“The mark of a sophisticated mind is to understand that some solutions work in some cases but not in others.”

Please study that graph. Forget South Korea and the Yoo Kay – Estonia has faster and cheaper broadband. Arguing that internet is as much a necessity as health care, David Atkins goes further: because health care and internet are necessities, they shouldn’t be subject to the vagaries of the free market:

Allowing a “free market” in such commodities isn’t free at all. It’s insane. It’s guaranteed to produce monopolies, high prices and terrible service. Which is exactly what we have in American healthcare and American internet: the world’s freest, and therefore worst and most expensive, markets in essential services…

…People who think “free markets” work in healthcare or the Internet are just as functionally stupid about economics as the most hardline Communist who thinks that the government should exercise full control of the toothpaste market. Most of the world understands by now that the second guy is a dangerous fool. But we’re at a weird point in history where the first guy undeservedly has more credibility. He shouldn’t–and he won’t for long.

I’d add “Social Security” to the list of essentials.

3 thoughts on ““The mark of a sophisticated mind is to understand that some solutions work in some cases but not in others.”

  1. I added to the chart. The U.S. population cuts off at 150 (is actually 317) because I can’t figure out Google Spreadsheets.

    Size affects the amount of infrastructure / cabling (very, very, very expensive) you’ll need and population affects the capacity required for that infrastructure (technology keeps getting better/faster and prices keep dropping, which is why you see that so many countries that now have nicer looking Internet access stats). There will be different costs for different cities to get it to high-speed broadband due to density (e.g., old buildings in NYC may never, ever get fiber. Wireless will become too fast and universal before anyone foots the bill to fully “fiber” up NYC).

    Not making much of a point here other than the graph you sourced doesn’t take enough into account that some places are cheaper to wire than others and that wireless will eventually make all of that wiring work obsolete.

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