Free Market Faith

I was reading an article today by Marc Adler titled A Parallel Mainstream when I came across the words, “free market faith.”  Those three words do indeed seem to sum up the right sided politics of our country.

We’ve been watching this parallel world for some time…this through the looking glass prism of an upside down universe, where black is white and white is black.

Just today, my in-box included the following missive:

Dear Friends,
This is a real petition that you have to click on and sign, not one of those add your name to the list type that are worthless. If you do not want the White House controling (sic) what you read and/or send on the internet, please read below, click on the link and sign this petition. It is possible for those, like me, that have internet prayer chains; they could be stopped.
Love in prayer,

Stop Obama’s Internet Takeover
+ + + + + + Everett, thank you for signing our petition opposing the FCC’s planned takeover of the Internet. Net Neutrality imposes government control on the free market of the Internet and is nothing more than a statist power grab. Forward this message to your friends today and ask them to join you by clicking below and signing our national petition.
+ + + + + + Tea Party success is the motivating force behind another federal government power grab of our free speech rights to seize control of the Internet — regulating our access to news and information!

Prior to the FCC introducing the Net Neutrality rules on December 20, Grassfire Nation will deliver tens of thousands of petitions to each of the five FCC commissioners including chairman Julius Genachowski who has said this government power grab is necessary to “preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet.”

Take a moment to join with me and other American citizens who oppose this attack on our freedom by clicking below and adding your name to this important petition:

[More on later.]

In right wing world:

Obama started TARP, not Bush.

Obama was solely responsible for bailing out GM…Bush had nothing to do with it.

Regulation is bad for banks and all business.

The reason the banks got into trouble was because of Fannie and Freddy and the Community Reinvestment Act. (As Mr. Adler points out – that doesn’t explain how all the banks in the rest of the world who had absolutely nothing to do with Fannie, Freddie or CRA were involved in the crisis.)

There is no global warming (who cares what the consensus of the world’s scientists believes – THEY are not God!).

The world is 6,000 years old (is carbon dating only acceptable science when it comes to the Shroud of Turin?).

People walked with dinosaurs.

EPA is the reason we have lost jobs, causing companies to off shore our jobs because of the environmental concerns.  (I guess free trade agreements had nothing to do with it.)

And those who believe the free trade agreements have something to do with it, blame only Clinton – not knowing that under Bush 7 more agreements were signed.

The Department of Education is why we’re falling behind (not quite sure why this one is an issue, since education doesn’t seem to be something they really do care about).

The government takeover of…(name your own sector of the economy; in the above case, it’s the Internet).

And on and on and on…

Just so we can be clear on what net neutrality is, let me provide the explanation I had to provide to a Tea Party candidate during an interview at the Seattle Times (which the staff had some difficulty trying to explain).

Let’s lay out the scenario — we have Comcast, an Internet Service Provider, who also has their hand in delivering cable networks and, more recently, VOIP (Voice Over the Internet Protocol — you can make calls using your computer, rather than a telephone line).

Net neutrality simply means no company has control over who gets promoted to the top of the list before anyone else.  It is the consumer who gets to choose who and what content they want to view.

In Comcast’s case, they are competing with (my example) Netflix.  If Comcast is allowed to control the speed of the delivery of the content that comes through their Internets lines, they could effectively put Netflix out of business.

It also means those in control (the media giants) of the Internet would be the ones to determine what we get to see and from whom we get to see it.  We cannot allow others to make these decisions for us.  The content should be open and we consumers should be the one to make choices, not Comcast or any of the other giant ISP carriers.

But, in right wing world the opposite is true,

“Net Neutrality imposes government control on the free market of the Internet and is nothing more than a statist power grab.”

Unfortunately, a recent experience with a tea party relative has given me some insight.

And it boils down to this.  If the information did not come from a right wing source, Fox or Sarah Palin, any information you use to discredit any falsehood the right is promoting is not credible and, therefore, will do nothing to change their opinion on the subject.

After several weeks, I learned you cannot debate any issue with someone who doesn’t believe anything you provide as credible data refuting their position.

The Empress Palin (my thanks to friend Mario for that depiction) has convinced them they are the “real” America, that all media (center or left) is “lamestream” and only their version of reality is true – regardless that facts and history refute 90% of what they spoon feed their believers.

You cannot debate someone who does not have an open mind and who is not making an honest effort to learn the truth. You cannot convince anyone who has traded the teachings of their religious faith for the religion of the free markets, something that only exists in their minds.  There is no such thing as a ‘free market.”  Just another bumper sticker slogan they have been marketed to believe is true.

The question is – how do we change the paradigm?

5 comments. Leave a Reply

  1. Great points Diana; although I am fairly certain that carbon dating puts the Shroud of Turin under question, and so is probably completely unacceptable to the right. But we shouldn’t feel bad; climate science has company now that the CBO has been declared “opinion” by the political George Hamilton.

  2. Lew Merrick

    I think the [b]idiocy[/b] of those who believe in [i]The Free Market[/i] should be self-evident to anyone with [b]experience[/b] in engineering or technology. Just about two weeks ago, the Sunday morning flailing about politics and economics pretending to be analysis did a segment on a “new, privately developed technology to unclog arteries.” I don’t remember the name it was presented under, but it was the [b][i]RotoBlator[/i][/b] developed at the University of Washington College of Medicine back in the mid-1980’s. I know as [b]I[/b] designed and developed several components of the system. A company (Heart Technology) was “spun off” from the UW to “commercialize” that product back in the mid-1990’s. Several shell-game transfers of ownership later, it’s the new “hot thing” in medical technology!

  3. Lew Merrick

    As this system does not allow paragraph formatting, I continue here. The FACT is that it takes 2-3 decades to develop new technological products. The first practical microcomputer was developed (at MIT) in 1967 — after more than 15 years of taxpayer funded R&D. The first COMMERCIALLY PRACTICAL microcomputer did not hit the market until 1980. This is a very typical timeline.

  4. Lew Merrick

    No “private investor” is going to wait 20-30 years to see a “return on investment.” This is why it has ALWAYS been “government investment” (either through Royal Charters, Church Underwriting, or, more recently, “advanced research” agencies) that develop new technologies and the primary products associated therewith. The first powered flight of an airplane happened in 1867 (made by some US Naval Academy students). Various (predominately French, British, and German) governments underwrote the R&D that made airplanes (eventually) practical. In point of fact, not ONE aspect of a modern airplane can be traced to the efforts of Orville & Wilbur Wright. (Remember, they were KICKED OUT of the company they founded by the US Army during WWI because they COULD NOT DELIVER working aircraft to the war effort.) And, though it is ignored and even denied today, the Wright bothers got a significant amount of “aid” (financial and technical) from various agencies of the US government in support of their efforts.

  5. Lew Merrick

    The idea that the “self-interest of free market capital” is somehow going to underwrite the DECADES of work it takes to develop a new technology is laughable (at best). Even the patron saint of Libertarianism, Philo Farnesworth, would have been lost had he NOT had access to the US Army Signal Corps laboratory in San Francisco — and all the equipment and materials that the American taxpayer supplied. This -IS- the way it works, the other viewpoint is a MYTH at best and a LIE at worst!

Leave a Reply