The Club For Growth blog recently posted about how French President Nicholas Sarkozy recently signed a law that will subsidize a free daily newspaper subscription for every 18-year-old in the country.
If this isn't a shining example of government backwardness, I don't know what is. It is clearly a government subsidy to the newspapers, hidden under the excuse of "it's for the children!" The reason that print newspapers have been flagging in recent years is because internet news sources have become convenient, immediate, and virtually free alternatives--and, a report released last year notes that young people are increasingly going here, here, and here to get their news.
And, of course, there's the matter of government-crowd out that will entice people who would have bought the newspapers with their own money anyway to take the government subsidy--probably the parents, the CFG notes, who "will cancel their current subscription and get a free one. The kid doesn't even factor into the equation."