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The Case FOR Government yet where it has failed miserably

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
If there's one area we could probably advocate for a common usage and coordinated efforts rather than competitive efforts, it is the air with regard to radio frequencies. These are a shared and common resource that the government controls. While your neighbor can go buy a block of land, slap up a building and start selling clothes, burgers or changing your oil in the event they think you uncompetitive or that they could do a better job, this isn't true of television, radio and cell service which is controlled through the FCC at the federal level.

Also it isn't as if the stakes are so high here as to drive people to extremes. This isn't grandma's cancer medicine. This isn't whether your daughter gets into the right college because she's going to the right high school. This isn't what your child put in their mouth and swallowed this afternoon.

So a common resource that should be managed for the common good in a field where the stakes aren't so high as to lead people into extreme or irrational thought and how does the government do? They totally have screwed it up. The bane of most people's existence is how terrible television be it over the air, or cable and cell companies treat their customers and how their costs are not related to what is delivered. Radio isn't much different and all suffer from the same problems in various ways.

1. They create false tiers to keep you from the solution you need and force you instead into expensive additions. Most are familiar with this related to cell service or cable television. What you want is never available at a pay as you use it or go rate. Other regulated resources are treated exactly in this manner. You don't have to predict how much electricity, water or natural gas you might use and pay for overages at ridiculous rates or purchase one item to get another at a reasonable cost.

2. You pay for the service and then pay for the advertising as well. On television, you get commercials over the air including massive numbers of infomercials. These same channels are shown on cable where you are actually paying to now watch commercials/infomercials. With regard to cell service, we are seeing capped data plans precisely at the point when costs per megabyte are dropping and instead overages are being added on. (The exact opposite of the rest of the world.)

3. The government determines who can compete and who can combine and they continually approve of crony capitalism. The real point is they endorse cronyism period. There's always an out left for the connected after the one size solution is imposed on us all. The government has allowed continual consolidation within these industries while claiming to be on the look out for the little guy. They clearly instead engage in just the opposite behavior. You end up with large oligarchies of companies who are guaranteed to have no competition.

So really given what government does with television, radio and cell phones, why would anyone want to trust them with education, nutrition and health care? Shouldn't they prove they can handle their business in these smaller areas before tackling larger issues?

President Obama, since I believe the government can't push the economy on a string but can only get out of the way of it, please attempt to address these small areas where you actually have a true stake, can claim to help the common person and can actually attempt to find some middle ground and do some good. Get the infomercials off the air. Force competition back into these fields. Mandate pay as you use, not false tiers and fears of overages.

If you want to build some trust in government, don't take over my health care. You've already taken over the television, radio and cell industries because they all have government leases and licenses for what they do. Make them effective and earn some trust in a small area before asking for bigger ones. It won't even cost trillions a year. It doesn't need to be shovel ready. No one will care about the citizenship status of those watching, listening or talking.

It's easy. It's small. It's also an area where the government has failed miserably.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 10
http://www.flickr.com/photos/calmar/2235223387/
"I have been made victorious by terror~ Muhammad

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam," ~ Barack Obama

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"I have been made victorious by terror~ Muhammad

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam," ~ Barack Obama

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post #3 of 10
Analogy flaw. Causal flaw. Yum.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

http://www.flickr.com/photos/calmar/2235223387/

Hey, can we get that same chart with two updates:

1. The party controlling congress during those time.
2. Updated to the current year.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

http://www.flickr.com/photos/calmar/2235223387/

It has pretty colors, a starting point that is arbitrary and of course no explanation offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Analogy flaw. Causal flaw. Yum.

Seriously you are only worthy of laughter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Hey, can we get that same chart with two updates:

1. The party controlling congress during those time.
2. Updated to the current year.

How about we ignore their side show and have them explain why the FCC can't do it's job.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

How about we ignore their side show and have them explain why the FCC can't do it's job.

Good one! Oh wait, you're serious?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

The bane of most people's existence is how terrible television be it over the air, or cable and cell companies treat their customers and how their costs are not related to what is delivered.

You don't have to participate. I gladly pay to have trash taken away. I won't pay a nickel to have it delivered.

Quote:
Radio isn't much different and all suffer from the same problems in various ways.

I don't know if the Ad Council's budget has been increased but it certainly seems like there are more radio PSAs than ever, most of them containing such useful stuff as:

Quote:
With three simple steps – (1) Get a Kit; (2) Make a Plan; (3) Be Informed – New Yorkers can significantly reduce the impact of emergencies on themselves, their families and their businesses.

Great! What the hell is this supposed to accomplish? Is the Ad Council is trying to compensate for the utter lack of information by repeating it every twenty minutes?

More insipid PSAs address flu prevention (wash your hands!) as well as a curious juxtaposition of childhood obesity (don't eat so damn much, kid) and financial literacy (feed the pig!).

Then there is Internet Safety:

Pull quote:

Quote:
In response to the sometimes inconsistent and potentially overwhelming number of Internet safety communications efforts in the marketplace, the Coalition has developed a single and clear teen-targeted message: Beware What You Share. The key takeaway being that posting isn’t private, and three (???) can be lasting offline consequences to online behavior.

Three what? Oh, it's supposed to read there. Perhaps Anthony Weiner thought only two crotch shots would be OK.

Obviously we need a PSA addressing the limitations of spell check.

