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)

 

 
 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

It is that time of the year again – our semi-annual funding drive begins today. Give us a little hand in offsetting the costs of running this blog, as advertising revenue alone is insufficient. You can help us reach our modest funding goal by donating either via paypal or bitcoin. Those of you who have made a ton of money based on some of the things we have said in these pages (we actually made a few good calls lately!), please feel free to up your donations accordingly (we are sorry if you have followed one of our bad calls. This is of course your own fault). Other than that, we can only repeat that donations to this site are apt to secure many benefits. These range from sound sleep, to children including you in their songs, to the potential of obtaining privileges in the afterlife (the latter cannot be guaranteed, but it seems highly likely). As always, we are greatly honored by your readership and hope that our special mixture of entertainment and education is adding a little value to your life!

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

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.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • factoryA Striking Chart
      The Economy and the Stock Market As long time readers know, we are always paying close attention to the manufacturing sector, which is far more important to the US economy than is generally believed. In terms of gross output it is the largest sector of the economy, and it should of course be obvious that saving, investment and production are the only ways to create wealth.   What's left of the Brooklyn Domino Sugar Refinery. Photo credit: Paul Raphaelson   Contrary...
  • trump-putin-1024Trump and Putin Narrowly Escape Assassination Attempt
      The Gloves are Coming Off First a little bit of recent history. Readers are probably aware that some questions about the occasionally malfunctioning Deep State android... no, wait, we'll start again. Questions have recently been raised about the health of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by various “alt-right” tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists, such as this one.   The monsters are normally hiding under Hillary's bed, but lately they have come out into the open...
  • historical-photos-pt9-pepsi-factory-baltimore-1956-aUS Economy - Curious Pattern in ISM Readings
      Head Fake Theory Confirmed? This is a brief update on our last overview of economic data. Although we briefly discussed employment as well, the overview was as usual mainly focused on manufacturing, which is the largest sector of the economy by gross output.   Pepsi factory in Baltimore, 1956 Photo via pinterest.com   Readers may recall that we have pointed out for some time that there was quite a large gap between the data reported in regional Fed manufacturing...
  • escobarA Convocation of Interventionists, Part 2
      Pleas for More Deficit Spending We continue with our Jackson Hole post mortem – including remarks that were made by economists and monetary bureaucrats shortly before and after the pow-wow and seem to be connected to the discussions there.   Assembled central planners (we're not sure if this picture was taken at the conference, but most of the people in it were there). Photo credit: Getty Images   We should preface the following with a Mises quote, as the...
  • swing-voterWhy the Fed Destroyed the Market Economy
      What Have You Done for Me Lately? Swing voters are a fickle bunch.  One election they vote Democrat.  The next they vote Republican. For they have no particular ideology or political philosophy to base their judgment upon.   The primacy of the wallet.   They don’t give a rip about questions of small government or big government.  Nor do they have any druthers about the welfare or warfare state. In effect, they really don’t care.  What’s important to the...
  • time-wastersHow is Real Wealth Created?
      An Abrupt Drop Let’s turn back to our regular beat: the U.S. economy and its capital markets. We’ve been warning that the Fed would never make any substantial increase to interest rates. Not willingly, at least.   Groping in the dark, Yellen-style   Each time Fed chief Janet Yellen opens her mouth, out comes a hint that more rate hikes might be coming. But each time, it turns out that the economy is not as robust as she had believed... and that a rate hike isn’t...
  • wallet-367975_960_720Janet Yellen’s Shame
      Playing Politics In honest capitalism, you do what you can to get other people to voluntarily give you money. This usually involves providing goods or services they think are worth the price. You may get a little wild and crazy from time to time, but you are always called to order by your customers.   In the market economy, consumers reign supreme. There is no such thing as a “lost” vote in the marketplace; every penny spent affects production. Mises noted: “Consumers...
  • warren-buffett-gold-coinGet Ready for a New Crisis – in Corporate Debt
      Imposter Dollar OUZILLY, France – We’re going back to basics here at the Diary. We’re getting everyone on the same page... learning together... connecting the dots... trying to figure out what is going on.   The new three dollar bill issued by the Apprehensive States of America.   We made a breakthrough when we identified the source of so many of today’s bizarre and grotesque trends. It’s the money – the new post-1971 dollar. This new dollar is green. You...
  • central bank HQs 2A Convocation of Interventionists – Part 1
      Modern Economics -  It's All About Central Planning We are hereby delivering a somewhat belated comment on the meeting of monetary central planners and their courtier economists at Jackson Hole. Luckily timing is not really an issue in this context.   Central bank headquarters: the Fed's Eccles building, the ECB's hideously expensive new tower in Frankfurt, and the BOJ's Tokyo HQ (judging from the people in the foreground, it may be a source of noxious fumes).   When...
  • 4-ip-and-non-def-capital-goods-ordersThe Economy, the Stock Market and the Fed
      John Hussman on Recent Developments We always look forward to John Hussman's weekly missive on the markets. Some people say that he is a “permabear”, but we don't think that is a fair characterization. He is rightly wary of the stock market's historically extremely high valuation and the loose monetary policy driving the surge in asset prices.   The S&P 500 Index and the NYSE advance-decline line. Most market internals weakened steadily until early February 2016, but...
  • silkroadHanjin Marooning in San Pedro Bay
      Global Trade Reversal Expansions and contractions in global trade have played out over long secular trends for thousands of years.  The Silk Road, for example, was established by the Han Dynasty of China in 130 BC, and allowed for continuous trade between East and West for nearly 1,600 years.  In addition to economic trade, the Silk Road was also a conduit for culture and knowledge among its network of civilizations.   A map of the main ancient Silk Road - click to...
  • SamuelsonJohn Maynard Keynes’ General Theory Eighty Years Later
      The “Scientific” Fig Leaf for Statism and Interventionism To the economic and political detriment of the Western world and those economies beyond which have adopted its precepts, 2016 marks the eightieth anniversary of the publication of one of, if not, the most influential economics books ever penned, John Maynard Keynes’ The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.   The mere fact that the book is lauded by TIME magazine on the cover should give everyone...

Austrian Theory and Investment

Support Acting Man

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com