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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]



On Tuesday 02 May 2006 08:43, Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> Matthias Julius wrote:
> > "Matthew R. Dempsky" <mrd@alkemio.org> writes:
> >>I can understand that viewpoint, but I still dislike the premise that
> >>they can be provided only be the government itself.  If the government
> >>must involve itself, I'd like to see it encouraging competition among
> >>providers of these services, rather than siphon away citizen's money to
> >>fund one huge provider that has no incentives to be efficient.
> >
> > I wouldn't want to put private profit interests above a social
> > system.  The idea is that everyone contributes according to his
> > abilities and people benefit who need it.  Contributors and
> > beneficiaries are usually not the same.  How do you do that with a
> > privatized system?
>
> I would *certainly* want to put private profit interest above a social
> system.  Know why?  There is no stronger motivator in business than
> profit.  Please look at the quality and level of service of monopoly
> phone carrier ISPs (bellsouth, sbc, etc) compared to the indenepdents
> (SpeakEasy sticks out in my mind).  SpeakEasy is *cheaper* and has
> service that is light years ahead the monopoly carriers.

Bad example if that's what you were trying to demonstrate.  Look at the 
Pacific Northwest before and after Bell was broken up.  After Bell was broken 
up, we had Pacific Northwest Bell and GTE.  Rates went up, service degraded.  
Over the years, Bell Atlantic bought GTE, USWest bought PNWB, Verizon bought 
GTE, Verizon took over most of USWest's territory in the region.  Now, after 
adjusting for inflation, Verizon charges three to four times as much for the 
same phone service, and two out of three times you pick up the phone, there 
is no dialtone, the phone rings from time to time without a call, calls fail 
to disconnect (you hang up, phone starts ringing immediately, same person on 
the other end equally confused), and the system is all-in-all so bad that 
most people I used to talk on the phone to, I either contact on Jabber, by 
email or via CB radio instead.  Washington County, Oregon lost 911 service 
for six weeks earlier this year, residents were advised to drive to their 
nearest fire station instead until Verizon could fix 911.

Deregulating the telco industry and breaking up Bell was the worst thing we 
could have done in this case.

Besides, what you propose is still possible.  Just because the government is 
the default provider for retirement doesn't mean you can't go elsewhere.

-- 
Paul Johnson
Email and IM (XMPP & Google Talk): baloo@ursine.ca
Jabber: Because it's time to move forward  http://ursine.ca/Ursine:Jabber

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