In the 1980s the Regan administration “deregulated” the telephone industry. Since then, phone service has become vastly better, cheaper, with far more options, and the prospects for the future of personal communication are truly awesome. Critics of deregulation said we simple Americans would be inconvenienced with too many choices, and too inept to shop for the best deals, etc., etc. They were of course entirely wrong. Stunningly wrong. More wrong than anyone could have imagined 25 years ago. Does anyone remember having to get your phone from the same company that provided your connection service, and then having to buy your long distance from that same company (there was, naturally, only one choice)?
Maybe its time for more deregulation. I say start with education, energy, and transportation.
Is anyone going to seriously argue that the old, Soviet-style, big government monopolies are a proven path to excellence?
A good place to start, mentally, is to try thinking of just one part of our lives in which government has absolutely no business whatsoever. For some people, this will be a formidable challenge.
I have a hard time thinking of more than a half dozen or so things the government SHOULD be involved in.
Back in April I wrote up a post about a column by Daniel Weintraub that used a similar argument to demolish the reasoning behind the current government-mandated health insurance system. Employers aren’t responsible for supplying employees with food or housing, for example, so why do the same for health care? The post is here: