///CRTC, Please Dissolve///
Have you heard? The CRTC is drafting a new “Code of Conduct”. I’m confident saying this code will accomplish as much as the City of Toronto’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights (lack of an Oxford comma is their error, not mine). That is to say it’ll achieve nothing.
And guess what?? The CRTC even wanted to listen to YOU. They solicited online feedback about what the Code should include. Canada’s brain trust piled on with insightful pith, e.g. “Get rid of the 36 months contract!!! It first started with 12 months, then 24 months, now the standard is 36 months, which is ridiculous!” (Actual quote.)
Let me lay it out for the above participant:
If you don’t want to sign a 3-year contract — whether that’s because you think it’s a bad deal, or you just didn’t like the Telus salesperson’s haircut, whatever — then don’t sign the contract. Stop relying on my tax dollars to protect you, bail you out, and guide you to the right decision.
Of course the one real solution to Canada’s telecom debacle wasn’t even up for consideration: deregulation. Dissolving the CRTC would benefit Canadians far more than any spineless Code of Conduct their pissant bureaucrats could dream up. But, as a self-serving organization, the CRTC affords no room for critical thought. Their solution is predicated on the following illogical conclusion:
“Hey, overregulation has destroyed competition and made cellphones a hellish oligopoly for consumers. Let’s solve the problem with new regulations.”
If you don’t think there’d be competitive entrants, you’re lying to yourself. In liberalized telecom markets, consumers get better services and pay less. Heck, in spite of Canada’s horrifically over-regulated market, competitors have still entered against all odds and by the skin of their teeth, e.g. WIND. Naturally, telecom companies have tried to abuse the socialist implements of the CRTC to prevent or punish competition and they’ve been largely successful.
One thing I think everybody should have been outraged by this year was when Rogers decided to increased all bills even if a consumer was locked into a fixed rate contract. Rogers essentially took a giant dump on contract law. Their malicious conduct threatened one of the key institutions of free exchange: binding contracts. In this one egregious situation where the CRTC should have stepped up to the plate and deservedly smacked down an operator, what did the regulator do? Nothing.
What do we need the CRTC for? Not much. Auction off wireless spectrum on ten year leases. Don’t let people or companies interfere in the spectra of others. Make it a criminal offence to violate the Do Not Call list and hand the management of the actual list to the Privacy Commissioner. There; I just cut about 90% of the CRTC’s operating budget, staff, and deleterious reach of censorship into our personal lives. We don’t need scions to hand down commandments about Canadian content or to ban Money For Nothing from radio play. The CRTC is not only a largely worthless institution, but it oppresses Canadians. While we’re at it, let’s privatize the CBC. Wow, another billion a year saved! Good thing for those biased hacks that my opinions are completely un-electable.
The CRTC is not going to save consumers from their own stupidity. Stop counting on other people to make smart decisions for you. Most of those bureaucrats don’t care. They’re in it for the paycheque, and will inevitably screw it up — if not due to incompetence then most certainly to entrench their own jobs.
///Catherine Holly Wood///
- Nelson of FU enjoyed my Personal Finance Fail of the Week Extended Edition enough to include it as reading material for his Sunday Morning Dump. Also, I won a book in his contest! Wicked.
- The same post also hit the ControlYourCash Carnival of Wealth for the second time.
- Echo from Boomer and Echo liked my tale of making $100+ from credit card bonuses enough to include it in his roundup.
- I really liked DQYDJ‘s description of the credit card bonus post: “Joe at Timeless Finances shows you what your idle cycles can actually achieve.” Exactly.
This week’s BP is truncated and next week’s probably will be, too. Apologies if you enjoy funny pictures, etc., I’ve just been busy with Christmas and house buying (more on Monday). On a related note I’m headed to Edmonton on Tuesday!