Universal Broadband Funding Axed from Obama Stimulus Package

A $2 billion allocation intended to push universal broadband service into rural areas of the United States has been cut from President Obama’s economic stimulus package, according to Gizmodo:

Those jokers down in Washington finally compromised on the economic stimulus bill, with the Republican minority succeeding in cutting out huge swathes of spending. Among the casualties is the $2 billion for universal broadband…


Sorry, "real America," you’re gonna keep getting screwed.

GP: Support for the Obama stimulus package is largely split along party lines. However you feel about the stimulus bill, universal broadband would be a big win for gamers in areas with poor quality Internet access.

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  1. Baruch_S says:

    If people actually cared about their fellow humans, they’d be out there doing charity work and donating lots of money to good causes. Instead, people choose to cop out and make the government do it so they don’t feel guilty about not doing anything but also don’t have to take any personal responsiblity.

  2. Austin_Lewis says:

    I didn’t realize we needed nearly a trillion dollars to ‘give a damn’ about our fellow man.  Hell, even fact check admits that this bill is full of enough pork to make a jewish congressman leave the room.

  3. Austin_Lewis says:

    It’s not like he was a big friend of the gaming industry in the first place.  He consistently used videogaming as a metaphor for underachievement. 

    Of course, you appear to be either cracked out or just an idiot. 

  4. Austin_Lewis says:

    I don’t think he ever intended to keep the promises either.  He certainly didn’t hold up to his ethics in government promises.

  5. Chuma says:

    Because some people are too stupid to understand the differences between communism, socialism and just plain giving a damn about your fellow man?

  6. Baruch_S says:

    If people had taken time to look at Barack, they probably would have realized what crap his promises are (not that McCain’s were any better or anything; they’re both politicians). He’s made too many big promises, and now he has to come through or face some really harsh criticism when people begin to realize he’s not the superhuman they think they elected.

    If the people want change, they have to change themselves and stop being part of a culture of over-entertained, materialist idiots that tries to make everything the federal government’s responsibility. Our founding fathers are probably rolling in their graves seeing all the power we’re giving to the federal government.

  7. Weatherlight says:

    I was happy to see that in some cities in TN, the electric power company offers DSL/Cable to homes. One of my friends is running on a 10D/4U Mb/s fiber optic line from them. I was amazed at how little his bill was. There is no reason to rush through Government Spending, people dont seem to realize it is coming out of your pocket and if we do decide on Universal Broadband I want it done right.


  8. Austin_Lewis says:

    That’s why Barack keeps pushing so fucking hard for this to pass so fast; if people, the average joe, actually look at it, they might realize what crap it is.

  9. Baruch_S says:

    Shh!!! You’re ruining the joy of the stimulus plan! You’re not supposed to think about it; you’re just supposed to believe that the government money-fairy will spread around magically-acquired wealth and make everything better!

    Besides, why should people want to get higher education when they can just get the government to take money from people who got higher education and give it to them anyway? Until we stop encouraging people to be lazy and/or irresponsible, we’re not going to change anything. But, since nobody wants to be told that he has to go out and actually do something and/or change himself to fix problems, we’ll just vote for people who promise Hope and Change and then see if they can fix things for us.

  10. illspirit says:

    Sorry, "real America," you’re gonna keep getting screwed.

    Mmm, projection. Why is it that statist parasites have such a hard time understanding that some people neither want nor need Uncle Sugar to give them "free" and "universal" things?

  11. Wolvenmoon says:

    From what I’ve heard his economic stimulus package is bunk anyway. One of the ‘jobs’ it’s supposed to open is resodding the national mall.

    That is not a permanent nor useful job. It brings in no money, they might as well just give everyone on social security a raise (Which, btw, we’ll see with a democrat majority.)

    Where’s the stuff to encourage MMORPG development? WoW alone brings in over one billion dollars anually. Why aren’t we giving tax breaks to silicone fabrication plants? Is there even a scholarship fund in there to encourage people to get a higher education? I sure as hell haven’t heard of it.

    Why is more money going to our uneducated? Why aren’t we creating lasting and profitable jobs? There should be an in depth analysis of what educated workers we need, and grants for the scholarships for these jobs.

    Screw universal broadband, we need to strike down exclusive line leasing laws and let there be competition between ISPs. You ever wonder why there’s always only one cable and one phone company in an area? There’s a reason for it. It’s the same reason we don’t already have true high speed fiber ran up to every house.

  12. Baruch_S says:

    Thinking things through isn’t one of the strong points of American politics. We prefer to rush half-baked plans into bills while the intial excitement of the idea is still fresh and then spend years trying to fix the problems instead of spending a year or two researching and thinking the bill through to get most of the problems out of the way before we pass it. Basically, we leap and then look to see what we’re going to hit at the bottom of the cliff. It’s not smart, but it gives us something to waste time bickering about and passing blame for later on.

