Cell Phones

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A good example of government helping is what the FCC did for cell phones: it delayed them by 40 years. [1]. In 1945 the Saturday Evening Post was talking about handle-talkies, which could have been done with transistor radios of the time. But while the technology was known for how to do it, as well as business plans and motivation, it took until 1982 for the FCC to allocate the spectrum to do it, and another 7 years (1989) to authorize licensing the service.

The point is NOT that government never helps. We know it does (usually in the short term, and very specific areas). But if you look at the bigger picture -- total costs versus total benefits, we know it hurts more than it helps.


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