This post is not about the obviously false claim that someone whose name appears on a foundational paper regarding mRNA vaccines had something to do with the invention of mRNA vaccines. (See also Nature‘s history of mRNA vaccines, which devotes the first three paragraphs to the now-unpersoned Malone and mentions his name 27 times.) It is rather about the possibility that our family could get free Internet rather than handing over $780 per year to AT&T for gigabit fiber! Of course, I clicked on the ad (landing page):
If it’s “free” then I assume it is paid for by taxpayers. What does Comcast say about this taxpayer-funded program?
“a longer-term replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.” So the temporary emergency government program (#BecauseCOVID) has morphed into a permanent entitlement. The FCC explains this:
It’s not the government taking $14 billion every year from one set of residents of the U.S. and using it to pay whatever Comcast and the, ahem, competitors are charging another set of residents. It is instead an “investment in broadband affordability,” implying that broadband prices for Americans who haven’t been organized enough to get into the welfare system might start coming down to European rates.
I will have to revise my standard description of what a low-skill or elderly/infirm immigrant to the U.S. can expect to receive from existing taxpayers. Before it was free housing, free health care (Medicaid), free food (SNAP/EBT), and free smartphone (Obamaphone). The FCC explains eligibility for this new permanent entitlement:
If you’re on SNAP or Medicaid, in other words, you’re seamlessly eligible for free home broadband connection. So now it is free housing, health care, food, smartphone, and broadband.
(Speaking of Medicaid, remember that April is Medicaid Awareness Month!)
Circling back to the Xfinity ad landing page, here’s the final picture of someone in a household that might benefit:
Taken together, these three pictures have me wondering if we should try to go on welfare so that we’d finally be living in a clean clutter-free house!
- “Did Milton Friedman say that nothing was so permanent as a temporary government program?” (Answer: Yes, but it may have come from Lord Palmerston)
- “Statement by President Biden Extending the Pause on Student Loan Repayment Through August 31st, 2022” (whitehouse.gov); due to a series of extensions of a temporary emergency policy, nobody has had to make any federal student loan payments nor incur any interest for more than 2 years (cost to working class taxpayers with no college degrees: $100 billion)