Special Edition

by Don Boudreaux on March 24, 2011

in Crony Capitalism, Other People's Money, Subsidies

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

NPR anchorman Steve Inskeep contends that “NPR’s audience keeps expanding because Americans want more than toxic political attacks” (“Liberal Bias at NPR?” March 24).

Excellent news!

So I trust that, given their successful formula for pleasing listeners and winning expansive market share, Mr. Inskeep and his NPR colleagues no longer require further subsidies from taxpayers.  All things considered, products that are genuinely valued by consumers (intensely enough to justify the costs of producing these products) survive in competitive, unsubsidized markets.  Suppliers of these products do not need to receive corporate welfare.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

comments

108 comments    Share Share    Print    Email

{ 108 comments }

frankie barbella March 24, 2011 at 9:47 am

I seriously doubt NPR will make any attempt to sever themselves from government assistance. Unfortunately, there is no longer public shame in rent seeking as there once was.

Methinks1776 March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

Has NPR ever had any shame? Actually, has there ever been any shame in rent seeking?

All you have to do is point to aaaaalllll those poor folks you’ll have to send to the unemployment office if your unproductive company is forced by competitive pressure to shut down and the public is all for any rents you can wrest from them.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be competitive pressure that drives your company out of business. It can be government itself cranking up the cost of regulation. Then, the deal goes something like this: we will submit to regulation if you regulators create rents for us to make up for, otherwise we bolt. The average American has no idea how much he’s paying for all this meddling.

Rent seeking is the norm, not the exception.

frankie barbella March 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

So we agree.

In regards to your question “has there ever been any shame in rent seeking?”

Frank Chodorov in chapter 1 of “Out of Step” stated that there once was a time when rent seeking was the source of shame. However, that time has long since past. Here is a link to a portion of that chapter.

http://books.google.com/books?id=NeGFrElEBGAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=out+of+step&hl=en&ei=YVOLTYSUHsXXgQe6io29DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Methinks1776 March 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Thank you. I look forward to reading it. I have never lived in such a time – unfortunately.

frankie barbella March 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm

You are welcome, Mr. Chodorov was a inspiration and mentor to Murray Rothbard. I suspect, given your screen name that you would enjoy the entire book.

Ken March 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Political rent-seeking should confer shame. But isn’t the definition of “rent” here “above-market return?” Why should there be shame in a Schumpeterian economic rent, generated by a superior and disruptive innovation? After all, everyone involved in the latter is a volunteer.

Methinks1776 March 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Ken, the term “rent seeking” specifically refers to seeking economic rent via political means.

You are describing seeking rents in exploiting natural inefficiencies (as arbitrageurs do) and creating excess returns via innovation.

Although, in the same way that you can say that arbitrageurs are alpha seekers they are also rent seekers. Same thing, completely different connotation.

Ken March 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

In the connotation you specify, I agree with you, though some of the academic management strategy literature uses the term “economic rent.” I had Oppenheimer’s economic means/political means in mind.

Methinks1776 March 24, 2011 at 10:32 am

to make up for….the cost of incremental regulation.

So miss the edit button.

Noah March 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

My nomination for Pun of the Year!!

LowcountryJoe March 24, 2011 at 11:27 am

I especially liked the “all things considered’ crack as well.

Mike M. March 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I haven’t commented in a while, but I came on just to comment about that. I do love a good pun.

vidyohs March 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

I think it is true that Americans want more than toxic political attacks.

The problem NPR has is the same one faced by the old MSM, and that is the American public slowly awakened to the fact that, in the arena of things political, all the MSM (and NPR) was offering them was toxic political attacks and with the introduction of talk radio and the internet, now the public has alternatives to that one side slanted toxic talk.

Prior to 1988, to find public offering of ideas and news contrary to the left leaning themes run in the MSM (and NPR), one had to subscribe to, or buy, one of the few magazines that actually presented opposition to the socialist ideas and goals. Even then we all found out how quick the MSM (and NPR) were to label opposition as hateful and toxic, not because of its content, but because it was opposition.

SheetWise March 25, 2011 at 12:12 am

“Prior to 1988, to find public offering of ideas and news contrary to the left leaning themes run in the MSM (and NPR), one had to subscribe to, or buy, one of the few magazines that actually presented opposition to the socialist ideas and goals.”

