The Nation: Off the Hook

Ask not for whom the bell tolls in and around Hickory Corners, Mich. There is no toll at all for 40 stubborn households. When telephone rates jumped a hefty 54% almost a year ago, subscribers protested by having their phones disconnected. A court upheld the new rates, and telephone company officials have refused to compromise.

The holdouts are discovering that silence is golden. Nerves are no longer frazzled by a shrill ring. Importunate creditors and nagging in-laws must resort to the mails. Meals are not interrupted, and TV ball games can be viewed from beginning to end. Two gas stations in town...

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