TV ruled an “essential good”

According to a Reuters news release, a judge in Brazil has ruled TV an “”essential good” needed to watch soccer and a popular reality TV show” and has awarded damages against a store for failing to fix a tv resulting in moral damages from not being able to watch tv. It then goes on to say that because a TV is in just about every home it therefore is an essential good.

“In modern life, you cannot deny that a television set, present in almost all homes, is considered an essential good,” ruled the judge from Campos, a town north of Rio de Janeiro. “Without it, how can the owner watch the beautiful women on ‘Big Brother,’ the national news broadcast or a football game,” the judge quipped.

Huh? Sure you do need a TV to watch those shows but why are they “essential goods”? I strongly disagree.

To me an essential good is something you literally would die without. Things like food, shelter, and clean water would be essential goods. I don’t think anyone has ever died from not having a TV. There are millions of people in the world without TV.

There are also those who voluntarily have given up TV, generally for moral or religious reasons. Still others severely limit what they watch. I guess I’d fall into one of those groups. We watch very little TV. There’s just not much on that doesn’t glorify violence, vulgar language, or s*x in some form or other. The drama shows are like that. The comedy shows are like that too or else they poke fun at people in insulting ways. What does that leave, game shows? Even then, there’s the advertising.

We don’t have cable or satellite. Now with the digital transition, I don’t think we’ll switch. I was watching previews for new shows coming out soon and of the 5 ads, I saw none that I would like to watch. Insulting comedies, gang violence, corruption, a couple other dramas I couldn’t figure out a definite plot line for. No thanks. I don’t see much different on cable either. Sure there are things like the History channel and Discovery but considering the price, I don’t think it’s worth it.

As far as the digital switch itself, I see this as a conspiracy to make consumers spend money. You have to either have a new TV or a converter box for each TV. The government had a coupon program to defer $40 for converter box purchases, however this was typical of government programs and underfunded. As a result, they are out of money and coupons. Most boxes are more than $60 so I still wind up spending at least $20 even with the coupon. Also, while digital tv may have better picture or sound qualities, in marginal reception areas it may not work at all. At least with analog you could get reception even if it is a bit grainy at times. My friend lives in a valley and will no longer be able to get any reception. His only alternative is shell out for cable every month or do without TV.

No, I don’t see why TV is considered an essential good. People can and do live very well without it. What’s next- game systems, cell phones, and computers? These things only make society seem more enjoyable for those who choose to use them. They are not required and therefore not essential goods. A toaster and coffee maker are also present in most modern homes. Does that make them essential goods resulting in moral damages when they break?

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5 Responses

  1. We don’t watch TV. Ugh!! I never thought I’d live to see the day that TV was deemed an essential good!

  2. Wow!
    Then again how else can they set a national mood, effecting people and politics.
    Sad to think that many people would understanding of a ruling like this.

  3. That’s pretty crazy. I don’t watch TV–though I sometimes tune in to the Olympics and go to Super Bowl parties. If I watch a show, it is on DVD or online.

    My TV is very useful for Movie Night which we do every week, and fun when connected to our Wii, but hardly an “essential good.”

    ~Luke

  4. We have been considering getting a media pc and hook it up to the TV. Many shows are available on line from the networks or hulu.com.

  5. I’ve heard that’s available. We just don’t watch enough to make it worth the investment though.

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