I f you, like us, are mourning the U.S. Supreme Court’s egregious
eminent domain ruling that virtually gives fat-cat developers title
to your home, there was some good news from the high court.
One ruling allows music producers to go after the pirates who allow everyone and his brother, sister, aunt and uncle to download tunes that by rights belong to the artists and their studios. Members of the Entitlement Generation who think everything they want should be free are screaming bloody murder, but the rest of us who understand that short-circuiting the marketplace is a shortcut back to the cave should rejoice.
Bottom line to the teary-eyed: If you want it bad enough, pay for it. And if you can’t afford it, get a job.
The second ruling is a bit more complicated but is at least as important. It ends, or at least curtails, the onerous entitlement that Congress granted to parasitic firms 20 years ago to use telecommunications giants as cash cows. In a sop to “consumers” following the court breakup of the telephone monopoly, Congress gave any wannabe telecom company coming down the pike access to the phone lines and switching networks of regional phone companies.
While some consumers benefited momentarily, the regional phone companies have been hamstrung and, in many respects, prohibited from competing on a level playing field — which ultimately hurts consumers.
Then, as cable companies expanded their digital networks throughout the country, the parasites demanded that they be allowed access to these “common carriers” as well. The cable companies resisted, and the regional phone companies, which had launched into digital services such as DSL, joined them.
The Supreme Court turned away the parasites, in essence telling them: If you’re serious about competing, build your own network.
It’s a sound ruling that clears the way for federal regulators to write new telecom rules that are more market oriented. Though several “consumer” groups are crying foul, actual consumers have nothing to fear. The “competition” afforded by Congress’ telecom legislation was phony, as it was based on stealing access from providers who’d invested heavily in telecom infrastructure.
Competition is still alive and well for all who are willing to invest the capital. Which is as it should be.