Say you live in a really poor neighborhood. You are one of the very few, maybe one of three people in the neighborhood that have a good, full time job in the area where you live. You have a car and money for groceries, fuel oil and clothes. But everyone around you, all of your neighbors, don’t all have great jobs or any jobs at all. They don’t have cars and barely enough money for groceries; and that is if they can actually get to the grocery store.
You help where you can, but you aren’t rich; comfortable, but not rich. You give your neighbors a ride to work or a ride to the grocery store when you can, maybe you even give out some flour or bread or sugar to your closest, needier friends. But food and fuel is expensive, your time is limited and you need to ask them for a couple for dollars for gas in order to be able to still live the way that you do.
Some of your neighbors start to grumble and complain that it isn’t fair that you have a car and they don’t, that you have money for groceries & fuel oil and they don’t. They start to say to you that they shouldn’t have to pay for fuel for you to take them to the grocery store and what’s more, it’s unfair that you have money for more groceries than they do. They dial up the other neighbors on their cell phones and you can see them outside talking to each other as they smoke their cigarettes.
A bunch of them get together and contact the government with their complaints. In the interest of fairness, the government steps in and directs you to make your vehicle available to your neighbors at their discretion. And you must maintain and keep fuel in the vehicle at your own expense. And they don’t stop there.
The government also directs you to make your pantry open to your neighbors. It’s only fair, they tell you, since you all live in the same neighborhood and everyone will benefit. You also must allow your neighbors to siphon fuel oil from your oil tank as they need to. If you don’t do all of this, you will be fined and possibly jailed.
You resist, but your neighbors and the government both insist that you must hate children and be inherently racist because you refuse to take steps and be opening to benefiting your neighbors. Also, as badly off as your neighborhood is, there are others that are even worse off. The government directs that you must make your property and house available to people from other neighborhoods to stay if they choose to try moving to your neighborhood because you have more than all of those others do.
The government assures you everything will be fine, that they will watch over everything and regulate things so that it’s all as fair as possible. But you know that other neighborhoods they have taken over are now in ruins, corruption is rampant and the rules mean nothing; people who break them regularly are hardly ever dealt with and when they are, it’s usually a slap on the wrist.
For all intents and purposes, everything you have worked for is gone. You have no option to move away because if you do, the government will punish you and besides, there isn’t any place to go where the same thing has not or is not occurring. You are ruined, and so begins your slow descent into poverty and hopelessness.
Without the resources you worked so hard for, that you earned, you will quickly arrive at a point where you have no hope of being of any help or of coming up with any new or innovative ways to help that won’t immediately be stolen by your government in the name of regulation. When you come up with alternate solutions or alternate approaches, you are slapped down and restricted from implementing anything or it is caught in bureaucratic red tape.
And now your government has complete control over everything you do.
Welcome to Net Neutrality.