I remember the warm feeling of going to the mailbox and finding the latest edition of The American Spectator or National Review — it was getting a letter from a long lost friend.

vidyohs March 25, 2011 at 6:13 am

It was around the 1987/1988 time that my brother turned me on to Reason Magazine. You’re right, I looked forward to that monthly delivery with anticipation.

Pingry March 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

Why stop at NPR? Let’s go after George Mason University too.

So I trust that, given GMU’s successful formula for pleasing students and winning expansive market share, Don Boudreaux and his GMU colleagues no longer require further subsidies from taxpayers. Suppliers of these services do not need to receive welfare.

–Pingry

Don Boudreaux March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

I agree. I believe that GMU should be privatized. It has no business being in business if it cannot survive without taxpayer subsidies.

The Dweller Ysul March 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

Yeah, Don, easy to say on your personal blog when there’s no chance in hell it’s going to happen. Why not launch a national campaign?

LowcountryJoe March 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

Even though it’s on a personal blog he shares with Professor Roberts, does it really make it easy to state? I mean, the Lefty trolls that come here never have the courage to state that they’re actually for less individual liberty even though that’s precisely what they’re championing.

Richard Stands March 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Professor Boudreaux has not launched a national campaign against NPR either. In both cases, he rejects rent seeking in favor of competitive markets – from his personal blog. Consistent as usual.

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 2:15 pm

He’s a hypocrite because he advocates for free markets, but doesn’t forgo everything that is not a free market? I see. So free market advocates are either hypocrites, or dead.

I know I know. I’m exaggerating. There are some who manage the pure free market life–out in the wilderness. So make sure you keep government intrusion growing, so that we eventually extinguish those vermin as well, eh?

SheetWise March 25, 2011 at 12:16 am

Yes — it’s unconscionable! A true believer in free markets would never send their kids to a public school (they would just pay for the public schools, not actually use them).

LowcountryJoe March 24, 2011 at 11:39 am

Sure, and why stop at those two things when there’s a few federally-run government entitlement programs that masquerade as insurance? These programs subsidize. No sense in turning back now, now that you’ve gone down this road, right Pingry?

JohnK March 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

America likes toxic political attacks.

They’re entertaining.

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Heck yeah. The only time I can agree with a politician is when he’s insulting another politician.

Steve D March 24, 2011 at 10:15 am

I think that Pingry would discover (if he were to look into it) is that most of the core work done by the GMU economics department is largely privately funded as Walter Williams discussed in a recent interview.

Don Boudreaux March 24, 2011 at 10:31 am

Certainly true of GMU’s Department of Economics.

Pfloyd March 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm

This makes me want to apply there more and more.

Steve D March 24, 2011 at 10:18 am
Curtis Lanoue March 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

NPR itself has admitted it doesn’t need subsidies. Individual affiliates, especially rural ones, might.

I’m not sure why you construct a contradiction in his statement. Might be a strawman there.

Ryan Vann March 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Then they can cross subsidize those affiliates with their revenues.

Justin DeWind March 24, 2011 at 11:04 am

I don’t have a problem defunding public radio ALL TOGETHER. However, the current bill that is being introduced is a “Bill of Attainder” that targets only NPR and does not actually save money or remove subsidies all together. It just means NPR can’t get subsidies but other private entities are eligible.

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

That’s a nice protection scheme for subsidies: “No subsidies can be cut unless ALL subsidies are cut!”

Hey, can we apply that to taxes as well? “No taxes can be cut unless ALL taxes are cut!”

And how about: “No spending can be cut unless ALL spending is cut!”

Yeah. I see what you’re after.

Justin DeWind March 24, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Way to redirect the argument and not address the implications with regard to the “Rule of Law” and the constitutional viability of it since “Bill of Attainders” are in fact unconstitutional. But hey, at least you pulled at the heart strings of some people to divert them from the real argument.

Every thought of going into politics?

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Sorry, most people here besides you know what a bill of attainder is, so I did gloss by the obvious. Selectively taxing, subsidizing, or removing same is not attainder. Nobody is accusing you of any wrongdoing. And of course, stopping a gift–a subsidy–shouldn’t even bring up the idea of attainder, which is about penalties, not gifts.

