Jarvis and Powell: Both Wrong


I completely understand Jeff Jarvis' disgust with Michael Powell's self-serving arguments, the very ones, I might add, that Reason's interview with Powell in the December issue largely punches through. But when Jarvis says that "they are my airwaves, too" he loses me.

Lack of private property rights in this sphere is precisely the problem and it is not something the courts can magically fix. When the government owns something, surprise, it more or less calls the shots on how said thing is used. In contrast, I can beam whatever kind of filth I choose across my wi-fi Net and the FCC does not enter into the matter. Now, if I wind up letting the neighbor kids jump on, we've got First Amendment-safe laws for dealing with that.

The only real fix involves letting "broadcasting" and the "public airwaves" go the way of steamships and gaslamps.