Re: Socialist demands more socialism
The term you are looking for is crony capitalism.
A free market isn't about highly paid CEOs. In an ideal free market system, the government has a generally hands off, but also adversarial when required, relationship with big businesses. That means that large incumbent businesses do not get to dictate market terms and stifle new competitors. And they certainly should not be allowed to use government power to frustrate either their customers or their competitors. That allows new entrants to provide new services, sometimes at the detriment of existing providers.
Totally on board with this excellent article that the CRTC is a poster child for regulatory capture!
One of the few areas where the CRTC can be aggressive is enforcing French language and Canadian content regulations. Something which I care very little about. But it can still be leveraged to incumbents' advantage, such as when the cable companies want Netflix regulated to produce more Canadian and French content. Conveniently driving up its costs.
Strangely enough, crony capitalism does rather well in nominally "socialist" countries. Having lived in France and Canada, they both have governments that are quite open to friendly regulations for big businesses.
When the US regulated "do not call" and forbade the printing of full credit card numbers on receipts, Canadian businesses managed to get extensive transition periods for our equivalent regulations, which are often more biz-friendly. The French also have a term for this, creating and protecting "national champions". That also plays well with the electorate - pretend to protect the national economy and independence - shaft the customers.
Never mind that the national champions often lag in innovation, service and costs. And that the general economy, domestic competitors and customers are often the first to suffer. France Telecom and Air Canada are typical rent seekers on top of regulators. Ditto when foreign ownership rules were used to keep a 4th mobile operator from creating a network in Canada. Thanks, CRTC.
The US, for all its governmental and regulatory dysfunction, does not have as much of a publicly trusted narrative of supporting big business. The lobbying, deals and back scratching happen and they happen a lot. But they are generally viewed as a bad deal by the public. Sometimes you see amazingly adversarial government activities - such as the break up of Ma Bell and the attempt at doing the same to Microsoft. There is also something to be said for this happening in courts, using open challenges, rather than just through backroom deals.
Point is: the interests of customers, citizens and competitors do not always line up with the interests of big incumbents. A suitably regulated free market is one where the government is able to step in and shake up businesses when they overplay their market domination. Not one where government power is used to further the interests of incumbents because its regulators have close relationships with industry.
So, lemme say that again: you are a twat! x3!
p.s. the picture is not universally bleak: I am moving from a $42 CAD /mo 20-30 mpbs to a $49 1gbps all-fibre ISP shortly. But that's because big cities can have competing networks. Something the CRTC probably had very little hand in.
p.p.s. one thing I disagree with Trevor on - the CRTC is already universally loathed here and rightly so. That just hasn't translated into a real shake up though.