Gary North on current economic affairs and investment marketsGary North -- Specific Answers
HomeContact MeTell a FriendText SizeSearchMember Area
Gain immediate access to all of our current articles, the question-and-answer forums, dozens of free books, and article archives. Click here for details on how to join.

About This Site
Academic Gaps
Capitalism and the Bible
Christian Economics
Clichés of Protectionism
College Finances
Debt Management
Ellen Brown: Critique
Federal Reserve Charts
Gary North's Free Books
Get Published Here!
Gold Price & My Report
Keynes Project
One Lesson
Price Index (U.S.A.)
Questions for Jim Wallis
Remnant Review
Social Security/Medicare
Sustained Revival
Tea Party Economist
U.S. Debt Clock
Yield Curve
Your YouTube Channel
Gary North's Miscellany
Budgeting for Wealth
Business Start-Up
Career Advancement
Digital Tools
Education That Works
Evernote: Free Notes
Federal Reserve Policy
Fireproof Your Job
Goal-Setting for Success
Great Default
Inheritance Strategies
International Investing
Investment Basics
Job and Calling
Keynesian Economics
Marketing Case Studies
Precious Metals
Real Estate
Safe Places
State of the Economy
Stocks and Bonds
Study Habits
Video Channel Profits
Members' Free Manuals
Our Products
Contact Me
Tell a Friend
Text Size
Your Account
My 100% Guarantee
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use

This site powered by MemberGate

How to Get Rid of NPR. For Good.

Gary North
Printer-Friendly Format

Oct. 25, 2010

I had never heard of Juan Williams before he became a celebrity for having been fired without a hearing by NPR. Mr. Williams made an injudicious remark about feeling nervous when on a plane with Muslims.

Within hours, he had a multimillion dollar contract with Fox News. That was a slow response compared with the speed of conservatives in Congress demanding that the Federal government de-fund NPR.

Let me say, loud and clear, I am all for de-funding NPR. I also in favor of de-funding just about everything else. I am like one of Pavlov's dogs. I start to salivate whenever I hear the word "de-fund." But conservatives miss the mark when they call on Congress to de-fund NPR. This is the wrong way to handle the NPR problem. It would only marginally affect NPR, which gets almost no direct funding from the Federal government.

I have a much more comprehensive goal. I want NPR off the air, not merely hampered slightly. I know how to do it . . . without liberals being able to scream "censorship!"

I want to cut off all of the subsidies. Take away these subsidies, and NPR becomes extinct.


The direct subsidy from the Federal government is low. This summary appears in the Washington Post.

The firing brought swift condemnation Thursday from many quarters, but especially from conservatives, who have long accused NPR of liberal bias and have called for an end to federal subsidies of public broadcasting. The federal government provides roughly 15 percent of the revenue of public radio and TV stations, although less than 2 percent of NPR's annual budget is directly subsidized by tax monies. The rest comes from corporate underwriting, foundation grants and programming fees from hundreds of NPR member stations. These stations, in turn, receive direct financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the entity set up by Congress in 1967 to pass federal funds to stations.

This is not the subsidy that matters. Another one does. The Federal government under the Roosevelt Administration allocated 88.1 megahertz to 91.9 megahertz to non-profit broadcasting. This spectrum was deliberately removed from visibly commercial use. Radio stations broadcasting in this spectrum may not sell advertising time.

These stations were not worth much money until the 1960s, when Japanese transistor radios got cheap enough to create a large audience for FM radio. FM signals are cleaner than AM radio. They are high fidelity. They soon became stereo.

Any station operating in this spectrum receives a subsidy. The value of this subsidy is whatever money the station would bring at an open auction. If these frequencies were sold off, once and for all, to investors, not one of these stations would be able to buy back its frequency. Commercial stations that most people want to listen to would buy them.

These stations are used mainly by college radio stations and Christian stations. At least one college station in every region broadcasts NPR in the afternoon.

The only way that NPR stays on the air is through this ancient subsidy. Without it, NPR would go off the air. For good.

NPR officially stands for National Public Radio. Unofficially, it stands for Narcolepsy-Producing Radio. It is liberal, and it is boring. (But I repeat myself.)

NPR's audience is the antithesis of Rush Limbaugh's audience. Rush sells advertising. He is rich. NPR does not sell advertising. It is on the government's dole: directly but mostly indirectly.

If the government auctioned off the spectrum, NPR would go, Christian pop music would go, jazz would go, bluegrass would go, and classical music would go. But the Web provides all of the music you want, mostly for free. So does Sirius. So does cable. So, NPR would go. For good.

NPR gets a third government subsidy: from tax-funded colleges. Few stations other than colleges host NPR. Because most of these stations are owned by colleges are taxpayer-funded, this subsidy to NPR is indirect. Because they are educational, colleges get priority from the FCC when it comes time to renew their licenses. This subsidy is never discussed by those who complain about the direct Federal subsidies to NPR. In an open auction, the colleges would lose their privileged status as owners of spectrum. College radio would be gone. So, NPR would be gone. For good.

