Posted by: reformedmusings | March 7, 2009

Obama’s broadband debacle


(image from The Writing on the Wall)

In the land of Obama utopia, nothing is too good for the unwashed proletariat – even if they don’t want it. FoxNews has a great article on a little-publicized element in the pork-laden payoff euphemistically called a “stimulus”. In Obama’s High-Speed Internet Plan: Broadband or Boondogle?, Fox notes that the porkulus dedicates 7.2 billion dollars to bringing broadband to remote areas. That’s a lot of F-22, F-35, or KC-X aircraft which this country badly needs to remain free. Problem is, there’s no demand for the broadband – but that’s not a problem in socialist utopia.

Having a valid requirement is an critical step in any acquisition. Then, you need to measure the cost-benefit ratio. So it should be in this case:

“In the end, you have to ask yourself the question: What is the cost compared to the benefits?” said George Ford, chief economist at the Phoenix Center, a Washington-based think tank.

Mr. Ford later goes on to add:

“We have a lot of people arguing about speed and availability, but we don’t have any way to measure success,” Ford said. “We have to make rational decisions on what we can really expect and what we really need, and nobody’s doing that. The policy is unguided — it’s not clear what the nation’s targets are for broadband.”

By any measure, the US already has exemplary broadband availability. As Fox reports, broadband is already available to 91% of US households. However, only 57% ever avail themselves of the service. As everyone knows, broadband is an expensive luxury not required by the average user. In America, one can still freely choose where one lives, though that may soon change. If one needs broadband, one can choose to live where it’s available. I do. John Horrigan, author of the Pew study, observed:

“Half of non-broadband users said they simply don’t want to use the Internet or don’t find it relevant to their daily life,” Horrigan said. “People’s perception that the technology isn’t relevant to them is a bigger barrier than cost.”

I have relatives that live in relatively remote areas. They don’t have broadband, or any Internet connection. They don’t want it. And they won’t want it even if it’s gift-wrapped with a 7.2 billion dollar bow. But Obamessiah wants you to pay for that bow. Think of it as the price to bring utopia to those who don’t want it. Obamessiah just wants to bless his poor benighted subjects – at your expense.

Image courtesy of Michelle Malkin

Image courtesy of Michelle Malkin



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