Commonwealth Set for Major Broadband Expansion

Source: Bacon’s Rebellion.

I read this article with some dismay. Although I agree that universal broadband internet in Virginia would be a good thing, I don’t agree with the approach to creating it.

A basic principle of economics holds that free markets are an efficient dialectic (thesis, antithesis, synthesis). Given that resources are scarce and stakeholders are many, every economic puzzle has an almost infinite number of solutions. Free market dialectics take time, but tend to produce optimal results.

Here, government preempted the free market, driving out benefits society could have enjoyed. Just because something is good doesn’t mean it needs to be done right away.

22 thoughts on “Commonwealth Set for Major Broadband Expansion

  1. Ever heard of the REA? Look it up if you haven’t. It is a parallel example of how the market does not always solve – or even address – a vital need and the government can play a positive role to ensure that it does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Ever heard of the REA?”

      Yes, I had it in mind when I wrote the post.

      Rural electrification was occurring in America, but not fast enough to suit some observers. Also, FDR wanted make-work projects to reduce unemployment during the Great Depression. These and other factors were the motives behind the REA.

      You could say the program was successful, but since rural electrification didn’t progress organically we will never know whether the federal intervention produced the best outcome.


      1. “Rural electrification was occurring in America, but not fast enough to suit some observers.”

        Including those waiting and waiting and waiting for their service.


    1. Why? STARLINK is in production and 5G is here.

      Like roads, let public funds provide them and cars will be in the private sector. Business in rural areas are at a distinct disadvantage now. That includes some major agricultural operations as well has the “family” farm. Maybe wireless will solve the issue, but not yet.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “This certainly stifles private sector innovation”…

        No it doesn’t except in your mind. The market CAN provide, but they choose to slow walk or ignore some populations and areas. Kind of the way Democrats are often accused of ignoring fly-over country.


        1. “The government should not distort market choices.”

          That categorical claim is based on the assumption that markets always find the best solution for every issue involving the allocation of resources. Unless you define “best” to be “the solution the market finds,” that is a patently silly assumption.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Best is pretty much self explanatory.

            Subsidies either preserve choices that are uneconomic and irrational or transfer the costs of a choice to someone else, the ‘externalitiies’ you are always railing against regarding fossil fuels, for example.

            It is not my preference, it is straight up rational.


        2. A choice? Can’t farm corn on Granby Street last I checked.

          The internet is not a luxury any more than roads. According to your logic, farmers and their support industries like feed stores, tractor supplies, etc., should pay for their own roads rather than using my tax dollars because I live in an urban area with plenty of tax revenue for the state.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You mean RED areas of the state get benefits from the taxes paid by BLUE areas of the state. Shocked, I am, SHOCKED! (Damend emojis aren’t working today)


          2. Each choice has costs.

            Some things are more expensive because you live in a city, others are more expensive in the country.

            In Texas, some roads are highways but others are designated “Farm to Market” roads. Presuming people in cities want to eat, it does not seem unreasonable to ask them to share in those costs.


          3. Yes we want to eat. And yes, those farmers would like to join the market via internet also.

            And if the port facilities in Hampton Roads provide the means for farmers to export their products, then they should have been happy to help workers here with a less costly tunnel.

            There are a lot of things for the common welfare of our nation. Internet access is one of those.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. “Internet access isn’t like a road or a water treatment plant.”

            That is debatable. The internet has become the electric grid of the past. It’s uses, from education to telemedicine make it part of the public good. When it was new, it was thought to be a fad. Now it has become an integral part of our economy FOR ALL.

            Liked by 1 person

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