R.I.P. laissez faire capitalism? Temporarily, "they" say. OK, I’ll buy that.
In the meantime, I’ve got a suggestion: Nationalize the cable industry!
With, of course, a guaranteed rate of return of, oh, let’s say 33%?
(OK, I know that’s kind of down from the heyday, but, hey! That doesn’t sound so bad today).
In exchange for being nationalized (while, of course, remaining public companies like all those banks—the Fed just gets preferred stock with a 5% coupon), the influx of billions will allow cable companies to build fiber to the front (and back) doors of every home and office in the entire US (and Canada, and while we’re at it, why don’t we just annex the place?).
Universal broadband. Universal C-SPAN! Cable could make "voice" service "free," and broadband access would be subsidized in order to save the world and the American way of life.
Why not get something for building a giant, job-creating and now competitive industry without a dollar of public money?
And without cable, that aim of government policy rhetoric to create ubiquitous broadband wouldn’t even be possible… Universal dial-up?
Give me a break.
* Best New S.W.A.G. That Will Be @ CTAM: In the category of "stuff-we-all-get" to be found at CTAM in Boston next month will be yo-yos with stock symbols of operators and programmers… almost as useful as a T-shirt. When the yo-yo goes up, a light blinks green; when it goes down, a light blinks red. Problem is, given the markets lately; the yo-yos might have to be motorized. Meanwhile, you will be able to tell times are tough by the lack of T-shirts as giveaways.
* This "Economy": Isn’t just one… there’s the stock market for one; there’s the government for two (or three); and then there’s the real world… which, it seems, ain’t so hot either. Just hang in there… be prudent. Now is the kind of time great fortunes are made.
* Speaking of Government — Don’t You "Love" the FCC? Yep the Federal Confusion Commission and its leader Kevin Martian have been at it again. Once again, Martian failed to rally his fellow commissioners to his way of thinking. Must carry for low power TV… all in the (for him, false) name of diversity. Well, to my way of thinking, thank God for small favors. Bad news is that he’s loose on Election Day—apparently, he isn’t giving FCC staffers time to vote on the November 4th considering the agenda he’s published. Too many Democratic staffers? The ballot isn’t in a la carte? And now NASCAR car sponsorship? With a sunroof that emits DTV transmission waves aimed at being embedded in viewers? Nice way to spend taxpayer dollars? Or is this just another end run for a la CAR?
* A Scotsman-Economist Does It Again: Set the parameters, that is. Just like Adam Smith, David Hume, James Mill, John Law and now Gordon Brown is defining capitalism that works. Maybe. Fingers crossed. Eyes crossed.
* Ski! There’s always good news somewhere if you look hard enough. Last Wednesday morning, both Loveland and Arapahoe Basin welcomed their first skiers of the year.
* Act! Don’t dither. If you haven’t yet taken Steve Effros ‘ advice and moved to make the bundle ubiquitous to old, recent and new subs… well, go back and read his Thursday column again… and this time, as the ads say, just do it!