  13. mdo7 says:


    This sucks.  I needed that to make my gaming online more fun.  Obama, why did you betray us gamers, this could have made your gaming online for your daughters.

  14. foolkiller79 says:

    Despite what people want to think, this is actually the best thing for gamers in regards to Universal Broadband.  Sure, people want to push this through as quickly as possible, but that is a guaranteed way to have the supporters of Universal Broadband have it blow up in their face. 

    If you want Universal Broadband to actualy be godo for gamers you should want it to have its own forum and discussion.  What does Universal Broadband really mean?  A line within an accesible distance from each house.  Does that get you anything decent?  Does it guarantee the same service as urban areas?  Or are we talking about broadband that is useless for gamers?  Barely pushing 1mb/s down and 128kb/s up, maximum download caps, etc.  The service providers will put those things in place to guarantee they aren’t losing a ton of money.

    No, if you truly support Universal Broadband you need it to be out and in the open so everyone can actually see what is being pushed.  Push it through as buried pork now and find yourselves having all new debates after the lines are laid trying to get legislation passed to make the service equal to what is found within city limits.  Or you can let this go now and work on the authoring a proper bill dedicated to Universal Broadband that will actually guarantee all the things you think it means and won’t be filled with loopholes.


    There you go, free advice on how to make Universal Broadband actually work from a guy who is opposed to the entire idea on principal. 

  15. deuxhero says:

    when the means the econmey are run by the goverment, like this buarcrat (that won’t even be a doctor)in washington being in charge of healthcare that this bill creates.

  16. BrandonL337 says:

     Oh dear…

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  17. BrandonL337 says:

    Do I get a cookie?

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  18. BrandonL337 says:

    Exactly, so what do you guys think of the idea?

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  19. Chuma says:

    I find myself agreeing with you for once.  However it is worth noting that if you reject electric cars and look at hydrogen as a fuel source, you can still get 250 miles out of the car and refuel at pumps in 3 minutes.  Sadly the technology isn’t available to upgrade your car yet… only to buy an expensive one :/

  20. BrandonL337 says:

    No all we are doing is trading in our used batteries for a charged one for a good price they recharge yours and "sell" it to someone else

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  21. BrandonL337 says:

    I was think of a system similar to propane tanks at gas stations, when your car is low on charge you take it in pay some amount of money they give you a battery and keep your old one, which they then recharge and sell to someone else later, of course to do that you would need easily replacable batteries

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  22. Monte says:

     Its the amount of money you end up saving on fuel you realtively make back the amount of money then start really saving… furtharmore, aside from trips, unless you drive more than 100 miles on daily basis, that limit is enough to cover your needs; it ain’t perfect for everyone but it would be good for a lot of people… and if things were set up to support that kind of driving such as giving you a place to recharge while at work, you double that to the point were you need to drive over 200 miles in a single day for it not to sufficant… with a little work i’m sure you could design a car to make the battery as easy to change as an common battery and thus you just need to stop for 5 minutes to change the battery for longer trips… Hell if you actually have two cars it might be very worth while to convert one; for family trips i’d imagine you’d only need one car.

  23. Austin_Lewis says:

    How is spending 4000 dollars to shorten your car’s range to 100 miles a good investment?  That’s idiotic.  I can go 325 miles in my Mitsubushi, and 400 some in my Kia without hypermiling, on one tank of gas, which is 30 dollars maximum.  Why in hell would anyone spend 4000 dollars so that they can charge their car for 3 hours for every hundred miles they want to go?

  24. Monte says:

    Yes but one of the points is that you could supposedly convert a car to eletric for only about $2-4000, which is generally within the range of a middleclass family; a worthy investement for how much money you’d save in the long run. Hell, if it’s true, then it actually does make you question why eletric and hybrid cars are so expensive… i could put on a tin foil hat and start going on about auto industry conspracies to keep people buying gas guzzling cars, but i’ll think i should keep it off… Quiet frankly, if a car could actually be converted for so little by some random mechanic, then god knows the auto industry could probably do A LOT better at creating such cars and making them affordable for consumers… and sure while people do often turn to used cars, we have to keep in mind that the new cars of today will be the used cars of tomarrow; drop gas cars and start making almost nothign but eletric and hybrids and in 10 years you’ll see them start filling up the used car lots

  25. Monte says:

     "That guy didn’t spend an extra $7, he spent an extra $4007"

    Now that’s incredibly short sighted… yes the initial amount is $4007, but what you have to take into account is how much he saves from no longer needing gas… He’s gonna make back the money he spent in how much he’s saving and then he will start really saving; in the long run it pays off… that’s what it means to make an investment; gonna spend money to make money and all that

  26. DeepThorn says:

    The thing is, if you have a $2,000 engine repair needed on a car, it is only $2,000 more for an engine design that is twice as reliable.  Also, instead of spending just $4,000 for the conversion, you can just get a car with a body, interior, wheels, and other basic parts (no engine), which wouldnt cost much.  Or take a real junker and fix it up.  This could be the next thing that parents do with their kids for the kid’s first car.  It doesn’t have the explosive hazard hydrogen does, and more reliable than any engine design out there right now. 

