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House Representatives weigh in support on nationwide Wi-Fi plans

The quest to see a national free Wi-Fi network continues, this week winning the ringing endorsements (PDF) of House Representatives Anna Eshoo and Edward Markey.

National Wi-Fi, or the concept of a nationwide wireless internet service available for free, seeks to spread wireless broadband access to all the places not covered by traditional broadband internet service. Both plans – there are two, one from Silicon Valley-based M2Z Networks and the other from the FCC – emphasize providing high-speed internet to rural and underprivileged communities, which are usually out of reach for traditional, landline high-speed internet service.

M2Z Networks made an initial proposal for 384kbps service in July 2006, but found its ideas scrapped last fall after the FCC criticized its speed and questioned the company’s benchmarks. Rather than take the FCC to court, M2Z lobbied Rep. Eshoo to draw up the Wireless Internet Nationwide for Families Act, which instead would force the FCC to auction off available space in the 2155-2175 MHz band to create a nationwide Wi-Fi network.

Around the same time it rejected M2Z’s initial proposal, the FCC drew up nearly identical plans (PDF) to sell the same chunk of spectrum to the highest bidder.

Both current initiatives face stiff resistance from incumbent wireless telcos such as AT&T and Verizon, who recently raised concerns over potential signal interference.

Recent tests conducted in the UK suggest that there won’t be any problems, write Eshoo and Markey, who say that “unnecessary interference testing would needlessly delay this auction.”

Such doubts “[constitute] the very rationale to kill this effort totally,” reads the letter. “The British Office of Communications … concluded that [service] can operate … without causing substantial interference.”

Opponents’ objections point specifically to the way the spectrum would be duplexed, claiming that techniques such as unpaired Time Division Duplexing or paired Frequency Division Duplexing would be unable to operate due to signal interference.

Notably, both proposals stipulate that any free wireless offerings have mandatory content filters, preventing users from viewing any material that “would be harmful to teens and adolescents,” including pornography and anything “contemporary community standards” deem as obscene. Free-speech advocates call this condition unconstitutional.

M2Z Networks is backed by Silicon Valley heavyweights Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures.



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This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 8:56:18 AM , Rating: 3
Our country is falling deeper into the hopeless maw of Socialism. We are being continually taxed to fund the programs for parasites who expect everything, from food, to housing, and now the internet, for free. It is getting to the point where those who contribute the least end up getting the most while the poor productive suckers are footing the bill.




RE: This makes me sick.
By StevoLincolnite on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 9:28:29 AM , Rating: 5
All of what you mention can be, and in many cases has been, done by private charities through voluntary funding rather than at the gunpoint of the state.


RE: This makes me sick.
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 9:41:49 AM , Rating: 5
> "The Good thing about a "Socialist" Society [is] that the Government has a say in everything"

This is a good thing??


RE: This makes me sick.
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 10:23:31 AM , Rating: 4
It's great for those sucking off the system. It sucks for anyone who truly wishes to excel. Or companies who wish to market a hot product which the government then deems that should be provided to everyone at what they decide is an affordable cost completely ignoring the fact that said company might have spent billions of dollars developing said product.

How much drug research happens in socialist countries? Almost none. Why? Because what's the point of spending billions developing a drug when the government will then tell you what you can sell it for and force you to let others produce it as well? Companies are in business to make money. Not to help you. If helping you is profitable, then businesses will do it.


RE: This makes me sick.
By StevoLincolnite on 10/14/2008 10:43:21 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's great for those sucking off the system. It sucks for anyone who truly wishes to excel.


Not really, try living in such a place for a few years, people still excel.

Heck you do not need a "Massive" income to live really well, it comes down to how efficiently you can manage money, My best friend is a Low-Income earner and lives better than a Middle Income Earner, Despite there being a 40 thousand dollar difference in yearly wages.

Those people who are "Sucking" off the system, will eventually get jobs and pay there taxes, The good thing is that people are placed into work sooner, rather than later, or other possible alternatives they may choose like suicide when they cannot even buy basic essentials, because they lack certain skills to get a job for various reasons like being kicked out of home.

quote:
How much drug research happens in socialist countries? Almost none. Why? Because what's the point of spending billions developing a drug when the government will then tell you what you can sell it for and force you to let others produce it as well? Companies are in business to make money. Not to help you. If helping you is profitable, then businesses will do it.


We have several Institutes that research cancer, the immune system, autoimmune diseases – such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis – malaria, neural development, genetics and drug discovery, and have made some significant discoveries.
There is allot of promotion/campaigns on mental health currently going around also, as for our drug and health system... And I quote:

quote:
A Commonwealth Fund survey of primary care physicians and patients in five other nations—Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—finds that the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. Much of this underperformance is attributable to the lack of universal health insurance in the U.S. Our failure to cover all Americans also underscores the findings of the 2007 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, which found financial barriers are much more likely to prevent many U.S. adults from getting the care they need than adults in the six other participating countries. While no one country provided a perfect model of care, there are many lessons to be learned from the strategies at work abroad.


http://www.commonwealthfund.org/aboutus/aboutus_sh...

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publi...

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publi...

So in those respects it's not to bad.


RE: This makes me sick.
By nah on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 1:20:04 PM , Rating: 5
> "average OECD government spending as a percenatge of GDP has gone up from 5-10 % in the 1960s to around 35-40 % today "

Plastic surgery rates have gone up also. By your logic, that proves cosmetic surgery is responsible for the productivity increases of the past 40 years.

The truth is that government spending is a drag on the economy and productivity gains have occurred despite government involvement, not because of it.


RE: This makes me sick.
By nah on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 2:29:12 PM , Rating: 1
If socialism worked so wonderfully, Eastern Europe may have embraced it's former political structure a bit stronger rather than having a string of revolutions toward more capitalistic non-government run systems. I know folk from there, those formerly extreme socialistic states stunk to live in (they loved the countries themselves, but the political/economic systems they had until revolution stunk -- according those I know).


RE: This makes me sick.
By nah on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 2:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
> "Don't confuse political systems for economic ones---socialism and capitalism are essentially political systems"

Eh? You've made the same mistake you've accused others of. While both systems have political overtones, they are most certainly economic systems.

> "No economist will tell you that a perfect market system will be good for a country"

Actually, any economist from the Austrian school will tell you just that.


RE: This makes me sick.
By nah on 10/14/2008 3:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Eh? You've made the same mistake you've accused others of. While both systems have political overtones, they are most certainly economic systems.


You are confused----in economics---economic systems are referred to as market, mixed, traditional or command---never as capitalist or communist or socialist--because these are socio-political terms

quote:
The main criticism of modern Austrian economics is its lack of scientific precision. Austrian theories are not formulated in formal mathematical form, but using verbal logic. Mainstream economists believe that this makes Austrian theories too imprecisely defined to be clearly used to explain or predict real world events. Economist Bryan Caplan noted that, "what prevents Austrian economists from getting more publications in mainstream journals is that their papers rarely use mathematics or econometrics."[39] This criticism of the Austrian school is related to its rejection of the use of the scientific method and empirical testing in social sciences in favor of self-evident axioms and logical reasoning .[2][3] The Nobel prize winning economist Paul Samuelson wrote that, "I tremble for the reputation of my subject" after reading the "exaggerated claims that used to be made in economics for the power of deduction and a priori reasoning [the Austrian methods]."[15]


Wiki as usual---in any event--my profs thought they were a bunch of loonies--and I happen to concur with their beliefs--in this respect, in any event


RE: This makes me sick.
By odessit740 on 10/14/2008 4:02:41 PM , Rating: 3
Arguing on the internet with a socialist is like winning the special Olympics... even if you win you're still retarded.


RE: This makes me sick.
By MamiyaOtaru on 10/15/2008 12:05:26 AM , Rating: 1
And the other guy is too


RE: This makes me sick.
By barclay on 10/14/2008 10:55:41 PM , Rating: 3
>"Mainstream economists believe that this makes Austrian theories too imprecisely defined to be clearly used to explain or predict real world events."

One of the chief criticism of economic modeling is that to make their predictions, economists must inevitably limit their variables by making certain assumptions. This is often very helpful in identifying general laws (i.e. all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer demand for the good or service will decrease). However, when combining all the various laws to model the entire economy, the large number of unknowns and assumptions can often lead to predictions that do not come to fruition. Unforeseen variables arise.

The Austrian school fully acknowledges the limits on human knowledge. In fact, this imperfect human knowledge is the basis of why they argue the market is necessary. Much like the scientific method, market mechanisms provide a means to cope with human fallibility.

In this is regard, the Austrian school is to economics what the empiricist were to science.

Far from "a bunch of loonies," Mises and Hayek are among the greatest minds of the 20th century and their theories have been repeatedly validated by reality.


RE: This makes me sick.
By nah on 10/15/2008 12:31:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact, this imperfect human knowledge is the basis of why they argue the market is necessary. Much like the scientific method, market mechanisms provide a means to cope with human fallibility.


All human knowledge is imperfect--does that mean that every discipline should stop making hypotheses---this is like leaving everything to nature if you're a physicist and not trying to make any improvements in tech because nature is 'perfect'

quote:
and their theories have been repeatedly validated by reality.

Some examples please--

quote:
Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman, after examining the history of business cycles in the US, concluded that "The Hayek-Mises explanation of the business cycle is contradicted by the evidence. It is, I believe, false."[44][45]


No significant Austrian school economist emerged after Mises-Hayek---certainly none have won a Nobel Prize---which was introduced in 1969. Samuelson himself---about whom it is said that if someone does not get a PhD in the US it is because he has failed to understand something in Samuelson's brilliant introductory textbook--Economics--has maligned it--so has Friedman---both of whom are Nobel winners--Friedman is also the founder of the Monetarist school


RE: This makes me sick.
By barclay on 10/15/2008 7:24:12 AM , Rating: 2
> "All human knowledge is imperfect--does that mean that every discipline should stop making hypotheses---this is like leaving everything to nature if you're a physicist and not trying to make any improvements in tech because nature is 'perfect'">

Quite the contrary. Austrians believe that we must be able to constantly make new hypotheses about all choices. Their argument, much like the empiricist, is that humanity can never be sure they have arrived at the truth. As such, we must use mechanisms that are constantly re-testing. And we need mechanisms that allow us to easily correct when we find we have judged incorrectly. This is the genius behind both market mechanisms and the scientific method.

Milton Friedman was a great economist with many wonderful contributions to our knowledge -- but he was quite wrong concerning spending stability of consumers, an important assumption behind much of his government policy recommendations. His most enduring recommendation is inline with the Austrians. He argued that central banks should not target specific interest rates because they are unable to predict changes in the economic environment until it is too late. As such, they make radical swings to over correct, which is destabilizing and produces unforeseen consequences. The current crisis (and the tech bubble before it) validates these fears.


RE: This makes me sick.
By nah on 10/15/2008 9:40:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This criticism of the Austrian school is related to its rejection of the use of the scientific method and empirical testing in social sciences in favor of self-evident axioms and logical reasoning .


Perhaps you forgot to read this===its completely the opposite of being an empiricist

quote:
He argued that central banks should not target specific interest rates because they are unable to predict changes in the economic environment until it is too late


This is not true--the Austrian school has radical ideas about the role of the central bank--

quote:
Accordingly, many Austrian economists support the abolition of the central banks and the fractional-reserve banking system, and advocate instead a return to sound money such as a 100 percent gold standard, or, less frequently, free banking.
from Wiki

In any event--you haven't said anything about the real work which has been done by the Austrians--outside of Mieses-Hayek--who at least managed to influence some Keynesians, and Alan Greenspan, which modern Austrian economist has had an impact ? None as far as I can see--no Nobel, no seminal work after the 1920-30s, exactly which of their theories are in widespread use today ? Friedman may have been wrong about them--but Samuelson as well ?


