Saturday, June 28, 2008

Be Honest and Stop Trying to call it Capitalism

I'’m not sure why telephone and ISP subscribers need to pay for state television production, but that’s how the usual feeble logic goes in post reason EUtopia when they’re flogging another tax.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a new tax on profits of Internet providers and telephone companies Wednesday to finance the end of advertising on public television and radio.

Sarkozy confirmed a timetable for phasing out advertising on public stations starting next January. Ads would be gone completely by 2011.

He said a new tax of 0.9 percent should be imposed on profits of Internet providers and telecom operators to compensate state coffers for the estimated €650 million (US$1.3 billion) annual loss in advertising revenue.
The measure dissociates revenue with costs, charges the private sector for a business unnecessarily occupied by government, and contributes to the longstanding feeling of being “pecked to death”. As it is, French TV owners pay an “annual user fee” to watch television, which is an additional cost to view non-government produced TV because one must pay it to have anything other than an old black and white set.
Staff members at public radio and television stations staged a strike earlier this year against the plan.

Critics of Sarkozy's shakeup say he is handing a present to private channels. Shares in leading private channel TF1 soared after Sarkozy's January announcement, and climbed 5.9 percent to €11.11 (US$17.33) on Wednesday.
The private operations, intertwined in the massive foreign satellite provider operation business too, advertise anyway, and permits the state corporate umbrella operator to derive revenue from this as well, not to mention corporate taxes and the subsidizing of the satellites' construction and launch themselves. In other words, there’s money everywhere charged in however many unrelated ways to the use as it is, and here we see people wanting to make it even more complicated.

Moreover, like all of these minor forms of usury, the general population restructures itself to cheat it, further disconnecting the tax from the purpose. The common practice of “taking Grandma with you” when you buy a television is the simplest way to get a discounted form of relief set aside for senior citizens by having them place the purchase for you.

Curiously, in a nation where nationalization is seen as a virtue:
Staff members at public radio and television stations staged a strike earlier this year against the plan.
This probably has to do with the fact that the suspicion is that there will be less money in it for them if this went through, but contradicts another view that in an environment where one wouldn’t really want to respond to public demand, revenue would otherwise drop.
Société Télévision Française 1 and M6-Metropole Télévision, the largest commercial broadcasters in France, may benefit from increased ad spending as a result of the change. TF1 shares rose the most in almost six weeks, while M6 had the biggest gain in three weeks.
Either that or they were striking against the man, just onb princip... (nah). What I doubt is that the strikers prefer the benefits of a freer market environment since freelancers and subcontractors share work with the private sector.

Is your head spinning? It should, because that’s how societies managed heavily by government always seem to turn out.

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