Over 40 years ago, I was a disk jockey at a college radio station: KUCR. Every 30 minutes, by law, I had to interrupt the music and announce the station's call letters and location. I adopted this slogan: "Bottom of the dial. Bottom of the pile. KUCR. Riverside." That pretty much said it. It was good fun for me. It was good fun for anyone locally who liked bluegrass. But it was not the best use of the spectrum. That was because no competitive bids were allowed. They still aren't.

The government should not be in the cultural uplift business, even though I dearly believe that bluegrass is uplifting culturally -- surely much more than NPR is. The government should not be in the spectrum business at all. It should divest itself of this moral, cultural, political, and legal burden by auctioning off the spectrum it controls, once and for all, to the highest bidders. Then the Federal Communications Commission can join NPR in the elephant burial grounds.

That's my solution to NPR. Sell the spectrum to the highest bidders. Then send my tax refund check to Gary North, P. O. Box 2779, Dallas, Georgia.

Printer-Friendly Format

 Tip of the Week
Sign up for my free
Tip of the Week
Verification Characters:    Type     W  E  L  I  V     here   

Tip of the week archives
On what this icon
means, and how it
can help you,
click here
 Q & A Forums
General Q&A Forum
Advertising and Resumés
American History Topics
Backyard Food Gardening
Banking and Politics
Blog Sites and Web Sites
Books Worth Reading
Bumper Sticker Slogans
Business Forum
Buying Smart
Christian Service Forum
College -- The Cheap Way
Education Alternatives
Food Storage
For Women Only
GNC Benefits
GNC Testimonials
Gold and Silver
Great Default Forum
Health and Diet
Health Insurance
Investments Forum
Iran War
Job, Calling, and Career
Leadership Development
Legacy Building
Less Dependent Living
Local Political Action
Non-Retirement Forum
One Good Idea
Police State
Public Speaking
Real Estate Forum
Remnant Review Forum
Safe Places Forum
Taxation Policy
Typographical Errors
Video Production Basics

Reality Check
 Discussion Forum
Search Discussion

Recent Forum Posts
• Cashing in 401k??
• Rare Coins vs. Gold
• ETrade Dumping Global Trading
• The New World Order Just Got a Wake-Up Call
• Are rates rising or falling ?
• The Next Market Crash article
• Gary, what IS your long term investment outlook?
• Trailer parks as a sound investment
• Prices for US treasuries headed south?
• Copper
• Negative interest rates
• Looking for educational material
• Safe currencies to hold
• Benjamin Graham?
• A Motif masochist investor asks
• Buy or Rent for a Young Family
• Raising Rent
• Financing vehicles
• Sell or Rent with Recession on the Horizon
• VA Home Loan
• House flippers are back with Wall St help
• Is there a large brokerage you recommend.
• Ever hear of Exit Realty?
• What commission do you think a broker should get?
• Capital gains
• Developing a mobile home park
• Word press plug in
• Rent controls in mass inflation:where to go?
• How to calculate ROI for a rental property?
• How should I sell a house?
• Let's not make a deal!
• US Pop update: 78% pop decline by 2025 !
• Price Book- End of America
• Time to leave America while you still can ?
• Impact Fees for New Florida Residents
• New Hampshire and Florida
• Ecuador and PR
• Survivor library
• Missle Silo converted to Condos
• Does the South suck?
• Moving TO the US?
• No City for Old People
• Will you die getting to your bug out location?
• teaching English overseas - some questions
• The state with the most Liberty
• Kurzweil on Financial Times
• Why is this fantasy world stuff?
• One change could help saving for retirement
• Forced retirement - lump sum - legal work
• Moving Retirement Funds
• Sudden Wealth Advice
• Sudden Wealth Advice
• Question on Traditional Pensions
• advice on how do I interact with my older parents?
• Do You Sincerely Want to Be Rich? Why?
• Req. For No 401(k)/Other Pensions via Relocatio
• Cashing out 401K to pay student debt?
• SS @ 62 and still working
• Desolation or Prosperity?
• I take it Retirement Armageddon is not available
• Fine for refusing to bake a cake for gay couple
• TPP trade bill whats the senate bill number?
• Free Screening: The Greenhouse of the Future
• Learning to program
• A Way to Brew Morphine Raises Concerns Over Regula
• New McDonald’s In Phoenix Run Entirely By Robots
• Video: Trumpet-Like Sounds, Worldwide
• This just in ...
• No kidding?
• Osama and me article
• Cartel busting by Uber
• Top universities want you to homeschool
• Someone argues that God sustains without job
• State deficits
• Bank pays you for Mortgage
• Loyalty
• Small business loans
• Metrics for growth of online education?
• How to best build email list of High Net Worths
• Competing where no one wants to
• A Low-Cost Weekend Business to Retire Into
• Questions for small business owners
• Leasing Question
• New Motor Technbology
• MBA programs that get you where you want to go
• a different marketing - using academia
• Video Interview Equipment
• Beginner Business Structure
• Apply 80/20
• Good Recruiting wins Championships = $$$