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Time Warner Broadband Cap Trial Rescheduled In Texas

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the dump-their-tea-in-the-gulf dept.

The Almighty Buck 353

jcrousedotcom writes "Time Warner cable apparently has heard that folks aren't too happy with their plan to meter their unlimited connections. From the first paragraph of the article: 'Time Warner Cable's proposed trials of consumption-based billing were originally slated to begin in several markets this summer, where customers would be a part of a tiered pricing scheme. Pricing would have started at 1 GB per month for $15, and go up to 100 GB per month for $75, and include a per-gigabyte overage fee. The public's reaction was less than favorable, and the trials in Texas have been rescheduled.'"

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Tea Party (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590131)

For twelve years, you have been asking: Who is John Galt? This is John Galt speaking. I am the man who loves his life. I am the man who does not sacrifice his love or his values. I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world, and if you wish to know why you are perishing-you who dread knowledge-I am the man who will now tell you.' The chief engineer was the only one able to move; he ran to a television set and struggled frantically with its dials. But the screen remained empty; the speaker had not chosen to be seen. Only his voice filled the airways of the country-of the world, thought the chief engineer-sounding as if he were speaking here, in this room, not to a group, but to one man; it was not the tone of addressing a meeting, but the tone of addressing a mind.

"You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning. You have cried that man's sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the cause of your plight. You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty.

"You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in horror from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection. You have fought for it, you have dreamed of it, and you have wished it, and I-I am the man who has granted you your wish.

"Your ideal had an implacable enemy, which your code of morality was designed to destroy. I have withdrawn that enemy. I have taken it out of your way and out of your reach. I have removed the source of all those evils you were sacrificing one by one. I have ended your battle. I have stopped your motor. I have deprived your world of man's mind.

"Men do not live by the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those who do. The mind is impotent, you say? I have withdrawn those whose mind isn't. There are values higher than the mind, you say? I have withdrawn those for whom there aren't.

"While you were dragging to your sacrificial altars the men of justice, of independence, of reason, of wealth, of self-esteem-I beat you to it, I reached them first. I told them the nature of the game you were playing and the nature of that moral code of yours, which they had been too innocently generous to grasp. I showed them the way to live by another morality-mine. It is mine that they chose to follow.

"All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. Do not attempt to find us. We do not choose to be found. Do not cry that it is our duty to serve you. We do not recognize such duty. Do not cry that you need us. We do not consider need a claim. Do not cry that you own us. You don't. Do not beg us to return. We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.

"We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.

"There is a difference between our strike and all those you've practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer. We are only an illusion, according to your philosophy. We have chosen not to blind you any longer and have left you free to face reality-the reality you wanted, the world as you see it now, a world without mind.

"We have granted you everything you demanded of us, we who had always been the givers, but have only now understood it. We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.

"Are you now crying: No, this was not what you wanted? A mindless world of ruins was not your goal? You did not want us to leave you? You moral cannibals, I know that you've always known what it was that you wanted. But your game is up, because now we know it, too.

"Through centuries of scourges and disasters, brought about by your code of morality, you have cried that your code had been broken, that the scourges were punishment for breaking it, that men were too weak and too selfish to spill all the blood it required. You damned man, you damned existence, you damned this earth, but never dared to question your code. Your victims took the blame and struggled on, with your curses as reward for their martyrdom-while you went on crying that your code was noble, but human nature was not good enough to practice it. And no one rose to ask the question: Good?-by what standard?

"You wanted to know John Galt's identity. I am the man who has asked that question.

"Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. Yes, you are bearing punishment for your evil. But it is not man who is now on trial and it is not human nature that will take the blame. It is your moral code that's through, this time. Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality-you who have never known any-but to discover it.

"You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social. You have been taught that morality is a code of behavior imposed on you by whim, the whim of a supernatural power or the whim of society, to serve God's purpose or your neighbor's welfare, to please an authority beyond the grave or else next door-but not to serve your life or pleasure. Your pleasure, you have been taught, is to be found in immorality, your interests would best be served by evil, and any moral code must be designed not for you, but against you, not to further your life, but to drain it.

