Editorial: Free market or not

POSTED: 02/9/12 1:52 PM

Healthcare can be left in the hands of the private sector and up to the free market, but it’s become clear that protecting telecommunications is something that is dear to the administration’s heart. This is proven in Wednesday’s announcement by Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Franklin Meyers and the support he gets from Shareholder Representative Roland Duncan.

Ideally one would never be able to make this assertion but the facts here speak for themselves. In a country where the government is unable to give absolute guarantees about healthcare – an already established human right – there is a desire to protect a telecommunications provider from competition. Do we agree that Telem Group is an important of the economic and social fabric yes – but to have the government, which should act as the facilitator rejects a permit to a company out of hand to protect Telem is just not logical, especially considering the potential opportunities that can come from the venture.

UTS’ Chief Executive Officer Glen Carty sums it up quite correctly when he says, “It’s not wise to put all your cables in one hole.”

What also makes this decision interesting is that it comes from an administration that has espoused free market policies in the past and allowed a seven screen theater owned by an international chain to open right up the street from a four screen theater owned by a local entrepreneur. That too was competition and that too has ended in profits being shipped out.

So the question probably is then: Is this a free market economy or not?

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