Did you feel the same way I did when you read that? If Auckland's councillors are so bloody concerned about "Telecom's virtual monopoly," then instead of risking ratepayers' money in a bid to build an alternative network -- that is, risking your money and my money that's been taken from us by compulsion -- THEN WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO LAY THEIR OWN CABLE?
Sheesh! Sorry for shouting, but the contradiction is frustrating, no?
On the one hand you have companies like TelstraClear who gave up trying to lay their own telecommunications cable into and around New Zealand's biggest city because councils, with the Resource Management Act in hand, made it economically prohibitive to install it around suburban Auckland (it was made a "notified activity" if you recall, making construction of an alternative network virtually impossible).
And now, on the other hand, you have those same councils who, having restricted the operations of these other businesses, now want to take up those operations themselves -- and you have those other telecommunications companies joinng in the call for their major competitor to be dismembered and their lines nationalised!
Doesn't this stuff make you angry? Don't you see that government meddling only begets more meddling? Can't you see that the lack of "a broadband network in Auckland to take on Telecom" is not the result of of so-called 'market failure,' but of government intervention?
Or are you just happy at the way government meddling, both local and central, helps to restrict investment and to keep us poor -- while keeping the the fingerprints of meddling concealed?
Writing in 1959, Ayn Rand pointed out a curious American phenomenon that is being replicated before our eyes here and now in New Zealand:
If a detailed, factual study were made of all those instances in the history of American industry which have been used by the statists as an indictment of free enterprise and as an argument in favor of a government-controlled economy, it would be found that the actions blamed on businessmen were caused, necessitated, and made possible only by government intervention in business. The evils, popularly ascribed to big industrialists, were not the result of an unregulated industry, but of government power over industry. The villain in the picture was not the businessman, but the legislator, not free enterprise, but government controls.Beware of politicians' promises. As they say, "If a goverment is big enough and poerful enough to give you all you want then it's big enough and powerful enough to take it all away again." And if you look carefully, you'll sometimes find the order reversed - they'll give back only after they've taken away, but only if they get to receive the credit.
LINKS: Councils keen to fight Telco - NZ Herald
Stealing Telecom's property with weasel words - Not PC
TAGS: Politics, History, New Zealand, Politics-NZ, Economics