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  • Tales of the Red Tape #3: Don't Touch That Dial!

    In the age of the TV remote and DVR, when viewers can adjust (or mute!) volume or skip commercials entirely without moving from the couch, it’s hard to fathom why Congress would consider it necessary to regulate the decibel levels of television advertising. But that’s precisely the purpose of the CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act), which, in addition to ranking among the most excessive exercises of government authority, also ranks high on the list of truly irritating acronyms.

    The new law directs the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that the volume of commercials does not exceed the average maximum loudness of the program they accompany. Of course, the regulation doesn’t prevent loud programming—at least not yet.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Tales of the Red Tape #3: Don't Touch That Dial!

    1. Stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      Interesting how the government thinks we need so much help just to watch-listen to our TV's. What most people don't understand is when a product has problems one should look to blame the government not the manufacturer for the defects since they are primarily due to all the over-regulation forced on them by our nany-state overseerers. A good read is "Bourbon for Breakfast" by Jeffrey A. Tucker for some insight as to why this is so.

    2. John Preston says:

      Complete agreement. Why should Congress get involved in anything that isn't expressly prohibited in the Constitution. Love this "Free Enterprise" as long as it extracts maximum profits from public domain & publicly funded infrastructure.

      In case it hasn't occurred to the admen, I sort of like the concept of broadcasters being able to tag ad rates to visual and auditory "cache". Why shouldn't 120 dB SPL be worth more than sultry whispers? And why not throw in some strob lights. Bring it on! Let's get as obscene as we can.

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    4. MJF, CT says:

      Really? Is this all that the government can deal with today, the volume of commercials on TV? So instead of dealing with the real issues of the day, the government idiots waste time and money on another idiotic bill that just spreads the already gross girth of government control. Welcome to the Jabba the Hut Government – watch is sprawl and ooze all over us!

    5. George Colgrove VA says:

      This is the other side of the coin of cutting the federal budget.

      Cutting the federal government will get costs in line with tax revenue.

      Reducing and eliminating droves of regulations will be what we in the private sector need to start the process of rebuilding the American economy. How loud a commercial is does not need to be a consideration of the federal government – it has nothing to do with maintaining a common currency, defense, foreign affairs or protecting interstate commerce.

      Once the feds are stopped causing damage to a free economy, the private sector will start to grow, hire, and become productive again. Things will be made here and as a result, America will rocket to the top.

      The federal government should be a static entity. Meaning it will not grow with the GDP. Its budget should never increase above $1.4 trillion in 2011 dollars. We should be applying $1 trillion a year to debt service. All domestic programs should be returned to the states or placed in the private sector. The DoD needs to be brought under control with spending constraints. We need to start saving for future military operations with strict private sector oversight on the use of that funding. The military has to be required to eliminate the "at all cost" mentality. The military needs to be protected from the greedy federal workforce in the DoD and their political or personal pursuits.

      When the economy is such that the federal government takes in more than $2.4 trillion (in 2011 dollars) the "extra" needs to go into an emergency contingency fund with a corresponding tax cut to get projected revenue back to $2.4 trillion in 2011 dollars. This contingency fund also needs to be policed by the private sector – not the feds who have proven they cannot be trusted with money. This will cause the opposite spiril to occur. Our economy will grow quicker and quicker.

      As for foreign affairs, as the US economy improves so will global economies. The vastness between the haves and have-nots will start to close in and when all peoples are, doing well then there will be less need for war.

      As for the defense contractors, there is very little difference between space exploration/colonization/etc. If we can move from an insidious war mongering society to one where we look outwards there will be a lot more money to be made for these companies. So with this, privatize the functions of NASA. Sure, keep the parts for military under the Department of the Army. Nevertheless, all the rest – just simply put it in the private sector. Split it up into many companies and let American ingenuity take it to levels unimaginable.

      We need to take the federal thumb off our economy – reducing and preferably eliminating regulations will have far greater positive impacts to our economy, then what harm may come out of a few bad apples. But then again, there are state attorney generals who can take care of these criminals. We do not need the feds getting into these matters. The feds duties are (1) common currency, (2) defense – not offense – (3) foreign affairs – (4) ensure a level playing field among state governments.

    6. Wendell says:

      I've been praying for this for years. I have contacted TV stations and they always tell me they have no control over that volume increase. I know better. I have often wondered why TV manufacturers do not include a circuit to level the volume. I know that can be done. I may have a remote control or a volume control near by but by the time I scramble over to it and try to adjust the volume my ears have already been shattered. Besides that it occurrs every five minutes and last for three minutes. I for one am thrilled to see this happen.

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