RE: This makes me sick.
By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 4:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
Use the terminology you like, but the folk I know who lived there didn't like having government ownership of all production and be the only employer and the only decider of what gets made, how, and how much. That said, there was a lot of private enterprise in the sense that if you knew who to bribe and how much you could actually get things done (like getting a doctor to treat you).

I'm not commenting to take a terminology test, only speaking of real life experiences of people I know. What went on there was beyond "socialism" but there's similarities of situation regardless of the theory and terminology.


RE: This makes me sick.
By borismkv on 10/14/2008 12:10:06 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Those people who are "Sucking" off the system, will eventually get jobs and pay there taxes


Yeah. In the US, they get a job for 3 months, and then quit to chew on unemployment benefits for another year or so.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 2:43:30 PM , Rating: 5
Last time I was laid off, I think the unemployment benefits only lasted 3~6 months -- and you don't get much even if max'ed out, and it's based upon one's earned income over the previous year, or something like that. Even after having worked continuously "forever", the amount of the unemployment check (monthly total) didn't even cover our mortgage payment. It helps and slows down savings-usage, but it's pretty thin living if that's all one has. Other states may be better though.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ammohunt on 10/14/2008 2:16:48 PM , Rating: 5
[quote]Heck you do not need a "Massive" income to live really well, it comes down to how efficiently you can manage money, My best friend is a Low-Income earner and lives better than a Middle Income Earner, Despite there being a 40 thousand dollar difference in yearly wages.
[/quote]

It’s not about what is required to live. Its about providing an environment for those willing to put in the effort to excel above those who don’t. Life becomes meaningless when everyone is forced into staus quo like in Europe. In America I have the option to get everything back that I put into a myriad of endeavors or not. I can form a company today if I wanted and compete with other companies freely and fairly try that in Europe and you will get squashed by all the unions in a matter of weeks. It’s the difference between a herd animal and a predator…I prefer to be a Wolf.


RE: This makes me sick.
By on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By JWalk on 10/14/2008 11:46:29 AM , Rating: 4
I don't see where he said that drug research is done only in the USA. What he said was drug research is almost never done in socialist countries. Your list confirms this. By my count, at least 7 out of 10 countries on that list are non-socialist. Thank you for the proof.


RE: This makes me sick.
By borismkv on 10/14/2008 12:07:43 PM , Rating: 4
Let's also not forget that many of those companies perform the bulk of their research *in* the US.

Let's also not forget that every one of these companies have their own programs to provide free medicine to those who don't have medical insurance.


RE: This makes me sick.
By on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 1:16:07 PM , Rating: 5
Universal health care is not "free", no matter what part of the world you're unlucky enough to be in.


RE: This makes me sick.
By on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 1:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
MA...the same state that has nearly run out of money to pay for pensions?


RE: This makes me sick.
By ZmaxDP on 10/14/2008 3:46:00 PM , Rating: 5
You think you're not paying for it in your taxes? Come on. There is no free anything. Deal with it already.


RE: This makes me sick.
By ebakke on 10/14/2008 1:17:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
England, France, and Switzerland have universal free health care.
And by "free" you mean paid for by taxpayers, yes?


RE: This makes me sick.
By Dreifort on 10/14/2008 2:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
don't worry... internet may be free, but if there is no porn on it, no one will use it.

the library has free filtered internet for anyone, even those WITHOUT a library card! yet, how many ppl standing at the unemployment line use that free access to search for a job? (its a trick question! since they are standing in line, they can't be using it).


RE: This makes me sick.
By Flunk on 10/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By JimCouch on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 9:21:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
CEO’s and corporate leaders that take huge portions of the profit for themselves and do very little to help the production of the product that earns that money


You my friend are thouroughly [sic] confused. Have you ever tried to run a company? Could you even imagine what the job of a big time CEO is like? Try a CFO, CPO, or COO. Try being the guy right under him. Even one of the guys two or three teir down. You work your ass off. You make sure things get done.

The guys sitting in the cubicle (thats me). Don't work nearly as hard, and don't care nearly as much about what they do, and frankly, wouldn't really even know what they were doing at the steering wheel.

CEO's are not paid big bucks (for the most part) in any sort of "I'll scratch your back you scratch mine" sort of sham. They are paid market price for their services. If some company wants to hire them, they have to pay them more than another company would - and thats why they get paid so much, because if one company didn't, another company would gladly step in and do so.

The knowledge, connection, execution, and vision these people bring to companies is vastly more than anything a desk job kind of guy could fathom bringing.

With that said, I do think that in all fairness, workers should probably look to uninionize a little more, but that is their perogitive, and should not be a matter of legislation either way. The only legislation required would be to ensure neither the employers nor employees do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) illegal, such as brute force extortion, intimidation, (i.e. not allowing scabs to enter a work place, i.e. scaring people off from joining the union, etc.).

The job market is a market, and if forces wish to collude, they - to a certain extent so as not to create a monopoly - should be allowed to do so.

So in summary,
Stop with the "propoganda." Democratic Socialism is to an extent what we have here, but like all things, it must be regulated (done in moderation). I think we have struck a decent balance already. People work for what they have, and do not starve for what they don't.


RE: This makes me sick.
By croc on 10/14/2008 5:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think that maybe its time for the USA to go pure capitalist.... Privatise everything. Roads, fire services, ambulance, police, ...everything. Then you can privatise the government itself. Just think how much more profitable the US can become. No taxes! Run the entire infrastructure off of a CBA balance sheet. What a utopia!


RE: This makes me sick.
By Flunk on 10/15/2008 9:14:33 AM , Rating: 2
Have fun in the salt mines.


RE: This makes me sick.
By StevoLincolnite on 10/14/2008 10:30:19 AM , Rating: 2
It can be, The US probably would not be in such issues as it is now if the Government stepped into and set some rules and regulations on bank lending.

It's not a perfect system, but at least there is more stability in financial and the economy in general.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 10:45:11 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The US probably would not be in such issues as it is now if the Government stepped into and set some rules and regulations on bank lending.


Government regulations and intervention, specifically the Community Reinvestment Act, and, more generally, fiat money itself, were the main factors in this economic downturn we are experiencing.


RE: This makes me sick.
By on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By ebakke on 10/14/2008 1:16:02 PM , Rating: 3
Are you kidding me? This is amazingly simple. Did you ever take an economics class?

Businesses (and people, for that matter) take on risk. With that risk there's a chance for future benefit. There's also a chance for failure. When the government *forced* companies to lend money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back, and agreed to take over the loans when the individuals stopped making payments, it removed the risk. It removed the chance for failure. At that point, why would you not loan money to anyone and everyone? You'll get some interest (exorbitant interest, if you can get them to do an ARM) for a few years, and then pass the bad debt to the government. So that's what everyone did. Then the loans were repackaged, and resold, and repacked, and resold, all on the premise that this money would come in (eventually) from the homeowners. But it didn't. And things started falling...fast.

This isn't a "good vs bad", or "rich vs poor" situation. This is a "government, get out of private business decisions" situation.


RE: This makes me sick.
By sweetsauce on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 2:07:39 PM , Rating: 5
During the Clinton Administration, Janet Reno enforced the Community Housing Act and Fair Credit Act VIGOROUSLY. She threatened fines against banks that did not give out sub-prime loans. What they called fair lending laws was really that without the two already mentioned pieces of legislation, banks would not give home loans to the poor. Why? Because it's bad business. If someone makes $1000 a month, why would you give them a $700 a month mortgage? But thanks to those two pieces of legislation, banks did. And those that tried not to were threatened.


RE: This makes me sick.
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
Community Reinvestment Act*


RE: This makes me sick.
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 2:47:54 PM , Rating: 5
> "No one was forced to lend money to anyone"

Eh? As other posters have pointed out, quite a few banks were indeed forced to make loans. Take a look at Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed Savings Bank for just one such case. The plaintiff's contended Citibank was being unfair to minorities by not making enough loans in low-income areas.

Citibank, as part of the suit's settlements, agreed to expand its participation in subprime mortgages.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 3:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure where you are getting all the 9-11 nonsense. Anyway, this link can describe what I was getting at far better than I am able to. http://mises.org/story/3152


RE: This makes me sick.
By TheBaker on 10/14/2008 3:48:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Were stricter regulations instituted regarding the lending of money to people who could not afford to borrow it, there would not be such a high default rate, thus there would not be the collapse of the inflated value of sup-prime backed securities.


Stricter regulations instituted by whom? The Government? Or the lending institutions?

Because the lending institutions already had fairly strict regulations as to who they would lend money to. They lent money to people who could pay it back. The government in the late 90's and early 00's applied pressure to those institutions to RELAX their regulations, and proceeded to enact legislation to support those institutions if those loans went bad.

So, the regulations you want enforced were already there, and the government removed them. You seem to think that these lenders just went out and grabbed up as much debt as they could and this wouldn't have occurred if only the government had reined them in. That is decidedly not the case. If it WERE the case, this crisis would have come to a head decades ago, not just recently after the Community Reinvestment Act was enacted.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 5:36:14 PM , Rating: 1
The CRA was passed in 1977.

As per wikipedia:
quote:
The Act requires the appropriate federal financial supervisory agencies to encourage regulated financial institutions to meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered, consistent with safe and sound operation.

and further:
quote:
To enforce the statute, federal regulatory agencies examine banking institutions for CRA compliance, and take this information into consideration when approving applications for new bank branches or for mergers or acquisitions.


There is no way that banks are "forced" financialy or criminally to make loans. The Janet Reno case refered to by a previous post probably cites racial issues, not financial issues.

A few points:
quote:
...and proceeded to enact legislation to support those institutions if those loans went bad.

What legislation?

quote:
Because the lending institutions already had fairly strict regulations as to who they would lend money to.

They had financial requirments (i.e. ability to repay the loan), but not regulations.

quote:
You seem to think that these lenders just went out and grabbed up as much debt as they could and this wouldn't have occurred if only the government had reined them in.

To a degree that is what happened, and yes, were they not allowed to make such risky loans, this would not have been nearly as severe.

quote:
If it WERE the case, this crisis would have come to a head decades ago, not just recently after the Community Reinvestment Act was enacted.

Again, the only reason this crisis happened in the first place is because interest rates got so low and housing prices grew at such an exponential rate that anyone and their mother could afford a house if they could use the projected equity a few years down the line to pay it off. This has as much to do with the CRA as it does with fiat currencies - darn near nothing.

This is the result of poor decisions by average americans and by lending institutions alike - a failure to see the future rise of interest rates, a stagnation of housing prices, and thus a slowing of home sales leading to a mild decline of housing prices.

If you want to spit the right-wing-rhetoric, you might want to atleast get your "talking points" straight. The CRA is blamed due to implementations to it in the early ninties. The CRA also is not, ala right-wing-press, held responsible for removing any regulation, but rather "encouraging" poor lending practices.

Noting how this is complete balogna:

quote:
More than half of subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies not subject to comprehensive federal supervision; another 30 percent of such originations were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts, which are not subject to routine examination or supervision, and the remaining 20 percent were made by banks and thrifts. - www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/b arr021308.pdf


RE: This makes me sick.
By TheBaker on 10/14/2008 6:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The CRA was passed in 1977.


I love how you're posting this as if it were never changed at all. The original act was passed in 1977, with many changes being made through the years expanding its scope and intent. The most significant of those changes occurred in 1999 when Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer pushed for what amounted to a massive increase in federal backing of loans held by federally-monitored lenders, primarily Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

quote:
There is no way that banks are "forced" financialy or criminally to make loans. The Janet Reno case refered to by a previous post probably cites racial issues, not financial issues.


