Insights du Jour - 2015-03-02

  • A very clarifying op-ed from Joel Kotkin: "Empire strikes back"

    Seven years after setting the world into crisis, the people who brought us the Great Recession appear to have regained their suzerainty over the nation’s political parties. Rather than being sent to the woodshed, or even to prison, the financial nabobs of high finance are now being wooed actively by most Republican candidates and by the singular serious Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton.

    Okay, I definitely need to work "suzerainty" into my blog posts more often. But the phrase "financial nabobs of high finance" is a little clumsy.

    Kotkin argues convincingly that neither Jeb Bush nor Hillary Clinton are likely to do anything about the too-cozy relationship between government and rent-seeking crony "capitalists".

    (Today's picture: fat cat. Get it?)

  • Oh, yeah: we got "network neutrality" now. Apparently, one of the major factors was John Oliver's rant on his HBO show. Henry Scanlon's perceptive analysis: "On Net Neutrality, Even John Oliver Would Call John Oliver An Idiot". On the "fast/slow lane" topic:

    Scaring you into thinking you’re going to be consigned to some kind of broadband back alley is another “shiny object” intended to distract. Here’s how Oliver describes it: “Ending net neutrality would allow big companies to buy their way into the fast lane, leaving everyone else in the slow lane.”

    Fast lanes, slow lanes, all kinds of lanes will develop and emerge and die and be replaced, based on market demand. Here’s how stupid that statement is: “Ending tech neutrality would allow Apple to provide faster iPads for more money, leaving everyone else with slower ones.” Or, “Ending car neutrality would allow Ford to have big dealerships all over the country, while Tesla has to struggle to find a market.”

    Companies setting different prices based on different levels of service: that's Free Freakin' Market 101. Imposing a procrustean one-size-fits-all model will kill any ability to use prices as signals, with inevitable collateral damage to service and innovation.

  • Or, you could check out the Tomo News take: