31 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for March 10, 2013
====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2013 09:44:12 -0800 (PST) From: Joseph Singer <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Smart Phones (sic) smartphones Message-ID: <1362851052.46888.YahooMailClassic@web121902.mail.ne1.yahoo.com> Tue, 05 Mar 2013 Rich Braun wrote: > Sometime last year a major news organization (I think it was ABC) > announced that the build cost of an iPhone is US$8, which if true > means the markup is over 98% of the inflated price. Last week's Time > magazine devoted its entire news section to a single 24,000-word > piece about the so-called chargemaster, which is the computerized > price list used by hospitals to compute bills. I'm not sure why you think this is so surprising. Lots of things cost a fraction of what you pay for them and you don't give a second thought. Do you take this same attitude when you go to a restaurant and pay $5 at IHOP for three eggs on a piece of toast or get charged $4.50 for a latte at Starbuck's? Lots of businesses charge a significant markup over what an item costs. Not only do they have other costs than the actual physical cost of the product being offered, [but those] other costs go into providing it to you, [and] the vendor has to factor that into it. Businesses for the most part are in business to make profits and profits are made by marking up the cost of a product. Granted some of it is just opportunistic greed such as what hospitals charge astronomical amounts for procedures and only make those charges assuming that insurance will pick up the charge so they inflate the charge as high as they can get away with.
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2013 21:24:08 -0500 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Smart Phones (sic) smartphones Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Sat, 9 Mar 2013 09:44:12 -0800 (PST), Joseph Singer wrote: > Do you take this same attitude when you ... get charged > $4.50 for a latte at Starbuck's? ... Absolutely. I remember that the most expensive teabag I have at home cost me well under $.05, so I wait to quench my thirst 'til I'm back home again. :-) . Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2013 00:01:45 -0500 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Re: Smart Phones (Atlas Shrugged) Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 10:34:31 -0700, email@example.com wrote: > ... when there is no more achievement, where will the looters get > their loot? Some have maintained that the "looters", the "achievers", and those referred to lately as "the 1%" -- are all one, their prime achievement being the ability to loot creatively, unrestrainedly and without penalty. (Think of what a recent issue of Time described as many hospitals' "chargemaster" tables of fees for services, supplies, and procedures.) Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2013 23:16:12 +0000 (UTC) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Garrett Wollman) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Re: Smart Phones (Atlas Shrugged) Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >> If you ever find a socialist economy, let me know and I'll be glad to >> look at it further. AFAICT, all the governments that call themselves >> "Socialist" are really something else. > > Really? I guess socialist is a word that means different things to >different people. > > To me, it means that the government provides for you and runs your >life, just the opposite of freedom. To Marx, it meant that the state owned the means of production, and determined what goods and services would be provided and at what price (relative to workers' wages). (It turns out that this is a computationally intractable problem, but Marx had no way of knowing that, since the notion of computational complexity wasn't even formalized until nearly a hundred years later.) In today's modern economy, socialism is nearly nonexistent (Cuba and North Korea are the main exceptions, and Cuba is inching away from that model); "state capitalism", in which the government buys an ownership interest in private firms in order to provide itself some economic benefit (usually related to employment) is somewhat more common, and seen throughout the world, notably in most of Europe, the Middle East, and China. But many other countries, particularly in the Anglosphere, followed Mrs. Thatcher's example and privatized their inefficient state-owned industrial concerns -- notably for this newsgroup including their old-line PTT monopolies. > After all of the junk literature they made me read in undergraduate >programs, I don't understand why they didn't require this as reading. Because it's utter twaddle: poorly written, poorly conceived propaganda for a particular now-discredited view of political economy. (It wasn't yet discredited at the time that Rand first published it, and of course there's a small but dedicated cadre who still believe in it today.) Oh, and it's morally bankrupt as well, according to the teachings of most of the world's major religions. > Most of that comes from the far left who are terrified by the >message of Atlas Shrugged. No, they just have a different understanding of economics. (On the "far left", at least, an equally discredited one -- for many of the same reasons, it turns out -- but that's an equally tiny group of people. -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft email@example.com| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
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