I also love how you say it was "probably" based on racial issues. For someone who likes to cite so often, you seem to have trouble here. And yes, there IS a way that banks are "forced" to make loans. If they are investigated under the CRA and found to not be making enough loans to low-income people, they have their FDIC insurance stripped. I would call that force.

You seem to have this confusion in terminology or semantics over the use of "regulations" and "requirements."

quote:
They had financial requirments (i.e. ability to repay the loan), but not regulations.


They had regulations, too. Internal regulations. From within the lending institution, having nothing to do with government. Some of those regulations involved complex math regarding risk vs. reward. Other regulations were verbal from the loan originators' bosses saying "That guy looks shady. Don't give him a loan."

Regulations and requirements are basically the same thing. Neither of them are laws per se, and I was careful to show where the regulations were originated and by whom they were being enforced. You simply attack the words themselves.

quote:
quote: You seem to think that these lenders just went out and grabbed up as much debt as they could and this wouldn't have occurred if only the government had reined them in. To a degree that is what happened, and yes, were they not allowed to make such risky loans, this would not have been nearly as severe.


Actually, you're right, that is exactly what happened, but you are ignoring the cause. These lenders offered loans because they were under threat of being investigated for non-compliance with the CRA, and because they knew they could sell any loans they made to Fannie and Freddie. You were aware that most mortgage lenders don't actually hold onto those loans, right? They sell them to the huge federally backed lending houses, take a small percentage of the total, count their money, and divest themselves of the risk. If Fannie and Freddie hadn't had such huge leeway from the government on how much risk they could take on, they never would have bought all those mortgages.

quote:
If you want to spit the right-wing-rhetoric, you might want to atleast get your "talking points" straight. The CRA is blamed due to implementations to it in the early ninties. The CRA also is not, ala right-wing-press, held responsible for removing any regulation, but rather "encouraging" poor lending practices.


If you want to spit-out left-wing rhetoric and focus on the words used instead of the actual point being made, fine.

Implementations of the CRA (translation: changes in the law) in the late nineties "encouraged" lenders to take on higher risk loans (translation: the same way the mob "encouraged" people to pay for protection. With threats of harm.)

Follow the timeline. Threats of withdrawal of federal backing "encouraged" lenders to make sub-prime loans. This "encouragement" began showing up in the early 00's, shortly after the "implementation" of the law was changed. Interest rates begin to decline quickly due to the influx of new mortgage payments coming in to the lenders. The effect begins to snowball. A few years later, as the market begins to explode due to overconfidence in these mortgages, investors start to see the writing on the wall and the smart, low-risk investors start to adjust their holdings. This begins to cause an economic slowdown, causing people to lose jobs and their ability to pay their mortgages. At the same time, the high-risk mortgages begin to adjust their rates adn nobody can get a new loan for that house now that the problem has come into focus. Foreclosures snowball and we end up where we are today.

The tipping point to that entire series of events starts with the government in the late 90's "changing the implementation" of the CRA and leaning on banks to give high-risk mortgages.

Your point-for-point argument of all the words I used fails to hold up against the actual ideas they expressed.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 11:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
All hostilities aside for a moment, what is wrong with liking to cite? Perhaps it creates a false illusion of pathos, but I would rather try to cite too few things than cite nothing at all.

Anyway, on with the hostilities!

Upon futher research (the topic of CRA is relatively new to me), I found that the CRA itself did not impose as blanketly onto banks as many people painted it as doing so.

The crux of the CRA's 1999 implementation was the allowing banks to engage in the holdings of and underwritings of securities. If these banks choose to do so (thus becoming know as a "Financial Holding Company," (FHC), rather than a bank), they then are struck by these deep new requirments.
quote:
[The] Gramm-Leach-Bliley [Act, amending the CRA] takes a middle ground in that context by not expanding CRA provisions to other segments of the industry but requiring that insured depositories [FHCs] meet a minimum CRA standard before they may participate in the newly permitted affiliations.
...
Elections by bank holding companies to become FHC’s and expansion by FHC’s to new activities, will not be approved by the Federal Reserve unless all subsidiary insured depository institutions of the holding company received satisfactory or better CRA ratings at their last CRA exam.

...

Others in Congress and the industry see the CRA changes as desirable and will push for additional changes in future years.
http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Nov/15/126633.html


To an extent, I conceed my main opposition to the source behind all this being the CRA. The claim that it is "forcing" lenders to make financially unsound decisions is still absurd. The CRA leaned on institutions to make these unsound decisions, but they, and as far as my limited research has lead me, they - these lending instutitons - by and large seemed to have made those decisions on their own.
quote:
More than half of subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies not subject to comprehensive federal supervision - http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsv...


The CRA served, without a doubt in my mind now as an engine behind this calamity, but by no means stands as the sole, or even in my humble opinion the largest contribitor to said financial durres.

As far as this economic crises stands as a point to learn from and continue forward with a better coarse, I feel that it by no means indicates a failure of the CRA. With that said, perhaps the lesson learned is that such risky lending practices need curbed, and the government needs a way to subsidize such loans that is less impactful to the market(i.e. not allowing the bundleing of high-risk, subprime loans with enough standard loans to meet FM/FM's requirements to purchase the security).

I suppose if our government takes it upon itself to give these people loans they may not pay back, it is their burden, and should be stated outright, to hold the risk of default.

quote:
The CRA mandates that all banking institutions that receive FDIC insurance be evaluated by the relevant banking regulatory agencies to determine if the institution has met the credit needs of its entire community in a manner consistent with safe and sound operations.


The extent to which banks "lived in fear" of the CRA and the extent to which the government actually leaned on them to make such loans is unknown to me, thus I will reserve comment. However, perhaps the regulator agencies stood too heavily on these institutions before, but the term "in a manner consistent with safe and sound operations," will take on a whole new meaning.

So to sumarize. I appologize for my half-undfounded defense of the CRA, and the mistakes I made following. I still contest that the CRA does not stand as the source of this completely, and thus is not warranted an outright death sentence (I infact am opposed to such legislation, and take offense to the term "left-wing rhetoric," in so much as I can put my head up my rear end for refering to what you said as "right-wing-rhetoric").

May I close by saying that I belive the angry opposition to the CRA has become a scape goat for a comedy of errors, and my intitial (I'm making an excuse here) combatancy to you was that to me it appeared as such a scape-goating.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 11:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Also, with that said, I would be very interested to find a statistic regarding what percentage of these defaults were to low-income borrowers.

There stands a chance (as far as I don't know I will call it 50/50) that either this is mainly a result of lending to those who were unqualified (financally) at all to own a home, or perhaps it was, as I previously argued, a result of marginal lending to people who could afford a less expensive home, but instead opted for a larger house and thus a riskier mortgage.

Were it the second case, the argument against the CRA fails to pieces.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Jim28 on 10/14/2008 11:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not so, (At least I don't think so and I say why below.)

The finger points equally at the people getting the home, and the banks lending the money.
The people themselves have to bear at least half the burden of this. After all they agreed to purchase something they could not afford. The costs were not hidden from these people, and they singed their names to a docuement commiting them to something that they knew they could not afford to pay for.

The banks/government who gave them the money get the other half of the blame. And here to me, most of the blame does go on the Feds for this due to CRA, and other "suggestions" they handed out. Then Freddie and Fannie bought those risky mortgages. How is it the banks fault for Freddie, and Fannie failing? Freddie and Fannie did not have to purchase those risky mortgages and yet they did. Their failure was much worse than any bank as they hold 5 trillon in debt! No banks have that much! Who to blame for that? Only place is the Feds, and chiefly on the people connected with Fannie, Freddie, and Congress. Which ironically enough were almost all Democrats. How is it that Citi or Wachiva or any other private bank caused Freddie and Fanny to fail? Now about the private banks that got greedy and failed. I say don't bail em out let the market work, let em fail. I was deeply opposed to any bailout to anyone due to poor decisions on their part, be it the government, Freddie and Fannie, Banks, or the public. Those who screw up fail. Then they must try again.


RE: This makes me sick.
By TheBaker on 10/14/2008 11:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
First, let me just say these are the most civil hostilities I have ever engaged in, and you are the most open-minded participant I have ever seen as well.

quote:
All hostilities aside for a moment, what is wrong with liking to cite? Perhaps it creates a false illusion of pathos, but I would rather try to cite too few things than cite nothing at all.


I'm not saying there is anything wrong with citing. I would do more of it myself if I weren't so lazy. My point was that, in the particular argument you made, rather than offer citations you simply said "it's probably this way" which was very much unlike your other arguments.

I think our disagreements arise primarily from, as you said, a misunderstanding of what the law was.

quote:
To an extent, I conceed my main opposition to the source behind all this being the CRA. The claim that it is "forcing" lenders to make financially unsound decisions is still absurd. The CRA leaned on institutions to make these unsound decisions, but they, and as far as my limited research has lead me, they - these lending instutitons - by and large seemed to have made those decisions on their own.


Agreed, technically, but just because the police don't physically put a gun to your head to get you to follow the laws doesn't mean the implied threat doesn't exist. No one "forced" the lenders to do anything, they simply said "If you want to do anything bankerly besides hold other people's money, you need to make more high-risk mortgages. You don't HAVE to do this, but if you don't, we're going to start watching you VERY closely and we WILL find a reason to pull your FDIC status." This sort of bullying is functionally the same as a fascist state claiming that businesses are privately owned. Sure, they're privately owned until you try to do something the government doesn't approve of. Then the business is gone. This is the sort of tactic the DoJ was using in enforcing the CRA in the late 90's.

quote:
The CRA served, without a doubt in my mind now as an engine behind this calamity, but by no means stands as the sole, or even in my humble opinion the largest contribitor to said financial durres. As far as this economic crises stands as a point to learn from and continue forward with a better coarse, I feel that it by no means indicates a failure of the CRA. With that said, perhaps the lesson learned is that such risky lending practices need curbed, and the government needs a way to subsidize such loans that is less impactful to the market(i.e. not allowing the bundleing of high-risk, subprime loans with enough standard loans to meet FM/FM's requirements to purchase the security).


Agreed again, in principle. But while the CRA may not have been the sole or even largest contributor to the crisis, it was the impetus behind the overzealous lending and the excuse of the DoJ for their bullying tactics.

quote:
I suppose if our government takes it upon itself to give these people loans they may not pay back, it is their burden, and should be stated outright, to hold the risk of default.


This is exactly the problem. The problem was never that the bad loans were made in the first place. The problem was the government "encouraged" the banks to make those loans, but the banks knew it was bad business, so very quickly divested themselves of the loans. They sold them to FM/FM, who they knew would be fully covered if things went sour.

quote:
The extent to which banks "lived in fear" of the CRA and the extent to which the government actually leaned on them to make such loans is unknown to me, thus I will reserve comment. However, perhaps the regulator agencies stood too heavily on these institutions before, but the term "in a manner consistent with safe and sound operations," will take on a whole new meaning.


I think we're starting to see eye to eye here. As with all things governmental, good intentions paved the way for a massive over-control. Give them an inch and they take a mile, so to speak.

quote:
So to sumarize. I appologize for my half-undfounded defense of the CRA, and the mistakes I made following. I still contest that the CRA does not stand as the source of this completely, and thus is not warranted an outright death sentence (I infact am opposed to such legislation, and take offense to the term "left-wing rhetoric," in so much as I can put my head up my rear end for refering to what you said as "right-wing-rhetoric"). May I close by saying that I belive the angry opposition to the CRA has become a scape goat for a comedy of errors, and my intitial (I'm making an excuse here) combatancy to you was that to me it appeared as such a scape-goating.