But if avoiding unequal treatment under the law is your goal, you must accept the fact that unequal treatment is an ongoing fact. That NPR will be getting a subsidy next year, while KQRS won’t-will not be equal treatment. Preventing that unequal treatment by preventing NPR’s subsidy should be right up your alley.

Ryan Vann March 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

“Bill of Attainder”? Who is going to prison over this?

E.G. March 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

NPR’s audience keeps expanding? The only people I know who listen to NPR are foaming at the mouth leftists, who almost had a heart attack when they heard it might be defended. I myself tuned in once…accidentally…on a long drive…and I couldn’t turn it off because it was such a terrible show, I had to listen to it (2 hour show on…fish in aquariums!)

Methinks1776 March 24, 2011 at 11:31 am

NPR’s audience on that day expanded by one frothing-at-the-mouth conservative.

E.G. March 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

Aww…you’re gonna be mad at me for long? :p

Richard Stands March 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I highly recommend Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me! (in either live or podcast form). It’s a weekly satirical look at current events. Very funny. While regulars often have a progressive bias, P.J. O’Rourke is an occasional panelist as well.

I’d happily pay directly, or to sponsors, for programming of this type.

For programs like “This American Life”, they can find other patrons.

GP Hanner March 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I used to listen to NPR’s morning show on a long commute through pretty much radio-less territory. I recall hearing that foaming-at-the-mouth socialist, Michael Harrington (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Harrington), but not once did I hear a rebuttal from any foaming-at-the-mouth member of the conservative persuasion.

Charles Twardy March 24, 2011 at 11:21 am

a) NPR would do OK without govt. subsidies. There’s a reasonable case to be made for public funding, but it’s hardly necessary.

b) Having a bias is not the same thing as deliberately slanting — I value NPR and the Economist not because they have no bias, but because they strive towards good investigative and analytic journalism. Comparing imperfection to “toxic political attacks” is silly.

yet another Dave March 24, 2011 at 11:39 am

I cannot imagine anything coming even close to slightly resembling a reasonable case for government funding of NPR. (I do not limit this conclusion to NPR alone.)

Your assessment may be correct, but the few times I’ve tuned in to NPR I didn’t hear “good investigative and analytic journalism” but rather very one-sided reporting and discussion. Is that the exception and my random sampling just happens to miss the good stuff?

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Hear hear.

It is just plain wrong to violently shake down my friendly neighbor Mrs. Jones–unless of course we give her extorted money to a popular radio network.

SheetWise March 25, 2011 at 12:33 am

“Is that the exception and my random sampling just happens to miss the good stuff?”

I agree. I’ve never heard a program on NPR that made me think about the quality of their journalism — and I’ve never finished one of their news segments thinking I knew more than when it began. If they report on something I’m not aware of, I always feel as if I need to check their “facts” and not let the information dwell too long without confirmation. If they report on something I am aware of, I’m fascinated by how shallow and selective the reporting is. It’s sad that some people use NPR as a primary source of news and information.

On the other hand, in our random sampling it is possible that we are all outliers. It could happen.

Emil March 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I agree that having a bias is not necessarily a bad thing. But when you do have a bias you should
1) not attempt to hide that you have a bias
2) not receive any public funding (especially if your bias is for one of the main political parties)

vidyohs March 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Charles,

Perhaps you’d like to define “toxic political attacks” for us, or at least provide your definition.

For myself I know that an attack can be a violent assault; but it does not have to be an all out frontal assault on a target, it can be a slow erosion of the enemy’s will to resist, or a subversion of the enemy’s character and belief system, so that in the end they are taken over without a fight. In other words the looney left uses toxic political rhetoric to poison the character and belief system of Americans. The poison is like arsenic, given in very low, non-lethal, doses over years does have a lethal effect because the body (public or private) can’t purge the arsenic and the build up eventually kills. The attack planned on capitalism and freedom by international communism after the success of the Russian revolution in the early 20th century was two pronged, armed revolution where possible, slow poisonous erosion where armed revolution would fail.

With that in mind, an observant person can see the low dose of arsenic in the spoken and written rhetoric of the looney left. All one has to do is to listen or read, then think critically “If we follow this thought process to its most probable conclusion, what would that be?” Inevitably when you do that, you find collectivism, redistribution, and forced fraternity at the end of the trail.

