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For many, simply thinking of reading a century-long history covering the evolution of regulation of the electromagnetic spectrum would make their eyes glaze over. But Thomas Hazlett’s The Political Spectrum has turned that material into an interesting, informative, and powerful read, packed with important lessons and implications about markets, regulation, and public choice economics, illustrated with some eye-opening stories. In fact, his book provides one of the best-ever illustrations of what Ronald Reagan once called the nine scariest words in the English language: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
continue reading – The Independent Review, Spring 2018
BY THOMAS W. HAZLETT AND SCOTT WALLSTEN, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 02/22/18 11:00 AM EST The Hill
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL
The Political Spectrum:
The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone
(Yale University Press)
featuring the author
Thomas W. Hazlett, Hugh H. Macaulay Endowed Chair in Economics, Clemson Universitywith comments by
Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
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Popular legend has it that before the Federal Radio Commission was established in 1927, the radio spectrum was in chaos, with broadcasting stations blasting powerful signals to drown out rivals. Tom Hazlett, a distinguished scholar in law and economics and former chief economist at the FCC (the commission’s successor), debunks that idea. Instead, regulators blocked competition at the behest of incumbent interests and, for nearly a century, have suppressed innovation while quashing out-of-the-mainstream viewpoints.
Hazlett details how spectrum officials produced a “vast wasteland” that they publicly criticized but privately protected. The story twists and turns, as farsighted visionaries — and the march of science — rose to challenge the old regime. Over decades, reforms to liberate the radio spectrum have generated explosive progress, ushering in the “smartphone revolution,” ubiquitous social media, and the amazing wireless world that is now emerging. Still, Hazlett argues, and current FCC controversies confirm, the battle is not even half won.
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Date: March 15, 2018
Time: 12:00PM – 1:00PM
(Luncheon to follow)
Cost: Free of charge
by Thomas Hazlett January 17, 2018 Reuters
by Wallis G. Romzek and Scott Wallsten Technology Policy Institute Blog * July 18, 2017Technology Policy Institute
Thomas Winslow Hazlett offers an accessible history of wireless technology, describing how regulators often stifled innovative competition under pressure from incumbent interests, and how deregulation eventually gave us FM radio, HBO, wi-fi, and the iPhone.
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