Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More Gangster Government

One of the distinctive characteristics of gangster "business operations" is to make up the rules as they go along. Gangster government does something similar when they ignore the courts and Congress and simply go on as if no one had said anything.

One more instance in a long line of that occurred with the recent FCC declaration of the Orwellian-named "net neutrality" rules. I wrote an article some time ago about how any such rules necessarily violate property rights and the right of free trade. Peter Ferrara demonstrates in an American Spectator essay how Obama's thugs are proceeding Chavez-like to demonstrate how much they truly don't care about that.
On April 6, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Comcast Corp. v. Federal Communications Commission that the FCC does not have the power to issue net neutrality regulation.
Rejecting that reasoning in an opinion written by one of the Circuit's more liberal Judges, David Tatel, the Court had to remind the FCC that "administrative agencies may act only pursuant to authority delegated to them by Congress."

The Court said regarding the FCC's reasoning, "if accepted it would virtually free the Commission from its congressional tether." The Court added that "without reference to the provisions of the [FCC's governing] Act directly governing broadcasting, the Commission's ancillary jurisdiction would be unbounded."

Indeed, the FCC's lawyers suggested to the Court in oral argument that in the agency's view it already has the power to impose price controls and rate regulation on Internet service providers and broadband operators.

Yet, the FCC just flouts this decision in going ahead and issuing its net neutrality regulations by rulemaking last week.
If there is any good option at this stage for businessmen — and us, who trade with them — other than simply ignoring the law, I can't think what it might be. It's that, or passive acquiescence to tyranny. We are now ruled, in fact, by petty dictators unbounded by anything but resource limitations in enforcing their Progressive whims.


Prometheus said...

"Gangster Government" is a very good name for it. I'm going to use that descriptive label from now on. Thanks.

Jeff Perren said...

Welcome to Shaving Leviathan and thanks for the comment.

I can't claim originality there. The Powerline bloggers have used it for a while now, and some others, too. Can't remember who should get credit.

It is accurate though given the total lack of respect for the rule of law by the current government. (Not that past ones have been any great shakes.)