozen, with bold reform action impossible on any and all areas of policy.  Determined centrists (the best pundit example of which is another Post columnist, David Broder, who would much rather see bipartisanship than results), laud the enforced paralysis built into our political system, because it “saves” us from revolution.

And that’s the problem.  The status quo serves only those who already have all the power.  Only a revolution can overturn government by the Fortune 500 for the Fortune 500.  And the infamous Supreme Court Citizens United decision further locks in our immutable power structures.  As giant corporations throw billions of dollars into this year’s elections, they will ensure that they continue to control all levers of government and prevent outcomes that serve anyone other than their management.

No wonder that the FCC doesn’t propose a true democratization and competition in the broadband market.  Doing so would mean career suicide for the authors.

You see, competition (ala Adam Smith) and democracy are just fine — as long as we predetermine who the winners are.

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