Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Over and over again in online forums, I hear our "regulatory fundamentalists" insist that experience, knowledge and achievement should be acknowledged and rewarded in the form of a license to operate in our Service.

To which I say....."Horsepucky"!

What these clowns continually forget is that a license to operate in a publicly-owned, taxpayer supported radio service is NOT a "reward" for "good deeds".  Rather, it's simply the granting of privileges to operate after someone demonstrates a proscribed level of competency to do so. 

Period.

As I've said, all such "achievement" nonsense has absolutely NO place in a taxpayer-supported, government-administered institution whose regulator's sole authority is simply to regulate.  Clearly, the underlying goal of incentive licensing was to forcefully "educate" us with the aim of turning us all into budding RF Engineers. And THAT was done primarily so as to further a whole plethora of government social and economic goals of the day.  

Indeed, many of you may remember the "missile gap" of the 1960s when our government bureaucrats were throwing anything and everything at the wall to stimulate a countrywide effort to crank out hordes of mechanical, electrical and RF engineers. Obviously, "incentive licensing" in our radio service was made all the more palatable because of its relationship to the backdrop of the "missile gap" paranoia of the day.

But, it is also important to remember that, besides the "missile gap" being later shown to be overwhelmingly in the US's favor, all that nonsense happened NEARLY 50 YEARS AGO!  What possible regulatory purpose is still being served...in the 21st Century...by indefinitely keeping all that "missile gap derived" nonsense fully in place today?  The Soviet Union has long since gone the way of the dinosaur, and most of our electronic components and equipment now originate from the Far East.

Clearly, the other underlying goal of all this "incentive" nonsense at the time was to line the pockets of the ARRL who, if memory serves correctly, were on the financial "ropes" at the time. Indeed, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the League has been cashing in on "incentive licensing" ever since by selling tens (if not hundreds and hundreds) of thousands of copies of their so-called "upgrade" materials along the way.

But the ARRL wasn't the only one pushing this nonsense at the time.  The "good old boys" at the FCC were clearly involved in it too. 

And all the while we hams continue to worship the FCC as some kind of "demi-God" from whom all blessings flow, they certainly won't see things "my way", "our way" or ANY way other than what the FCC, in their isolated "Ivory Tower" decides to do...or not to do.  And, as I've also said, their whole "petition" process is little more than a bureaucratic farce.  Most "petitions" end up in "File 13" if they in any way go against already established FCC policy.

Unfortunately, ALL of us seem to have collectively lost sight of the fact that the FCC is nothing more than yet another US Government regulatory agency.  And they have never been granted the statutory authority to set themselves up to "educate" anyone.

What's more, since we taxpayers pay their salaries, these overstuffed (not to mention overpaid) FCC bureaucrats all work for YOU AND ME and NOT the other way around.

Now, I don't know about you, but, from my own personal perspective, I highly RESENT being manipulated, controlled and, in effect, abused by a bunch of gormless government bureaucrats who remain seemingly hell-bent on using we hams (and prospective hams) as unwitting pawns to further their own social and economic policy goals as outlined in their Part 97.1…. particularly all that "maintaining and expanding a reservoir of trained operators and technical experts" nonsense.

In my book, ALL of that eyewash remains in DIRECT CONTRAVENTION of the "personal aim" and "amateur" spirit (not to mention the "non pecuniary interest" intent) of our International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulators for our Service. And the FCC has been getting away with all of this internationally illegal foolishness for decades largely because US hams collectively 'bought into" all that nonsense in the first place and have continued to worship it all as "the Gospel truth" ever since.

Indeed, it's often been said that we don't get the government we deserve, we get the government (in this case the FCC) we allow.

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