A Little Bit of Zwangswirtschaft Won’t Hurt

The EU commissariat in Brussels seems largely a tax-payer funded sinecure for political has-beens from EU member countries. We suspect it represents a kind of extra-expensive pensioning off of people who could, were they to remain in their countries of origin, still do significant damage there.

This wouldn’t be a big problem if they were really out of everybody’s hair as a result, sadly that is not the case though. One of the new EU commissars appears to be feeling an urge that he “must do something”. This automatically means that economic liberty and the wallets of consumers and tax payers are in grave danger, so it would be a lot better if the good man had remained idea-less.

We are referring to the EU’s new digital commissar, Mr. Günther Oettinger. We honestly have no idea where they have found this guy. He has some residual entertainment value on the occasions when he decides to rape the English language, but other than that, he seems to be genuinely dangerous.

According to a recent report in the Austrian press, “EU Commissar Oettinger wants to restrict people from changing internet providers”.

 

“EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger wants to restrict the way in which customers can change their Internet provider. In an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung he said that the profitability of the investments of providers in network expansion will thereby be increased.

“I’m not talking about monopolies lasting forever, but for several years, during which you one will have planning security as an investor. Similar exemptions also exist for energy networks,” said Oettinger. Providers often shy away from investments because customers might switch to another provider. Companies that meet the requirements with respect to yardsticks such as data security, speed and capacity are to receive EU funding.

 

Saints preserve us. It is really hard to believe that he actually said the above, but apparently it is true. Just to get this straight: companies that are in danger of losing their customers to better and cheaper competitors will henceforth be protected by the EU, which will force their customers to stay with them. Not only that, these companies will get tax payer-funded subsidies as well!

If Oettinger needs some additional inspiration, he should perhaps study the industrial Zwangswirtschaft model run by the fascists in the 1930s and 1940s, or Stalin’s collectivization and industrialization drive. Just saying, there was reportedly a lot of “planning security” at the time. We would have recommended Colbert and other prominent Mercantilists as a first thought, but he has obviously already fully assimilated their economic views, so proceeding to the next logical step makes sense.

 

OettingerEUSSR digital commissar, Günther Oettinger. The Lord only knows where they have dug this one up.

(Photo credit: Olivier Hoslet/DPA)

 

Hang on, that is not all! The man apparently suffers from the delusion that he is protecting the “interests of consumers”:

 

“The Commissar is targeting a single digital market with uniform standards for “data protection and consumer interests”. As an example of consumer interests he mentioned that he had subscribed to Sky TV in Germany, but was unable to make use of the offer in Brussels. “An Information Society doesn’t works in old national boundaries”, said Oettinger.

 

We strongly suspect that the main reason why Oettinger is unable to use his Sky subscription in Brussels is connected to his level of technological literacy (which of course makes him the perfect choice for the post he now inhabits). Apparently he also hasn’t noticed just yet that the inter-tubes indeed transcend national boundaries.

What else does he offer in terms of fresh “consumer protection” goodies? Why, new taxes of course!

 

“Oettinger’s plans, among other things with respect to European copyright legislation, are meeting with criticism in many places. “I can wish as often as I want to get everything for free – if the production no longer pays, no new content will be created in the end. We will therefore examine what can be done on the EU level in terms of taxes and fees”, Oettinger says. He wants to discuss his proposals with all those involved, from publishers to creative artists.”

 

We notice that those who are supposed to pay his proposed new taxes and fees are apparently not among “all those involved” and won’t be invited to discuss his plans. You know, the consumers he wants to “protect”, by making things more expensive for them and by restricting their choices.

Regarding his taxation plans, he inter alia wants to introduce a surcharge for hard disk drives, as a kind of pre-crime fee for illegal downloading which everybody buying a PC will have to pay. Downloading of copyrighted content will of course remain illegal in spite of this tax.

 

Conclusion:

As we often point out, the EU project has long ceased to be what its founders once envisaged. It has instead become an effort to erect a centralized, socialist super-state. This evidently continues with nary a pause, in spite of the fact that EU citizens are increasingly opposed to this agenda. As an aside, the mercantilist content-mafia defender Mr. Oettinger is actually a member of Germany’s conservative party CDU.

 

intertubesMr. Oettinger seems slightly perplexed by the inter-tubes, but something is apparently moving there, so he will tax it.

(Photo credit: Jack Lindsay)

 

 

 

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One Response to “Meet the EUSSR’s Digital Commissar”

  • I guess he spends to much time in Belgium, where this tax on everything that can hold digital data: hard drives, pen drives, memory cards, empty CDs, mp3 players, etc. already exists. At least I don’t need to feel guilty any more when downloading illegally.

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