Modern economics is obsessed with efficiency. But an efficient system is antithetical to a resilient one. Perfect efficiency means zero waste, but any resources dedicated to disaster tolerance appears wasteful under normal circumstances.
Such is the case using antibiotics on livestock. You could of course dose every single animal you have. You could do this cheaply and it virtually eliminates sickness and hence yield. But then you’re breeding bacterial resistance inside livestock, and so we wouldn’t be very resilient to any resulting disease outbreaks that crossover to humans. Making the right decision here is obviously beyond the scope of market forces. Sadly, it’s appears also beyond the scope of our government. (see previous post on tail risk)
Say you’re Comcast and you’re not a fan of the net-neutrality rules passed in 2010. Say for some reason, you can carve out a chunk of your bandwidth and call it a “Private IP network” and it won’t be subject to the same net-neutrality rules that beleaguers the “Public internet”. So you do, and you use that private network to carry traffic for your Netflix-killer service called Xfinity. So now when a user watches movies on Xfinity, it doesn’t count towards their 250GB/mo bandwidth cap, but when they watch on Netflix, it does.
Yay, you’ve successfully funneled the most bandwidth-hungry use of the internet into a private network that works essentially the same way (IP based) as the public internet, except for the fact that it’s unregulated.
The sad thing is that the FCC knew about this loophole, but didn’t have the political might to close it.
I’ve never understood why regulating by making people go buy something is somehow more intrusive than regulating by making them pay taxes and then giving it to them.