EP_10 臉書與澳洲之戰?歡迎謝伯伯特派員Tom!

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Manage episode 298558527 series 2959701
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<本集節目內容以英文為主>
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不知道謝伯伯的聽眾朋友是否還記得今年2月17日臉書和澳洲的大戰呢?戰火看似已經平息,而大叔們本次邀請來自澳洲的謝伯伯特派員 Tom,一起聊聊這整件事情的發生經過。並且大叔們也開始思考整件事對世界中量級國家(如澳洲和台灣),會有什麼影響,以及也許可行的經濟政策。
澳洲通過《新聞內容議價法案》(News Media Bargaining Code)之後,讓澳洲政府有權迫使臉書等網路平台,付費給提供新聞的媒體業者。於是在2月17日,臉書單方面地關閉了澳洲新聞的連結,使得任何由澳洲媒體刊登的新聞都看不到,連澳洲氣象預報也被封鎖,就好像澳洲在線上世界裡一夕之間失蹤一樣。而這樣的網路禁令落幕後,臉書和Google與澳洲媒體公司龍頭《新聞集團》(NewsCorp)簽訂付費合約,然而當地的小型媒體公司的遭遇就不得而知了。
整件事情究竟是哪一方擁有更多權力,臉書或者是澳洲政府,其實是難以界定的。更實際來問,如果今天不是如美國或中國的大國,那麼我們還可以做什麼呢?大叔們建議一些經濟原理,在針對這些中間國家該如何制訂政策架構上是有幫助的:
1. (經濟)外部性/Externality (https://cutt.ly/wbAKKLj)。
個體經濟單位的行為對社會或者其他個人部門造成了影響(例如環境污染)卻沒有承擔相應的義務或獲得報酬,亦稱外部成本、外部效果或溢出效果。
2. 無異曲線/indifference curve (https://cutt.ly/ibAKOif)。
在所得與價格既定的條件下,消費者為了獲得同樣的效用,增加一種財貨的消費就必須減少或放棄另一種財貨的消費,兩種財貨在消費者偏好不變的條件下,不能同時減少或增多。
3. 競相沉淪理論/Race-to-the-bottom (https://cutt.ly/DbA3xvk)。
各國政府為了吸引外來投資,往往競相降低工資、勞動條件、環境保護標準,以減輕投資者的經濟負擔、極大化其商業利潤。如果國際間、國家內部都持續缺乏適當的管制措施,經濟全球化很可能對勞動人權、生態環境造成巨大的傷害。
4. 監管俘虜理論/Regulatory Capture (https://cutt.ly/GbAJ8eX)。
主管機關在其主管範圍,制定出的某種公共政策或法案,在損害公眾利益的狀況下,使特定領域商業或政治上的利益團體受益的行為。受到監管俘虜的政府單位被稱為「受俘機關」。
Remember the Feb 17 (2021)showdown between Facebook and Australia? Now that dust has settled somewhat,TUX's Australian correspondent Tom discusses what has transpired from an Aussie lens. Then, uncles ponder the implications and possible (economic) policy framework for middling powers like Australia and Taiwan.
Australia drafted News Media Bargaining Code (https://cutt.ly/sbWMP4d) which allows the government to force the likes of FB to talk with media operators. On Feb 17, FB unilaterally turned off links to Australian news. Amongst others, Australian national weather report was blocked. Australian links were no longer visible to the world, as if there is a void where Australia used to be in the virtual world. The internet embargo ended quickly with FB and Google signing agreements with Australia's largest news media firm, NewsCorp (https://cutt.ly/nbW0skg). There is no word on how the smaller local news media firms fared in this process.
In this incident, it is not clear who holds more power, FB or Australia. More pragmatically, if you are not the US or China,what can you do? TUX uncles argue that some well-studied economic ideas may be useful in creating a policy framework for middle powers.
1. Externality.
Externality usually benefits one entity at the expense of a large segment of a society. The classical economic remedy is to use taxes so the benefiting entity will"internalize" related costs. In this case, FB paid NewsCorp.
2. Indifference Curve.
FB will primarily conform to the US legal and regulatory framework. As a result, theoretically there is an arbitrage opportunity for middle size nations to increase taxes all the way to the mega firms' economic indifference curve with limited adverse consequences.
3. Race to the bottom.
Conversely, using global tax regimes as a current example, there is call to harmonize taxes (https://cutt.ly/mbW9nLI) to avoid a race to the bottom in national tax rates. This is the flip side of exploiting the indifference curve noted above.
4. Regulatory capture (https://cutt.ly/1bW9DdW).
To the extent that these rules are targeting specific firms, there is a strong incentive for the impacted entities to actively engage in the regulatory process. How to manage this process become important for the on-going health of these regulations
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