Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Getting public airways wrong

There is nothing like lacking political influence to make one a fan of smaller government. Here is a piece on Slate that says government support of broadcasting should be scaled back because the government is Republican and not Democrat. The article notes that while (currently) worthy public radio and television is appropriately poor in (filthy) cash, it is rich in public airwaves, and if it could sell some of those public airwaves then it would be rich and could continue to do its good work.

The issue though is that those airwaves are "public", which means they "belong to the people", aka the current administration. Given that the US is struggling with budget deficits, any privatization of public airwaves ought to be through an auction with the money raised flowing back to general revenue. I understand why the Slate writer wants a large transfer of money from public coffers to his favorite TV and radio stations. I don't understand why he thinks that's in the public good.


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