Let’s Improve the Efficiency of News Reporting

by Don Boudreaux on April 2, 2010

in Energy, Environment, Frenetic Fiddling, Hubris and humility, Regulation, Seen and Unseen

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

You argue that a government-mandated higher fuel-efficiency standard “will yield a trifecta of benefits: reduced dependence on foreign oil, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and consumer savings at the pump” (“Everybody Wins,” April 2).

By this logic, you should also support a government-mandated news-efficiency standard – that is, a requirement that you report and editorialize on any given amount of news using fewer words and less paper than you now use.  This standard would yield a trifecta of benefits: reduced dependence on foreign lumber (we import much from Canada), fewer greenhouse-gas emissions (transporting slimmed-down newspapers would burn less fuel than is burned to transport today’s bulky, news-inefficient papers), and consumer savings at the newsstand (using less ink and less paper will make news-efficient newspapers less pricey than today’s ink and wood-pulp guzzlers).

Everybody wins.

Donald J. Boudreaux

When you look carefully, likely market failures are all around us, just begging to be corrected by the state.


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