Apparently top Google dog Larry Page lost his voice back in June and hasn’t spoken (publicly) since. But he spoke recently. What prompted him to do so?

Regulation. (Yes, there is thunderous, ominous music playing when you read that word.)

“I do think over-regulation of the Internet and restriction of what people can do is a big risk for us,” Page said.”

Questions for Larry the Googler:

How much regulation is over-regulation? Can you clearly define it? Do you believe Congress can clearly define it? If clearly defined, can it be clearly enforced?

Who is regulation, of any amount, intended to help? Google? Google’s competitors? Consumers? Who does regulation actually help?

Is the internet somehow different than other industries with respect to any of the aforementioned questions? That is: if internet overregulation is bad (for Google, or consumers, or somebody else), then what about regulation in other industries being bad for those industries’ businesses and consumers?

That Larry is bad mouthing regulation is a good thing (if you’re a consumer or a business; not if you’re a bureaucrat), but the manner in which he has spoken about it (narrowly focusing on the internet and search) highlights one of the key aspects of regulation. It is the NIMBY of regulation matters. Nobody wants regulation in their industry, but most people believe that other industries ought to be regulated “for the good of the people”.

Here, I’m just using Larry’s comments to ask the logic follow up questions. I’m curious to know what he’d say if he spoke more broadly. I’m curious to know how much of an ally Larry could ever be in the war to think rationally about government, economics, and the world.

-JD Cross

 

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