Sunday, February 20, 2005

 

Broadband-Bolshevik Style

Is Carol Ellison näive or just stupid? She seems to favor stealing your tax money to build something most of you already have. I'd have to say: stupid.

You see, some cities across the country are breaking into the telecom business. Or just plain breaking the telecom business. The cities think that they are going to provide wireless Internet access to millions of people at little or no cost. Of course the “little cost” will be for the people whose tax money built the system. The “no cost” will be for the poor people who didn’t build the system and can’t afford a computer anyway. No reason to let an experiment in free enterprise get in the way of some good ol’ class warfare.

The cities say these Internet systems will attract business and create jobs. Yeah, that’s why people have fled urban areas in droves. It had nothing to do with all the crack (which you can now buy while surfing the ‘net). Be serious about the ‘jobs’ claim, people. If you work for one of the telecom companies, your tax money is being used to put you out of a job. Then you'll be dependent on a socialist government program. Which is exactly what the city-level pinkos want.

Of course, the cities trot out the hearts & minds campaign to make mushy-minded middle-class white people feel guilty and support the project:
[Denise Stoner]...a recently homeless mother who has a learning disabled son and a deaf daughter, both of whom have heart problems, Stoner has a refurbished desktop computer with broadband wireless service provided by the People's Emergency Center.

But her aging computer is slow and often hampered by viruses, which she depends on the center's technicians to eradicate. And while her 9-year-old son has improved his reading and spelling skills by using the Internet, he spends most of his time online playing games.
Don’t libraries and, oh, gee, I don’t know, SCHOOLS in Philly teach kids how to read? If not, then Philadelphia doesn’t have the money to screw around with Wireless Internet schemes.
Still, Stoner has found both information and comfort from the Internet. She has learned sign language online to converse with her 2-year-old daughter...
Would the Red Cross of Philadelphia refuse to teach her and her daughter sign language?

It infuriates me when Marxists suggest plans that glorify themselves and use stories like this to build support. What infuriates me more is that anyone with a brain could both see right through it AND come up with a better solution.

These city administrators must incredibly flexible, in the physical sense. They seem to have their heads simultaneously in the clouds, and up their own asses if they think that they can support these systems for just $1.5 million a year. And what about customer service? Just imagine the union goons who “fix” potholes or the sweet, understanding people who work at the DMV answering your calls about troubleshooting an IEEE 802.11b connection. Forget about e-mail, you’ll be back to ink and paper letters in no time.

There’s another point the morons in these Bolshevik city-states don’t want to talk about. Progress. I don’t mean the lies of people who call themselves “Progressive”. I mean actual capitalist progress. What happens when the (real) telecom companies build four WiMax towers, hardly requiring any maintenance, just outside the city limits and allow access by citizens for as little as $10 a month?
"This is a growing trend, but an ominous and disturbing one," said Adam Thierer, director of telecommunications studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and the author of a soon-to-be-released study criticizing the Philadelphia plan. "The last thing I'd want to see is broadband turned into a lazy public utility."
Free enterprise competition will bankrupt the the entire municipal system. The government beaurocrats who wanted the Romanesque glory of a boondoggling public works project (possibly named after them) on their résumé and instead got shame will also get their fat-cat government pensions. And the taxpayers will get the shaft.

Don’t get me wrong. If you live in Buttbump, Texas or Yeehaww, Idaho and no one will provide Internet access, then the municipality and its citizens should get together and come up with a solution to rectify that, possible even subsidizing the building of an Internet infrastructure. But even then, WiFi may not be the best solution. But it sure is glamorous. And that’s what counts to the governcrats.

There's something that bureaucrats just don’t seem to get about projects like this: The Robert C. Byrd Highway system in West Virginia wasn't paid for by Robert C. Byrd. Byrd didn’t work on it. Didn’t pay for it. Maybe he’s never even seen it. But everyone from Hawaii should see it. They’re great roads. Paid for with your tax money from 5,500 miles away. For a state with hardly more people. Seem fair? You’ll soon be able to ask the citizens of Philadelphia how they feel about the pork project ringing their very own city. At least won’t have to take a plane ride to see their tax money being flushed. Convenient.

One last point: Notice that “blue states” are the only ones doing this. Those states' attacks on free enterprise continue. And people (especially businesspeople) continue to flee from them like passengers from the Lusitania.

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