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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Corporatism At Work: Bush Signs Digital Television Bill

I have written a bit about corporatism and how it differs from capitalism. The difference between a corporatist and a capitalist is that a corporatist wants to provide legislation to benefit pariticular businesses while a capitalist just wants to create a level playing field without any active assistance from the government. It doesn't take much paying attention to see that corporatism is rampant in our country.

Case in point: This past week President Bush signed into law a bill that mandates US broadcasters to switch all of their signals to digital from analog. Take a minute to think about this: exactly who benefits from this law? Do consumers? I'm pretty sure that I haven't heard about a mass movement of people in our country clamoring for digital TV. What about the broadcasters? I doubt it; I can't imagine that they are looking for ways to spend more money. So who?

The TV manufacturers. They are being given quite the gravy train from the federal government. Think about what they have accomplised with this bill. They have essentially forced all Americans who watch TV to throw away perfectly good ones in order to purchase a product that there is no great demand for. What industry wouldn't want that?

It is an outrage that our government would subvert the will of the people like this. Yet are we really surprised when we see this sort of action happen every day?

Wake up people! This is not capitalism; this is corporatism and it is bad!

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