While I was pedalling into work this morning, I was listening to the morning show on KBOI radio. The talk of the day was all about “free” cell phones and other government waste. Wow. I had no idea how stupid this phone program is. Really opened my eyes.
The original intent of the program was to provide lower income families with a phone for emergencies, and so that they could look for work or be contacted by potential employers or temporary job services. The program has actually been in existence for years (so much for the “Obama phone” jokes), and up until recently was not a real waste of time and money.
Note – until recently.
Originally, the phones provided were landlines, and were cheap to install and maintain. Heck, the phone companies at that time could absorb most of the costs as incidental expenses. They started out as cheap phones on party lines shared by numerous families in apartment complexes. Pennies compared to other expensive options.
Then, the cellphone was born. Uh oh – now everyone will want one. The slippery slope is here.
So now, according to the reports, the cost of this program has started to escalate out of control. Figures – it had to happen. How can anyone hope to survive in this day and age without a cellphone?
Heck, if I’m out using my food stamp “charge card”, or delivering a welfare payment to the bank to pay for my government subsidized low-income housing, or worse yet – visiting with my parole officer – and I get a call about a job (or perhaps good drug deal), what good is having a landline if I’m not there? I need a cellphone! (Or, so says the nanny state tit-suckler).
Internet and broadband are next. Too many transactions, from Craigslist ads to unemployment reports to emails to instant messenger, occur online – it would be ridiculous to expect someone to drop a form or a check in the mail. Right? Who has stamps nowadays anyway?
The conversation on the radio eventually reached the boiling point of fairness vs. charity. All of these program start out with good intentions in mind, and wind up spiraling out of control as more and more “do-gooders” add their spices to the meal. If “this” is good, then “that” will be even better – oh, and if we do that, then it’s just a small step to add another thing, and so on.
We are killing ourselves with good intentions. As a result, we now have a “poor” class that is richer than 90% of the rest of the world.
The final question remains. At what point do we stop saying say “I deserve” something merely because someone else has it? Do I deserve a house? If so, do I deserve a big one? If so, do I deserve a big house in a ritzy neighborhood?
As it is, I have a house. Bigger than the average. In a pretty nice neighborhood. So, I have that (and I’m absolutely certain someone else wants it). But, I don’t have a yacht.
So, where’s my yacht?
- Government Sending Free Mobile Phones to Dead People(economicpolicyjournal.com)
- War on Whistleblowers: How the Obama Administration Destroyed Thomas Drake For Exposing Government Waste(lissakr11humane.com)
- ObamaPhone Program Cost Spinning Out of Control(libertynews.com)
- Cutting through ‘Obama phone’ mythology(observer-reporter.com)