The major problems in our society today are rarely addressed when Congress tries to “take action.” In the quest to solve a dilemma in our country, Congress creates more bureaucracy, more spending, and more debt.
Congress doesn’t resolve problems; it often makes them worse. Usually, the best thing for Congress to do is nothing. Therefore, Americans are safest when Congress is in recess.
With this track record in mind, it is frightening to consider the prospect of Congress solving various issues with “big tech.” An unwieldy piece of legislation has been introduced by a bi-partisan group of United States Senators, including Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR). It is titled “The American Innovation and Choice Online Act.”
Conservatives know that “big tech” censors right leaning opinions on a regular basis. There is a clear and consistent bias against conservatives. Unfortunately, this legislation does nothing to correct this issue, which is a violation of the 1st Amendment.
In contrast, the legislation limits the way technology platforms can deliver services such as same-day shipping or using a smartphone to locate a family member. During the pandemic, millions of Americans became reliant on the technological conveniences that will be targeted by this legislation. In a challenging economy, with runaway inflation, Congress should not be limiting the ways Americans can save time and money.
The legislation also limits the ability of technology companies to “self-preference,” which is a sales tactic that has been used by retail outlets for decades. In essence, “self-preference” is a way for technology companies to offer consumer and product promotions. Congress should not be involved in regulating the way technology companies offer promotions for veterans or any other group of Americans.
The bill will also punish small businesses that have partnered with big tech companies like Amazon, Etsy, or Apple. These small operators need the partnerships to increase their sales and stay in business. They do not need Congress creating more headaches and hurdles for them to succeed.
What is most disturbing about the bill is that, if passed, it will transfer power from the private sector to the radical bureaucrats in the Biden administration. Just recently, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called for Spotify and other audio streaming apps to “continue doing more” to censor unwanted opinions. This was started when Psaki and other Biden officials criticized podcaster Joe Rogan as spewing “misinformation.” In contrast, millions of Americans enjoy listening to his commentary and interviews and find his program both entertaining and useful.
Americans should make their own decisions about what programs to enjoy online, not the government. A very troubling aspect of this bill will be that it will increase the power of far-left Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan. One of her objectives has been to “reduce wealth inequality,” through regulation and other government actions.
These government agencies already wield too much power, it would be unwise to give them more power to regulate and thwart commerce.
Along with limiting services and increasing burdensome regulation, the bill will likely lead to higher prices for Americans. During an inflation surge, it is exactly the wrong time to pass legislation that will create fewer choices and higher prices for consumers.
Americans do not need our government picking the “winners and losers” in the private sector. Americans need the federal government to stay out of the private sector with as little regulation and interference as possible.
There is legitimate concern about the actions of some big tech companies. Some argue that these companies have become too powerful. However, the best way to combat that issue is through encouraging competition in the private sector. Our free enterprise system, if allowed to operate, always rewards companies that provide innovation and customer service.
Our country’s main problem today is a lurch toward more government and more socialism at the expense of our capitalist economic system. This bill will just be another attack on capitalism, which has served our country very well since our founding 246 years ago.
American consumers need more choice and better value and less central planning from our federal government. Our country needs an economic system that allows businesses to grow and prosper, not be punished for their success.
Before the next congressional vote, we must urge Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy to thoroughly examine this bill’s negative ramifications for American consumers. While the legislation may have good intentions, the unintended economic consequences for the American people will be both significant and adverse. Especially at this perilous time, any bill that does further damage to the economic standing of Americans must be defeated.