New America: Can You Hear Me Whining Now?

by on April 2, 2010 · 4 comments

In a Cato@Liberty post, “Cell Phones and Ingratitude,” David Boaz reproaches the New America Foundation for today’s complaint-fest, “Can You Hear Me Now? Why Your Cell Phone is So Terrible”:

This is an old story. Markets, property rights, and the rule of law provide a framework in which technology and prosperity soar, and some people can only complain. I was reading some of Deirdre McCloskey’s forthcoming book Bourgeois Dignity this week. She points out that the average person lived on the equivalent of $3 a day in 1800. Today there are six and a half times as many people, but the average person earns and consumes 10 times as much, far more than that in the most capitalist countries. And yet some people, most leftist intellectuals, continue to ignore what McCloskey calls “the gigantic gains from bourgeois dignity and liberty” and to denounce the markets, economic liberalization, and globalization that have liberated billions of people from eons of back-breaking labor.

This is an event I’m not going to attend. I mean, like, they’re not even serving food!

  • john

    Boaz writes that “Markets, property rights, and the rule of law provide a framework in which technology and prosperity soar,” and I agree. But he apparently doesn't see a place for the government, which provides that framework, to improve it–for example, by making more spectrum available for broadband, which is one of the main things New America is working for.

  • Jim Harper

    Boaz doesn't mention spectrum, from which you infer that he doesn't think more spectrum should be available? That's a strained interpretation.

    Here are the questions posed by the announcement of the event:

    How can the market be changed so that there’s more competition and better service? What can the federal government do about bandwidth? What should be in a consumers Cell Phone Bill of Rights? And, well: how do we just get these darn things to work better?

    One of them might allude to freeing spectrum. The rest imply intrusive regulation.

    Freeing spectrum may be one of the things New America works for. Whether it's “one of the main things” is not evident.

  • john

    Boaz writes that “Markets, property rights, and the rule of law provide a framework in which technology and prosperity soar,” and I agree. But he apparently doesn't see a place for the government, which provides that framework, to improve it–for example, by making more spectrum available for broadband, which is one of the main things New America is working for.

  • Jim Harper

    Boaz doesn't mention spectrum, from which you infer that he doesn't think more spectrum should be available? That's a strained interpretation.

    Here are the questions posed by the announcement of the event:

    How can the market be changed so that there’s more competition and better service? What can the federal government do about bandwidth? What should be in a consumers Cell Phone Bill of Rights? And, well: how do we just get these darn things to work better?

    One of them might allude to freeing spectrum. The rest imply intrusive regulation.

    Freeing spectrum may be one of the things New America works for. Whether it's “one of the main things” is not evident.

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