The FCC, Net Neutrality, Property Rights and the First Amendment

“The American”, The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, reviewed a great article written 50 years ago. An economist, Mr. Coase wrote about the Federal Communications Commission and the effect of government regulation on the process. The article covers three of Coase’s points about the problem with government regulation. Mr. Coase’s points are:

“(1)    The existence of a market failure or externality does not in and of itself justify government intervention; indeed, government is often the underlying cause of the problem.

(2)    Government intervention is seldom either administratively efficient or politically neutral; to the contrary, it often results in what Coase called the “mal-allocation” of resources.

(3)    Government control of the economy is a threat to political liberty; for example, government control of the broadcast spectrum has consistently been used to limit free speech.”

These three points appear to be applicable to any project the government takes on. For FCC just substitute Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, failed Bank and Financial Institutions, etc. The article is applicable to today’s world as it was 50 years ago.

Recently the BBC radio had a 3 part program on conservatism called “Conserve What”. It was basically historical, yet it attempted to place David Cameron, the current head Tory, in line with other Tories like Benjamin Disraeli and Margaret Thatcher. How do Cameron’s principles compare with their principles?

The BBC reached a conclusion about the major differences between Tories (conservatives) and the Socialist, Communist, Fascist groups. That conclusion was that Tories, when they determine the need for change they first assess what they have and then and only then do they start to make smaller changes. The Socialist, Communist, or Fascist changes systems by throwing the existing system out and making broad sweeping changes without regard to the parts of the system that works well. Many people call this throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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