    Though the top speed would be 55-70mph depending on the weight of the car.  Technology will be getting better and cheaper, making this a logical choice.  This has nothing to do with the psycho green movement, those A-holes are insane with the crap they support at times, like PeTA.  They have some good points at times though, and this is one of them.  You drop one of these conversions into a car, and it is easy as heck to maintain compared to a combustion engine.  Plus, it isn’t hard to take a car battery and rejuvenate it, just most people never learn how to.  You wont get 100% life back out of it, but you can do it 4 or 5 times and get it up to 90% of it’s life back.

    The technology and ability is there, just people need to learn it and use it.  Combustion engines weren’t a good idea from the start, and there were better earlier engine designs when cars first started, just combustion had the most money behind it, and took out their competitors, sometimes in dirty ways.  The technology has been there to do this for over a decade, but the oil companies keep putting barriers in the way.  Once they see a possible problem, they jack down gas prices and cut employees, even though they just got a just check from Bush and record profits.

    If more money gets put into this technology it will not only get cheaper, but will get more money for research.  So it comes down to picking how you want things to go.  I support pure electric with solar mixed.  The battery technology could be better, especially if Texaco didn’t own the patten to the best battery technology we have right now, but better battery technology will come when it is demanded by the people.  Even more "environmentally friendly" options will come, but that doesnt matter to me.  Actually being smart with the money overall does matter though.

    $6,000 to get a car to mod like this, and plug into a normal house outlet.  If you want more range, you just get more batteries.  There are ways to decrease charge time as well…  Engine will last longer and be cheaper to repair over time than any other engine design out there other than rotary, but still you would have to know how to do it yourself.  Other than vehicle AI, this is the next logical step for the automotive industry.  It isn’t hard to recreate the braking generators to put energy back into the batteries when braking as well, and another $500.  You get enough people doing it trying to make things work better and sharing that information, then technology will get better a lot faster than letting the automotive industry do their thing.  We have been with the same basic engine design and gas mileage for 30 years other than hybrids.

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  27. Nekowolf says:

    Really. That’s funny. I kind of threw it out the window right at the word "socialism."

    Well, that’s not necessarily true. Nanny-state, that I do have to say, I’m against. But so far, that doesn’t say much, as it doesn’t sound really like Communism to me. To be perfectly honest, though, the only reason I’m not railing that hard on it is I like to use a certain deragotory phrase myself. I think it’d be a bit hypocritical of me if I continued further.

  28. Austin_Lewis says:

    The massive socialism, the idiotic nanny-state policies, the lack of freedoms every other state except for Wisconsin has (althought some cities don’t have 2nd amendment rights), the massive government spending, the fact that a grocery bagger makes 35 dollars an hour, all sorts of things. 

  29. Nekowolf says:

    Commiefornia? Real cute. What brought about such a pathetic name.

    And don’t give me any Fox News-like "it was socialism" bullshit.

  30. Austin_Lewis says:

    I don’t believe for a damn minute that California (A state of on the verge of bankruptcy) pays the most of any state to the federal government on anything except income tax (and when you give grocery baggers 35 dollars an hour to cover the ‘ridiculous expense’ of living, its not hard to see why.)  Have you looked at the moronic spending in your state?  No?  Then you should pull your head out of your ass and look around. 

    Also, just because your state sucks doesn’t mean I can’t play its videogames.  Russia sucks too, but I still play games from the old Soviet Republic and its satelite states. 

    Have fun living in the state with the least freedoms, the most hippies and jackasses, and some of the worst pollution in the country.

  31. Weatherlight says:

    LMAO, do you know the type of reform that is needed to improve the nations power grid to prevent a blackout like what happened on the East Coast a couple of years ago? Or that happens from time to time out west? It alone is enough to keep Scientists/Lawmakers/Businesses busy for a couple of years just to start thinking about a plan. Until each states energy grid is independent of each other that cannot be prevented, and will not be prevented, by solar energy alone.

    Stuff like that has no place in a "Bail Out" or "Financial Crisis" Bill, it will just lead to horrible waste.


  32. Laughing Hyena says:

    As a Californian, may I proceed to bitchslap you for your idiotic and wasteful mouth? Okay? Here we go:

    The famous blackouts, which led to the recall of Gray Davis, weren’t caused by power failures, you git. Do you know the expression, hand caught in the cookie jar? Ding, ding! All hands point to Enron!

    Well, at least Enron proves to be a good example why deregulation doesn’t work, even if Califonia still hasn’t been given it’s money back from these jerks. Annnd, sources/links:





    Also, California wants all it’s money it has to pay to the govermanet to support your state back. As we have to pay the most compared to any state and we get the least back. So, I’ll like to see how you would fare if Califorina ever decides to secede from the rest of the states. Also, no Califorina made video games or movies for you either. Otherwise, if you are enjoying anything from Commiefornia as you so lovingly put it: You are damn hypocrite.