Yeah, we're definitely on the same side here. Let's get the government out of private business as much as possible. It's one thing for the government to step in if someone is refusing to make a loan to a perfectly qualified borrower because they are black, or muslim, or something stupid like that, but this situation was simply one of the government wanting to find a way to make low-income people happy with the government by offering them loans they could never qualify for before. More people "realizing the American Dream" right before an election was a solid strategic move on their part with long-term consequences that were foreseen by many economists and promptly ignored by the politicians. Both parties are to blame. Clinton, Dodd, and Schumer may have been pushing for this to happen, but the Republican majority certainly didn't stop it. Both parties wanted credit for more people getting homes, and neither party cared that what they were really mortgaging was our future.

Thank you for having such a civil, open-minded discussion with me. I wish all internet forums worked like this.


RE: This makes me sick.
By rninneman on 10/14/2008 10:46:49 AM , Rating: 5
We're in this mess because the government forced companies to take higher risk loans. Look up the Community Reinvestment Act or when the Clinton administration leaned on them to take even riskier loans. (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0...

Government regulation caused this mess.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 5:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
Great article. It does shed some light as to the long term causes of this crisis.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Rhaido on 10/14/2008 11:23:16 AM , Rating: 2
Adding to comments from Ordr and rninneman.

Blame both parties and government in general. My previous posts on mortgage crisis referencing the 1999 articles from the LAT and NYT.
http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=13125...
http://www.dailytech.com/Article.aspx?newsid=13093...

And a new link with a 10/13/2008 article with a good summary:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUI...
>>>Republicans, too, deserve a measure of criticism. Some 143 of them received Fanny and Freddie funds totaling just under $3.02 million. Utah Republican Robert Bennett, a Senate veteran, led the GOP with $107,999 in total contributions from the mortgage giants. Two independents also took in over $28 thousand.


RE: This makes me sick.
By ebakke on 10/14/2008 1:19:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Blame both parties and government in general.
Absolutely. Any incumbent should be replaced in November.


RE: This makes me sick.
By sweetsauce on 10/14/2008 11:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
I think you need to do more research on the Community Reinvestment act. The banks who were affected by this law were actually subject to greater regulation than private banks and thrifts and are not responsible for this collapse. That majority of the Community Reinvestment banks are still quite solvent.

84% of subprime loans came from banks not subject to compliance with that law.

You should also realize that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not primary lenders. They don't meet with people looking for home loans. They underwrite loans given by private banks and thrifts. Through deregulation, these banks were able to bundle bad and good loans together and sell them as a package to Freddie and Fannie.

This is why the credit market is tight; the banks no longer trust each other so no one will back anyone's loans.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 11:47:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to refer you to this article because it illustrates the situation far better than I can:
http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5316


RE: This makes me sick.
By on 10/14/2008 12:05:40 PM , Rating: 1
Instead of linking to worthless publications....

http://www.businessweek.com/investing/insights/blo...
And from Rupert Murdoch owned WSJ
http://wsj.com/article/SB122343037769813899.html
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122204078161261183...
http://www.slate.com/id/2201641/

Stop blaming poor people for causing a meltdown on wall street.


RE: This makes me sick.
By theapparition on 10/14/2008 1:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
I don't blame poor people. I blame stupid people. Ones who took loans they had no business affording, and ones who offered those loans in the first place.

At it heart, the CRA helped get the ball rolling.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 5:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
Would people please shut up about the CRA. It had almost nothing to do with this at all. Please, do some research and post some sort of tangible fact before you try to assert otherwise. Otherwise, you are being a moron.


RE: This makes me sick.
By rninneman on 10/14/2008 1:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
His article wasn't blaming poor people; it was blaming government regulation. Ironically, your sources essentially backed him up.


RE: This makes me sick.
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 1:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
> "You should also realize that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not primary lenders"

They still ultimately underwrite the risk, which is what counts. They also set the rules as to which loans they will and will not purchase...which ultimately drives the entire process.

> "That majority of the Community Reinvestment banks are still quite solvent."

There is no such thing as a "CRA Bank"; they're not a separate group such as the FHLBank System. All banks which receive FDIC insurance are bound by the CRA. There are some variances as to actual policy according to bank size, but that's it.


RE: This makes me sick.
By sweetsauce on 10/14/2008 1:33:52 PM , Rating: 1
I'm no expert, and im human, so i'll let others that are more qualified speak for me.

Our study concludes that CRA Banks were substantially less likely than other lenders to make the kinds of risky home purchase loans that helped fuel the foreclosure crisis. Specifically, our analysis shows that:
(1) CRA Banks were significantly less likely than other lenders to make a high cost [subprime] loan;
(2) The average APR on high cost [subprime] loans originated by CRA Banks was appreciably lower
than the average APR on high cost loans originated by other lenders;
(3) CRA Banks were more than twice as likely as other lenders to retain originated loans in
their portfolio [as opposed to securitizing them]; and
(4) Foreclosure rates were lower in MSAs with greater concentrations of bank branches [CRA covered lenders]."

Sample facts: 1) In the 15 most populous MSAs CRA covered banks originated only 9.2% of all subprime ("high cost") home loans. 2) Overall, CRA Banks were 58 percent less likely than other lenders [non-CRA covered banks and other mortgage lenders] to originate high cost [subprime] loans to LMI [Low and Moderate Income] borrowers.

http://www.traigerlaw.com/publications/traiger_hin...


RE: This makes me sick.
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 2:42:40 PM , Rating: 5
Traiger of Traiger law, who wrote that study, is a long-term proponent of the CRA -- he regularly testifies in support of it. He also is a long-term contributor to Democratic causes, giving $7,000 personally in just the past few years. His firm itself has given more.

http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=...

But one doesn't need a circumstantial attack to discredit this study....one simply needs to read it. First of all, ask yourself why he chose to correlate to "high cost loans", rather than the far-more-revealing "loans which defaulted". A bank engaging in a high percentage of low-cost CRA loans is by definition going to make a smaller percentage of high-cost loans. But that does not automatically mean its loans are safer. All low-cost loans are not created equal.

Furthermore, not only does the study ignore actual loan failures, it doesn't even simply restrict itself to CRA-based loans. Rather, it counts *all* loans made by a bank as a "CRA Bank Loan", if the originating bank is also engaging in CRA loans. Now, by law, larger banks follow more restrictive CRA rules, which means his "conclusion" merely proves that larger banks (which must therefore make more CRA-based loans) are more conservative in their lending practices than small banks. Not exactly an earth-shattering conclusion, now is it?

The facts are clear. We already know without a shadow of a doubt that the crisis began with a meltdown in the subprime market. That market is by definition loans made to high-risk individuals who couldn't qualify for a more conventional loan. There is no great mystery here.


RE: This makes me sick.
By snownpaint on 10/14/2008 4:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
These Rants made me think of a quote I read today..

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. ~Winston Churchill~

Personally, I think there are a few things that should be offered to every man, women and child. Health, Education, and Pursuit of Happiness. Governing body of a group of people should make sure everyone is healthy or at least has medical means to get as close as possible to a standard. Has the ability to obtain an education as high as their ability allows. Has the freedom to pursue a life of happiness, live, work, travel, own, what they want (to a point, as currently in the US) Having Smart, healthy citizens can only make a country stronger and more prosperous. I don't see sick and diseased idiots growing a nation, though they can inherit one.


RE: This makes me sick.
By derwin on 10/14/2008 3:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
I am not a huge proponent of large social programs (there def. needs to be some sort of saftey net), but I really like that whole "dole" idea they have down under. I would be all about that here in America. Instead of living on welfare, you could "work for the dole." If you have to stay home and watch kids, I am sure there is still work they could find for you. Maybe even institue a day-care-for-the-dole program with all the money saved by having these people work instead of sit around. The day-care workers could be on the dole. The possibilities are endless. The notion of working for your money I think would make the whole idea of "welfare" in this country a lot easier to swallow.


RE: This makes me sick.
By sumisu on 10/15/2008 6:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which ranges to banks, to water to electricity company practices, perhaps if more Governments placed more direct control upon banks and there lending habits we may not be in such a sick pickle right now, Mind you the Australian Banks are doing incredibly well, not bad for a bunch of Socialists.


Wow, you obviously have no understanding of what's happened.
Here's a full history of how the financial system got into the current mess from one guy who saw it coming years ago:
http://csinvestor.com/more-peter-schiff-2006-speec...

You have it entirely backwards. Banks used to be vey good at protecting their investments and qualifying their loans.

It was precisely government interference that eroded this. Although the aims were noble (expand access to loans for minorities) the method was for the government to insure these new risky loans that banks would have never made without state backing.

This was started under Clinton, but as Peter Schiff points out in the video, government meddling in the economy under Bush - an attempt to delay the last recession - only amplified the distortions which are now destroying our economy.

I can believe you that socialism, in various forms, can be used to promote justice. But as a tool for increasing overall wealth? Please!


RE: This makes me sick.
By Regs on 10/14/2008 9:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
State or Federal Taxes? Fed Taxes have been on the decline. Which means the money has to come from somewhere else. Fines, court fees, surcharges, traffic tickets, parking tickets, tolls, importing tax, cigarette tax, fuel, fees for permits, donations,.....

We've been paying since day 1, and it's how the economy works. Money in the bank is worth nothing and it must be circulated for the exchange of goods and services. What the real argument is where is the money going to and how well spent it is.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 9:33:25 AM , Rating: 1
So runaway spending is okay as long as the money is obtained somehow? Perhaps cutbacks on unnecessary programs (ie: this one) should be in order so the money can be spent by the ones who worked for it.


RE: This makes me sick.
By MeTaedet on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By MeTaedet on 10/14/2008 1:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
as*hats NOT as*hates
divine NOT define

Fixed it for me.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 2:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
Now fix the rest of your socialist banality.


RE: This makes me sick.
By MeTaedet on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 2:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not going to bother teaching you about Capitalism.
I will, however, point you to France's abysmal unemployment, growing violence among immigrants, and growing racism against those immigrants. That is the beginning of the endpoint of a socialist society.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Noya on 10/14/2008 5:08:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I will, however, point you to France's abysmal unemployment, growing violence among immigrants, and growing racism against those immigrants. That is the beginning of the endpoint of a socialist society.


Wow, replace France's with USA's and it works too! Big surprise.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 5:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't nearly as bad, yet it still illustrates the problem with socialism. Thank you for proving my point.


RE: This makes me sick.
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 2:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
If it's so great, why don't you live there?


RE: This makes me sick.
By clovell on 10/14/2008 4:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Those problems have been pretty well addressed by government here.


RE: This makes me sick.
By helms on 10/15/2008 7:36:56 AM , Rating: 1
China is not a socialist country it's a totalitarian capitalist country. It is as capitalistic a country as a country can get. From the age a child is born they are taught to compete with everyone else. This competition starts in the form of grades. Those with crappy grades and don't make the cut get dropped from school. This differs markedly from the no child left behind policy of schools in the western world.
http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessioni...

There is no such thing as the unemployment check which you get in the US. If you don't have a job, your fucked and that's basically it.

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2008/200810...
The above video explains the cause of the current financial problems is greedy capitalists making money from people too uneducated to really know what they are getting into. If you can't watch the video go through an Australian proxy server.

I highly doubt that the people who shift the blame away from their own greed by saying they don't want to give a free ride for people who are too lazy to better themselves give a shit about the people in Africa either. Lets look at the people in Africa, most children don't have access to proper education and as such have no way of bettering themselves. In that case I assume these capitalists would help those children in Africa if they could, not.

