Re: Abstract forms of property

Tim Bates (
Sun, 27 Dec 1998 17:03:10 +1100

Hal Finney asked what those who believe in absolutist notions of property think about the following:

>the radio spectrum ... Spectrum will go to the highest bidder.
This is how spectrum is handled in New Zealand and also some cellular spectrum in the USA etc.As an absolutist I think that this is fine.

The question is who receives the licence fees? I would like to see the annual fees go direct to the citizens of the underlying countries. Effectively we are creating a right to broadcast out of many people's voluntary forgoing the right to originate EMF noise. the individuals creating the right should receive the reward. this also gets rid of the political influence problem.

>It's complicated, because there are a number of technical factors which
>have to be considered: frequency and bandwidth, power levels, location,
>modulation and antenna design, etc.

Not really. Just auction the spectrum. let the buyers figure out who has what aerial and where abouts are the hills or clouds or whatever.

>Today, we mostly handle this by government regulation. This means that
>frequencies tend to go to those with political pull rather than to the
>most beneficial uses.
>A market would be a superior approach.

Absolutists would probably agree. Certainly I do.