Our cell phones are chewing up more and more spectrum – so the cell phone companies need more and more of it to keep us productive and happy. Thus there will be in our future a government-run two-pronged spectrum incentive auction – to get more of it to market.
Prong One: The nation’s broadcasters can if they wish sell to the government some or all of their spectrum. Prong Two: The government will then hold an auction to sell said spectrum to the nation’s wireless phone providers.
T’would be far better if the government hadn’t inserted itself as a middle man – and the broadcasters could simply organize with the wireless phone providers a secondary-market auction. But why do things simply and efficiently? This is Washington, after all.
The government wants its money cut – which it could have had without being the go-between. What the government couldn’t do as an innocent bystander is mess around with how the auction is conducted. Herein lies the potential problem.
Some Media Marxist groups are demanding that the government prevent AT&T and Verizon from openly bidding on any spectrum they wish. Why? Because these Leftists have deemed these two to be too successful – and they want the government to spread the wealth around.
Spread it to whom? Everyone else besides AT&T and Verizon.
Well, Sprint is #3 in the nation. They too want the government to Crony Socialize the auction. To their direct benefit – every time the Feds block AT&T and Verizon from bidding, it makes it easier and cheaper for Sprint (and everyone else).
Sprint is pushing this nonsense because they are trying to use government to hobble their competition. If you can’t beat them in the free market, have the Leviathan beat them with a regulatory bat.
The Media Marxists want it because:
The underlying theme throughout is the advancement of as much government as possible – all the while as much as possible disrupting the free market and destroying or silencing those opposed.
Under the fraudulent guise of advancing the “public interest.” By which they of course mean government interest. After all, Media Marxists are…Marxists. And growing the government interest is what they do.
The Media Marxists say they want the government messing with the auction to prevent a monopoly. Or a duopoly. Or something. Except besides AT&T and Verizon there’s Sprint. And T-Mobile. And U.S. Cellular. And Leap Wireless. And Boost Mobile. And Cricket. And many, many others. Not exactly a dearth of selections – certainly not a duoply.
This is very simple. You either want an actual auction – where as many people can bid as much as they want on whatever they want. Or you want a government-pick-losers-at-the-expense-of-winners, Crony Socialist nightmare mess.
And – brace yourself – look who wants the free market: New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer.
That is why I urge you, in structuring these auctions, to maximize participation by broadcasters and bidders alike by avoiding limitations that could lower the potential return and disincentivize broadcasters from offering their spectrum for auction. While I understand that some have advocated for rules that would limit participation by some wireless carriers, the effect of such rules would simply be to reduce the amount of spectrum offered for auction as well as the revenue that would be generated in return.
Bravura, Senator. If only you’d apply this reasoned reasonable-ness to all things private sector, we’d be really getting somewhere.
Sadly, the Barack Obama Administration is on this way to the left of the good Senator – and just about everyone else (shocker, I know).
Here’s hoping newly-minted Obama Administration Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler – the man ultimately responsible for setting the spectrum auction rules – sides with Senator Schumer, the free market, results and Reality.
And against government micromanagement of yet another facet of the private sector.