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Old 04-21-2003, 09:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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More or less government control?

It seems that the general feeling around here is that there is too much government control, and that things would be better if the government backed off. Just to suggest an alternate view, I'd like to bring up the current radio situation.

Prior to the 1996 Telecommunications act, corporations were only allowed to own no more than 5 VHF radio stations. This was a government restriction set up to protect independent stations. After the 1996 Telecom act, however, this limitation was removed. The idea was that it would foster competition and variety. The results are obvious, and not what was expected. Just look at ClearChannel, Citadel, and Cumulus Media. The top two corporate owners now own over 1400 stations between them. ClearChannel has about 1200 of those stations. ClearChannel especially has a reputation for iron-fisted central control.

The '96 Telecom Act is here:
http://www.fcc.gov/reports/tcom1996.txt
check out Sec. 202: Broadcast Ownership

another place I got some of my facts: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/20/opinion/20THU4.html

Basically everything I stated above can be supported either by those websites or by the books I've got (sorry, can't give links to those )

So, should we still deregulate things, or is some government control good? I'm not just talking about radio broadcasts, I'm just using that as an example, since I have facts about it.
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm all for reasonable government control. I belive in government environmental controls, controls ensuring competition, etc. A lot of people when we say there is too much government control are talking about things like the DMCA and the PATRIOT acts.
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think there IS to much govermental control but of course its uneven. At some places they have WAY to much control (alot of this is goverment funded special intrest groups) but there are some things that I think the goverment should keep full control over (police and fire departments come to mind) and others I think they should have less/be completly elimanted (schools for one)
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think there is TOO much government.

I think the government is NOT efficient.
It wastes money, time & effort.
It doesn't know how to focus it's efforts.

The GAO is slowly getting them to clean up their act.
But the buearucratic mentality is making is torturingly slow.

If we could get our government to focus it's effort,
then we would need to reduce it.
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Why no government control in schools? As I see it, without control, some schools would be very bad, while others would be very good. This already happens to some extent, and can be seen when comparing inner-city schools to schools in rich suburbs, but I think that if government controls were removed, this situation would only get worse.

I do think that some things are over-regulated (like the homeland security act), but I still think that there needs to be a decent amount of government regulation. Even if we give up a little bit of freedom, we still have more than many other countries, and if it benefits the majority of the people, I think it's a fair trade.
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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less government control. it almost gets annoying trying to run a business with tons of government regulations to follow
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think schools should be run by private enterpise. The goverment can (and would) still fund them. They would still be free. But private organizations would run them. Because hey.. they can't do any worse. And I think if people had more options as to were there kids went and the schools had to EARN students (and therefor funding) they would be alot better.
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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BBtB, my only problem with that idea is that I think that the wealthy upper class (and mostly white) students would end up going to one school, while the lower income students (which often times are minorities) would end up going to another. This is because one school would be better than the other, so people would choose to go to it. The people who could not choose, because they had to go to the school closer to them, would get stuck going to the poorer-quality school.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm in no way saying that minorities are less inteligent than white people, or that minorities are always poor. I'm just saying what I've seen.

Fairfield High is primarily white upper-middle to upper class students. There were probably 10-20 black kids out of the 3000+ students in the school. It is generally assumed that everyone going to this school will go to college. Many of them are given a new car on their 16th birthday.

Drive about 4 or 5 blocks into Bridgeport. Bassick High School is probably 90% black, and 95% minorities. I think something like 50% of the students go on to college. Most of them are lucky if their family has a car.

If you could choose where to go, which one would you choose? Most families who can afford to do so send their kids to private schools. So basically, your situation already exists. Those who can afford it go to the good schools. Those who can't afford it, or who can't afford to live near the good schools, go to the bad schools.

I'm not saying that it couldn't work. I'm just saying that it would be very difficult to make it work equally.
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My main problem with the government is the regulation of the money. I talking about the millions of tax dollars collected that are wasted and misspent each year. There should be a tighter control on the spending of money. Maybe then we would not have such a large deficit at times. Now I'm not saying cut back on defense spending or education, just make purchases wisely like it was actually their money they were spending. There should be no reason for the surplus of materials and equipment that shows up at govenment agencies when they eventually get audited. Maybe the same aganecy that regulates spending could also keep an inventory and maybe that would help cut losses as well.
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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BBtB, in Oregon, schools essentially have to do just that--compete for students. Each student comes with a dollar amount on their head--the more students, the more dollars for the school district. The state funding model was redesigned in the early 1990s to have more "equality" across the board between small and big school district. The problem is, the small school districts budgets are being drained by students with special needs/disabilities, despite the fact they come with extra money. The larger school districts require--supposedly--larger bureaucracies that drain dollars away from the classroom. Such a funding model is not practical, nor is it advisable. Oregon students suffered before the budget cuts, and they'll be suffering after, because of the state funding model. It's ineffecient and wasteful.

I don't have an issue with government control. I would totally support a socialist government, such as those in the Netherlands or Sweden. I do, however, have an issue with unnecessary bureaucracy and infringement upon my person rights (i.e. the PATRIOT Act).
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The question of more or less is rather unimportant.

What's more important is that the govt. has credibility, honest, accountabile to actions, transperency etc. however, since power tends to bring out the corruption in individuals, it would be a good idea to have lesser govt control with things like DMCA patriot act etc.

Also, private enterprisees serve as alternate sources of influence to balance things out.
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Old 04-22-2003, 05:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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As governments go, we have the best in the world. That's by design, of course. Our founders were a group of the most brilliant, honorable, and decent men of their times. They were born in an age of nascent liberty and they bequeathed that vision to us.

