High technology promises to give Americans better and faster products and services, yet government seems to limit innovation at every turn. Whether through taxation, regulation, or litigation, government just can’t keeps its hands off of high technology. Across the nation, federal, state, and local governments seem bent on stunting the development of telecommunications, software, and computer hardware. They do this for several reasons:
Bureaucrats think they can “promote competition” by penalizing firms that compete too aggressively and successfully.
Competing businesses often lobby hard to put tax, regulatory, or litigation burdens on their competitors.
Politicians view companies as a great way to collect taxes because consumers blame the resulting higher prices on the companies instead of the government.
Political threats to high-tech are a great way to extort campaign contributions. The Center for Responsive Politics predicts that political giving by high-tech companies will set new records in the year 2000. “They’re certainly being hit up like never before,” says the group’s executive director.
Both tax and regulatory policies let politicians promise constituents “free” benefits, such as discount phone or Internet service, while hiding the costs from the consumers who ultimately pay for them with higher prices.
Unrelated laws oftentimes do great harm to high-tech products and services.
CSE Foundation believes it’s time to blow the whistle on an anti-technology agenda that hurts consumers and reduces opportunities for American workers. High Technology promises to give Americans better and faster products and services.
Removing Government Roadblocks:
Opening the Road to a High-Tech Future
(PDF format, 8 pp. 467 Kb)