The force is strong with you. I have everything hardwired because I could never get Wifi to work reliably, or with the speeds that I need. It might be related to my needing 2 routers to provide coverage to the entire house.
The reasoning is sound, but I don't think the numbers work out. A $60,000 internet connection (which is probably more than the price of the house) - even if amortized over 10 years - is going to be around $600/month. That's roughly $500 more than the most expensive city plans... are salaries really going to increase by $6000 per household? I mean, it is possible, but I find it more likely that people would just move somewhere that already has internet, phone, and electricity.
You can absolutely work to change the market manipulations to those more in line with your own theories - that is not what I meant.
I'm asserting that those in power will - in aggregate - always look out for their interests. If your interests don't align with the powerful, then you really only have the choice of removing the power or trying to sway them. Good luck with the latter.
Even if such a "sharp rise and fall" were not just fear mongering
What? Starvation is a historical fact, and in fact still continues today. It is not fear mongering, it is what happens when you do not have enough food.
That kind of reasoning applied about 300 years ago.
I'm not talking about famine, a la Irish potato or Ethiopia. I'm talking about broad starvation. Dust bowl, Great Depression, that sort of thing. You don't need famine to destabilize the country.
But sharp rises and falls in food prices are almost always the result of misguided government policies.
Drought? Flood? Pests? Disease?
Between markets, insurance, worldwide production, and modern food storage, these concerns simply do not exist.
They still exist, but the interplay is much more complicated and harder to predict. What would a fuel crisis do to overseas shipping? What about a war? You mention food storage... just who is storing excess food without some subsidy to do so? Where is this excess food shipping capacity that you will tap when domestic production hits a snag?
I am going to store the food, trade options, and/or diversify geographically.
And what happens when prices are high? You sell out your stocks and there is nothing left in inventory should something go wrong.
All of that stabilizes and regulates food production better than any government policy can.
I'm not suggesting central planning or anything of the sort. I'm suggesting subsidizing food production. You are absolutely right - it will ruin the efficiency of the markets. However, I contend that paying a little extra is worth the insurance.
Let's say that you're argument has won the day and that a pure market approach will keep us all fed and happy. Is it not fair for me to point out that it is impossible to achieve a pure market approach? That corruption and crime will always exist? Couldn't corruption or fraud undermine the market system when a stressful event occurs? Why shouldn't we accept that as fact and build in some safeguards, even if it spoils the efficiency a bit?
True food security is being able to grow and raise your own food.
That works great until you are hit with a flood, drought, disease, etc. Then it's back to the store for you.
Food security is simply having enough food to feed the population. You have to grow excess food 99.9% of the time so that you have a very low chance of ever falling short.
I think it would be good for our democracy to stop both farming and rural subsidies
With most things I would agree with you. Food is different. We absolutely, positively cannot be subject to the sharp rise and fall of capital markets where it concerns food. A stock market crash causes a lot of trouble, but no one seriously suggests abandoning it. If there was a shortage of food, things would be very different. All of our libertarian ideals go by the wayside when starving is involved.
Food markets can't be very efficient anyway. The lag between an uptick in demand and, well, a whole growing season is simply too long. People can't wait 6 months to eat. The solution is to always produce more than you need and then throw away or store the extra. The private market can't do this because the extra would appear on the market and depress prices below the cost of production.
In salt water boating, we replace those regularly
Obesity is a poverty disease.
So is starvation, and I know which one I choose.
Ban corn syrup. Ban ethanol. Reduce corn production. These are tax subsidised scams that actively harm us.
Ban ban ban. Two sides of the same coin. You can't complain about other people's choice of market manipulation and then suggest substituting for your own. It doesn't work that way. If you are pro regulation and you don't like the regulation that results - well, tough shit... that's what happens when you give the powerful more power.
Most of our food comes from huge factory farms.
I'm not disputing that. But these farms do not exist in a vacuum. They need to have infrastructure and skilled (as well as the unskilled that you mentioned) labor. Farms need to have mechanics, electricians, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, roads, etc. Rural life sucks in a lot of ways - take away electricity and telecommunications and you've made it really suck. As you insinuate, most sane people won't live like that. And some people will stay and live like mountain people. If you think it is good for our democracy to have vast swaths of the country controlled by mountain people, well - we're going to have to disagree.
Maybe you should consider living somewhere else than if you want a career in IT.
A fair point, but I think you should consider something as well: food security.
If a rural place is so backward and so lonely that no one wants to be a farmer, what do you think that will do to food production? Not to mention the simple distastefulness of having barefoot poverty within the US. Sometimes market efficiency has to take a back seat to other priorities.
As much as my libertarian side wants to agree with you, I can't help but notice the positive effects of rural electrification and phone service. Damn you, history and pragmatism.
Yes, but a gasoline engine can only use around 25-30% of the energy contained in a gallon of gas. Electric motors are around 3x more efficient, even when considering the charge/discharge losses.
Yes, well, that is today. Prior to spring of 2013 that would have not been an option. Windows Server 2012 was available in fall of 2012. Not exactly an earth shattering lead, but a lead nonetheless.
Now to be fair, nikkipolya did mention Linux and Unix, and zfs has been available for Solaris for almost 10 years.
Average in CA is 15.2 cents per kwh. The EPA uses 33.7kwh/gallon of gasoline for equivalency calculations. So that would be over $5 per gallon. However, electric cars have much better efficiency than gasoline cars... perhaps as much as 3x. That will bring your "per-gallon" price way down. You will save money on fuel compared to a gasoline car.
People who have never worked in a marine environment just don't understand this. Seawater is nasty, nasty stuff to anything. Plastic, metal, wood - it doesn't matter. Add a mechanical part and it just becomes a nightmare. The navy, for instance, is continuously painting their ships. As in, they never stop painting them. If you have an offshore wind farm, offshore wave farm, or whatever - you will spend far more on maintenance than you ever do on capital costs. And you have to restrict the technology to proven, overbuilt, and simple. Even titanium will fail in salt water (hydrogen embrittlement)... not a nice place to engineer for.