Thursday, October 23, 2008

Free Riding Leftist Nonsense

An recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org.








Free Riding Leftist Nonsense

I think it's safe to assume that the folks running local public radio stations adhere to leftist politics. Given that, it's a wonder that their reality never affects their politics.

My local public radio station is currently in a fund raising cycle. Today, the radio hosts noted a couple of interesting points: one, 10% of their funding comes from the feds, the balance from listeners; two, only 10% of listeners support the station.

While I found the first point interesting (I assume the feds really kick in at the national level), it was the second point that caught my attention. Free riders outnumber contributors 9 to 1, yet the station still exists. In fact, the hosts openly accept free riders as welcome members of their listener base. Why? I suspect the hosts understand the situation and realize that each listener is a potential contributor (and, likely, headcount for federal funds).

Here I thought that one of the main reasons for interventionist government is the free rider gumming up so-called public goods. But the free rider (this rider included) has not stopped NPR from broadcasting in Columbus, Ohio. If the free rider can't stop the leftist propaganda machine on the radio, why would anyone believe that other so-called public goods would disappear without government funding?

If the hosts would only take a hard look at their reality, they might just realize that government is not the necessary means to their ends. Or, for that matter, the means to any productive end.


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The free rider argument here is a bit different as a "freeloading" radio listener isn't removing a scarce (public) good that another person could have had. OTOH, I just *love* my taxes going to fund public radio.

Jim Fedako said...

2:25 --

You lost me. A public good is by definition nonrivalrous and nonexcludable.

MD said...

The "public radio" scenario is specious at best. If they were forced to compete in the radio market they would be off the air in no time since they do not broadcast that which is listened to by the majority of radio listeners.
Much Like Air America they would be bankrupt.
The "freeloader" ethos they espouse is in point of fact true to their politics. they epxect a few & the feds to pay for what the majority expect for free.