In 1644 Rev. Samuel Rutherford published LEX, REX, The Law & the Prince to demonstrate that the natural law is above the King, Some 364 years later The Invisible Hand Blog is born after a historic election a Reagan Conservative born in the 60's molded in the Reagan years begins this blog to demonstrate the God given Unalienable rights given to every person by God. God bless the truth and let the truth be raised.
In the EIGHTIES the Battle Cry was I want my MTV, and with Ronald Reagan, it was "THE GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION." Now some 28 years later, the American people have just elected a President who believes all problems can be solved by the Government. If the February 17, 2009 the hard date to switch from analog broadcasts to digital is any indication, the Government is the problem. By the way in what part of the Constitution is the authority given for the U.S. Government to provide TV converter boxes? Oh yea the ever present Commerce Clause, as I speak this all the founders of these United States are rolling in their graves, but that is a whole other issue. This whole Digital TV transition mandated by the US government reinforces the idea that the government is the problem,some things are better served by the private sector, that is about everything under the sun except maybe, National Defense (Army), police, and the courts. Obama has a stake in this transition and he wants it delayed, which it probably will be if the House goes along with the Senate. You see President Obama will get the blame if the American People wake-up on February 17, 2009 and their TV does not work, that is probably enough to get George Bush like approval ratings, so Obama wants to delay until all are covered. Here, is an editorial that explains how Governmental Intervention creates more problems than it solves.
Switch from analog signals deemed too important to leave in private hands, with predictable results
If you watch TV for more than a few minutes a day, you have probably seen ads and public service announcements about the Feb. 17 changeover from analog to digital television broadcasting. During the other transition, several officials of the incoming Obama administration have suggested pushing back the transition date three months, and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller has submitted a bill to push back the date to June 12.
Why the fumbling and confusion? The short answer is that the government, beginning as far back as 1988, decided that the transition from analog to digital TV, unlike the transition from analog to digital sound recording, which took place during the 1980s (though some audiophiles still swear that analog was better), was too important to be left to the "anarchy" of the marketplace. So the Federal Communications Commission, under legislation passed in 1996, has handled this transition. Not surprisingly, it has been driven more by political than by technological or economic considerations.
The cellular telephone industry has made the transition from analog to digital. Did you read articles about the problems? Were you even aware of it? Probably not, because it was handled in the competitive marketplace with a minimum of fuss and feathers.
The advantages of digital TV broadcasting are essentially twofold. Digital broadcasting permits sharper resolution of the picture using a smaller portion of the broadcast spectrum and more efficient broadcasting of high-definition signals. Conversion will also free up the frequency spectrum to allow for more uses of the increasingly popular hand-held devices like BlackBerries, iPhones and the like.
There are other reasons for TV broadcast stations to go digital. Because it takes up less bandwidth, a station can use the same space in the spectrum for several signals, including interactive services. Digital signals react less to interference than analog signals; so, there is no "ghosting."
So there are solid market-related reasons for TV stations to switch. But instead of permitting them to do so at their own convenience or when they would alienate the fewest number of customers, the FCC has handled the conversion through mandates.
All television sets sold in the past four or five years are equipped to receive digital signals, and cable and satellite systems also use digital technology. But people with older analog sets – who tend to be older or lower-income people – or those who use their old analog TV sets in secondary household locations, will need a converter box. There's a government (i.e., taxpayer-funded) program that provides a $40 coupon to help pay for converter boxes. But John Podesta, co-chairman of President Obama's transition team, says the program has not kept pace with demand, and some 2 million people are now on a waiting list for coupons. Thus the pressure to delay the conversion date.
In addition, the characteristics of analog and digital signals are different. Most people will get better reception and more channels with converter boxes and digital signals. But a small percentage of people, mostly in rural areas (the FCC estimates that 11 percent of stations will have a signal that reaches 2 percent fewer viewers) will actually get fewer channels with digital transmission.
It only takes a small number of people negatively affected by a technological change managed and mandated by the government to get politicians posturing and introducing legislation.
Given that the conversion date has been delayed several times already, and it costs TV stations to send out both analog and digital signals, which they are doing now, the best bet, despite the fact that there will be a few problems, is probably not to delay the conversion date again. But the experience demonstrates that although technological changes always involve some friction, expense and inconvenience (what did you do with all your old vinyl records?), they generally are better handled in the private marketplace than through government management.