Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Brother Corp (BBC) is watching -- here's why.

This holiday season consider the plight of those living under tyrannical regimes run by tin-pot morons. I especially think of our friends living under the heavy hand of Gordon Brown in the United Kingdom. Brown is playing Stalin to Tony Blair's Lenin. Blair really pushed England heavily in the direction of a police state. Consider this video as some evidence. This is a government television advert informing the audience that they are all in the data base and can be found if they commit the heinous crime of not paying a permit fee to own a television.

Here is another:

Here is another:

In this case you will see a TV license thug sent around to investigate a family suspected of not having a license. One member of the family is video taping the man when he suddenly assaults the family member.

Here is another British family being harassed by a government thug over alleged non-payment of their license. The family doesn't own a television. Listen to them as they note how many hours they spent dealing with this issue yet the government TV network refuses to listen.

The BBC is an arm of the government not matter how they pretend otherwise. The original justification was that the market can't provide television -- obviously it can and does. That was a lie. Then they said it was a licensing fee so as to avoid commercials, which pay for broadcast television in other nations. But the BBC sells commercials anyway.

What I found particularly odd was that the BBC then rips off the British public with their DVDs. I'm a Torchwood fan and watched in while living in the UK. I bought the DVDs for it there. Season one was broken into three separate DVDs each cost about $40 at the time , or $120 for the set. The same set on BBC America cost $68. That set is currently "on sale" at the British BBC shop for $80, but the normal current price is $110.

While living in the UK I did some research for a UK think tank where I investigated the selling prices of BBC DVDs in both the UK and the US. The British public, who had already paid license fees to fund the production of BBC shows, were paying substantially more than the American public, who hadn't paid a cent previously to produce those shows.

I suspect the reason for this is simple. In the US the BBC has no legal power to threaten people and no law granting it near-monopoly status. In the UK the BBC is the giant in broadcasting because government regulations stifle competition and give the BBC funding taken, coercively from all viewers. TV 4, which is independent, is not subsidized by the taxpayers. And cable viewers pay for those networks directly. The BBC can take funding from viewers who don't watch the BBC -- no other broadcast station in the UK has that power. These legal privileges mean the BBC doesn't have to treat the public well.

But, in the US, it is a different matter. Lacking the privileges granted by the UK politicians, the BBC is just another vendor selling a product. So when it comes to the American market they can't charge the high fees which they routinely imposed in the UK.

The same entity, the BBC, has to act very different in two different situations. Where they must compete in the US market they can't intimidate people to pay them for the privilege of own a TV and they have to sell their products at competitive prices. In the UK, where they have political power regulating the market, allegedly for the good of the consumer, they threaten and intimidate the public, use the police to collect revenue for them, then sell adverts on the channels anyway, and finally rub salt in the wounds by selling the finished product at a higher prices than the charge for the same item in the United States.

And there are still some people who argue that having government regulate business is for the good of the consumer. Reality check: government regulation is almost always the means by which the corporate powers are able to rip off the consumers in ways they couldn't in the competitive market.