Slashdot: Senator John McCain wants to force cable companies to sell cable channels a la carte, so you only pay for the channels you want. He argues that “When I go to the grocery store to buy a quart of milk, I don’t have to buy a package of celery and a bunch of broccoli,” McCain said. “I don’t like broccoli.”
McCain refuses to understand that the whole cable package is more than the sum of its parts: the more successful cable channels subsidize the less popular ones in order to provide a well rounded package that provides a better value that the individual channels – just as the Microsoft Office Suite provides a better value that the individual applications that compose it. If politicians were really concerned about cable prices, then they would remove the government monopolies, price controls, preferential treatment, and the legion of regulations imposed and granted to cable companies. Till then, their approach to industry can only be described as a see-saw between government-enforced “competition” and government-enforced regulations – when one fails, they resort to other – never considering that freedom from government might be the answer.