Unfair!

by Don Boudreaux on June 9, 2010

in Current Affairs, Law, Other People's Money, Politics, Subsidies, Weblogs

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Criticizing yesterday’s Supreme Court decision “cutting off matching funds to candidates participating in [Arizona's] public campaign finance system,” you bemoan the fact that “three candidates, including Gov. Jan Brewer, can no longer receive public funds they had counted on to run against a free-spending wealthy opponent” (“Keeping Politics Safe for the Rich,” June 9).

Like candidates for public office, at my blog Café Hayek I often express political opinions that I believe would make America a better place.  Unfortunately for me and my ideas – and, I dare say, for the country – I must compete against free-spending wealthy opponents such as you and other giants in the mainstream media.  My ideas and I are at a terrible disadvantage.

So, using your logic, I conclude that government’s failure to give “matching funds” to “qualifying” alternative media – like my blog and TimesWatch – is a dangerous injustice that causes Americans to be poorly informed.  The quality of ideas that Americans now carry into voting booths is inferior because government doesn’t ‘level’ the media playing field with such subsidies.  Don’t you agree?

Given the important role of ideas in shaping political opinions and electoral outcomes, surely you’ll not let concerns about freedom of the press prevent you from supporting matching funds for your competitors.  Right?

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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