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August 28, 2011
Do we really need a National Weather Service?
Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute makes an interesting argument against the US government subsidizing weather forecasting by maintaining a National Weather Service. Today the NWS justifies itself on public interest grounds. It issues severe weather advisories and hijacks local radio and television stations to get the message out. It presumes that citizens do not pay attention to the weather and so it must force important, perhaps lifesaving, information upon them. A few seconds' thought reveals how silly this is. The weather might be the subject people care most about on a daily basis. There is a very successful private TV channel dedicated to it, 24 hours a day, as well as any number of phone and PC apps. Americans need not be forced to turn over part of their earnings to support weather reporting. The NWS claims that it supports industries like aviation and shipping, but if they provide a valuable contribution to business, it stands to reason business would...(Read Full Post)