In an interesting replay of the issue I mentioned here, the citizen versus the consumer, I came across this link summarizing proposed changes to the FCC regulations for media companies. Consider this quote:
In a strange and twisted “déjà vu,” the FCC’s Notice points to policy findings made by the Reagan-era “marketplace-is-supreme” FCC as the foundation for its many current assumptions. Mark Fowler, Reagan’s first FCC chairman, is clearly the spiritual father of Michael Powell. Fowler infamously said that public interest rules for television were unnecessary, since TV was just another appliance, “a toaster with pictures.” Like Fowler, Michael Powell sees a media world in which public policies are unnecessary. For Powell, we live in a new golden age of media, in which the emergence of Fox News and other new cable channels preclude the need for meaningful federal policy designed to ensure the public is served as citizens. Indeed, its striking that the NPRM mentions “citizens” only once, and doesn’t discuss “civic engagement” at all. Consumers, however, are mentioned more than three-dozen times, revealing the commission’s assumption that the issue at hand is whether “viewers” have several choices for TV movies and sit-coms.
The problem with current conservative politics is that it condemns the government for all possible failures but refuses to put the same scrutiny to free market capitalism. Capitalism may be a more effective distributor of resources, but just because I can watch a thousand different cable channels doesn’t mean I’m a better member of society.