1998-08-11 - Re: I’m from the government, and I’m here to control your email….

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From: Rabid Wombat <wombat@mcfeely.bsfs.org>
To: Reeza! <howree@cable.navy.mil>
Message Hash: e89578a3819522f879d3dcfebff86e8f118038f80f88372a92f28c56c605630c
Message ID: <Pine.BSF.3.91.980809132342.5048B-100000@mcfeely.bsfs.org>
Reply To: <>
UTC Datetime: 1998-08-11 14:44:14 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 07:44:14 -0700 (PDT)

Raw message

From: Rabid Wombat <wombat@mcfeely.bsfs.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 07:44:14 -0700 (PDT)
To: Reeza! <howree@cable.navy.mil>
Subject: Re: I'm from the government, and I'm here to control your email....
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.3.91.980809132342.5048B-100000@mcfeely.bsfs.org>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Mon, 10 Aug 1998, Reeza! wrote:

> At 02:24 PM 8/10/98 -0500, William H. Geiger III wrote:
> >
> >Many of the unusual suspects that will go along with this plan will be
> >from the states like Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, ...ect who are fearful
> >that their constituents will actually have to pay a fair price to have
> >mail and packages delivered to bum-fuck nowhere. I don't recall the name
> >but one of the critter from Alaska was very upset that if USPS looses it's
> >monopoly delivery in Alaska would no longer be subsidized and that they
> >might have to pay market value to have packages delivered by plane to the
> >far reaches of the wilderness (god forbid!!).
> >
> Where are you from?
> Bum-fuck nowhere to you and bum-fuck nowhere to me are two different places.
> A letter costs 32 cents (presently) whether you send it across town, or
> across the country.
> This knife cuts both ways. Once the precedent is set, other industries
> would quickly join in.
> How long would it take, do you think, until some whizbang at the electric
> company decides 'lectric usage rates should be determined on distance from
> the 'lectric generating plant?
> Reeza!

This is how it works in a free-market economy (doh!).

One of the self-appointed/assumed functions of gubbmint is to "fix" this, 
by granting some organization a monopoly in return for bearing the costs 
of creating infrastructure, as well as spreading the cost of servicing a 
(smaller) number of remote customers across a (larger) number of 
non-remote customers.

Whether this is a good thing(tm) or a bad thing(tm) depends, as usual, on 
which side of the subsidy you are on.

I would argue that such monopolies are desirable, and that their creation 
is a proper function of a responsible government. When the monopoly is no 
longer necessary (sufficient economy of scale has been reached to permit 
a competitive market to adequately service the customer base), then 
deregulation can occur.

I'm sure some on this list will argue this with me from their mountain 
cabins in bf-nowhere, but without such monopolies, they'd be sending 
smoke signals rather than paying $10,000 to get a phone line installed to 
their home. If you doubt this, look at the heavy reliance on wireless 
communications in third-world countries, and take a moment to consider 
how recently the consumer-wireless market arrived on the scene. 

Before you argue "the best government is no government", visit a few 
third-world capitols, and note how you move from a modern capitol city to 
flintstones-like living in about 50km.

A $.32 price on first-class mail to anywhere in the country is a good 
deal for all. OTOH, package delivery has become sufficiently competitive, 
and probably needs to be revamped.

Just my $.02.