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This is a sub-selection from It doesn't have to be FREE

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
reply to karlmarx

Re: It doesn't have to be FREE

said by karlmarx:

as LONG AS YOU DON'T NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT.
Therein lies the problem with socialism. Somebody, somewhere has to pay for it. Who pays the bill if Philly doesn't make a profit, or at least break even?


wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

2 recommendations

said by openbox9:

said by karlmarx:

as LONG AS YOU DON'T NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT.
Therein lies the problem with socialism. Somebody, somewhere has to pay for it. Who pays the bill if Philly doesn't make a profit, or at least break even?
Stop trying to be rational with him, it only makes him angry.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Usually, karlmarx See Profile chooses not to respond to rationality, unless it's with a "you're a shill" attack. We'll see.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
reply to openbox9
I think he's saying that a muni doesn't have to pay off greedy shareholders (and they're greedy all right) every quarter. Nothing should operate at a loss for an extended period, city or not.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
said by iansltx:

I think he's saying that a muni doesn't have to pay off greedy shareholders (and they're greedy all right) every quarter.
But a community does have to worry about answering to angry bondholders and taxpayers. Not much different IMO.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Oh, it's a lot different. Taxpayers can't withdraw their money, and bondholders get a guaranteed, somewhat low interest rate on their bond, which can't be pulled prematurely. Stockholders are whiny babies in comparison.

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
I think the differences are much more subtle than you believe.

- Community officials answer to the taxpayers sufficiently enough to gain reelection. CEOs answer to their boards and shareholders sufficiently enough to keep their jobs.

- Muni bondholders get their return as long as the community remains solvent, which will most likely happen at the expense of the taxpayers. Corporate bondholders get their return as long as the company can pay its debt, which can happen at expense of the equity holders if the company fails.

Equity investors tend to be more vocal than taxpayers. Call it whining if you want, but it's not necessarily the bad thing that a lot of people make it out to be.

iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
Again, bondholders are guaranteed a rate of return and have to stick around for the long haul. They also know in what they're investing, so they have a vested interest in a project succeeding. Investors in a publicly owned company can pull out whenever they feel like, with no long-term commitments, because "it's a tech company, it's supposed to make gobs of money overnight."

Also, a muni has to out-innovate its competitors to get customers. Price competition works only when the competitors are overpriced. Out-innovation is good for broadband speeds...


karlmarx

join:2006-09-18
Chicago, IL
reply to wifi4milez
Whoa? I never said it shouldn't be at least break even. BUT, it should NOT make a profit. Why? Because this is for the BENEFIT of CITIZENS. Not shareholders, not bondholders, no fat cat bankers and coke snorting executives with their fancy mansions and their right wing nut case backers. This is for the CITIZENS. What part of 'for the people' goes over your head EVERY time you hear about a government program? Hell, they could LOSE money, that's not the problem, and that's not the OBJECTIVE. If the objective is NOT TO MAKE MONEY, then you have a totally different approach. How would you like to have to pay $5.00 every time you pull out of your driveway? If your roads were run by private corporations, that's exactly what you would see. Instead, roads (and it should be the internet), should be setup for everyone to use, not just those with money.

Tell you what, why don't you tell your town to 'sell' your road to a corporation. They will cut your tax bill by a very small amount to offset it. Do you honestly think a corporation would spend one freaking DIME to repair your road if they couldn't make a profit? Yah, that's right, your road would continue to degrade, they would raise the price every year, and you would just have to live with it. I, on the other hand, prefer to pay taxes to have ALL the roads repaired by the town, so EVERYONE can use it.
--
Remember 1 in 4 people are retarded. 25% of Americans are Republican. Coincidence? I don't think so.

APG
Premium
join:2007-01-13
said by karlmarx:

Do you honestly think a corporation would spend one freaking DIME to repair your road if they couldn't make a profit? Yah, that's right, your road would continue to degrade, they would raise the price every year, and you would just have to live with it. I, on the other hand, prefer to pay taxes to have ALL the roads repaired by the town, so EVERYONE can use it.
So you're saying that government-maintained roads are in pristine condition? You obviously don't live where I live. Taxes go up every year, but there are places on every block where the macadam has completely worn away and the original brick road (alas, not yellow) shows through. Let's not even talk about the sidewalks, where most of the concrete stills bears the imprint of having been poured 90 years ago -- and it shows because just walking a block is an adventure.

Here's a history lesson for the Marxists among us who will surely appreciate it:

I get your point that the roads and sidewalks here, no matter how bad they are, are available to everyone. And that's my point, too... if the government had been in charge of wiring this town for cable in 1965, they'd have built a state of art 13 channel system. And today, it would probably still be just that. It would be available to everyone, but it would still be a 13 channel system.

Because cable's in the hands of private enterprise, the entire cable infrastructure has been rebuilt 3 times over the last 50 years. Granted, they did it because they saw the potential for profit... but they still did it. Even so, those who are happy with a 13 channel system can still have it in the form of limited basic. Meanwhile, those who want more can have hundreds of channels, high-speed internet and telephone service. The power of choice is left squarely to the choices of individual consumers.

Now for the specific case of the internet... It's all well and good to say that the government could wire every home with fiber for xxx billion dollars. But that's today and ignores the previous 15+ years of the consumer internet. Without the history of the telcos providing dial-up access followed by DSL and cable, there wouldn't even be an internet as we know it.

And it's just not possible that the government could have wired everyone up around 1995 when the internet was first made available to the public. Imagine the government then saying, "We've got this thing we've been using we call the 'internet'. It ain't much now, but we're going to spend billions of dollars to connect everybody to it because we think it might become bigger than CB radio."

It would have never happened. It took a lot of visionaries and risk-takers, from the tiny 8 telephone line system I first used to connect to the net to AT&T to provide the infrastructure to make it work. (note: I know there were online services before the internet but that makes the story even more complicated.)

Anyway I've never seen a government with such foresight. I'd like to see one, but I don't suppose I ever will.

wev567

join:2006-02-25
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to openbox9
said by openbox9:

said by karlmarx:

as LONG AS YOU DON'T NEED TO MAKE A PROFIT.
Therein lies the problem with socialism. Somebody, somewhere has to pay for it. Who pays the bill if Philly doesn't make a profit, or at least break even?


Private industry doesn't seem to providing broadband fast enough for most of us, yet you reject another way? At least in this version of socialism, there is a potential benefit for all. Or would you rather have capitalism like Wall Street practices it, where we privatize profits and socialize the risk?

openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
I don't reject another way. I do reject wastefully throwing billions and billions of additional taxpayer money down the drain. I fully support capitalism and believe that it is the most sustainable economic system long-term. If you're discussing the huge bailout/stimulus that's happened within the last year as "socialize the risk", I don't necessarily support that either. I do believe that companies should be allowed to fail if they can't sustain their business model. FWIW, we've been practicing privatized profits/socialized risk for a very long time in several sectors.