That being said, like everything else that is real, it gets better every day because good people work on making it so.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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No government is efficient. They are tiered bureaucracies by nature.

That said, if private business fails to:
1. Be successfully run. (airlines)
2. Benefit a universal public need. (health care industry)

then government needs to step in. Airlines cannot make it without huge bail-outs, which is getting ridiculous. Those that do like JetBlue, etc are using outdated jets over 30 years old that will need to be retired.

Health care - well, whether its insurance or drug companies or providers, everyone seems to want to make more more more. This is to the huge expense of the patient both financially and in terms of quality care.

So, no, I don't believe there is too much gov't control and wouldn't mind seeing them step forward in some industries. BTW, the original example of utilities - I think that deregulation will work itself out in that sector, just not as quickly as we'd maybe have liked.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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More government.

If there wasn't a government bigger than our corporations then we would just regress to the late 1800's/early 1900's. That was the problem back then and it can still happen again, and has already started now that Clinton relaxed government control, as can be seen by the growing wealth gap between the rich and poor.

Can anyone say 7 day work weeks 12 hours a day for minimum wage? Small children working dangerous jobs? Both were widespread problems before the government stepped in.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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im quoting another member of tfp "From my understanding of biological evolution, nothing ever evolves for the benefit of the group." in other words, making life easy for the weak will not get us anywhere
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I am generally in favor of less control, but I've also seen first hand where government control is absolutely necessary for something to happen.

In my 'better govt. view',

Less:
- morality (blue) laws, such as sodomy laws, liquor store sales on Sunday, abortion, marijuana (but strictly regulated)

More:
- social justice areas, such as health care, equal opportunity for education (especially cost)

In a nut shell, I think that the purpose of govt. is to
-maximize the freedom and opportunities of individuals while
-preserving the general societal structure

So although I may seem ultra conservative on some issues, I am actually more middle of the road and not so easy to pin down.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by oane
The question of more or less is rather unimportant.

What's more important is that the govt. has credibility, honest, accountabile to actions, transperency etc. however, since power tends to bring out the corruption in individuals, it would be a good idea to have lesser govt control with things like DMCA patriot act etc.

Also, private enterprisees serve as alternate sources of influence to balance things out.
I'm not sure if transparency is such a good idea. While I agree that power tends to lead to corruption, and having the power out in the open would lessen the corruption, I also think that there are some things that the government does that the ordinary person does not necessarily need to know about. I've said this before, but it applies here: Individuals people are smart, people as a group are stupid. Some of the stuff that the government hides would create a panic among the people if it came out. I'm not supporting propaganda and thought police, but I do think that some degree of secrecy is needed for any government to work well.
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Old 04-22-2003, 11:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by phoenix1002
BBtB, my only problem with that idea is that I think that the wealthy upper class (and mostly white) students would end up going to one school, while the lower income students (which often times are minorities) would end up going to another. This is because one school would be better than the other, so people would choose to go to it. The people who could not choose, because they had to go to the school closer to them, would get stuck going to the poorer-quality school.

Fairfield High is primarily white upper-middle to upper class students. There were probably 10-20 black kids out of the 3000+ students in the school. It is generally assumed that everyone going to this school will go to college. Many of them are given a new car on their 16th birthday.

Drive about 4 or 5 blocks into Bridgeport. Bassick High School is probably 90% black, and 95% minorities. I think something like 50% of the students go on to college. Most of them are lucky if their family has a car.
See the thing is you say you don't want any one but the goverment in control of schools because you are afraid that poorer students will get poorer learning then you go on to point out that that is exactly what the goverment has allready done with schools.

Quote:
Originally posted by onesnowyowl
BBtB, in Oregon, schools essentially have to do just that--compete for students. Each student comes with a dollar amount on their head--the more students, the more dollars for the school district. The state funding model was redesigned in the early 1990s to have more "equality" across the board between small and big school district. The problem is, the small school districts budgets are being drained by students with special needs/disabilities, despite the fact they come with extra money. The larger school districts require--supposedly--larger bureaucracies that drain dollars away from the classroom. Such a funding model is not practical, nor is it advisable. Oregon students suffered before the budget cuts, and they'll be suffering after, because of the state funding model. It's ineffecient and wasteful.
Even low budget schools would do better with private organizations in charge. The goverment is like the worst handler of money there is. They waste so much money. Most schools don't need (much) more funding. They just need better handling of the money they recieve now.

Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
Less:
- morality (blue) laws, such as sodomy laws, liquor store sales on Sunday, abortion, marijuana (but strictly regulated)
The problem with getting rid of the morality laws is which ones do we get rid of? I mean what about child porn and rape? Those are both basically outlawed based on the morality of it.
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:26 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I want more control.


I want to be told when I can and can not piss.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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BBtB, the biggest issue I see is that if the schools were still government funded, the problem wouldn't go away. The problem is not necessarily government mismanagement, it also has to do with available tax dollars. For example, the amount of money Fairfield has available to devote to education is much more than Bridgeport has, and the schools reflect this. So private institutions fully funded by the government would not work, which means the students would have to pay. The students that we are trying to help are the very students that would not be helped, because they wouldn't be able to afford to go to the better schools.

Here's an idea that would require a lot of work, but if executed properly, would improve the education system. Have a nation-wide education tax that went into one huge pool. Then, the money would be divided based on the number of students in each school. True, some schools might have some cuts in funding, but it would definitely help some of the schools in low-budget areas. Of course, the first problem I see is that with the current administration, this education tax would probably be cut to almost nothing immediately to help fund- I mean fight-'terrorism'.
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