How is it "..hurting everybody in the long run"?
That is a fabrication based on your perspective.
The rule of technological evolution and also of free market capitalism is that of Darwinistic devouring of weaker, less evolved technologies and use of capital by the newer/more efficient and capable. In addition to the text book explanation of mechanisms involved are the multiplicative benefits that communications has on the broader economy and ability of a nation's people to seek the pursuits of freedom and 'happiness' as they wish to define it within the bounds of the law.
The wireless industry exists both for its own benefit and that of investors who wish to place bets on the fortunes of particular horses in the race, but also for the benefit of the society at large. This extends beyond any country's borders as does any internationally traded commodity... made more so because telecommunications must be build on standards and benefits the rapidly accelerated exchange of ideas.
Wireless is also built upon a common resource that is leased for their use for the public good. No operator owns a single hertz of spectrum.. they own networks and services built on top of their leased/licensed spectrum which the FCC can theoretically take back if they fail to make most or, at least, more efficient use of it.
Prices for wireless services should be expected to follow the ability for technology and access to more public spectrum to deliver more for less. Prices should naturally move down. With 4G prices should move down on a $/bit/hertz basis because technology is producing "Moore's Law" and also wireless domain technology gains that are amplified by exploitation of the spatial domain using MIMO-AAS and smallcell densification.
The USA has among the world's highest prices and lowest bandwidth and video penetration on mobile networks. We suck at it.
The extreme of free enterprise, Darwinian economics, is to take all of the public spectrum back from the licensed operators to allow it to be used as unlicensed, licensed-light public access spectrum that is exploited on a free and open basis for the public benefit. Since our ICT telecommunications industry sucks (by the numbers) compared to the rest of the developed world and much of the '3rd world', it might be argued that what is evangelized as the most democratic, free enterprise country should open spectrum up to the forces of technological revolution. The miracle of Wi-Fi is that by putting advances of wireless into the hands of users who know best where they need it, it gets 'deployed' cheaply and effectively to yield, by far, the most intensive use of the spectrum and capital resources available. Why not rip out the spectrum from incalcitrant beggar companies like Sprint and make it available alongside 2.4GHz spectrum but with the aim of using it at higher power and longer range? If Sprint refuses to use it properly, take it back should be the public cry.. use it or lose it should be revisited.
Or.. Sprint can 'get off your duffs and do some stuff'.. innovate in the 'network-to-market' fellow fools!'