NPR is very guilty of providing the poisonous doses of socialist arsenic.

jimmy f March 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

You have to listen to NPR an awful long time to hear something vaguely political. They report news and do these little human interest stories. They’re way to scared in this political atmopshere to give an opinion as they are held to a higher standard than private media are, and that’s fine to me. But I think all this rhetoric is for the most part political and gives people something to get fired up about. If we’re talking dollars, NPR receives very little as compared with other expenditures.

kyle8 March 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

That is simply false, extremely false. The few times I listen I always get a healthy dose of politics, always of the far left variety. And often allied with a scrupulous shading of any other points of view.

Emerson White March 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

It is worth pointing out that a political POV based on false statements of fact will render true facts as political bias.

yet another Dave March 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Are you suggesting NPR does not have a leftist bias?

kyle8 March 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Well sounds lik you ought to know.

nailheadtom March 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm

The amount of federal subsidy to NPR and its percentage of the federal budget isn’t the issue. There should be no subsidy whatever. If the service it allegedly performs is so important it will be supported by the marketplace, as, in fact, it already is to a great extent. The organization could exist without federal funding but considers that funding an endorsement of its activity.

dithadder March 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Yes. I love love love NPR, and find it to be very objective and informative. BUT we shouldn’t be funding it because there are alternatives. BUT BUT it should be way lower on Republicans’ hit list.

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm

That’s one way to look at it. Another way is that if you can’t even stop funding for NPR, what hope is there of cutting government spending at all?

kyle8 March 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm

It should be first on the hit list. There is a word to describe the use of public money to push a propaganda platform that always favors the forces of centralized government, it is called Fascism.

SheetWise March 25, 2011 at 12:39 am

“… NPR receives very little as compared with other expenditures.”

The amount we spend on bombs is quite small as well — but they can do a lot of damage. Good bang for the buck as they say.

ColoComment March 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

At the risk of sounding hard-hearted (because after all it took his death to get rid of him), I cannot tell you glad I am that Daniel Schorr is no longer the NPR “political analyst.” Countless times I complained to NPR about the blatant liberal bias of his “anaysis” during the Clinton and Bush 43 years.

He didn’t even try to hide it.

nailheadtom March 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Daniel Schorr never did any analysis, he just reiterated news headlines and Democrat talking points.

Emerson White March 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Most NPR funding is to provide radio to markets that are literally too small to support a radio station.

yet another Dave March 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I’m not sure I understand your point – do you think that justifies government funding? If so, why?

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Then how about—they don’t have a radio station? How’s that?

brotio March 24, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Then why is there an NPR station in Colorado Springs, serving a market of close to 750,000 people, that already has more than thirty commercial radio stations in that market?

I also find it hard to believe that there is any area of the continental US that isn’t reached by a commercial radio station. KOA Denver reaches over thirty states via broadcast, and the entire world via the web.

If there are two or three areas of the United States that aren’t reached by radio, they’re still reached by newspaper, and telephone.

JohnK March 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I’m pretty sure that NPR must, as a condition of receiving tax dollars, provide coverage in most places.

I recall a debate about NPR abandoning a transmission tower in northern Maine, but they said doing so would violate their contract. Something about them being required to have a station available if population density was above some arbitrary number or something like that. I don’t remember the specifics.

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Cool. End the contract, then they can finally abandon that damned tower.

Mr. Econotarian March 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

NPR is a membership media organization that serves as a national content syndicator to about 800 public radio stations in the United States of America.

Public radio stations pay NPR for NPR content, which is generally just a portion of their daily airtime. The rest of the airtime is made up with programs that are produced by the station itself, or purchased from other syndicators (such as American Public Media or the BBC).

Public radio stations obtain Community Service Grants (CSGs) from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). In turn, CPB is funded by the Federal government.

Public radio stations obtain additional funding beyond CSGs from individual and corporate donations, and some States and Universities fund public radio stations as well.

The “defund NPR” bill sought to keep stations from using CSGs (or any other Federal money) from being used for paying NPR dues. Which is a bit of an accounting nightmare for stations, as there is nothing that says what part of a CSG is to be used for NPR versus APM versus BBC versus transmitter maintenance, etc.

Oddly, the “defund NPR” bill would not touch the even more left-leaning Pacifica Radio network.

If you want to stop funding CPB and leave public radio stations to voluntary (or state/university) funding alone, that is one thing, but I don’t see why one would want this bill that is weird, questionably constitutional, and potentially unenforceable from an accounting point of view.

