The good Senator Ted Cruz from Texas tackled net neutrality again today, with a bit more tact than earlier this week when he called it “Obamacare for the Internet.” It wasn’t immediately clear at that point what the connection between the Affordable Care Act and the preservation of the open Internet was, precisely, but the comment did cause a stir.
Today, at a Texas incubator in Austin, Sen. Cruz continued on the topic in his typical style of folksy phrases and dramatic pauses. I’ve embedded the full net neutrality segment below (via the Texas Tribune). Watch the full thing.
Sen. Cruz makes a number of decent points: Top-down government regulation can lead to the freezing of markets — Uber and Lyft are great!
A few things, however, I think were a bit less correct. His worry about having to ask the government what we may and may not do online isn’t what is at stake with net neutrality, unless you are an ISP that wants to abrogate the principles of an open Internet. Instead, what net neutrality preserves is the anti-right of an ISP to tell No You Can’t.
Sen. Cruz also riffs on the idea that net neutrality is a scrap between large companies, and their lobbying armies. That’s actually somewhat true, but to only paint the issue in those terms is to miss the larger point, which deals with smaller companies. Net neutrality matters because it creates the market conditions that allow new companies to come into existence that may challenge the very sniping giants that Sen. Cruz wants to dismiss as, roughly, commensurate.
The segment is not all negative, in fact. Senator Cruz points out that he is a cosponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act in the Senate.
Here’s the clip: