Re: Will the free market solve everything?

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 11:39:36 -0800 (PST)

> John? Sure, Murdoch's paper might be readable. But say it costs $.50
> to produce, at which price I prefer to read a different paper. But when
> Murdoch's paper is free, I'm willing to read it instead of the paper I
> have to pay for. Eventually that paper goes out of business and Murdoch
> starts charging $.50 again. Now I'd like to read something better, but
> the competitor is out of business, and if it is non-trivial to start a
> new paper I may be stuck with reading Murdoch or nothing. So I read
> Murdoch. Not an ideal solution.
> I'm not saying what should be done about it, or that something should be
> done, but it does seem to be a sub-ideal solution at least, and if you
> can't disprove that you should acknowledge it, or people you'd like to
> convince will think you're a nut and not listen to you.

Why is it "non-trivial" to start a new paper? Because the government
taxes a new business to death, requires license fees, minimum wage for
new workers, drives up the cost of supplies with regulation, creates
zoning laws to prevent you from putting the press in your garage, puts
strict regulations on banks to make it harder for them to lend you the
startup cash, passes anti-trust laws to prevent you and other papers
from colluding against the giant to beat him at his own game, and a
thousand other barriers to entry. Sure, the big guy climbed that hill
too, but now he can look at you down there in the valley and laugh; the
government created the mountain, and once the first one climbs it, he
can use it to keep out competition. Without the government, the playing
field stays level.

And who says you need a damned paper anyway? Last time I looked, humans
needed food, water, and air. If you don't like Murdoch, don't buy the
paper. I get sick of hearing people whine about cable TV rates--I don't
own a TV. I don't want one, I don't need one, I don't pay for it. 99% of
the things people complain about the price of are luxuries (with the rare
exceptions like the cost of rice in Japan).

Lee Daniel Crocker <>