Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Economists not Concerned about the End of Net Neutrality

The University of Chicago's poll of economists find that 44% support the repeal of Net Neutrality, 11% oppose it, and 36% are unsure.

Put me in the "unsure" category. I think nobody knows what will happen, and that if it does turn out to be very bad we can just bring the rule back. The various doomsday scenarios I have seen do not impress me. Nor this guy:
The arguments for the overwhelming importance of net neutrality I’ve heard didn’t make sense to me, and I would have thought that if there were good arguments they would have risen to prominence. . . .

If you think that repealing net neutrality is going to have effects that I would agree are clearly bad, I’d love to bet you about it. . . . I’d love to hear your concrete predictions about how the world will be worse as a result of the repeal of net neutrality. I’m willing to spend at least a thousand dollars betting on this topic.


G. Verloren said...

Economists aren't the people to ask. They have a narrow, highly inhuman view of things.

Consider slavery. From a general point of view in the modern day, slavery is monstrous and evil. But from a purely economic point of view, it could easily be viewed as being positive and beneficial.

Will ending Net Neutrality have massive economic impacts? Perhaps not. But it certainly will have widespread social impacts.

Consider the so-called Great Firewall of China. It may not have much of an impact on the economy of China one way or another - or if it does, it may in fact be a beneficial impact for their domestic markets, owing to a protectionist stance. But at the same time, it unquestionably shapes the culture and society of China in monumental and terrible ways.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit gobsmacked that of all people to ask about net neutrality, they would pick economists. Their view is narrow and not fully informed, and not even particularly relevant.