The Government Solution is Always Worse Than the Problem

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The Government Solution is Always Worse Than the Problem

When Mil­ton Fried­man famously wrote “I think the gov­ern­ment solu­tion to a prob­lem is usu­ally as bad as the prob­lem and very often makes the prob­lem worse” in his work An Economist’s Protest, back in 1975, that state­ment was a fun­da­men­tal truth. Today there is no doubt that the gov­ern­ment solu­tion to any prob­lem is always far worse than the orig­i­nal prob­lem. Fake news and cen­sor­ship of con­ser­v­a­tives on social media plat­forms are both very seri­ous prob­lems. Dif­fer­ent fed­eral gov­ern­ment branches are inves­ti­gat­ing ways of solv­ing these two prob­lems. You may me won­der­ing, what could pos­si­bly go wrong. Based on the track record of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are too hor­rific to spec­u­late on, but spec­u­late I will.

Thanks to an over­whelm­ingly lib­eral media, fake news has turned into a major prob­lem. The lib­eral bias of their report­ing is meant to sway elec­tions. Ever since Pres­i­dent Trump announced he was run­ning, he railed against fake news, and has con­tin­ued rail­ing after win­ning the pres­i­dency. The lib­eral media labeled these ver­bal jibes as a direct vio­la­tion of the Free­dom of the Free Press clause of the First Amend­ment and labeled Pres­i­dent as one of the worst prac­ti­tion­ers of press sup­pres­sion. Nei­ther of these char­ac­ter­i­za­tions of his fake news state­ments claims is true. He is merely exer­cis­ing his free­dom speech. Even if Pres­i­dent Trump’s accu­sa­tions were incor­rect, his ver­bal attacks are per­fectly fine.

An arti­cle with the title “Home­land Secu­rity to com­pile data­base of jour­nal­ists and ‘media influ­encers’” appeared in the Chicago Sun Times. Accord­ing to this article:

The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity wants to track the com­ings and going of jour­nal­ists, blog­gers and other “media influ­encers” through a database.

The DHS’s “Media Mon­i­tor­ing” plan, which was first reported by Fed​Bi​zOpps​.gov, would give the con­tract­ing com­pany “24÷7 access to a pass­word pro­tected, media influ­encer data­base, includ­ing jour­nal­ists, edi­tors, cor­re­spon­dents, social media influ­encers, blog­gers etc.” in order to “iden­tify any and all media cov­er­age related to the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity or a par­tic­u­lar event.”

The data­base would be designed to mon­i­tor the pub­lic activ­i­ties of media mem­bers and influ­encers by “loca­tion, beat and influ­encers,” the doc­u­ment says.

This mon­i­tor­ing plan would be a direct attack on the Free­dom of the Press clause because it would be an attempt to intim­i­date the media into report­ing only what the Trump admin­is­tra­tion approves of. It would also be a vio­la­tion of the Fourth Amendment’s pri­vacy pro­tec­tions. Is this arti­cle accu­rate or is it fake news? If is up to every one of us to decide for our­selves and ignore it if we believe it is fake. That is the only solu­tion to the fake news plague. Any gov­ern­ment solu­tion would lead to the type of tyranny exhib­ited by this pro­posal, or even worse tyranny.

Cen­sor­ship of con­ser­v­a­tives and other indi­vid­u­als on the polit­i­cal right by Face­book, Twit­ter, and You Tube is an issue I con­stantly rage against on Face­book and Twit­ter. Cen­sor­ship of any indi­vid­ual or group is the issue I most pas­sion­ately fight against. I appose cen­sor­ship of any­one even if I vehe­mently oppose what they have to say. Even the most vile and dis­gust­ing indi­vid­u­als and groups have a right to say what­ever they want to say.

