Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

On the Cutting Edge –
And It’s Us They’re Cutting

The old saw is “Those who can do – those who can teach.”

Meaning if you’re good at something – you do that something. And if you aren’t good at anything – you teach.

Which helps explain our ridiculously awful government primary and secondary schools – and our ridiculously awful colleges and universities.

We need a government permutation: “Those who can do – those who can’t regulate those who can.”

Meaning if you’re good at private sector things – you do private sector things. And if you aren’t good at private sector things – you go into government.

(And since government runs most primary and secondary schools – and funds many colleges and universities – the crossover nature of our two axioms is quite obvious.)

Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood’s iconic Dirty Harry uttered the iconic line: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Hey government bureaucrats – you’re in government for a reason. You can’t “do”…anything.

Undaunted, government keeps trying to do private sector things.

How’s that going?

Government decided to get into the retirement account business.

Social Security’s Looming $32 Trillion Shortfall

Government decided to get into the senior citizen health care business.

Medicare Is Already $35 Trillion Short Why Would We Want To Add New Entitlement Programs?

Government decided to get into the correspondence and package delivery business.

United States Postal Service Is Losing $25 Million A Day

Government decided to get into the train business.

Amtrak: Constantly Running Deficits

The examples of government being dumb and failed in its attempts at private sector things – is nigh limitless.

It would seem government’s skills and abilities are…limited.

Does any and/or all of this profound incompetence and pronounced failure daunt them? Heavens no.

Democrats – the Party of ever-bigger, ever-more government – press on.

Democrats Are Pushing a $40 Billion Plan to Bring the Best Internet Access to Rural America

Because no one delivers “the best” anything – better than government. Nice completely-un-self-aware headline, you pathetic Washington Post hacks.

But here’s the thing – government getting into the Internet delivery business is not a new thing.

We already have been – for a decade-and-a-half – having government pretend to be the private sector in this sector.

How’s that been going? Three guesses – the first two don’t count.

Then-President Barack Obama and his then-Congressional majority Democrat cohorts included in their 2009 alleged “Stimulus” – $7.2 billion for government broadband.

The Internet ‘Stimulus’-Just as Destructive as the Rest of the ‘Stimulus’

Yet Another Terrible Internet ‘Stimulus’ Project

And that titanic waste was, of course, a titanic waste – because we had a preceding decade of government broadband failures on file.

Municipal Broadband Is A Failed Model

Municipal Broadband: Many Promises, More Failures

Municipal Broadband Efforts Have Produced Failures

Municipal Broadband Fails – Again

Despite Glossy Reports, Muni Broadband is Still a Net Money Loser

The failures, of course, reach the granular level. Over, and over and over again.

Lake County Another Example of Failed Municipal Broadband

Sale Fail: Provo Considering Contingencies for iProvo

What Other Cities Should Learn from Philly’s Failed Municipal Broadband Effort

I’ll tell you what we should learn – stop doing government broadband. But of course – we do not.

And of course what happens when government inevitably, inexorably slams into its oh-so-limited limitations?

Government Broadband Signals Heavier Public Debt

What Happens When Municipal Broadband Fails? You Pay

Indeed we do.

Government broadband fails for all of the obvious reasons. All of them under the umbrella metaphysical truth: Government doesn’t do the private sector as well as the private sector.

To wit:

Madison (WI) Taxpayers On The Hook For Costly Broadband-For-All Vision: “(T)he Madison boondoggle du jour, a pilot program to bring subsidized broadband to four low-income neighborhoods, is two-plus years in the making, at a cost of a half million dollars to the liberal city’s overburdened taxpayers.

“And it could get a whole lot more expensive should the city pursue a ‘ubiquitous’ fiber network….

“(In 2015) the city hired CTC Technology and Energy to conduct a Fiber to the Premises feasibility analysis. Its aim: to determine whether Madison should get into the business of a ‘citywide ultra high-speed fiber based broadband network, either directly or through public-private partnership.’

“A survey from that study found that Madison residents are highly connected – about 95 percent of respondents had some form of Internet connection, with 89 percent reporting home Internet service.”

95% have an Internet connection? That’s…pretty ubiquitous. Thank you very much, private sector.

And remember: Not everyone sees value in an Internet connection (mostly older people) – say…5% of the population.

Which raises the pretty ubiquitous private sector coverage – to totally ubiquitous private sector coverage.

Did totally ubiquitous private sector coverage daunt Madison’s government? Did the decades of preceding government broadband failure daunt them?   Heavens no:

“Looking to test the waters in its pursuit to fill the ‘digital divide,’ the city in 2015 pushed its Connecting Madison initiative. The pilot program was to involve four city housing projects, deliver 10 megabits per second speed for $9.99 per month, provide free computers, and offer ‘digital literacy classes.’”

Fantastic. How’s that going?

“The government-commissioned project has faced multiple delays. Bryan Schenker, president of Restech Services, the Madison private telecom provider tapped to lead the pilot, said the biggest challenge has been trying to bring broadband to apartment complexes that already have service agreements with other providers….”

Get that? The biggest problem government broadband faces in “filling the digital divide” – is “trying to bring broadband to apartment complexes that already have service.…”

They “already have service.” That’s not a “digital divide.” That is the government taxing private providers – to then fund a government competitor to their businesses.

Because these private sector businesses – are already doing what the government wants to do.

Oh – and government competing with private companies is uber-obnoxious for yet another reason. Government, of course, regulates businesses – with whom government is now also competing.

This is like a baseball umpire – also pitching for one of the teams. Think there won’t be some pro-government-advantageous regulatory calls made?

You know where we end up with that sort of nonsense? Where the government can tax and regulate the businesses with which they are competing?

US Postal Service: A Government Protected Monopoly

Do you want government to be our sole Internet provider? I don’t.

You know who does? Democrats. And government bureaucrats. And avowed Marxists who are also college professors (please pardon the redundancy):

“(T)he ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

How very Venezuela of them.

I’ll ask again:

Do you want government to be our sole Internet provider?

I don’t.

This first appeared in Red State.