  33. Austin_Lewis says:

    Thomas, its alright, I know you love nuclear power too.  Don’t be afraid to show it a little love.

  34. Austin_Lewis says:

    I totally missed out on the last mass blackout.  Do you mean California’s mass blackout?  Because that’s Commiefornia’s fault for being, you know, idiotic and wasteful.

  35. Baruch_S says:

    Basically the solution in this area is throw money at the problem and when you run out of money threaten to close and get someone else’s money to throw at it.

    That sounds a lot like Iowa’s public school strategy. When something goes wrong or we need to increase performance, we’ll just throw more money at the schools. Building new buildings and giving bad teachers more money will fix everything, right?

  36. Weatherlight says:

    I thought that was the optimum efficiency, not the average. If I recall correctly the average for publicly available solar panels is between 15-18%. The big problem is the initial energy required for making the cells, currently it takes around 2 years for the cells to payback their initial energy costs.


  37. Weatherlight says:

    I also live in the Milwaukee Area, and for having one of the "Best Public School Systems in America", there is a lot of waste. The original system I want to say was done so that schools were always within walking distance of the people they were to service. The conditions of the schools varies mostly based on bad/lack of maintenance. The solution has been to bus people out to the suburbs. The same solution was done for public housing, move it to the suburbs. There is no retention or accountability for maintenance of such works either. Basically the solution in this area is throw money at the problem and when you run out of money threaten to close and get someone else’s money to throw at it.


  38. Thomas McKenna says:

    Average efficiency of Solar Panel generators is around 23-26%, and these are the expensive ones.  There are some in lab conditions that get above 30%, but that’s lab conditions, and they’re not even out for sale yet.

    Not taking a side in this argument (though I most definately have a side), but just reinforcing a truth that I saw.

  39. Mortium says:

    Nice numbers, and assuming they are accurate

    1) What are the conditions of those schools?

    2) Where are those schools located in relation to where the students live? (i.e. were those schools built at a time when certain neighborhoods were full of children, but now not so much)

    and that’s just off the top of my head. Instead of spoutting off the talking point, dig a little deeper. There is almost always a good reason for something.


  40. Austin_Lewis says:

    Funny, I didn’t hear too many democrats complaining about it either.  Of course, the only time they really complained was when they were writing budgets for the boys overseas or when that group led by the republicans said we needed some more regulations on the banking industry.

    Funding roads is a STATE responsibility.  I know, I know, you’d love for the federal government to pay for local roads so that local government could blow even MORE money on local programs that are useless, but that’s being covered by this barrel of bacon, so don’t worry.  I don’t know what state you live in where your bridges are D grade, but I know for a fact that’s not so in all of America.  In Minnesota, Louisiana, I’d believe it.  Thing is, that study that gave out the D grade looked at a total of what, a thousand roads?   Oh man, what a great sample size.  That’s almost as relevant as the sample size that one whackjob group fielded in response to the FTC’s good report on M Rated games being sold to children.  Why did that bridge in Minnesota fall into the river?  POOR MAINTENANCE BY THE STATE.  Why did New Orleans flood?  POOR LEVEE MAINTENANCE BY THE STATE.  Newsflash; they already get federal money for these issues, they don’t need more.  They need to learn how to BUDGET. 

    I think its cute you didn’t spend the time to read up on the ability of solar panes/ wind turbines to generate power.  Here’s a hint; its not as great as you seem to think.  Wind turbines work at a maximum of 25% efficiency, and solar power, which is also far more expensive, is not too much better.

    I’d love to have a nuclear power plant in my neighborhood, mainly because I’m not a slack-jawed jackass who believes that nuclear energy is the devil like many democrats in the house.  You know, the ones who keep crying for more efficient cleaner energy, then turn their back on the cleanest and most efficient form available?  The ones who stick to coal, which is terrible, instead of nuclear energy, which is just wonderful?

    Also, my neighborhood wouldn’t be able to support a Nuclear power plant given where it is and the space required, but hey, we’ll ignore that for now.

    You really think there aren’t already companies that install solar and wind bullshit on your house?  I’d like you to pull your head out of the sand and take a look around.  My house in Utah has solar panels (not my choice), and has since five years ago.  Just because you aren’t willing to make that big a sacrifice and spend money to save the earth (hypocrite) doesn’t mean its not available.  You people are as bad as PETA.  Oh yeah, we’ll change to solar power when its affordable.  Oh yeah, we’ll eat soy food, we’re not intentionally killing animals in harvesting the soy.

    Also, what a lovely sentence at the end.  You don’t mention factions, but you suggest that division in America is a threat.  Indeed it is.  We need less division over a trillion dollars of pork, and maybe some more responsible spending that will create useful jobs instead of going into the same black holes we’ve thrown money down for decades.


