Anecdotal evidence, at least, affirms that the laws of supply and demand still prevail over politics. I, for one, am relieved.
Kip Esquire recently asked, “Whatever happened to municipal wi-fi?” which like most feel-good political moves, designed to give everybody something for nothing, seems to have dropped off everyone’s radar. This made me think about our own, local initiative, to provide Wi-Fi free to everyone in Oakland County., an initiative that I opposed from day one. Why, for instance, is one of the wealthiest counties in the country providing “free” anything to anyone.
In any event, after about a year and a half of piloting the program in several municipalities where coverage was spotty at best, the officials finally pulled the plug on Wireless Oakland in June of 2008. Apparently, amidst the economic turmoil, the company providing the service & infrastructure has had difficulty obtaining financing.
Oakland County’s press release states that they intend to re-implement the program as soon as it is possible, and that the program was a success:
Forty-six million minutes of free internet have been consumed in the Phase One deployment since March 2007. These results far exceed the original business model projections.
When a good or service is priced below its market-equilibrium price (the price at which quantity supplied = quantity demanded) there will invariably be an excess of demand over supply. This is elementary economics.
The trusted, elected officials couldn’t bother to know, or to understand this fairly simple and straightforward principle. Or in the worst-case, they knew it, but willfully ignored it. In either case, they’re unfit to govern.