Normally we are not a big fan of government regulations or finding new ways to punish just one sector of the citizenry.
That said, we can't think of a more annoying industry that is begging for government to kick its teeth in than the robocall industry. A story in Friday's Maui News said the federal government is offering a $50,000 reward for anyone who comes up with the best idea for blocking these calls.
Automatic calls go out to millions of Americans every week - even those who have asked to be put on the government's "Do Not Call" list. Therefore, some of the operators of these calling machines are violating federal law.
The only problem is there is no way to catch them.
We have a caller ID system that flashes the numbers of incoming calls on the TV screen. The only problem is that oftentimes the system flashes "unknown number." Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if this is a friend calling - or a pesky robocaller.
The autodialing companies also know that the best time to catch the American public at home is an hour or so after most people quit work - say around 6 p.m. Of course, that is when most of America is sitting down to dinner.
That makes the call even more annoying.
So if anyone reading this has an idea about how to block these calls, the Federal Trade Commission will give you $50,000 if it is judged the best one. Plus, as the head of the consumer protection bureau of that agency said, you will become a "national hero."
"Amen" to that sentiment.
So put your thinking caps on. Let's find a way to send our old scofflaw pal "Robo" to the back of the unemployment line where he belongs.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.