Broadcasting is not a Public Good

The idea that some goods are “public” has been paraded around for at least 60 years as a justification for state involvement in certain affairs. The idea that some goods are non-excludable (you cannot stop someone from enjoying them), but also non-rivalrous (why would you exclude anyone because one person enjoying the good does not detract from another’s enjoyment) is now the common argument for all sorts of government activities from fireworks to national defense and everything in between.

In Canada there is state media in the form of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). (There are also numerous provincially-owned broadcasters as well, e.g., TVOntario.) In today’s daily over at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, I discuss the fallacy of the public good and why having a national public broadcaster is not only not necessary, but downright dangerous.

Read more here.

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