MeTaedet your being too optimistic, people are greedy pure and simple. Communism fails because humans are humans and not elves. Capitalism however is a system created by humans for humans.

In this capitalistic world that we live in, first world countries basically leech off the back of third world countries taking their natural resources away to boot.

The first rule of capitalism 101: Ditch workers in the first world country in which your company operates and move them to a third country e.g. China. Examples of jobs ditched manufacturing + call centers. Profit is increased as you can pay workers in third world countries who have no protection wages that they cannot survive properly with. Still those same workers will happily work for you as they know that if they don't take the job they won't have a job. This will earn you a nice bonus as CEO.

Rule number 2 in capitalism 101: Deny global warming as being caused by man. Due to our current highly incomplete knowledge of how the world works in relations to climate this shouldn't be hard. Legally bribe the government while you are at it as a extra safety net. Make sure that the gov't does not under any circumstances ratify the Kyoto protocol. By ratifying the Kyoto protocol you are increasing costs which reduces profit margins as well as being detrimental when competing against other non Kyoto ratifying countries. On the other hand by not ratifying the Kyoto protocol you gain an advantage over Kyoto ratifying countries.
Current capitalistic countries which don't ratify the Kyoto protocol: America, China being a third world country is exempt anyway.

Extra advantages of rule number 1 which makes rule number 2 easier to follow: Due to the fact that all the manufacturing jobs have been relocated to 3rd world countries you don't have to deal with the full brunt of the pollution (which affects health) in your own backyard. Instead you have successful passed the buck. Examples of pollution: Beijing.

The world is not a very nice place under capitalism. But we must never forget that capitalism is immensely better than the serfdom or whatever we had before. Basically capitalism has worked so far and most likely it will continue to work forever into the future.

There are cracks in capitalism, however those cracks may never grow. Let's say both China and India succeed in becoming first world countries. What happens next? A possible next target for exploitation by the 1st world (not that the first world doesn't already exploit them) is Africa. But what happens after Africa, now that is the question. There is a low chance that China will become a first world country, even if it does it will be only in name. China is essentially 2 different countries in terms of economic growth. So the case of China becoming first world is fairly mute.

Why capitalism works, essentially it works because the poor voluntarily let the rich make money off their backs, e.g. low paid workers in china who are struggling to survive. As such is the case we are stuck with capitalism.

My advice to you MeTaedet is to ignore the social injustices in this world and focus on bettering the position of yourself and your family. That is what the d***heads around here are doing and you may as well do the same.

That or you can do what the terrorists are doing. Seeing their country getting fucked up by America, they do the only thing they can. I guess you can say they kind of pulled off a victory when they crashed into the world trade centers.

I see World War 3 as being eminent anyway. Either the human race gets annihilated by itself or the survivors crawl out of the rubble and start anew.


RE: This makes me sick.
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 2:38:34 PM , Rating: 3
I live in a world where I believe in helping others when I choose to. Not when I'm told to. And if I choose not to, that is my right as well.

I have a right given to me by the constitution of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere does it say I am obligated to give some of what I make to others who are less fortunate so they can be more happy. Nor does it say that they can take from me so they can be more happy.

All Americans are given the opportunity to succeed. If some chose not to take it, that's their problem and their choice. We are given the freedom to make our own choices. Both good and bad. If you make a bad choice, you should have to live with it. Not run to me saying that I should cover you.

The rich did not take advantage of others to get rich. They offered jobs in their companies to people who wanted them. Would you prefer that they never offered the jobs to begin with? The CEO of my company makes far more than me. Is he using me? No. He enables me to get a paycheck. Should I envy him? Perhaps a little. But in a way that I should strive to be more like him. Not seek to make some of the money he makes go to me instead of himself.

quote:
However, people like you don't think so because you're all too content having more than others and hoarding endlessly though it little satiates your need for happiness and satisfaction with life


Who are you to decide what makes me happy. If I am a millionaire and using $20 bills to wipe my @$$ makes me happy, I am free to do it. You should not be able to come steal all those $20 bills because you decide that you need it more and that it is not making me happy. Yes, I am quite content with earning a living and seeking to improve that living.

If I made $10 million a year, I would donate some to charity but the large majority I would save for retirement and invest. Why? Because investment stimulates the economy. Which improves people's lives just like giving them money does. What's the difference? My way they have to work for it. Your way they just get it because you believe it is their right to have it. You believe that if one person works hard and earns more than he needs, that extra should go to others who don't earn as much.

So please. Go live somewhere else if you wish to seek your little socialist paradise. Because people like me and him will fight with everything we have to oppose it here. And while I won't speak for him, if necessary, another American revolution. I see it brewing. Because as long as people like you remain, there is a threat to our way of life. One that rewards hard work with wealth and prosperity. Not one glamorizes the average and seeks to coddle the stupid and lazy.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 2:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
Without a massive social, philosophical, and epistimological change in this country, a second revolution would only result in causeless bloodshed. I do agree that there will be a time for this, but not until the last two-thousand years of philosophy starts to be overturned. As of now, altruism rules over the Democratic and Republican parties. Libertarianism has the right idea when it comes to individual rights but they lack a concrete epistimological foundation. For the vast majority of the country, the concept of individual rights and laissez fair capitalism are utterly alien. Most are still shackled by the concept of being one's "brother's keeper" and, even worse, allow that mentality to be legislated!

This is the essence of the problem. As long as government considers man to be worthy of sacrifice for some obscene "common good", we, as a society of individuals, fail.


RE: This makes me sick.
By clovell on 10/14/2008 3:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
> Uh... we live in a society here. Give and take. Think of spending on social welfare programs as being something like an insurance policy. You may be perfectly prosperous now, but it's foolish to assume that this will always be the case. What happens if you lose your job and home? How would you feel if the rest of society just turned a blind eye to your travail saying something to the effect of "F*ck you, poor person; you're entirely responsible for your present condition so it's not incumbent upon us to help you in any way. Besides... we need more iPods! Can't very well buy more iPods and other electronics if I'm contributing to the well-being of my fellow members of society!"

Bad analogy - buying insurance is usually not compulsory. Paying taxes is. If I lost my job and my home, I'd find another job and work to buy another house. We have enough programs in place to help such people. Those programs are beneficial, overall, in the sense that they help people get back on their feet, but not so much in the sense that they allow some people to stay down.

> The fact is that there are people out there who CAN NOT contribute either because there exist no jobs that they should be able to fill or because they have nothing to offer (or both). Should we condemn these people to suffering because of our greed for more material junk that satisfies our desire for happiness and contentment for, oh, about 10 seconds? Should we condemn them because their genetics haven't according them marketable faculties? (You also forget that poor people, if not given your money through government action, may wrest it from you by force, having broken into your home or car!)

If you have the capacity to take something by force, you have the capacity to work. Hop to it. Our economy is diverse enough that your 'lack of marketable faculties' idea is just garbage.

Greed doesn't drive this line of thinking - self-dignity does.

> The most important thing I would like to communicate to you here is that those who are rich become rich by taking advantage of those who are not, and therefore the idea of taking some percentage of their earnings and distributing them amongst those whom they made poor by failing to properly compensate for their time and labour (this is primarily how people become wealthy) is not so anathematic at all! Rather it is a thing of justice and total propriety. The people in the lower echela of any company are those who actually create VALUE, who actually cause the company to be profitable! A company subsumes many things, infrastructure, buildings, documents, software, policies; but without the people who actually perform work, you wouldn't really have a company at all - or at least no profitable one. It is for this that the reasoning that those who own the company or those who helped get the company off the ground should receive a lions share of the profits, even though they perform no real work and create no products or services of actual value, simply because in one sense or another they own it, is specious because one can't own a company unless you accept that a person can own other people since the most important and defining element of any company is its employees who cause the appertaining company to function, who ARE its functioning! Government fails to properly regulate compensation but on the other hand it at least extracts a fair bit in the form of taxes from the as*hates who barely pay their employees enough survive, but who never forget to provide themselves with salaries in excess of 10 million or more, although they spend their time sitting on their fat as*es or golfing or some such.

Pure garbage. Not everyone who fits your definition of 'rich' did so by taking advantage of others. There are plenty of people who did so honestly. As such, it's pretty shortsighted to punish them for the misdeeds of the few. This is why we have a legal system.

If a person feels they are not being fairly compensated, they have a plethora of options available - change careers, get a higher education, apply to a competitor, start your own business.

Owning a company is not owning people. What's specious is your logic there. The government has no place in regulating compensation. Corporate Executives earn their salary by making smart business decisions (or they shortly find themselves fired).

> But, no. Taxpayer dollars go to researchers in various fields, who fail to share their research freely with the taxpayer and with fellow scientists, thus slowing the progress of science. If this fellow allowed his conclusions to be the predication for future research, science would likely advance more quickly and the fruits of this new science could be put to use in ameliorating his life, perhaps to a greater extent than the patent-derived money ever could or the money derived from the sale of information that ought to have been disseminated far and wide gratuitously. This is just one example of the ways in which selfishness can harm the very person who exercises selfishness in the name of maximization of self-benefit.

Actually, Federal Law (FoIA) mandates that research conducted with public funds be made available to the public.

> I suspect I'll be downvoted here, because that's how it goes in tech communities. You've got a lot of douchey people in the higher income brackets who speak canards and fallacies in an attempt to justify their pernicious greed which in the long run will harm themselves.

I'm not some rich guy. I'm halfway to 6-digits in debt from student loans. I carry credit card balances when life throws me a curve. I worked three jobs while earning my Masters Degree in Biostatistics. Before you cock off and stereotype 'Tech People', maybe you should excersize a modicum of diligence and consider that people don't fit into your neat little boxes.

> So, yeah, banana-hording dumb*ss monkey (I say this because that's precisely what you remind me of), it utterly disgusts me that your post was rated a 5. Keep it classy. Do make sure to continue to give into your base, self-destructive instincts. Oh, and vote for McCain 'cuz he'll cut ur' taxes so's you can buyz' moar stuffs!!11!! Yeah!!

I'm part of middle America here, buck-o, and we're all sick of this class warfare crap. We want progress, not your socialist class-warfare-style polarization.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Jim28 on 10/14/2008 4:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
Good post but you are feeding the trolls.


RE: This makes me sick.
By clovell on 10/14/2008 4:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
Point taken. I hadn't realized this topic had spun so far off its axis.


RE: This makes me sick.
By JimCouch on 10/14/2008 3:51:17 PM , Rating: 2
Technology is shrinking the globe and the planet is evolving toward a socialist democracy it is inevitable. Capitalism is failing because of the very thing that propels it forward human greed. In a capitalist society the top 5% control the wealth and power by exploiting the other 95%. In socialism the wealth and power are artificially redistributed. It’s not so bad actually.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 3:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
How, exactly, are the "top 5%" exploiting the other "95%"?
Do you believe that the product of one's labor belongs to anyone other than oneself? If not, do you believe that it is right to take this money at gunpoint?


RE: This makes me sick.
By clovell on 10/14/2008 4:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
No. In socialism, the people who already have money consolidate power in something called a 'government', which expands its influence into every facet of its 'citizens' lives with the promise and curse of mediocrity.

In doing so, they prevent the masses from ever accumulating wealth via high taxes on income (rather than existing wealth), and assure themselves a perpetual rank among the wealthy.

In reality, the civic mechanics of a transition from a capitalistic democracy to a socialist 'democracy' are really just a consolidation of power and wealth - a cheap buyout that leverages the plight of the lazy, who have the same weight in the underlying democracy as those who work hard.