Get a kit. Make a plan. Idiots.
A is A
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A is A
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

If there's one area we could probably advocate for a common usage and coordinated efforts rather than competitive efforts, it is the air with regard to radio frequencies. These are a shared and common resource that the government controls. While your neighbor can go buy a block of land, slap up a building and start selling clothes, burgers or changing your oil in the event they think you uncompetitive or that they could do a better job, this isn't true of television, radio and cell service which is controlled through the FCC at the federal level.

Also it isn't as if the stakes are so high here as to drive people to extremes. This isn't grandma's cancer medicine. This isn't whether your daughter gets into the right college because she's going to the right high school. This isn't what your child put in their mouth and swallowed this afternoon.

So a common resource that should be managed for the common good in a field where the stakes aren't so high as to lead people into extreme or irrational thought and how does the government do? They totally have screwed it up. The bane of most people's existence is how terrible television be it over the air, or cable and cell companies treat their customers and how their costs are not related to what is delivered. Radio isn't much different and all suffer from the same problems in various ways.

1. They create false tiers to keep you from the solution you need and force you instead into expensive additions. Most are familiar with this related to cell service or cable television. What you want is never available at a pay as you use it or go rate. Other regulated resources are treated exactly in this manner. You don't have to predict how much electricity, water or natural gas you might use and pay for overages at ridiculous rates or purchase one item to get another at a reasonable cost.

2. You pay for the service and then pay for the advertising as well. On television, you get commercials over the air including massive numbers of infomercials. These same channels are shown on cable where you are actually paying to now watch commercials/infomercials. With regard to cell service, we are seeing capped data plans precisely at the point when costs per megabyte are dropping and instead overages are being added on. (The exact opposite of the rest of the world.)

3. The government determines who can compete and who can combine and they continually approve of crony capitalism. The real point is they endorse cronyism period. There's always an out left for the connected after the one size solution is imposed on us all. The government has allowed continual consolidation within these industries while claiming to be on the look out for the little guy. They clearly instead engage in just the opposite behavior. You end up with large oligarchies of companies who are guaranteed to have no competition.

So really given what government does with television, radio and cell phones, why would anyone want to trust them with education, nutrition and health care? Shouldn't they prove they can handle their business in these smaller areas before tackling larger issues?

President Obama, since I believe the government can't push the economy on a string but can only get out of the way of it, please attempt to address these small areas where you actually have a true stake, can claim to help the common person and can actually attempt to find some middle ground and do some good. Get the infomercials off the air. Force competition back into these fields. Mandate pay as you use, not false tiers and fears of overages.

If you want to build some trust in government, don't take over my health care. You've already taken over the television, radio and cell industries because they all have government leases and licenses for what they do. Make them effective and earn some trust in a small area before asking for bigger ones. It won't even cost trillions a year. It doesn't need to be shovel ready. No one will care about the citizenship status of those watching, listening or talking.

It's easy. It's small. It's also an area where the government has failed miserably.


Just getting into the cable part for second: The reason there are tiers and not an ala carte options is that many channels simply wouldn't survive like this. According to Brian Roberts (CEO, Comcast), channels with appeal but with a limited focus (say, Animal Planet) would be the first to cease to exist. There simply wouldn't be enough subscriber fees to keep the channel afloat. The impression I got from this interview I listened to (a few years back on local radio) was that cable providers would like to go ala carte, but cannot.

Not sure I believe that last part, but it's an interesting point.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt View Post

You don't have to participate. I gladly pay to have trash taken away. I won't pay a nickel to have it delivered.



I don't know if the Ad Council's budget has been increased but it certainly seems like there are more radio PSAs than ever, most of them containing such useful stuff as:



Great! What the hell is this supposed to accomplish? Is the Ad Council is trying to compensate for the utter lack of information by repeating it every twenty minutes?

More insipid PSAs address flu prevention (wash your hands!) as well as a curious juxtaposition of childhood obesity (don't eat so damn much, kid) and financial literacy (feed the pig!).

Then there is Internet Safety:

Pull quote:



Three what? Oh, it's supposed to read there. Perhaps Anthony Weiner thought only two crotch shots would be OK.

Obviously we need a PSA addressing the limitations of spell check.

Get a kit. Make a plan. Idiots.


I hate them too. At least this is over....

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Why is European broadband faster and cheaper? Blame the government.

Quote:
Our reporting suggests a one-word answer: Government.

Not government spending. The UK's administration hasn't invested a penny in broadband infrastructure, and most of the network in the Netherlands has been built with private capital. (The city government in Amsterdam took a minority stake in the fiber network there, but that's an investment that will pay dividends if the network is profitable -- and the private investors who own the majority share of the system plan to make sure that it will be.)

The game-changer in these two European countries has been government regulators who have forced more competition in the market for broadband.

The market in the UK used to be much like ours here in the U.S.: British homes had two options for broadband service: the incumbent telephone company British Telecom (BT), or a cable provider. Prices were high, service was slow, and, as I mentioned above, Britain was falling behind its European neighbors in international rankings of broadband service.

The solution, the British government decided, was more competition: If consumers had more options when it came to broadband service, regulators reasoned, prices would fall and speeds would increase. A duopoly of telephone and cable service wasn't enough. "You need to find the third lever," says Peter Black, who was the UK government's top broadband regulator from 2004 to 2008.

Our government is a big fail in this area.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

Reply
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