  41. Krono says:

    While many roads and bridges don’t need the work, many roads and bridges do need the work. And roadways aren’t the only public infrastructure, and aren’t going to be the only infrastructure that needs work. That being said, I’m not going to be shedding any tears for this part of the stimulus package being axed. Communication infrastructure isn’t exactly the same as a public utility, and high speed internet definitely isn’t.

    They might be hell bent on passing this stimulus package, but I’d like it to be as small as possible.


  42. Sukasa says:

    Funny but I didnt hear too many republicans complaining about wasting money on pork when they were in power (both Congress and the presidency). 

    Maybe we should stop funding via tax dollars/and stimlus the roads, power, water, etc of america.  When it all starts to fall apart and drop down into the F grade(its currently D) and more bridges fall into a river we can at least hold our heads up proudly and say "at least we got rid of BIG goverment and lowered taxes!!!"  Most people know, conservatives dont like anything with "green" in it.  Thats fine.  Personally, I think supplying your own power rather its wind, solar, water etc is much better then depending on the power company to supply it to you.  If you conservatives like coal or even nuclear so much, why don’t you ask to have a coal/nuclear(and nuclear plants cost so much they would likely have to be helped funded by the govt) plant built in your neighborhoood?  Surely you wouldn’t have a problem with that? 

    By the government investing in green products like solar or wind it makes it cheaper and easier to produce(and improves the tech) so that us, the comman man can more easily afford it(also making new markets, ie companies to sell and install those solar/wind).  Eventually solar or wind power iwll likely be cheaper to produce and store energy then it is producing it via coal.  Sadly, in America there seems to be such a huge division between the different factions that it appears that division is the greatest threat to america and not some radical muslim terrorist on the other side of the world.

  43. Austin_Lewis says:

    You’re right, Milwaukee needs 16.6 million dollars for schools, even though they have fifteen schools that are UNUSED.  We also need to blow money on roads and bridges (many of which don’t even need the work), that will create jobs.  Oh wait, no it won’t, it’ll go to the same contractors and the same lazy teamsters the government has always used.  The same people who take 2 years to fix the plumbing for a half mile stretch of road.

    Some other things we need?  Green Education.  Oh yeah, they don’t teach that bullshit enough in schools yet.  How about Green Projects?  Ooh, speaking of green, we need to build tennis courts in New York City’s poshest neighborhoods.  Let’s spend billions giving money and benefits to people who didn’t contribute taxes in the first place.  Never mind that the money isn’t going to things that are actually needed, like a new prison for Cincinnati.

    Oh yeah, wasteful spending is a great solution.  Come on, let’s waste a trillion dollars!


  44. BrandonL337 says:

    Creationist politicians

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  45. Thomas McKenna says:

    Oh, so encouraging stupid "green" trends is a good idea now?  How is encouraging electric cars or hybrids a good thing, even if you only refit your current vehicle to be such?  First off, it’s the initial payment.  That guy didn’t spend an extra $7, he spent an extra $4007.  Seeing how gas is around $30-40 a tank about now, that’s not necessarily a winning deal.

    Looking at the environmentalist standpoint as well, increasing the production of a substance as horribly toxic as a battery is supposed to be benefitial?  Nickle mining?  Battery Acid?  The lack of an actual recycling program?  All those are proven (toxic) wastes that just take up space when they’re done. 

    So yeah, no…not a good idea.

  46. Nekowolf says:

    Though actually, electric cars and hybrids waste more energy at first, for a while. Because, they have to be produced, and few could afford them (hell, not many can afford new cards, now). So a lot of middle-class families, if they need a car, would be more likely to turn to used cars, which have already been produced, which saves energy in that production.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for more environmental vehicles, I was just pointing that out for the hell of it.

  47. Austin_Lewis says:

    Who only drives 300 miles a month?

    Seriously, that would be great technology if you could make a 600 mile drive in less that the 10 hours it takes to actually DRIVE the 600 miles, plus the 15 it takes to charge your car.

  48. DeepThorn says:

    The new debate, who are more stupid, politicians or creationists?  How do they waste so much time and money, then when a half good idea actually comes out they cut it.  Not saying this is an amazing idea, but it is better than the JT trying to get his ideas passed to he can try to blame developers/publishers instead of retailers/parents for kids getting adult games.

    I found an article about converting a normal car to a fully electric car for $2,000-$4,000 with a range of 100 miles and charge time of 3 hours.  This is the type of stuff that needs to be encouraged.  One guy that tried it out ended up spending $7 more on his electric bill to do his monthly driving, though I cant remember how far he drove…  I believe it was over 300 miles though.  That would be $0.02 a mile, which is half of what my car gets at 35 miles per gallon.  If you add thin film solar sheets to the roof, hood, and trunk, you could get that down to even less.