True socialism / communism doesn't work because it cannot be successfully implemented. The concept may be nice, but the reality is sobering.


RE: This makes me sick.
By Hoser McMoose on 10/15/2008 7:01:07 PM , Rating: 3
Old Polish proverb:

"Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true"


RE: This makes me sick.
By deadrats on 10/14/2008 10:26:43 PM , Rating: 2
this is a very narrow minded view point. as a man that has experienced both lifestyles; that of a guy that makes tons of money and that of a guy that can barely scrape together a couple of bucks, i can tell you there are times when no matter how motivated, how educated, or how smart you think you are you just can't get ahead, events just seem to conspire to keep you down.

furthermore, as someone that has interacted with both the extremely poor and the extremely rich, i know from experience that it's next to impossible for someone born into poverty to get too much further up the economic ladder when the tools you need are not available.

the reality is that the education system in this country is no where near fair, for lack of a better term. i remember being in college, in a third semester calculus class and meeting a 17 year old kid that was taking the class for college credits and he was telling me he had already learned the material in his private high school math classes. i remember he lived in a very affluent community and attended the best schools since he was in pre-school. he was no more intelligent than anyone else in that class but his education certainly gave him an unfair advantage.

then there's this reality: in all economic systems there is corruption, but it certainly seems that in this capitalistic system we, in the usa, have put together there is a significant amount of graft, for a better word. there are far too many that exploit their fellow man (the housing market comes to mind<--take it from a man that used to be a licensed real estate agent), make vast amounts of money and then use the label of "socialism" to prevent any scrutiny of how they got the money (the ceo's that collect 10 million dollar bonuses when the companies they're running need a bailout come to mind).

now personally i to am opposed to this plan of a national wi-fi, but not for the reasons you are. i personally think a national wi-fi available to everyone is a good thing but what i don't like is the restrictions like the "no porn" part, not for any reason other than it would leads the usa even futher down the slippery slope we are on of censorship and limiting free speech.

if the plan was free nationalized wi-fi with no restrictions what-so-ever, then i would be all for it.

but it's that part where the government uses a sneaky technique to limit what we can and cannot view in the privacy of our own homes that i think is the most dangerous part of this proposal and quite frankly it appalls me to see that any elected official would support it in this form.


RE: This makes me sick.
By overlandpark4me on 10/14/2008 10:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
That is the current battle and if the Dem guy wins, expect the hard working productive people to be forced into "patriotic" giving according to Biden. Since when did taking my money and giving it to people who defraud the system, and sit on their arse be called patriotic. I would love to get a bill through the houses that says you have to be exposed to random drug testing to keep your "benefits. Lets see how these losers operate without crack, heroin, and meth. Our society has turned into a welfare culture and it will be the deathblow of this country if something isn't done about these leeches.


RE: This makes me sick.
By BottledBob on 10/15/2008 7:07:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Our country is falling deeper into the hopeless maw of Socialism. We are being continually taxed to fund the programs for parasites who expect everything, from food, to housing, and now the internet, for free. It is getting to the point where those who contribute the least end up getting the most while the poor productive suckers are footing the bill.


Because capitalism works so well? Wait a minute, how's the economy going right now?

Don't lay blame on "stupid people" who borrowed more than they should, and think that exonerates the system. Thats like saying communism was only evil cos Stalin was a C*NT. And we all know that's not the American way! A Chain is only as strong as its weakest link, no matter what form of government.

The way I think of it is as a government as a "business" who's job it is to manage law and look after its workers/members/shareholders. Every person within that nation is an equal shareholder, and everyone gets to vote who's on the board of directors.

So really I'd rather have a government that the majority of the country has deemed most fit to run it, than a bunch of strangers with money(power) with no other aim than profit, influencing my life.


I like this
By tastyratz on 10/14/2008 8:53:53 AM , Rating: 3
Whether or not the high speed wireless is truly as high speed as others... this is a good idea.

Implementing this would stimulate all the greedy high speed offering companies we have now to expand. Now people who are stuck in a chokehold with expensive dsl costs and very slow speed can have an option.
I live in a populated area but work in a rural area of NH. People out here pay ungodly rates for low level poorly maintained dsl and its that or the highway (like satellite has ever been a viable option).
With wireless reaching larger areas it would force them to speed up and/or improve their prices/content.

Competition could stimulate the market here in the usa. Maybe someday we wont be a punchline at the end of the list of top high speed internet countries.

I agree in a moderate form of data discrimination for a government funded internet ONLY (I don't support this 1 bit on private sector internet services)

An infrastructure of this caliber can multiply in costs if you leave network traffic open. They should have a monthly data cap by mac address for all non web traffic, and keep unlimited http and smtp traffic policies (with a filesize limitation before it counts towards your monthly cap so people just download large files from web servers)

We should be provisioning school children with a research tool and America with a way to communicate.

We shouldn't be paying for someones porn torrent or gaming habits. Those people should have incentive to migrate to retail paid plans.

Last thing to consider is security. A nationwide wireless internet plan could be an easy in for anonymous traffic we DON'T want (terrorists, internet fraud, etc) I would hope they have a very robust and adaptable internet security plan.

The part that really gets me angry and seems to constantly go unnoticed is that technically we already paid for fiber optic deployment with our tax dollars years ago.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction...

If they aren't going to build it its about damn time we collected penalties which could pay for this wireless.




RE: I like this
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 9:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
A government-mandated and run network is about as far as possible from "competition which would stimulate the market".


RE: I like this
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 9:07:02 AM , Rating: 1
It's more like "competition to destroy the market".
Government funded programs have, in essence, unlimited funds. The poor bastards who run legitimate, for-profit businesses are forced to compete against the state who can run at a loss for its entire lifetime without going under.


RE: I like this
By snownpaint on 10/14/2008 11:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
A little like NASA, offering killer prices to launch stuff into space, so private companies can't get a foot hold, and NASA/US can control space.. Same might be said about " the water in the pipes" offered for free.

However, companies that have been hording the obese (flash'd out internet) with high costs for antiquated broadband service need to step up and provide a service that grows with competition, which has been stagnate by monopoly buy outs and inferior competition due to their grips on regulation.

At the same time, treating the internet as a public library is a good way to go about it.. Public libraries are not as popular as they once were since the internet took hold. To me, if done right, this could be the 21st century library and free to all who can afford a computer.. Also free internet should be read only, this will cut the traffic and help push people to subscribe to a service. Like me who wants to voice his 2cents, play video games, sell stuff online and look at porn..


RE: I like this
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 11:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
Companies are getting away with offering piss-poor services specifically because of government (usually state) intervention. They set up "service areas" where certain companies can indeed have a monopoly on service in that given area. This allows stagnation, as the company does not need to offer competing service. By removing these regulations and borders, freely allowing competition to flow into these areas, companies will be forced (but not coerced) to offer a better service than the competition or go out of business.


RE: I like this
By Hoser McMoose on 10/15/2008 6:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's more like "competition to destroy the market".

Except that in this case it's more like 'competition to waste the U.S. taxpayer's money".

The government is likely to do such a piss-poor job of running the thing that almost no one will be interested. If they want to filter out even 50% of the porn and other 'offensive' content they'll end up having to be very draconian about filtering. Costs will soar and effectiveness will plummet. Add in that governments (all of them) are TERRIBLE at micromanaging things and you'll have an Internet service that will cost ALL U.S. taxpayers probably $50/month or more in taxes but will be used by only 1% of the population.

This is a situation where I'm glad I'm a Canadian citizen and not a U.S. taxpayer. Our government has not tried to pursue this sort of socialist money-wasting scheme nearly as badly. Our government is only spending about $10M/year of taxpayer money to try and bring $1M/year worth of Internet services to a few thousand people in the far North of the country. A waste of money for sure, but not anywhere near the order of wastefulness that this U.S. program is going to cost. Ohh, and they aren't wasting their time with filtering; that's a parents role, not the governments.


RE: I like this
By powervolume on 10/14/2008 9:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
I think you are replying to the above poster and not to the content in the actual bill. My response below is directed at what the actual bill states.

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h5846/text

To be clear, the actual text of the bill never indicates the government funding anything. In fact, the government receives money by auctioning off the spectrum. Surely, they will get less money with the stipulations than what the spectrum would get in the open market.

However, the United States has repeatedly through its history, particularly in 20th century and now, funded large public works projects in the benefit of Americans. Panama Canal, interstate highway system, TVA, etc. I see this project as analogous to TVA but with a far smaller capital outlay by the US government.


RE: I like this
By powervolume on 10/14/2008 9:18:16 AM , Rating: 1
I think you are replying to the above poster and not to the content in the actual bill. My response below is directed at what the actual bill states.

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-h5846/text

To be clear, the actual text of the bill never indicates the government funding anything. In fact, the government receives money by auctioning off the spectrum. Surely, they will get less money with the stipulations than what the spectrum would get in the open market.

However, the United States has repeatedly through its history, particularly in 20th century and now, funded large public works projects in the benefit of Americans. Panama Canal, interstate highway system, TVA, etc. I see this project as analogous to TVA but with a far smaller capital outlay by the US government.


RE: I like this
By inighthawki on 10/14/2008 9:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
But if the whole nation gets free "high speed" internet, regardless of how fast it really is, it would make require business to sell better internet at a lower price, or just lose business because nobody will pay for something they get for free. If you get free 384Kb internet, why pay for dial-up or 256Kb broadband? The next option would simply be for the businesses to start selling only higher speed internet to those who need it, and in order to make as much money as before, they would need to raise prices, which in my mind would lose customers, or lower prices slightly enough to where they get more customers.


RE: I like this
By paperfist on 10/14/2008 9:29:57 AM , Rating: 3
There's no such thing as free. It's the government and so there will be a tax involved - the tax as usual will go to the middle class since most poor people or the ones targeted by this don't pay taxes. Like wise to the rich :P

I agree with the original post, it's a good thing to come out no matter what the speed. And by keeping it at a transfer speed like that you won't encourage the government running a program that'll take away business by those selling true high speed packages that you can actually game on, download on, etc. That speed is perfect for encouraging learning, e-commerce, e-mail and the like. I would greatly oppose the 'China' filter though.


RE: I like this
By FITCamaro on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: I like this
By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 9:37:53 AM , Rating: 5
In practice, it doesn't work that way...look at the history of any government-subsidied industry.

Let's assume this is structured like a traditional GSE (I ignore the current bill content as its unclear any business will actually participate in current form). The government will subsidize costs to provide free service for the entire nation at 256KB.

Now, in extremely profitable areas such as city centers -- no problem. But everywhere else, normal market rates would have been something on the lines of, say:

256K service: $40/m
512K service: $70/m
1000M service: $99/m

The difference between the tiers is small enough that many people will pay progressively for the higher tiers.

But, with the government artificially setting that lowest tier to zero, the situation is changed. Instead of paying for the next higher tier, most people will settle for the free tier-- or worse, exploit the system by establishing multiple free connections to get higher rates, clogging channels needlessly. This will slow adoption of higher-bandwidth services, and keep costs high.

The agency running the free service will be bloated and inefficient. The only thing it will become good at is going to the government, hat in had, to beg for more bailouts. Ultimately, the cost to the taxpayers for this "free" service will be several times higher than had they simply paid for it themselves.

There exists countless case studies in such government market intervention. Even the very best are no better than a free-market solution...and the worst are demons from your blackest nightmares.


RE: I like this
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 9:48:38 AM , Rating: 1
Give this a six.


RE: I like this
By ziggo on 10/14/2008 9:48:51 AM , Rating: 2
I agree this wouldn't improve the current situation, but the current situation is far from a "free market"

There are significant barriers to entry, and there is commonly zero competition when it come to the service. Either you pay what they want you to for the broadband, or you don't get broadband at all.


