Thursday, April 21, 2005

You Can't Talk About The Weather

Or at least the feds won't be able to if a bill proposed by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) passes. Seems that companies like AccuWeather and The Weather Channel don't like the competition. Never mind that much of their input data comes from National Weather Service sources. I don't normally favor governments competing with private enterprise, but in this case the government collects the data for lots of reasons of its own, and since the taxpayers are footing the bill, they might as well get the results.

Santorum has been cited for his business associations before. Some refer to his constituency as R-Wal-Mart.


At 5:10 AM, Blogger -J said...

You don't favor competition? That's pretty weak. If private enterprise is really better and more efficient, it will provide something better than the government does and people will come to rely on it instead.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Ben Klausner said...

My problem isn't competition. It's government. Governments generally don't compete on a fair basis, using taxes to undercut competitors, or regulation to keep them from operating. Then they have a monopoly. For example, why should cities be in the WiFi (or electricity) business?

This case is a bit different. Here, the companies want to regulate the government out of the market.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger -J said...

Sorry I didn't notice your comment until today.

Governments should be involved when they provide a service that likely would not otherwise be met. Don't get me started on public WiFi. I think you're way off on that one. I think it equates to providing public lighting on city streets and downtown areas - to make them more attractive and increase the attractiveness of that area. To be honest, people everywhere have pretty much been taking it ... the hard way ... for their broadband/DSL and phone and cable rates.

Lawrence Lessig, I think, publshed an interesting article on the WiFi stuff recently, but so have many others I am sure.

If the private sector offers something better than the government they will win out. Look at the privatization of government in the last 20 years. (As an aside, the privatization has often cost the American public at large more.)

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Ben Klausner said...

We could turn this into a real flame war ;)

Or, we could privately discuss opposing opinions by email if you want to send me an address.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger -J said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger -J said...

I emailed you at your blogger@frijoles account.


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