If I had a dollar for every time I've been interrupted by a robocall, it might not make me a wealthy man, but it would sure take the sting out of the way my time is wasted by all those worthless phone calls. In fact, if everyone who ever called me had to pay me a dollar just to make my phone ring, all those unwanted calls would be priced out of existence. And that is all it takes to solve the robocall problem. Every phone call from anywhere should have to come with a dollar attached. Friends and acquaintances would not mind paying to call each other, because we ordinarily return those calls, and with those returned calls, the same dollar would just keep going back and forth. If I ever did get another robocall, I'd just keep that dollar. But, of course, that would never happen anymore. No commercial robocaller could afford to pay a dollar to everyone they called.

Whenever anyone's activities, thoughts, or sleep are interrupted by a phone call, reasonable compensation should be due that person. Among communication media, the telephone system is uniquely positioned to make that happen now. The telephone companies already track all usage for billing purposes and already process the billing of every subscriber. They also already handle 900 numbers, on which the caller pays the party called. It is only a matter of altering the billing control database to make all phones work like 900 numbers, with every call adding a dollar to one person's bill and deducting it from another's. Once that is done, the robocall problem just goes away.

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