January 14th, 2011

PK Icon

Link Harvest: Problems for Lightsquared

I am a big fan of Lightsquared, which attempts to use satellite frequencies through terrestrial delivery systems for broadband (an FCC rule called the "ancillary terrestrial component or ATC). Unfortunately, the sheer cost of building a national network may prove prohibitive even when you don't have to get spectrum access at auction.
PK Icon

Krugman discovers what I concluded years ago

Krugman, who is normally faster on the uptake, is finally figuring out that the chief motivation of political Libertarians is morality, not economics. That is to say, most of the people who classify themselves as leaning Libertarian or actually Libertarian are primarily motivated by the moral belief that efforts by the government to effect wealth transfer and achieve a higher standard of living for all amount to theft.

As I have always said, I would no more try to persuade a Libertarian from basing policy on concepts of morality as I would anyone else. I just dislike it when moral systems masquerade as economics. I can argue why I believe it creates a better world, and that it is ultimately to the benefit of all individuals, that the government have the power to tax and use that power to provide for fundamental needs for everyone. But I cannot prove a point of morality, as such things are intrinsically irrational. The person who believes it is morally wrong to tax the wealthy at a higher rate, and to use their money to provide services they do not want to people they do not know, is entitled to his or her belief the same way I am entitled to my belief that God regards eating shrimp as an abomination for myself and my fellow Jews.

I just don't confuse my religious beliefs with any actual theory of economics, and I accept the consequences that come from my religious beliefs.

As a practical matter, this is where the friction may come between the business community which has embraced the Tea Party and the Tea Party true believers. But we shall see. Even the most devout may succumb to temptation.