RE: I like this
By FITCamaro on 10/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: I like this
By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 2:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think that they've finally changed and don't count 256K "broadband" anymore, I vaguely recall it was raised to at least 768k or some such, anybody recall the new limit in the last "report"?


RE: I like this
By nah on 10/14/2008 10:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A government-mandated and run network is about as far as possible from "competition which would stimulate the market".


But such was the beginning of the internet--thru DARPA


RE: I like this
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 10:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
DARPA started the foundation for the internet. The internet consumers have always used has been provided by private industries. Even the central hub points of the internet around the world are not controlled by the US government.


RE: I like this
By flutedude2005 on 10/14/2008 11:35:49 AM , Rating: 2
There's always a way around filters. And someone will always torrent porn off of your hard-earned tax dollars.


RE: I like this
By Hoser McMoose on 10/15/2008 7:07:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I live in a populated area but work in a rural area of NH. People out here pay ungodly rates for low level poorly maintained dsl and its that or the highway (like satellite has ever been a viable option).

I live in a city and I have to pay ungodly rates to buy a house with a mere 1 acre of property. People living out in the country can get the same 1 acre property for a tiny fraction of what I would pay.

Shouldn't the government provide me with subsidized property so that I can have the same sorts of benefits as someone living in the country?

No? Then why should the government provide subsidies for people living in the country to get the same sorts of benefits as someone living in a city?


this sounds like an Obamanation deal?
By Dreifort on 10/14/2008 1:19:03 PM , Rating: 4
What else are we going to give to poor?

Don't get me wrong, I do as much as I can to help GENUINELY poor ppl... but this country is teaching it's youth to be lazy, ignorant and unmotivated (unless you've voting - then you need to be motivated).

Did anyone hear Obama's conversation with a potential voter that was caught on video? The guy says he's a small biz owner and wants to know why Obama preferes to raise taxes... after jumbling his words for 20 secs, Obama proceeds to tell the man, "look I know it's hard, but we need YOU (the SMB owner) to help share your money with those that don't have any".

WTF!?! USA is about CHOICE. I personally CHOOSE to help poor ppl, but I REFUSE to give handouts to those who won't get a job.

...now we're going to give them internet access. What's next? buying them all computers to get on the FREE Internet?!?!?!




RE: this sounds like an Obamanation deal?
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 2:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
Any chance you can tell me where you saw that video? I'm sure many have done all they can to destroy it, but I'd love to see it and share it with friends.


RE: this sounds like an Obamanation deal?
By Dreifort on 10/14/2008 3:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 3:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
I hadn't heard of that until now.
Thank you for sharing.


By FITCamaro on 10/15/2008 6:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I found it last night. It's f*cking scary.


By masher2 (blog) on 10/14/2008 2:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "What's next? buying them all computers to get on the FREE Internet?!?!?! "

Such proposals have already been made, in fact, under the theory that anyone without a computer and internet access is, in today's society, "underprivileged".

Of course, in a society where food, clothing, housing, medical care, and even entertainment are all considered "basic human rights" -- why would anyone spend the time to actually get a good education and work hard?


RE: this sounds like an Obamanation deal?
By deadrats on 10/14/2008 10:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
look i am not an obama supporter by any stretch of the imagination (not that i like biden, mccain, or palin any better mind you) but i think it's appalling and speaks valumes about your character, or more accurately lack of it, when you can make comments like you do that indicate you seem to believe that the poor somehow chose to be poor. no one ever was given a choice between being poor and being rich and said "hey, i think i'd prefer to be poor".

i've seen the neighborhoods that exist in the united states, look at camden or trenton or jersey city nj, just to name a few, where people live in run down tenements, live in roach, bed bug and rodent infested apartments, where the best they can hope for, thanks to a piss poor education system they have no marketable skills what-so-ever, is a minimum wage job, at less than 40 hours a week.

i have seen poverty in this country, the united states, that you wouldn't believe exists, and it really, really sickens me that some uneducated idiot, like rush limbaugh, can earn 40 million a year, "working" 3 hours a day, spouting the most retarded socio-economic viewpoints imaginable.

i'm all for choice, i'm all for freedom, hell i am vehemently opposed to most forms of censorship, including legislation banning hate speech and porn, i am a big civil libertarian, but i also think we as a society need to take a good long hard look at ourselves when we can find a way to justify some guy carrying a football for a few yards earning 15 million a year when just 3 miles from the stadium he plays in there is some kid that will go hungry today because his dad can't find a job. it happens more often than you would care to admit.

and before anyone tried to explain the "free market" to me, i took micro and macro economics in college, i ran my own rather successful business for a number of years, i understand how our market works, but i still think it sucks and sucks hard.


By Dreifort on 10/14/2008 11:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
did you even bother to read past the first line of my comment? i doubt it. I am all for helping the poor. My prob is 50% of our country's poverty (not all of it) are ppl taught and given the opportunities to be lazy and not try to work themselves out of being poor. I'm all for opportunity, but 100% against handouts for all because it sounds nice.


RE: this sounds like an Obamanation deal?
By Jim28 on 10/14/2008 11:23:12 PM , Rating: 3
I think you are full of shit deadrats!

I also came from the very very poor of this country.
My grandparents lived in a shack with a dirt floor. My parents were also very poor. Our family was consistantly below the poverty line as far as income goes throughout my childhood.(How does 5 dollars for a week of food sound to you!) However, they never accepted any type of government assistance. They both worked their ass off to provide for us. We lived in one of the worst school districts in florida, and we moved around the gulf coast alot for my parents to work. BTW 1 can cream corn for a family dinner is fairly tiring after a while. Well guess what. After a lot of hard work on my parents part, a lot of caring from them to see that we had a High School education, and they made sure that we did well on grades. (A HS Diploma for them was great as both quit HS. College was deemed to by not possible for us at first.) I became the first person in my entire family tree to graduate college, and go on to get an M.S.E.E. Now I make damn good money. (Too bad that student loan gets some of it!) The point to all this?

Simply this, my sister and I did well because our parents cared about us, did not do drugs or drink. Its not like it was perfect or anything but we all did our best and made something of ourselves. Same with my parents, they worked themselves up the food chain as well to get better jobs.
In this country, you can do anything you want with the proper drive, ambition and character to better yourself. In America it is possible for anyone to jump economic class-boundaries.
Look at all of the people that immigrate to this country with nothing but the clothes on their backs! Usually in 10 years they have made something of themselves!
They are not taught like so many these days that because they are poor they are victims of richer people, and are entitled to live on government welfare programs. Most children in poor areas biggest issues are their own parents. Most don't simply give a crap for their kids as they are always drunk or high on something. With proper parenting a kid can become anything they want to be. This victimization/entitlement attitude of these people is the problem, nothing else. Of course the people telling/teaching them they are victims should be beat up a few times for doing it. With all of the programs that give assistance to poorer people so they get an education or votech skill. The only excuse is don't want to/laziness, stupidity or ignorance. Only ignorance can be cured but it seems our "community organizers" spend more time teaching people about entitlements and victimization, then about personal responsibility and the opportunities that are there for everyone!


By deadrats on 10/16/2008 9:41:52 PM , Rating: 1
***In this country, you can do anything you want with the proper drive, ambition and character to better yourself. In America it is possible for anyone to jump economic class-boundaries.***

this is the typical line of shit used by self important pricks such as yourself to justify not desiring to help out your fellow man.

if what you say held one iota of truth then there wouldn't exist economic class boundaries in the first place, everyone would jump to the highest income bracket and everyone would be rich (which of course would result in being rich having no meaning, but let's leave that discussion alone for another day).

the fact of the matter is more often than not those that reach the upper echelons of the income brackets usually do so on the backs of others, either by crooked back room deals, violating laws and/or exploiting their employees.

now is it possible for someone to learn a new skill, make themselves more marketable and improve their economic status? yes and no, it really depends on numerous factors that are usually out of their control.

case in point: during the 70's if you had a chemistry degree, it was gold, there were tons of high paying jobs, if you didn't like your current job you quit and the next day you found another one. when the 80's hit the demand for chemists all but disappeared and even a phd in chemistry didn't guarantee you employment.

fast forward to the 90's, with the dot com boom and the tech bubble. all you needed was an A+ certification and an MCSE and you could make 60+ grand a year easily. many people, such as myself, went to school to try and get in on the good times, i personally majored in physics and computer science, and right around 2000 unix system administrators where in high demand so i put my pursuit of my dual degrees on hold and spent 10 grand getting a unix system certification. i finished the program in august of 2001.

you know what happened in sept 11 2001, don't you? the IT/tech market dried up like a prune and all of a sudden even guys with masters degrees in comp sci and 10+ years experience with unix couldn't get a job. this is similar to what happened to people with enviromental engineering degrees during the early 90's.

so i ended up going into the real estate business and the pest control business, getting my exterminator and real estate licenses and from the winter of 2001 to about mid 2006 i made more money than i ever thought possible, regularly earning over $1000 a day and the best i ever did was $2500 for 3 hours worth of work.

in 2006, the housing market, as i had expected, absolutely tank, but much to my surprise, due to factors that no one could have seen, or did see coming, the pest control business died and never recovered. 2 years later i'm working part time for a courier service barely making $400 a week.

now if a guy like me, with 3 years college under my belt majoring in physics and computer science, a unix certification, 2 exterminator licenses (in ny and nj), a real estate license, 2 years experience as a welder (when i was just out of high school) and 5 years experience as a mechanic (before i went to college) can't do better than a $400 a week job in these economic times, then what hope does some guy that grew up in an economically depressed neighborhood, attended one of the poorest performing public schools in the state, and has zero marketable skills, have of improving his socio-economic status?

the thought that anyone wants to be poor is ludicrous. now are there some people that are too lazy to work, even of the job was offered to them? i'm sure there are. are there people that can't improve their economic status because they lack the intelligence? most definitely.

but to state that every person in a poor financial status is that way because of choice tells me that you are one giant piece of shit, a complete douche, a load that should have been swallowed. (<---i'm guessing you are a republican).

if you want to see proof that your contention of "hard work is all it takes to succeed in this country" is totally out of touch with reality, all you need to do is look at any of the illegal immigrants from south america, the guys that wake up 5 o clock in the morning and stand out on a street corner, in rain, snow, shine, hot cold, any weather, hoping that someone will drive up and give them a days work.

i've seen the way these people work, these people will work 12, 14 hours a day for peanuts, for $50 a day plus a sandwich, they get exploited by the rich contractors that higher them, they bust their asses and they never get ahead. if you follow their lives in 10 years they barely improve their life at all.

the same goes for some of these indian and pakistani immigrants, or some of the chinese, or some of the arabs, people that work 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and despite being in this country for years they still don't have a pot to piss in.

i remember talking to a rather wealthy guy and him telling me that he never made any real money by working, he made his money from investments.

and if truth be told, i know from my life that the harder i worked. the less money i made. as a welder and a mechanic i routinely worked 12+ hours a day, 6-7 days a week and i never really made any real money, i did alright, but nothing to brag about.

conversely, when i was making money hand over fist i was barely working 3 hours a day.

now i agree that some entitlement programs should not exist, but the fact of the matter is that everyone needs a hand at some point in their life, and people that are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth should be given the same opportunity to get ahead that the wealthy enjoy.

being born poor doesn't make you scum, attitudes such as your make you scum.

so fuck you.


This will double the cost for private broadband
By the goat on 10/14/2008 9:07:03 AM , Rating: 2
This will result in a "free" connection with very sub par performance. Basically only good for checking e-mail. But it will allow ISP's to jack up rates for real broadband access.

