This article on the ARRL website summarizes quite well the situation with ham radio – and radio in general.
Although it is exciting to be part of a club of radio enthusiasts around the world, one must question whether the licensing system on its own is a hindrance both to freedom and innovation.
The basic debate has these two sides:
Restrict Frequencies for Licencees
“By proving skills and taking tests, you can keep a higher quality of person on the frequencies. If we don’t do this we will have CB radio on ham frequencies”
Let Them Go
“By restricting access to the airwaves we all breath and share, you are exerting controls that should not be there – especially on a technology that enables humans to transmit data. By restricting the airwaves you are limiting both God-given freedom of speech but also innovation because the technology remains only in the hands of those who can (and will) exploit it for gain.”
And it’s a very great debate and one worthy of fighting for.