Regulatory Dissonance: FreePress’ Tim Wu at FTC & Administration: No Burdensome Regulations
February 8, 2011
If ever there was a prime example of “regulatory dissonance” it would be:
- An Administration engaging in a high-profile campaign to promote regulatory restraint to avoid and fix “burdensome regulations” (in an Executive Order, in the State of the Union, and in a Presidential Speech at the Chamber of Commerce in the span of two weeks), and
- The recent hiring of FreePress Chairman Tim Wu as a senior policy advisor at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- (FreePress is well-known as the single most radical anti-capitalist, anti-property, hyper-regulatory activist group in D.C., and
- Tim Wu is well known for proposing sweeping preemptive regulation of competitive industries with no proof of a regulatory problem — in pushing for preemptive net neutrality regulations that culminated in the FCC’s Open Internet Order, and for preemptive “Carterfone” wireless regulations of the FCC’s 700 MHz auctions.)
When asked by the Wall Street Journal what he would be working on at the FTC, Mr. Wu ominously bragged: “I would be satisfied with getting together rules for the Internet platform.”
- Professor Wu gets an A+ for hubris, given that bringing his FreePress agenda to regulate the Internet for the first time — is in direct conflict with the law of the land (which is to preserve the competitive free market Internet “unfettered by Federal or State regulation“) and with President Obama’s Executive Order that promised the “least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.”
In sum, most in D.C. fully understand the old adage that “people are policy.”
- The FTC would have been hard-pressed to find a more anti-business, pro-government-regulation-of-the-Internet person to advise the FTC “on rules for the Internet platform.”
- If Mr. Wu’s hubristic announcement of his intentions and his regulatory past are any indication, he will have the FTC chasing after new imagined problems (that require immediate and interventionist government economic regulation) in no time.
FTC advisor Tim Wu + President Obama’s pledge of no burdensome regulation = regulatory dissonance.
Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing?