Many in Washington DC are Drowning in Lake Me
|Prepping for Congress’ Next Session|
Meaning a person who is totally self-absorbed. Transfixed by their own navel (which actually has a name – Omphaloskepsis). A person who finds himself endlessly fascinating – and utterly invaluable.
We are all this to some degree – it’s human nature. But some of us are less capable of tamping it down – or masking its all-encompassing nature. Some of us take the occasional dip in Lake Me – others are completely submerged and sinking therein.
Many, MANY of the latter – run for political office. It’s as if the Coast Guard began its Search and Rescue division – to save politicians from themselves.
Over the weekend I started listening to a podcast of the February 24 edition of C-Span’s “The Communicators.” I say I started – because Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ed Markey’s opening salvo was SO Drowning-in-Lake-Me obnoxious I couldn’t continue subjecting myself to it.
The topic of discussion was the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Which was the last time Congress addressed law pertaining to things communications and information – including the then-nascent Internet. The point of the law – and the subsequent policies of the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations – was to get and keep the government out of the way of the Web.
As nigh always happens when the government leaves something alone – the Internet exploded and proliferated into the free speech-free market Xanadu we all now enjoy. Government stepping aside made room for trillions of dollars of private sector investment – and the endless invention, innovation and reinvention that follows.
Anyone over the age of forty remembers the awful slowness of dial-up connection speeds (for Millennials – it was this). From which the private sector has delivered us – to ridiculously fast broadband speeds. So fast we can now seamlessly watch HD movies wirelessly – either on phone company networks or our own wi-fi set-ups.
This warp-speed increase has made possible a whole host of now-ubiquitous companies that ride these high-tech rails – Google, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and on, and on, and….
These trillions in private investment have created a trillion-dollar-a-year economy. This amazing, all-time-in-human-history success story is the result of intentional government inaction – not government action.
Yet somehow Senator Markey has a bizarrely different perspective on what has transpired these last twenty years. Asked “What did you get right in 1996?” – Markey launched:
“So we got a lot right. Nothing is perfect.”
Correct – there is almost always more government you can make less.
“But one thing we did do was we moved not only our own country but the world from analog to digital. And if you’re living in India or China you’re now using the words that were created – including Twitter and Facebook – that would not be possible without that bill.”
No, Senator, the private sector that invested trillions here – invested trillions more everywhere else. Thereby exporting to the world the magic they themselves created here.
Senator Markey and his government ilk did nothing for the Internet – except leave it alone. But now wants to take all the credit – for doing absolutely nothing. And simply allowing the private sector to do what the private sector does.
In auto racing, there is a speed-limiting device placed on engines – called a governor. Government is little more than a speed-limiter of the private sector. The bigger the government – the bigger the governor, the slower the economy.
Limiting as much as possible the governor – is certainly important. Then taking near-complete credit for the cars and drivers subsequently winning the Daytona and Indianapolis 500s, and races all over the world – is delusional Drowning-in-Lake-Me bizarre-ness.
I would really like a piece of the concession on Capitol Hill life preservers.
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter / Facebook.
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