Dif­fer­ent con­gres­sional com­mit­tees called the head of Face­book into hear­ings in order to answer ques­tions about Facebook’s cen­sor­ship and data mis­han­dling issues. Face­book is a pri­vate com­pany. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has no busi­ness ques­tion­ing any­one at the com­pany about how they do any­thing. The same holds true for any com­pany. The Con­sti­tu­tion never granted the fed­eral gov­ern­ment the power to reg­u­late any pri­vate com­pany. It wasn’t until 1943 and the FDR Supreme Court stack­ing cri­sis that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment granted itself this extra con­sti­tu­tional power. Reg­u­la­tions placed on busi­ness only waste bil­lions of dol­lars every year, sti­fle com­pe­ti­tion, and gen­er­ate far worse prob­lems then they were meant to solve. Would reg­u­lat­ing Face­book to stop the cen­sor­ship be any dif­fer­ent? Accord­ing to this arti­cle, the elected offi­cials doing the ques­tion­ing proved they know noth­ing about how inter­net busi­nesses, or any busi­nesses, work. Face­book, Twit­ter, and You Tube would be destroyed the reg­u­la­tions placed on them to solve this prob­lem and no one would try and rebuild them.

There are two solu­tions to this prob­lem. The first is for indi­vid­u­als to stop using these plat­forms and tell them why. The sec­ond is for indi­vid­u­als to cre­ate alter­na­tives. Free­dom and com­pe­ti­tion are the only solu­tions to prob­lems caused by pri­vate companies.

When Milton Friedman famously wrote “I think the government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem and very often makes the problem worse” in his work An Economist’s Protest, back in 1975, that statement was a fundamental truth.  Today there is no doubt that the government solution to any problem is always far worse than the original problem.  Fake news and censorship of conservatives on social media platforms are both very serious problems.  Different federal government branches are investigating ways of solving these two problems.  You may me wondering, what could possibly go wrong.  Based on the track record of the federal government, the possibilities are too horrific to speculate on, but speculate I will.

Thanks to an overwhelmingly liberal media, fake news has turned into a major problem.  The liberal bias of their reporting is meant to sway elections.  Ever since President Trump announced he was running, he railed against fake news, and has continued railing after winning the presidency.  The liberal media labeled these verbal jibes as a direct violation of the Freedom of the Free Press clause of the First Amendment and labeled President as one of the worst practitioners of press suppression.  Neither of these characterizations of his fake news statements claims is true.  He is merely exercising his freedom speech.  Even if President Trump’s accusations were incorrect, his verbal attacks are perfectly fine.

An article with the title “Homeland Security to compile database of journalists and ‘media influencers’” appeared in the Chicago Sun Times.  According to this article:

The Department of Homeland Security wants to track the comings and going of journalists, bloggers and other “media influencers” through a database.

The DHS’s “Media Monitoring” plan, which was first reported by FedBizOpps.gov, would give the contracting company “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.” in order to “identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event.”

The database would be designed to monitor the public activities of media members and influencers by “location, beat and influencers,” the document says.

This monitoring plan would be a direct attack on the Freedom of the Press clause because it would be an attempt to intimidate the media into reporting only what the Trump administration approves of.  It would also be a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections.  Is this article accurate or is it fake news?  If is up to every one of us to decide for ourselves and ignore it if we believe it is fake.  That is the only solution to the fake news plague.  Any government solution would lead to the type of tyranny exhibited by this proposal, or even worse tyranny.

Censorship of conservatives and other individuals on the political right by Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube is an issue I constantly rage against on Facebook and Twitter.  Censorship of any individual or group is the issue I most passionately fight against.  I appose censorship of anyone even if I vehemently oppose what they have to say.  Even the most vile and disgusting individuals and groups have a right to say whatever they want to say.

Different congressional committees called the head of Facebook into hearings in order to answer questions about Facebook’s censorship and data mishandling issues.  Facebook is a private company.  The federal government has no business questioning anyone at the company about how they do anything.  The same holds true for any company.  The Constitution never granted the federal government the power to regulate any private company.  It wasn’t until 1943 and the FDR Supreme Court stacking crisis that the federal government granted itself this extra constitutional power.  Regulations placed on business only waste billions of dollars every year, stifle competition, and generate far worse problems then they were meant to solve. Would regulating Facebook to stop the censorship be any different?  According to this article, the elected officials doing the questioning proved they know nothing about how internet businesses, or any businesses, work. Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube would be destroyed the regulations placed on them to solve this problem and no one would try and rebuild them.

There are two solutions to this problem.  The first is for individuals to stop using these platforms and tell them why.  The second is for individuals to create alternatives.  Freedom and competition are the only solutions to problems caused by private companies.