    All in all, focus needs to be put on the auto industry, because it is one of the major areas that needs to change in the US and world wide.  There is countless pointless spending, overpaid unions, and overpaid CEOs. (Which the later is not only an auto industry problem.) I can not rationalized anyone making more than $10 million a year, and even that is hard when most people can live off of the interest from $5 million a year, and do evidently with the average US income.

    Obama is at least getting things slightly going in the right direction it seems.  I am still curious what future months will bring.  My next question is, what else was in this package that was actually of value, and what did the republicans get added to it.

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  49. konrad_arflane says:

    "A Pew study found that 14 percent of today’s dial-up and non-Internet users say they don’t subscribe to broadband because it is not available where they live. But far more – 51 percent – say they are just not interested."

    That doesn’t really tell us anything about whether or not it would be profitable. Since the underserved areas are the thinly populated ones, it should come as no surprise that most people who don’t have broadband don’t have it for reasons unrelated to availability – since the percentages are of the total number of non-broadband users, most of whom probably live in more densely populated areas (I mean, that’s sorta what "densely populated" means).

    You’re probably right that the reason they don’t already have broadband available is that the ISPs don’t think it’s worth the trouble to invest in the infrastructure. However, that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be profitable to supply internet services if the infrastructure were already in place. IOW, the government can build the infrastructure for reasons unrelated to turning a profit on selling internet access (namely, stimulating the economy and increasing internet coverage), and the ISPs can do what they do without having to spend a lot of money up front on the infrastructure.

  50. Krono says:

    Odds are that it’s not simply that demand wasn’t high enough, it was that the cost of getting decent broadband to those areas would out weight revenue almost no matter what.


  51. gigamer says:

    I wonder why there isn’t broadband in these underserved areas? Oh…that’s right because there isn’t a market large enough to be profitable. I guarantee that companies have already done a cost benefit analysis of bringing broadband to these areas and the answer they got was that demand wasn’t high enough.


    "A Pew study found that 14 percent of today’s dial-up and non-Internet users say they don’t subscribe to broadband because it is not available where they live. But far more – 51 percent – say they are just not interested."

    So now these companies that are saddled with providing service to these areas lose money. They spread those losses across the business and we all lose. Either the company’s ability to grow and innovate is hurt or we end up bailing them out with our tax dollars.

    Now let’s talk about these jobs that will be created. What happens when the stimulus money (our money) stops being paid out to do these infrastructure jobs. Do you think these jobs will stay around? Probably not

    So now we have the same number of people out of a job and companies are losing money which will probably end up in more jobs lost. Yep, sounds like a good solid plan to me.




  52. Mortium says:

    Wrong again!

    Unemployment went down every year BUT one that FDR was in office. That one year that unemployment went up is when FDR acquiesed to the GOP and cut spending and taxes.

    Let me guess, you are using the thoroughly debunked numbers that exclude anyone working the the New Deal projects that built things as employed?


  53. Thomas McKenna says:

    Funny, and here I thought unemployment was a major factor in determining the financial state of the Contry.  And no, the economy wasn’t recovered.  All in all, things remaind very unchanged throughout the FDR years economically speaking.  He just had this great way of making people feel optimistic when their lives were in the shitter. 

    And no, Full Mobilization and the GI Bill aren’t quite stimulus packages.  They’re similar, but without much of the red tape, the wasted money, and on a much larger scale.  Plus, it was only something that could have been done through the undeniable will of the masses that was present after Pearl Harbour.  So, if you get rid of the red tape, the bureaucracy, get it to the point where the grand majority of America isn’t just wishing you to do so, but pushing you to do so, then yes, it’s exactly like a stimulus package on par with the New Deal, or what’s currently being pushed through Congress right now.

  54. Mortium says:

    Incorrect. The economy was already in full recovery when the US entered WWII (we hadn’t reached full employment, but were well on the way). And for the record, Full Mobilization and things like the GI Bill and the like are stimulus packages.


  55. Thomas McKenna says:

    Sorry, but FDR’s New Deal showed that stimulus packages do nothing to help the economy, but rather to only improve the morale of some of the citizens.  If it wasn’t for WWII, an even which required every man and woman of working age to work, we would have been stuck in the Great Depression for much, much longer.

  56. Mortium says:

    That is exactly how the stimulis and our economy as a whole works. Keynesian or Demand-side economics. You create a need for a good or service and in a capitalist society SOMEONE will find a way to meet that need, and at a profit (well, that last part if they have half a brain).

  57. Thomas McKenna says:

    Right, new military infrastructure?  Then why exactly were most first round recruits training with flour for grenades, broomsticks for guns, and cars for tanks?  Am I being sensationalist?  Totally.  Is the full reason behind this the point you’re trying to make?  Only slightly, with the addition of millions of new recruits no one saw coming.

    It didn’t save capitalism.  It started a trend towards the destruction of said institution.  Having the govenrment come in and say "I’m going to make you better, and in so doing bog you down with regulations and red tape" doesn’t save capitalism.  It’s the death knell of it. 

