Molt Be Blog

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Inalienable Right to a Remote

In his Op-Ed today, "The Inalienable Right to a Remote", George Will argues against the new senate bill that reserves $3 million to help the US convert over to digital television by 2009, arguing that American's have a sense of entitlement that needs to be quelled.

Feeling, evidently, flush with (other people's) cash, the Senate has concocted a novel way to spend $3 billion: create a new entitlement. The Senate has passed -- and so has the House, with differences -- an entitlement to digital television.
What oil is to Saudi Arabia -- a defining abundance -- cognitive dissonance is to America. Americans are currently in a Founding Fathers literary festival. They are making bestsellers out of many biographies of the statesmen who formulated America's philosophy of individualism and self-reliance and who embodied that philosophy -- or thought they did -- in a constitutional architecture of limited government. Yet Americans have such an entitlement mentality, they seem to think that every pleasure -- e.g., digital television -- should be a collective right, meaning a federally funded entitlement. Clearly, Americans' civic religion of reverence for the Founders is, like most religions, more avowed than constraining.

I disagree. This isn't a case of American's thinking they're entitled. From everyone that I've mentioned this to, republicans and democrats, libertarians and Satan, no one thinks that this is a worthwhile way to spend money. This is nothing more than a gift for the cable and satellite companies. Who's going to make money off of installing set-top boxes? Why am I paying for this?

No comments: