Archive for August 6th, 2002

August 6, 2002

James Robinson argues: ďSo, who’s good at infrastructure? Well, what’s the best example of infrastructure around? The US highway system. Who built it? The US government. The public is in the right mood to accept this, but the Administration is not. But it’s something to think about as the networking and telecommunications and airline industries collapse around us. Isn’t it?Ē


 


            Well, I certainly disagree. While the US highway system is a good example, I bet it is difficult to think of more examples. Imagine politicians and Government buerocrats trying to decide what infrastructure needs to be built, how, using which standard or when. A case in point is the mess that the cell phone market is in the US. While the whole world is on a calling party pays standard, the US charges the owner of the number. This severely limits the traffic and has definitely hampered the development of the US wireless industry. Why is that? The Government decided a priori, before the market even existed how it should behave. If I were a US taxpayer I would prefer WorldCom to fail, than subsidize data traffic for corporations via the US Government. The same with airlines, let some of them collapse, others will survive. After all, you can get around better with current private airlines than with Amtrak, which is a Government infrastructure company. WorldCom, Global Crossing and others are collapsing financially, but their network infrastructure remains. If they canít survive, somebody will buy it on the cheap and let users pay for it, not taxpayers. If you let the Government be in charge of providing broadband to the home, it might just never happen.


 


This is even worse in other countries. Up to 1991, when the Venezuelan phone company was privatized, it took three, four tries to complete a phone call. Now dialing many times is a thing of the past and DSL services were first launched no more than a year behind the US. Canít imagine any Government matching that!

August 6, 2002

James Robinson argues: ďSo, who’s good at infrastructure? Well, what’s the best example of infrastructure around? The US highway system. Who built it? The US government. The public is in the right mood to accept this, but the Administration is not. But it’s something to think about as the networking and telecommunications and airline industries collapse around us. Isn’t it?Ē


 


            Well, I certainly disagree. While the US highway system is a good example, I bet it is difficult to think of more examples. Imagine politicians and Government buerocrats trying to decide what infrastructure needs to be built, how, using which standard or when. A case in point is the mess that the cell phone market is in the US. While the whole world is on a calling party pays standard, the US charges the owner of the number. This severely limits the traffic and has definitely hampered the development of the US wireless industry. Why is that? The Government decided a priori, before the market even existed how it should behave. If I were a US taxpayer I would prefer WorldCom to fail, than subsidize data traffic for corporations via the US Government. The same with airlines, let some of them collapse, others will survive. After all, you can get around better with current private airlines than with Amtrak, which is a Government infrastructure company. WorldCom, Global Crossing and others are collapsing financially, but their network infrastructure remains. If they canít survive, somebody will buy it on the cheap and let users pay for it, not taxpayers. If you let the Government be in charge of providing broadband to the home, it might just never happen.


 


This is even worse in other countries. Up to 1991, when the Venezuelan phone company was privatized, it took three, four tries to complete a phone call. Now dialing many times is a thing of the past and DSL services were first launched no more than a year behind the US. Canít imagine any Government matching that!

August 6, 2002

James Robinson argues: ďSo, who’s good at infrastructure? Well, what’s the best example of infrastructure around? The US highway system. Who built it? The US government. The public is in the right mood to accept this, but the Administration is not. But it’s something to think about as the networking and telecommunications and airline industries collapse around us. Isn’t it?Ē


 


            Well, I certainly disagree. While the US highway system is a good example, I bet it is difficult to think of more examples. Imagine politicians and Government buerocrats trying to decide what infrastructure needs to be built, how, using which standard or when. A case in point is the mess that the cell phone market is in the US. While the whole world is on a calling party pays standard, the US charges the owner of the number. This severely limits the traffic and has definitely hampered the development of the US wireless industry. Why is that? The Government decided a priori, before the market even existed how it should behave. If I were a US taxpayer I would prefer WorldCom to fail, than subsidize data traffic for corporations via the US Government. The same with airlines, let some of them collapse, others will survive. After all, you can get around better with current private airlines than with Amtrak, which is a Government infrastructure company. WorldCom, Global Crossing and others are collapsing financially, but their network infrastructure remains. If they canít survive, somebody will buy it on the cheap and let users pay for it, not taxpayers. If you let the Government be in charge of providing broadband to the home, it might just never happen.


