I don't want to disagree with any of this, but would only point out that private enterprise seems to have provided all the worst kinds of broadcasting we could have imagined, but not health insurance for my grandson, who has been diabetic since about age 12 and can't get insurance from anybody at any price. And we may be straying off topic, so I think I'll shut up now!

Donald Clarke

On Jul 3, 2013, at 9:48 AM, Tom Fine wrote:

Uh, the Founding Fathers INTENDED for a union of "50 squabbling countries," so as to avoid a tyrannical over-arching centralized government. I would say that the bigger problem of post-1932 times is that we've gone way too far afield of the Founding Fathers' vision and a massive, multi-level, intrusive and un-democratic government gets in the way of individual freedoms and initiatives. In an effort to "protect" everyone from themselves, the only result is to "protect" us from our own liberty. Worst of all, the megaglomerate government is more wasteful, corrupt and inefficient than any private enterprise (not that megaglomerations of private enterprise are efficient, honest or frugal).

My big take-away from modern life is that all mass "organizations" of human beings are good for is waging very destructive warfare. In any other enterprise, size is the enemy of intelligence and efficiency. So I'd much rather have 50 (or more) smaller groups of people trying different solutions to the same problems with the marketplace deciding which works best in each place.

If I had been in charge, I would have never allowed broadcast networks under centralized ownership in the first place, much less some sort of "government sez it's good for you" broadcast conglomerate. I'd have focused on protecting individual entities in each markets, but allowing them to share content (ie mutually fund programming, and everyone distribute it -- sort of like network programming via affiliates) for a certain number of their broadcast hours every day. The rest of the hours would have to be hyper-focused on the local market. I'd also have required a local public-access component for every broadcast license (a reasonable number of hours each week must be handed over to locals who can produce their own programming, but the station is welcome to sell commercial time so as to make money off those hours). Under those rules, local owners would have to hone a localized business model to be profitable.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Donald Clarke" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:26 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Radio

> The government handed broadcasting on a plate to commercial interests right after WWI, and that's why it's mostly been a vast wasteland. There aren't any record stores anywhere any more, but travelling in Europe in the 1980s I heard Billie Holiday from the ceiling in a French hypermarket (as opposed to the noisy trash in your nearest shopping mall), and in every hilltop town in Tuscany there was a mom-and-pop record shop that had the popcrock, both Italian and English-language, but also decent selections of jazz and classical, because kids in those countries grow up hearing it on their national radio stations, whereas most people in the USA never hear any of either.
> And speaking of 'national', the biggest American problem may be that we are not a nation at all, but a loose union of 50 squabbling little countries, so that the corporations can walk all over us.
> Donald Clarke