Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 11:12am
THE CONSISTENCY OF KEVIN MARTIN AND THE FAITH BASED FCC
[SOURCE: Tales from the Sausage Factory, AUTHOR: Harold Feld]
[Commentary] Kevin Martin is actually extremely consistent in his decisions and his management style. I say this neither as a criticism or as praise. But pivotal to understanding the actions of the FCC and therefore to exercising my stock in trade of effective advocacy is trying to make some guess on what actually drives the current FCC Chairman in making decisions. Feld's Second Law of Public Policy states: “Public policy is made by human beings.” (OK, I know Clausewitz said it first about war, but the principle still holds.) So understanding the human beings making policy is a critical step in influencing policy — even if we understand them poorly. Kevin Martin is all about the deregulated free market. But unlike many Republicans (who, lets face it, really don't understand jack about this except for what the get from bumper stickers they pick up at CATO events and reading the back cover of the Penguin Edition of Wealth of Nations) Martin recognizes that (a) empirical data matters, and (b) there are things that won't happen that should happen, even if a market is “competitive” for most other purposes. The First Church of the Market Reformed (FCOTMR) looks at the real world marketplace and considers a broader array of factors and takes a more macro-economic view: the players in this market are all uniform and with common interests, they can control all customers so the market is not contestable, the critical asset is under government control, and the broader marketplace would benefit by moving the ability to compete down the value chain. Therefore, says Martin's Church of the Market Place — Reformed, some modest government intervention is necessary.
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