Al Barton March 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I’m a fiscal conservative and regular reader of Cafe Hayek. I also listen to NPR almost daily and support my local public radio station. While I find much of NPR’s product very interesting and well done, it’s absolutely baloney that NPR doesn’t have a liberal bias. I frequently hear the views of Professor Robert Reich (at UC Berkeley) and Terry Gross’s Fresh Air, with no countervailing conservative views presented. Is it reasonable for me to reach the compelling conclusion that an ideological preference exists? I see no reason why the quality of NPR’s service justifies taxpayer support.

vikingvista March 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I’ve listened to NPR quite a bit as well, and I agree. They more frequently interview left-of-center figures, which is fine. But the worst is when they have panel discussions, where all panel members present decidedly statist positions. Their worst bias, is bias by omission of alternative arguments.

Mr. Econotarian March 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I like “Marketplace”, but that is by American Public Media, not NPR. And I like “The World”, but that is by Public Radio International, not NPR.

Of NPR shows, I most like “Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and “Talk of the Nation” especially “Science Friday”. Also “The Thistle & Shamrock” where available. Of NPR News (including “Morning Edition”), I detect a left lean, but generally it is informative enough that I can ignore it.

“The Diane Rehm Show” and occasionally “Fresh Air” can get pretty leftist to the point I turn them off.

Steve March 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

Don’t forget Car Talk, with Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.

Steve D March 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

As has been pointed out, if you’re wondering about the political leanings of the broadcasts just look at the hosts and the guest list. It’s not a very difficult card to score. You could do the same thing with Fox news…. except that Fox is a private concern and I can choose to ignore them with my time AND my dollars. NPR.. well they get little of my time but my (tax) dollars are literally out of my hands.

kyle8 March 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I take your point about Fox News, but looking at it objectively, Fox has far more people of a liberal nature on it than NPR or PBS ever have had of non-liberals. Fox has had as regular contributors, Geraldo Rivera, Susan Estritch, Juan WIlliams, Alan Colmes, General Wesley Clark, and Ellis Hennican.

None of those are republicans.

Tim March 25, 2011 at 1:25 am

Fox obviously has the same bias in story selection that all news organizations suffer from, but this is one thing they do well which is to get people from both sides on the program.

I far prefer the open or at least blatant partisanship/ideology of those on fox battling it out so that people can make up their own minds to those on other networks who hide their ideological or partisan persuasion behind equivocation or alleged “pragmatic” arguments that rest fundamentally on ideological assumptions about the rights of individuals and what individuals or society ought value.

One’s notion of say, the extent and origin of property rights and the moral acceptability of imposing sacrifices on the few to help many is going to greatly one’s notion of whether or not a policy “works”.

Many on the left argue that their ideas work in the context of their ideological assumptions, and then dismiss anyone who disagrees with their assumptions as an ideologue.

optimus primed March 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

The left refuses to believe that bias can also exist in omission, which to me is the biggest sin of the liberal MSM (NPR included). Never mind what is actually being reported on as being biased (which often it very much is) but it is the pure dismissal and ignoring of relative stories that don’t fit their biased narrative that is the most damaging to open and critical thought (see the global warming “scientific research” as a prime example).

I don’t need to be funding something with a mandate to ignore one half of the argument.

muirgeo March 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Let’s get rid of ALL the other corporate subsidies first… whiich total hundreds of billions… then lets worry about the 0.3 billion being spent on NPR. Of course the republ;icans habve spent all week passing legislation to cut funds from babies milk, family planning and NPR totalling maybe 1 billion while passing out 10 of billions of subsidies for their donor corporations.

E.G. March 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Ok. Lets do that. Can we also stop subsidizing wind and solar? What about the Cowboy Poetry Club…or whatever its called? I’m with ya.

brotio March 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

You nailed it right there. Our little muirpocrite isn’t a bit interested in eliminating all corporate subsidies. He has cut-and-pasted more than one post in support of subsidies while accusing us of being corporatists because we oppose all subsidies.

Our Dear Ducktor is afflicted with muirzophrenia. Yasafi has more than once voiced opposition to corporate welfare while voicing support for corporate welfare.

vidyohs March 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm

muirzophrenia……hey I like that! Does that describe a broken brain?

kyle8 March 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I am for getting rid of all of them, but NPR first because it is the official mouthpiece for big centralized government, and that is obscene.