Really this is a horrible idea. If the government actually wanted to help they would force ISP's to expand their service areas into territory already covered by their competitors. i.e. Comcast and Time Warner cable need to start expanding into each other's territory.




RE: This will double the cost for private broadband
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 9:09:48 AM , Rating: 2
Most of those private companies are prevented by local laws from going into the areas covered by their competitors.


RE: This will double the cost for private broadband
By the goat on 10/14/2008 9:23:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most of those private companies are prevented by local laws from going into the areas covered by their competitors.


You are absolutely correct. I am saying these laws should be changed to not only allow them to expand but to force them to do so.


RE: This will double the cost for private broadband
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 9:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
Private companies should do business where and when it is in their best interest to do so. Forcing them to do something they wouldn't do normally would only increase prices in order to recoup the losses occurring from state coercion.


RE: This will double the cost for private broadband
By Jim28 on 10/14/2008 12:47:34 PM , Rating: 3
yes and no.

As much as it pains me to admit it.
Most rural development such as power and phone lines, internet services are due to direct government intervention via a carrot and stick approach. They made the companies develop rural areas at the same prices as richer urban market areas in spite of far less income potential. In return the government sweetened the deal by offering lata-based monopolies as financial incentives for the companies. This plan was at least mitigated by the fact that we did not pay taxes for it at first. (Of course the government has since fixed that! Bastards!)

I also disagree in a small part with FITCamaro. While it is not in my mind a right to be provided power, phone servie, and internet service for free by the government (State/Local/Federal) funded by our tax dollars. I beleive that it is a right to have the ability to buy those services, which without government intervention would not have been availabile. Thus it is a responsibility for us to pay for those services ourselves, it is a right for us to be able to purchase those said services.


RE: This will double the cost for private broadband
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 12:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why should the taxpayer be forced to pay for goods and services to go to people who voluntarily moved to a location that didn't have such goods and services? If the people want such things, they should be the ones paying for them.


By Jim28 on 10/14/2008 3:55:14 PM , Rating: 3
You don't read all of someone's posts that much do you.

Never in that whole post did I say that taxmoney was used, and it is not used. The financial incentives given to companies were small enforced monopolies as a sweetener. Thus a private business solution was found to the problem.

Some of those people grow your food have been there from the get go!
"the people want such things, they should be the ones paying for them. "
Did you pay the costs of running said services to your home? Certainly not!

Face it, in some small instances(And I mean small!) government is essential.(Defense, police, emergency stuff, protect basic civilian rights and well being, etc.etc)
The magic is finding the right balance, that protects the people, provides a modicum of common good, while at the same time does not stifle individual liberties and get in the way of free market.

Unchecked or ungoverned capitalism is also a bad thing as it tends to grow monopolies and exploit individual people too much. (19th century should ring a bell here!)

Also, any market without competition capitalism or any other ism typically becomes stagnant with little to no innovation.(That is simply human nature talking here.)


By tastyratz on 10/14/2008 12:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
How will this allow isp's to jack up their prices?

Right now they offer a product. The only difference is they will have a product offered in their area with similar capabilities for a perceivably free cost (it's paid by taxes/ad's/whatever... but the "customer" sees the end cost of $0)
Now the free internet is similar but not the same since it may be slower, allow less traffic, have less capabilities, etc.
For many readers of dailytech that's incentive enough to upgrade. For your average consumer... free starts sounding awfully nice. To be a competing business they have to increase their perceived value. That means they have to appear to offer more for less money.
This would most likely result in lower cost and/or faster internet across the united states.

If they jacked up prices they would just go out of business as they would diminish perceived value. That doesn't sound like a sound business move to me, does it to you?


700MHz
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 8:34:53 AM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to this spectrum? Verizon bought the most popular frequencies almost a year ago and we have yet to hear anything.

And I'm sorry but internet access is not a right. Tax payer money does not need to go to making sure people are able to blog, check their Myspace/Facebook, etc. This is why Congress's approval rating is lower than Bush's. They have yet this year, in my mind, to address anything that they're actually responsible for. Instead they've just socialized more of the economy, given a bunch of glamorized welfare checks(and would like to give a lot more), and generally just made things worse.




RE: 700MHz
By powervolume on 10/14/2008 9:06:41 AM , Rating: 2
So in your view are electricity and telephone services a right? How about roads?

The Tennessee Valley Authority was created to provide electricity to many rural Americans who otherwise would have never received electricity. Had the United States not done this, you would have relegated those Americans to be even further behind economically.

Providing electricity also had very tangible economic benefits. Farms have much higher productivity with electricity than without.

If your beef is that the service is "free," I hardly expect that the service would be purely altruistic. My impression is that this is a business enterprise. There will be advertisements (e.g. original NetZero model), and in the links it indicates higher bandwidths will be available for $20 to $30.


RE: 700MHz
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 10:15:10 AM , Rating: 2
No. I don't view power and phone lines as rights.

I do view the government as responsible for building roads since they own the land they are on. Roads are something that private industry has no way to manage. Having a toll on every road in the country and getting bills for local roads are something that would create an unmanageable burden on citizens and businesses.

Power and phone lines are something that you should only have if you pay for it. To say that people receiving power as a result of the Tennessee Valley Authority is absurd. Eventually it would have been built. Because people need power and its a profitable business. And I think that everyone should have access to a phone line if they're willing and able to pay for it (and be able to make 911 calls if they're not).

And not having the internet does not place anyone at a disadvantage. It means kids will have to go to the library to get information or do it at school. How terrible. I pay for my internet connection. I should not have to pay for everyone else's as well. I'm already paying for kids schooling (while not having any myself), people's retirement, people's health care, people's welfare checks, insuring other people's mortgages, and now the nationalization of the banking industry. So excuse me if I'm a little f*cking pissed at the thought of having to pay for everyone else's internet too.

Not to mention I'll have to pay a buttload more for my broadband connection if this happened as many people would stop paying for internet service so companies would have to charge more for it.


RE: 700MHz
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 11:46:41 AM , Rating: 2
Need to correct that. Left out some words.

Should have been "To say that people receiving power as a result of the Tennessee Valley Authority never would have in that time period is absurd."


RE: 700MHz
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 10:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
And also as far as roads go, the Constitution appoints the government as responsible for forming a post office and building post roads. So they are not rights. They are something the government was entrusted with providing.


By micha90210 on 10/14/2008 9:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
/bewildered

Can anyone enlighten me on how can uploading be possible in such a network without the user having a super-strong transmitter that can upload all the way to the satellite/network's transition station?




By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 3:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
They used to have satellite based mobile phones (may still exist, haven't been checking to see what was done with the assets or if the satellites are still up).


By micha90210 on 10/14/2008 5:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying each user will have to have a satellite phone based modem for data upload?


By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 8:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
That wasn't my intent. Only to say that it's not beyond being doable. The satellite phones I recall looked like the early big motorola cell phones. The subject (see above) just asks if uploading is possible (via satellite). I know no more than it's possible given that the phones did it with not much antenna-wise (albeit with low flying satellites, not geosynchronous ones like DirecTV and Dish use for TV services). System design would be different for sure, but just off hand it doesn't seem impossible. Not something I've looked into personally (I just use land based FiOS).


By Hoser McMoose on 10/15/2008 6:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
Satellite phones still exist and are HORRENDOUSLY expensive. A much more effective way of doing things would be to make use of a land-based setup with wide area wireless, along the lines of WiMax. It'll still be ridiculously expensive, but hey, when we're talking Government money a few billion here or there is peanuts... right???


How About Gun Free?
By SpaceJumper on 10/14/2008 11:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
Should gun be ban from the free WiFi network?




RE: How About Gun Free?
By FITCamaro on 10/14/2008 12:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
What?


RE: How About Gun Free?
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 12:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
A state-controlled network would be subject to whatever draconian regulations and censorship is popular with whoever is in office at that time.


RE: How About Gun Free?
By MeTaedet on 10/14/2008 2:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'll answer your question just as soon as you answer mine:

How is babby formed?


RE: How About Gun Free?
By Ordr on 10/14/2008 2:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
By adding an extra "b".


Cool but...
By an0dize on 10/14/2008 8:24:14 AM , Rating: 5
Without porn whats the point of internet access?




RE: Cool but...
By IceBreakerG on 10/14/2008 8:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
All of the WoW addicts have to get their fix on someway, why not provide a way for them to do that "anywhere" they go. Laptop sold separately.


RE: Cool but...
By Meinolf on 10/14/2008 11:23:52 AM , Rating: 2
I would still need my youporn.com


Can anyone say censorship?
By ae01af on 10/14/2008 10:30:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why would the government go through all this trouble to get rid of porn and at the same time infringe on the rights of businesses? Show me one study that links porn to any negative affect on society, economy or human health. This is just one more step towards censoring the only medium of free information we have. Once the government takes over, their private money men will step in and do the same they have done with every major news station. This is a terrible idea!

Even the article mentions censorship of "ANY" material "DEEMED" inappropriate for kids and adolescents! If we are going to defend anything in this world lets let it be the choice to communicate our individual ideas with each other! Other wise we stand no chance of getting rid of these already immovable shackles!




RE: Can anyone say censorship?
By Oregonian2 on 10/14/2008 3:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even the article mentions censorship of "ANY" material "DEEMED" inappropriate for kids and adolescents!


That leaves out all political events, news, speeches, and the like: way too objectionable material... you know, that OTHER party's supposed "information".

Maybe web reruns of "leave it to beaver" or "father knows best" or maybe "Ozzie and Harriet". Wait, that first one's name has to be changed, can they do that now w/o violating the new copyright Czar's rules?

:-)


Porn isn't bad, poor people are
By djreedps on 10/14/2008 6:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
The message from this is that porn isn't bad. If it were bad, porn would be outlawed for everyone. Rather, poor people are bad. If they want porn, they need to be rich enough to pay for their Internet service. So in effect, there is one set of standards for rich people (porn is good) and another set of standards for poor people (porn is bad).




By highlandsun on 10/14/2008 9:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
It should be inherently obvious that the real meaning here is that wealth = freedom, poverty = chains. When you have money you can choose whether or not to have porn. When you have no money, you have to accept what society will give you. "Beggars can't be choosers" also sums it up - when you're poor, your choices are taken away.


Free Internet no Thanks
By BB33 on 10/14/2008 1:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
If ppl can not afford the internet there is still the library, this as far as im concerned is a better option as it also allows those that can not afford a computer internet as well. Another point is the internet required for survival I think not you can live just fine without it. Oh most the ppl that I know if they could get 256k for free then they would not pay for anything more couse that is all they need and many of them just use it for email and basic searches. So this is just a big waist and at least the time spent could be used much better not to mention the cash involved.




umm...
By wwwebsurfer on 10/15/2008 7:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't this the purpose of a LIBRARY? Faster speeds, and no filters if you're man enough....




"Free" WIFI
By bilejones on 10/15/2008 1:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
Mrs Clinton famously complained that the trouble with the Internet was that there were "No Gatekeepers", Well, there will be if this thing is rolled out.




By Dreifort on 10/17/2008 1:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
They ended it. Why? Not because they changed over to republican control as some of you may think.

They ended it because ORIGINALLY it was designed to help those who didn't have ANY healthcare for their children. But once they enacted the free care, almost everysingle citizen in Hawaii stopped paying for and dropped the existing health care they already had for their children so they could get it free from Hawaii.

Can you imagine offering FREE Internet for those "who can't afford it"? 99% of American will suddenly "can't afford it". AT&T, TimeWarner, etc...all those companies will go under. You think our economy is bad now?




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