 


This is even worse in other countries. Up to 1991, when the Venezuelan phone company was privatized, it took three, four tries to complete a phone call. Now dialing many times is a thing of the past and DSL services were first launched no more than a year behind the US. Canít imagine any Government matching that!

August 6, 2002

James Robinson argues: ďSo, who’s good at infrastructure? Well, what’s the best example of infrastructure around? The US highway system. Who built it? The US government. The public is in the right mood to accept this, but the Administration is not. But it’s something to think about as the networking and telecommunications and airline industries collapse around us. Isn’t it?Ē


 


            Well, I certainly disagree. While the US highway system is a good example, I bet it is difficult to think of more examples. Imagine politicians and Government buerocrats trying to decide what infrastructure needs to be built, how, using which standard or when. A case in point is the mess that the cell phone market is in the US. While the whole world is on a calling party pays standard, the US charges the owner of the number. This severely limits the traffic and has definitely hampered the development of the US wireless industry. Why is that? The Government decided a priori, before the market even existed how it should behave. If I were a US taxpayer I would prefer WorldCom to fail, than subsidize data traffic for corporations via the US Government. The same with airlines, let some of them collapse, others will survive. After all, you can get around better with current private airlines than with Amtrak, which is a Government infrastructure company. WorldCom, Global Crossing and others are collapsing financially, but their network infrastructure remains. If they canít survive, somebody will buy it on the cheap and let users pay for it, not taxpayers. If you let the Government be in charge of providing broadband to the home, it might just never happen.


 


This is even worse in other countries. Up to 1991, when the Venezuelan phone company was privatized, it took three, four tries to complete a phone call. Now dialing many times is a thing of the past and DSL services were first launched no more than a year behind the US. Canít imagine any Government matching that!

August 6, 2002

Banana Republic 101 Part II: A fable in 4,5 maybe six Acts: Too many bananas or not enough republic? Act I


 


Imagine a far away country, letís call it Little Venice, the economy is growing at a 10.5% clip after many years of little growth, but most politicians dislike the President. One night in February, four lowly colonels attempt a coup. Their plan is to establish a militaristic regime to redistribute wealth. On the first day they plan to have trials of all politicians, will eliminate the Constitution and expand their revolution to the whole Continent. Fortunately, while three of the colonels succeed with their military objectives, the fourth one, letís call him Victor, fails when he holes up in an apparent act of cowardice.


 


Victor is the only one of the four colonels to appear on TV  that night to call on all his co-conspirators to give up the fight. All four are jailed and pardoned three years later by the new President.


 


Of the four colonels, one dies, another one, call him Pancho, becomes a Government official and later runs for Governor. Victor goes around the country calling for a peopleís revolt and speaking against democracy. Suddenly, two years later, he decides to run for President. One year before the elections, the front runner is a former Miss Universe turned politician, followed by an eighty year old politician. As election time approaches, the Miss Universe drops sharply in the polls, the old politician is not doing well and a former Governor letís call him Henri is the only threat to Victorís chances. Two weeks before the elections, the other two candidates drop out, turning their votes to Henri. Victor wins easily with 56.2% of the vote with Henri a distant second with 39.97%. The rest donít even count. Victor celebrates his victory as crowds gather to cheer him. Seems like a happy ending.

August 6, 2002

Banana Republic 101 Part II: A fable in 4,5 maybe six Acts: Too many bananas or not enough republic? Act I


 


Imagine a far away country, letís call it Little Venice, the economy is growing at a 10.5% clip after many years of little growth, but most politicians dislike the President. One night in February, four lowly colonels attempt a coup. Their plan is to establish a militaristic regime to redistribute wealth. On the first day they plan to have trials of all politicians, will eliminate the Constitution and expand their revolution to the whole Continent. Fortunately, while three of the colonels succeed with their military objectives, the fourth one, letís call him Victor, fails when he holes up in an apparent act of cowardice.