Mr. Econotarian March 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Muirgeo, I don’t think public radio even gets $300 million per year.

CPB FY2010 shows $61 million in radio Community Service Grants, $25 million in radio interconnection (the Public Radio Satellite Service), and $32 million in direct radio production funding. So it is more like $118 for all public radio funding:

http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/financials/audited/cpb_combinedstatements_fy10.pdf

NPR’s total revenues for 2010 were only $180 million (with the largest item being programming fees from stations):

http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/statements/fy2010/38373_NPR%20CONS%20fs.pdf

AnotherPhil March 25, 2011 at 8:40 am

Don’t you mean “family no planning”.

Give me a break, I live in PA. I’m completely aware of the nobility of the “family planning” industry, as multimillionaire killer Dr. Kermit and his cat feces filled, one standard room, one for the nice upper class white girls has been in the news a lot lately.

Muirbot, it never ceases to amaze me how you prove that one human being can completely subordinate personal thought to programming.

But by all means tell us how Democrats are free of corporate influence when the vacationer-in-chief just took GE CEO Jeff Imelt to Brazil… Or how Wall Street has been giving big bucks to Democrats..

Have you considered professional help?

JohnK March 25, 2011 at 9:45 am

“Have you considered professional help?”

I have yet to meet someone of the church of psychology who was not also of the church of state.

muirgeo March 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

NPR is a great example of the government being abe to provide a better service then anything available in the private radio news media. Their listeners are far better informed than Foxes.

Steve D March 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm

@muirgeo, please define “better service”. How are you assigning value to that service and if it is indeed valuable why can’t NPR stand on it’s own in the marketplace?

Oh and I completely agree with your first point. Let’s indeed get rid of all corporate welfare in all it’s forms. It would be one of the smartest things this country could do. Now where’s my candidate for that?

Methinks1776 March 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Generally speaking, I’ve never found foxes to be well informed about current events.

Don Boudreaux March 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

:-)

vidyohs March 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

M’lady, you beat me to it…..shucks. I was wondering whether the muirhuahua would live long enough to know the difference between foxes and fox’s……probably not.

vikingvista March 25, 2011 at 1:07 am
AnotherPhil March 25, 2011 at 8:41 am

“brainwashed” isn’t informed.

Steve March 25, 2011 at 9:31 am

And yet, NPR, during their fund raising drives, routinely and frequently insist that they are not a government provided service.

muirgeo March 24, 2011 at 9:26 pm

What if telling the real news is not good for advertisers? If a news channel reported regularly on oil industry subsides and crooked credit card suppliers would they be able to compete with the revenues of a station that reports only what it’s advertisers will allow. That’s why Don’s statement, “So I trust that, given their successful formula for pleasing listeners and winning expansive market share…” is so poorly thought out and shows an uncompromising faith in the power of money and the markets to deliver the right result.

S_M_V March 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Who gets to decide what the “right” results that need to be delivered are?

Politicians of course. We are very fortunate to have politicians that never compromise for money but instead are willing to always make decisions in the common good. And even better they have a super human ability to determine what is in the common good.

Your comment shows uncompromising faith in politicians even as you are criticizing what they are doing.

brotio March 25, 2011 at 12:07 am

This is another place where his muirpocrisy shines bright. If NPR slanted libertarian/conservative/individualist rather than the Statist/collectivist slant that it favors, Yasafi would be screaming from the rooftops that government shouldn’t be funding NPR.

And, so would we.

vikingvista March 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm

“And even better they have a super human ability to determine what is in the common good.”

Yep. Deciding for the common good is a euphemism for one person deciding what is good for another person.

Masked in a person’s lofty collectivist thinking is an absolute dismissal of the opinions, rights, and choices, of everyone who disagrees with him. He believes that his acceptance of a collective imposition justifies that imposition upon those who don’t accept it. He nobly proclaims “we are all in this together”, as though one man’s (his) acceptance of an imposition is equal to another man’s refusal of it.

Until he finds himself on the refusing end.

JohnK March 25, 2011 at 9:41 am

What if telling the real news is not good for government? If a news channel reported regularly on government cronyism and crooked politicians, would they be able to secure funding from those same cronies and crooked politicians?
Or would they have an incentive to please the source of their funding by overlooking or even justifying their behavior?

