FCC’s Nutty Policy Move

The current word is that the FCC will vote on net neutrality regulations sometime before Christmas. But does the Obama Administration really want to start 2011 with a fight over telecom?

As I’ve consistently said, there are theoretical arguments for and against net neutrality. But the timing is just horrible, for two reasons.

First, it’s really a dumb move to monkey with the vibrant and growing communications sector when the rest of the economy is so weak. It’s as if you have two cars–one running, one in the repair shop–and you decide it’s a good time to rebuild the transmission of the car that actually works because you hear a few squeaks.

Second, the Obama Administration’s cardinal achievement so far is healthcare reform. Flawed as it is, Obamacare represents an absolutely essential step forward. The Administration should be concentrating its effort on defending healthcare reform rather than  looking for new industries to regulate.

About Michael Mandel 127 Articles

Michael Mandel was BusinessWeek's chief economist from 1989-2009, where he helped direct the magazine's coverage of the domestic and global economies.

Since joining BusinessWeek in 1989, he has received multiple awards for his work, including being honored as one of the 100 top U.S. business journalists of the 20th century for his coverage of the New Economy. In 2006 Mandel was named "Best Economic Journalist" by the World Leadership Forum.

Mandel is the author of several books, including Rational Exuberance, The Coming Internet Depression, and The High Risk Society.

Mandel holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

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