    It didn’t save the country, seeing how the market was already stabilized to a very shitty point before FDR got into office, and it remaind that same shitty point almost throughout his entire 4 term service.  Again, only thing that changed was the fact that people were ok with it being at that level simply due to the fact that FDR was a great speaker.

    It didn’t save the world, either.  As I mentioned above, once we got into WWII, we had millions of new recruits.  That paltry spending he made towards the military during his terms in office before Pearl Harbour hardly caused a dent in helping all those recruits.  Plus, all those warships were for naught, seeing how all the Pacific ones got blown up, and all the Atlantic ones were only strong enough to just survive against Hitler’s U-boat navy.  This is…until the war broke out, and that military funding is what should be thought of as being this great "world saver" much more so than the New Deal.

    The thing is, I do know my history.  I’ve looked past the highly partisan pedistol FDR was placed upon and actually look at what he accomplished, and what he accomplished was something monumental.  He was able to make people feel good about their economy not doing the best.  He gave them hope. He didn’t fix the problem, but really that problem was beyond him to fix.  There’s nothing wrong with giving people hope, but there is something wrong in trying to give a man credit for something he didn’t do.

  58. Mortium says:

    you can keep squaking that talking point all you like, repeating a lie does not make it true. Crack open a history book, you might learn something.

    The New Deal worked. It saved Capitalism. It saved this country and it saved the World (FDR was looking ahead and used a fair portion of the New Deal money to build warships and expand the military, including setting up training camps. Camps that were needed just a few short years later when the US entered WWII).

  59. Thomas McKenna says:

    It’s also very hard to get it to work.  FDR’s New Deal was mostly comprised of government funded infrastructure development, and it did jack shit to help the economy.


    Besides, even if this measure of the bill was passed, it’d have to go through the red tape of being a government funded infrastructure developmpent project, which would slow down the process so long that it probly wouldn’t get started for another 5 years or so.  By that time, the job probably already would have been done by privately owned ISPs.

  60. Mortium says:

    they haven’t lost touch. They never believed in this to begin with. They fought FDR tooth and nail over similiar programs during the New Deal. Tennese Valley Authority ring any bells? Rural Electrification?

    This is tried and true stuff.

    Oh, and to those parroting the right-wing "It’s Socialism!" talking point, kindly define "socialism". I’m taking bets on whether or not you Ditto-heads can properly define Socialism.


    Yes, I do have a degree in Political Science, why do you ask?

  61. Neeneko says:

    Heaven forbid we create jobs by building public infrascture.  That might do something horrible like stimulate the local economy or build new avenues for connecting customers and buisnesses.

    *sigh* the modern republican party has utterly lost touch with economic concervatism.  Job creation via public works (esp infrastructure) is one of the oldest and well established methods of stimulating an economy.   It is hard to get more classic then this.

  62. Thomas McKenna says:

    South Korea is working on getting their infrastructure upgraded so that Gigabit connections are a viable option for eveyone in the country. Obviously, they’re serious about lag in StarCraft (just kidding!).

    But that begs the quesiton, what’s our problem? Why is America, a world leader in bussiness, industry, and science, content to allow it’s communication infrastructure to wither on the vine?

    South Korea – 38,622 sq mi

    United States – 3,794,066 sq mi

    The reason being is because it’s much, much easier to do it in S. Korea.

  63. E. Zachary Knight says:

    It would be nice, but no. If you are too far away from one of the phone company’s central offices, the signal attenuates too much for DSL to be of any use.

    Makes sense. They would have to install signal amplifiers at regular intervals in order to make it possible bringing about much the same arguments as other infrastructure building plans.


    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  64. Krono says:

    But that begs the quesiton, what’s our problem? Why is America, a world leader in bussiness, industry, and science, content to allow it’s communication infrastructure to wither on the vine?

    It’s a function of the communications infrastructure being privately owned. Few of the companies that actually own the lines are willing to take the hit to profits that paying for comprehensive infrastructure upgrades would require. Particularly when it’s often cheaper and easier to oversell their available bandwidth, then start throttling the service of anyone that makes full use of their bandwidth "For the good the the network".


  65. Nekowolf says:

    Or my town. The only cable you can get is Charter cable. The only satellite you can get is Dish Network. I’m not sure about phone. But I know some people simply can’t get dish in my area, so for them, it’s either Charter cable or nothing.

  66. G-Meister says:

    "Just an aside, if DSL runs through existing phone lines, why can my parents not get DSL? They have a landline telephone. Shouldn’t getting DSL be a flip of a switch so to speak?"

    It would be nice, but no. If you are too far away from one of the phone company’s central offices, the signal attenuates too much for DSL to be of any use.

    "Yeah, I would certainly hate for someone to fund the laying down of a cable or fiber infrastructure in my neighborhood. /sarcasm"

    South Korea is working on getting their infrastructure upgraded so that Gigabit connections are a viable option for eveyone in the country. Obviously, they’re serious about lag in StarCraft (just kidding!).