Ryan Vann March 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

It’s not like most news radio isn’t compromised by the gov’t anyway; how many news radio segments aren’t basically recitation of White House pressers, or some dilluted regurgitation of CNN hosue and senate sessions?

kayecb utodyog March 25, 2011 at 12:25 am

I’m planning to buy the DVD of The Dark Knight sometime this week, and I’m a fierce believer in special editions.
Press Dough Cookie Maker

SheetWise March 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

Yes. And every child should have a pony.

???

Tim March 25, 2011 at 1:03 am

The problem with liberals is that they only see pompous statements by people like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh as toxic attacks, while to them it is perfectly fine to imply that anyone who supports free markets is an idiot who hates minorities and poor people so long as one does so in the vernacular of the academy.

This notion is everywhere on the left, that if one doesn’t support some program that nominally purports to aid some disadvantaged group one either doesn’t care or actively hates that group. That’s a quite toxic implication, even if it isn’t as overt as the toxic attacks made by some on the right.

All too often that notion runs rampant in the “more civilized” media institutions.

Gil March 25, 2011 at 6:58 am

I don’t why one side has to play nice while the other gets to use every underhanded debating tactic in the book. Libertarians are quick to call everyone who’s not a Libertarian a Communist thief.

HaywoodU March 25, 2011 at 7:15 am

Dumb.

vikingvista March 25, 2011 at 10:46 am

“Libertarians are quick to call everyone who’s not a Libertarian a Communist thief.”

I prefer “violent aggressor”.

Ken March 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm

” … the other gets to use every underhanded debating tactic in the book.”

It is pretty crappy that liberals use every dirty trick up their sleeve to achieve their agenda. In order to get elected in 2008 Obama and the democrats promised to not raise taxes on people making less than $250K/year (lie), promised to close Guantanamo (lie), promised to make the government more transparent (lie), promised to withdraw from Iraq (lie), promised to be fiscally responsible (lie), etc. Instead of following traditional congressional rules, house and senate democrats used a procedural trick to pass Obamacare.

Wisconsin demonstrates very clearly the underhandedness of the left and the democrats. Instead of doing their jobs, democrat legislatures fled the state to avoid making decisions they were elected to make. The teachers in the state get paid twice the average salary of that state and much more when benefits are included, yet complain that they aren’t sucking enough out of Wisconsin tax payers. When it came to actually vote on the bill, the union, democrats, and leftists stormed the capitol in order to disrupt and stop the vote.

The democrats in this state (and I’m sure many if not most others) force ALL teachers to pay union fees whether or not in the union. The union then kicks some of this money back to democrats so they can use it for reelection campaign.

Thank you, Gil, for recognizing the underhandedness of the left and pointing it out on this website.

Economiser March 25, 2011 at 1:35 am

There’s an awful lot of wasted effort here debating NPR’s political bias. What does that matter? Tax dollars shouldn’t be used to fund any radio station, whether it’s liberal or conservative or spends all day reading the phone book aloud.

WhiskeyJim March 25, 2011 at 2:28 am

Let us also ‘defund’ all non-profit broadcasting on the radio spectrum and sell off the band-width.

NPR would not last a day afterward.

francescawo yuthup March 26, 2011 at 12:28 am

I’m planning to buy the DVD of The Dark Knight sometime this week, and I’m a fierce believer in special editions.

Super Probiotic

Jeff Neal March 27, 2011 at 10:41 am

Isn’t it the case that, before we free them from tax-payer subsidies, we should be repaid for the years and years of venture capital support we’ve given NPR?

Steve Perreira March 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Is NPR biased left? No doubt. I’m once again listening right now, always with an ear to filter their impossible to cloak bias. Nepotism is a problem too, but it takes years of listening to connect the branches of the family tree.

I knew NPR was biased from the start, but how biased? – here’s a telling tale. When in 1993 I brought my new bride to California from her home country England, after a few days of hearing NPR news, she exclaimed, “Do they ever talk about anything but Gays and AIDS.” That from a patriot of the country Archie Bunker (of All in the Family fame) once said, “That’s where they (Gays) all come from!

But it’s worth a listen. One needs to know what one’s enemy is thinking – if you can call it that.

Previous post:

Next post: