Digital TV - A Right?

Thursday, December 08, 2005
George Will has an interesting Op-Ed about Congress and its $3 billion bill to ensure that all Americans will have access to television when the Digital revolution comes around. I had a chance to have dinner with George Will once when I was at Princeton. I won a drawing, one of the few things I have won in life, but passed on the opportunity. Don't know why. I wish I hadn't.

Anyway, the switch will actually mean very little to most people. The only people it means anything to are those who have neither cable nor satellite TV. Of course, the people this most likely affects are the poor, those who can't afford cable or satellite TV.

Why no doubt this would not be fair to the poor, the question becomes should it really matter? I have to agree with George Will on this one. For me, it isn't the specific question of digital television. The problem I have is with the general sense of entitlement. I have a very limited view of what government should and should not do. Clearly there is no "right to television" outlined in the Constitution but where does one draw the line?

What's next? The right to video games? I mean the Xbox 360 just came out, so very soon, game publishers will stop making games for the old Xbox. Should we force them to make all the video games compatible with the old Xbox? Don't laugh. Video games are slowly but surely becoming ubiquitous, at least as much as television was in the mid 20th century. Someday soon, we might get to see a "No Video-Game Left Behind" act and then we will really know we have all gone straight to hell.

10 comments:

Ryan said...

This has nothing to do with entitlement or unfairness to poor people. The move to subsidize digital receiver equipment is not pushed by consumer advocacy groups, but by the broadcasters and other big business surrounding TV. The pretense of aiding those unable to afford a digital receiver or new TV set is merely a clever label that is more appealing than "corporate welfare" which it really is.

The lobby behind this action is entirely backed by broadcasters who don't want to lose viewership (and thus advertising revenue) when the switch happens. It's nothing more than government handouts to businesses who bribe, excuse me, contribute to congressmen. The fact that it is being done under the guise of helping consumers just makes it all the more desipicable.

Kat said...

WTF?! how about entitlement to food and shelter?

Kat said...

education....
health care...

T said...

Ryan, you just further reinforced one of the main themes of my blog. The reason government is bad is because it basically can mask its activities to aid people who don't really need the aid.

Coroprate wellfare is probably my least favorite things about government and so long as we have a system of taxation and government subsidies like we do, the problems it creates will just continue to get worse. So long as we allow them to, government will always use the mask of "trying to help the little guy" when in reality they are trying to help their own pockets.

T said...

Kat,

I don't really believe anyone is entitled to anything. Not even the things you mention. If I decide I don't want to work and just sit at home (and watch digital TV) am I entitled to any of what you say? What if everyone decided that having food, shelter, health care, and education were perfectly fine and everyone decided not to work and just live off the government? Only people who lose are those who have the integrity to work. Are we to punish those who have integrity?

You might argue sure if you are "trying" to work then you are. How is one supposed to measure that? You don't think people will game the system?

Blue Gal said...

I blogged about that Will article too. I would NEVER give up a chance to have dinner with him. One of the few repubs I could say that about.

Nice blog. I'll be back. Keep the faith.

Blue Gal

Kat said...

since i'm a socialist, we can't have this debate... and the argument all capitalists use is "what about the lazy man who leeches off the system?" yadda yadda.

Jen said...

Where would McDonald's be if it didn't have 24/7/365 access to poorer and working class people?

Bankrupt, that's where.

David Cho said...

You passed up an opportunity to dine with George Will? $%##@#$@, Terrence, what the $#% is wrong with you?

George Will and William Buckley are my ideological gods, and you flat out passed up. What's next?

T said...

Dave,

Yes, I gave up a dinner with George Will. I know, I'm an idiot. But I was 18 at the time. What 18 year old is worried abou those types of things.