    But that begs the quesiton, what’s our problem? Why is America, a world leader in bussiness, industry, and science, content to allow it’s communication infrastructure to wither on the vine?

  67. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Just like my town. The phone company is the only offer for DSL. For the cost of my 1.5Mbs connection, people in a town 10 miles away are getting 6Mbs connection from At&t.

    Yeah, I would certainly hate for someone to fund the laying down of a cable or fiber infrastructure in my neighborhood. /sarcasm

    Or you could be like my Mom and Dad whose only options are wireless (256 Kbs for more than I am paying for my 1.5Mbs and far less reliable) or satelite (not sure, but  Ithink they will be able to get 512Kbs or 1.5Mbs for nearly double of what I am paying, but it is more reliable than wireless) Certainly would hate for someone to fund the laying down of a cable or fiber infrastructure in my parents’ neighborhood. /sarcasm

    Just an aside, if DSL runs through existing phone lines, why can my parents not get DSL? They have a landline telephone. Shouldn’t getting DSL be a flip of a switch so to speak?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  68. Baruch_S says:

    Do you know who provides your internet? I’ll be surprised if it’s not one of those private services; you probably get good service because you’re at a government-funded institution that can pay big bucks for good access from the private providers.

  69. Brokenscope says:

    Hmm I’m finding private services like frontiernet near me to be shittier than the broadband at the government funded university I am attending.

  70. nighstalker160 says:

    Would it be government run? I thought this was just laying the infrastructure (i.e. cables) and that the service itself would still be competitive based.

    Of course, in many locations nowadays there IS not competition, either the cable company or the phone company has a virtual monopoly, so you get shitty service anyway.

  71. deuxhero says:

    No it wouldn’t, it would be goverment broadband. Like everything goverment it would be unrealibale and of poor quality.

  72. Baruch_S says:

    On a side note, how exactly is this stimulus supposed to help anything?

    That’s the trillion-dollar question right now. Pumping money into the economy is supposed to help companies stay in business, keeping people from losing their jobs and encouraging these people to spend the money they earn to further boost the economy.

    In theory, if everyone keeps spending money, it could work. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that nicely. The phrase "economic crisis" tends to make people thriftier and more likely to save money instead of spending it on non-essential stuff. We’re also assuming that the money does go where it’s supposed to go, but you know somebody is going to work out a way to line his pockets with the money instead of using it to enhance his business. And finally, all this money has to come from somewhere. We’re digging our country into an even deeper debt that future generations will have to pay off and hurting the value of the dollar in the process. It could work out just fine despite all the potential problems, but I doubt fixing the economy is going to be as easy as passing out some free money.

  73. konrad_arflane says:

    Well, the idea is that the money spent on the stimulus package will end up in the pockets of those who work on the various projects, and those people will then spend that money on goods and services that they need – and the providers of those goods and services will in turn spend the money on stuff they, and so on. The end result is that the economy doesn’t take a complete nosedive like it otherwise would have.

    That’s the theory as I understand it. I’m not an economist, so I couldn’t tell you if it works or not.

  74. Ambiguous says:

    Aw, that sucks.  They won’t bring broadband out to where my home is back in my hometown, so I have to go without high speed for the entire summer.  That means it gets very boring.

    On a side note, how exactly is this stimulus supposed to help anything?  I mean, and sorry if this brings to light a clear misunderstanding of economics or anything along those lines, but from what a friend tells me they’re basically making money up by borrowing it from the federal reserve.  Won’t that just make the problem worse in the long run, what with the increased inflation and all?

  75. Afirejar says:

    I’ve been against universal broadband even though its allegedly good for gamers (It’s actually terrible for gamers).

    I think, those stuck on dial-up might disagree.

  76. TJLK says:

    I’ve been against universal broadband even though its allegedly good for gamers (It’s actually terrible for gamers).  I’m glad it was removed from the stimulus package.  I only hope somehow the rest of the "stimulus" package dies.

  77. Austin_Lewis says:

    I’m still pissed that stimulus package is even actually being looked at.  It’s a great way to waste nearly a trillion dollars and create no new jobs, put money into things that’ll help no one, and best of all, encourage socialism.

  78. MechaCrash says:

    Yeah, who the hell needs frivolous shit like roads and bridges and schools and sewer pipes?

    What we need more of are tax cuts. It’s how we’ve done things for the last eight years, and look what a good job that’s done!

  79. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Despite the discussions that happened last time we had an article on universal broadband, I am still unsure why universal broadband is bad for gamers.

    Net Neutrality, however, I can somewhat understand why that would be bad for gamers. When Thunderbird downloads 100 Kb of information every ten minutes, my gaming lags like none other. /sarcasm

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  80. Cavalier says:

    Oof. I’ve got a buddy just outside town here who would maim for available broadband of some stripe.  He’s on satellite internet, and they throttle his connection randomly.

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