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Information Highway

January 02, 1994

* A cynic once observed that leadership is the art of finding a parade and running in front of it. Vice President Al Gore's speech on the "information superhighway" (Dec. 22) shows all of the huffing and puffing of this style of leadership.

The information highway is coming to your house, but unlike the interstate highway system, it needs no government subsidies. Satellites are being launched, cellular networks are being built, and software is being developed, all financed by the capital sources of private enterprise--a large percentage of which are the funds for our own pensions.

I laughed heartily at the part where Al Gore said that "regulations are needed to ensure access for all." The whole point of regulation is to keep prices high by restricting competition and especially technology change, which is the only way to achieve dramatically lower costs.

Why subsidize an industry to produce electric cars that can go only 50 miles per hour, when we already have a pollution-free "electric car" that can go 180,000 miles per second--our home computer/television attached to a high-speed electronic network. Furthermore, this superhighway has worldwide access, without paying gasoline taxes, license fees, insurance, speeding tickets, etc.

Al Gore and bureaucrats everywhere are caught like scared animals in the headlights of this revolution, because they cannot figure out how to control it.

HENRY G. BAKER

Encino

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