Harry Browne on Technology

2000 Libertarian Nominee for President


NASA hurts private space ventures

Some people believe the space program is one of the federal government’s greatest hits. They remember the remarkable moon landing in 1969. But the moon landing is yet to yield any tangible benefit to the taxpayers who paid for it. And the space program has consisted since then of an unbroken string of promises and failures.

In the 1970s several private companies wanted to build their own rocket launchers and send satellites into space. But the government wouldn’t use their services. And by offering cheap, subsidized rates for launching satellites, the government effectively killed all private competition.

It took the Challenger crash to change the rules; now government agencies use private launch services, instead of driving them out of the market.

Unburden private companies from subsidized competition and they will provide the money to do what is truly worth doing. Usually they will succeed. But if they fail, it won’t cost the taxpayers anything.

Source: The Great Libertarian Offer, p.210-211 , Sep 9, 2000

Govt uses anti-trust laws to stifle competition

Q: What about the Microsoft anti-trust judgement?

A: “We’re from the government, and we’re here to improve your software.”

Q: Is there any place for anti-trust litigation?

A: If you hate Bill Gates, don’t buy his products. If you hate Janet Reno, you’re out of luck-because she has fines and imprisonment to back her up. No, I do not think there is a place for anti-trust litigation. Anti-trust laws (even in the days of the “robber barons”) have always been used to stifle competition, not expand it.

Source: EVote.com on-line chat , Jun 14, 2000

Let private enterprise take over space exploration from NASA

Q: How would you fund space exploration, since it’s not likely that private enterprises could fund such expensive projects on their own. Isn’t something like NASA exactly what we have a government for?

A: If the government funded car manufacturing today, most likely we would think that’s too big an enterprise for private companies. Actually, the government has wasted enormous sums on the space shuttle and the space station - projects that could have been done for much less without bureaucratic expense. No, we don’t have a government for NASA. We have it to protect us from predators - foreign or domestic. NASA is a politically motivated agency that makes its decisions based on politics, just like the FDA or any other government agency. If people won’t pay voluntarily for the fruits of space exploration, why should they be forced (through taxes) to do so? If you can impose your way on others, they can impose their way on you.

Source: EVote.com on-line chat , Jun 14, 2000

Keep government out of the Internet

Browne agrees that regulation of the Internet should not in any way controlled by the federal government.
Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jan 13, 2000

Y2K, like Internet, will be solved by free market

The Y2K problem has been exaggerated by people who don’t understand the free market. It seems dangerous because millions of companies have to deal with it. But widespread problems offer big profits, so now there are products to fix the date problems. The Internet flourished similarly. If in 1994 someone had said there would be millions of Web sites in 1999, you might have assumed he didn’t understand computers. Websites abound & Y2K is being handled because the computer industry is the freest in America.
Source: WorldNetDaily, “You will survive Y2K” , Jan 11, 1999

If Microsoft loses, consumers will pay more

If the Justice Department defeats Microsoft, we may soon have a Federal Computer Agency that delays new products for years -- until it satisfies itself that the products are safe, effective, and non-monopolistic. Then computers and software will become continually more expensive -- just like a hospital stay or health insurance.
Source: http://www.harrybrowne2000.org/ “Survive Y2K” 5/16/99 , Jan 9, 1999

Competition makes high tech work--keep it unregulated

Is the computer market exceptional? Yes, it is. It is one of the least regulated markets in America. If other industries don’t progress at such a fast clip, it’s not because they’re older and more settled. It’s because they’re more heavily regulated.
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne, p. 87-8 , Jul 2, 1995

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Page last updated: Oct 01, 2016