 


Victor is the only one of the four colonels to appear on TV  that night to call on all his co-conspirators to give up the fight. All four are jailed and pardoned three years later by the new President.


 


Of the four colonels, one dies, another one, call him Pancho, becomes a Government official and later runs for Governor. Victor goes around the country calling for a peopleís revolt and speaking against democracy. Suddenly, two years later, he decides to run for President. One year before the elections, the front runner is a former Miss Universe turned politician, followed by an eighty year old politician. As election time approaches, the Miss Universe drops sharply in the polls, the old politician is not doing well and a former Governor letís call him Henri is the only threat to Victorís chances. Two weeks before the elections, the other two candidates drop out, turning their votes to Henri. Victor wins easily with 56.2% of the vote with Henri a distant second with 39.97%. The rest donít even count. Victor celebrates his victory as crowds gather to cheer him. Seems like a happy ending.

August 6, 2002

Banana Republic 101 Part II: A fable in 4,5 maybe six Acts: Too many bananas or not enough republic? Act I


 


Imagine a far away country, letís call it Little Venice, the economy is growing at a 10.5% clip after many years of little growth, but most politicians dislike the President. One night in February, four lowly colonels attempt a coup. Their plan is to establish a militaristic regime to redistribute wealth. On the first day they plan to have trials of all politicians, will eliminate the Constitution and expand their revolution to the whole Continent. Fortunately, while three of the colonels succeed with their military objectives, the fourth one, letís call him Victor, fails when he holes up in an apparent act of cowardice.


 


Victor is the only one of the four colonels to appear on TV  that night to call on all his co-conspirators to give up the fight. All four are jailed and pardoned three years later by the new President.


 


Of the four colonels, one dies, another one, call him Pancho, becomes a Government official and later runs for Governor. Victor goes around the country calling for a peopleís revolt and speaking against democracy. Suddenly, two years later, he decides to run for President. One year before the elections, the front runner is a former Miss Universe turned politician, followed by an eighty year old politician. As election time approaches, the Miss Universe drops sharply in the polls, the old politician is not doing well and a former Governor letís call him Henri is the only threat to Victorís chances. Two weeks before the elections, the other two candidates drop out, turning their votes to Henri. Victor wins easily with 56.2% of the vote with Henri a distant second with 39.97%. The rest donít even count. Victor celebrates his victory as crowds gather to cheer him. Seems like a happy ending.

August 6, 2002

Banana Republic 101 Part II: A fable in 4,5 maybe six Acts: Too many bananas or not enough republic? Act I


 


Imagine a far away country, letís call it Little Venice, the economy is growing at a 10.5% clip after many years of little growth, but most politicians dislike the President. One night in February, four lowly colonels attempt a coup. Their plan is to establish a militaristic regime to redistribute wealth. On the first day they plan to have trials of all politicians, will eliminate the Constitution and expand their revolution to the whole Continent. Fortunately, while three of the colonels succeed with their military objectives, the fourth one, letís call him Victor, fails when he holes up in an apparent act of cowardice.


 


Victor is the only one of the four colonels to appear on TV  that night to call on all his co-conspirators to give up the fight. All four are jailed and pardoned three years later by the new President.


 


Of the four colonels, one dies, another one, call him Pancho, becomes a Government official and later runs for Governor. Victor goes around the country calling for a peopleís revolt and speaking against democracy. Suddenly, two years later, he decides to run for President. One year before the elections, the front runner is a former Miss Universe turned politician, followed by an eighty year old politician. As election time approaches, the Miss Universe drops sharply in the polls, the old politician is not doing well and a former Governor letís call him Henri is the only threat to Victorís chances. Two weeks before the elections, the other two candidates drop out, turning their votes to Henri. Victor wins easily with 56.2% of the vote with Henri a distant second with 39.97%. The rest donít even count. Victor celebrates his victory as crowds gather to cheer him. Seems like a happy ending.

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