"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors-between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.

"Both sides agreed that morality demands the surrender of your self-interest and of your mind, that the moral and the practical are opposites, that morality is not the province of reason, but the province of faith and force. Both sides agreed that no rational morality is possible, that there is no right or wrong in reason-that in reason there's no reason to be moral.

"Whatever else they fought about, it was against man's mind that all your moralists have stood united. It was man's mind that all their schemes and systems were intended to despoil and destroy. Now choose to perish or to learn that the anti-mind is the anti-life.

"Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch-or build a cyclotron-without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think.

"But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call 'human nature,' the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival-so that for you, who are a human being, the question 'to be or not to be' is the question 'to' think or not to think.'

"A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behavior. He needs a code of values to guide his actions. 'Value' is that which one acts to gain and keep, 'virtue' is the action by which one gains and keeps it. 'Value' presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? 'Value' presupposes a standard, a purpose and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative. Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.

"There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence-and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms. The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not; it depends on a specific course of action. Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist. It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of self-sustaining and-self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action, it does; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence. It is only the concept of 'Life' that makes the concept of 'Value' possible. It is only to a living entity that things can be good or evil.

"A plant must feed itself in order to live; the sunlight, the water, the chemicals it needs are the values its nature has set it to pursue; its life is the standard of value directing its actions. But a plant has no choice of action; there are alternatives in the conditions it encounters, but there is no alternative in its function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction.

"An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; its senses provide it with an automatic code of action, an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it. In conditions where its knowledge proves inadequate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety and no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and act as its own destroyer.

"Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires. Are you prattling about an instinct of self-preservation? An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An 'instinct' is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living. And even man's desire to live is not automatic: your secret evil today is that that is the desire you do not hold. Your fear of death is not a love of life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it. Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him t9 perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer-and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.

"A living entity that regarded its means of survival as evil, would not survive. A plant that struggled to mangle its roots, a bird that fought to break its wings would not remain for long in the existence they affronted. But the history of man has been a struggle to deny and to destroy his mind.

"Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice-and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man-by choice; he has to hold his life as a value-by choice: he has to learn to sustain it-by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues-by choice.

"A code of values accepted by choice is a code of morality.

"Whoever you are, you who are hearing me now, I am speaking to whatever living remnant is left uncorrupted within you, to the remnant of the human, to your mind, and I say: There is a morality of reason, a morality proper to man, and Man's Life is its standard of value.

"All that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; all that which destroys it is the evil.

"Man's life, as required by his nature, is not the life of a mindless brute, of a looting thug or a mooching mystic, but the life of a thinking being-not life by means of force or fraud, but life by means of achievement-not survival at any price, since there's only one price that pays for man's survival: reason.

"Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose. If existence on earth is your goal, you must choose your actions and values by the standard of that which is proper to man-for the purpose of preserving, fulfilling and enjoying the irreplaceable value which is your life.

"Since life requires a specific course of action, any other course will destroy it. A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is acting on the motive and standard of death. Such a being is a metaphysical monstrosity, struggling to oppose, negate and contradict the fact of his own existence, running blindly amuck on a trail of destruction, capable of nothing but pain.

"Happiness is the successful state of life, pain is an agent of death. Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values. A morality that dares to tell you to find happiness in the renunciation of your happiness-to value the failure of your values-is an insolent negation of morality. A doctrine that gives you, as an ideal, the role of a sacrificial animal seeking slaughter on the altars of others, is giving you death as your standard. By the grace of reality and the nature of life, man-every man-is an end in himself, he exists for his own sake, and the achievement of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose.

"But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.

"Sweep aside those parasites of subsidized classrooms, who live on the profits of the mind of others and proclaim that man needs no morality, no values, no code of behavior. They, who pose as scientists and claim that man is only an animal, do not grant him inclusion in the law of existence they have granted to the lowest of insects. They recognize that every living species has a way of survival demanded by its nature, they do not claim that a fish can live out of water or that a dog can live without its sense of smell-but man, they claim, the most complex of beings, man can survive in any way whatever, man has no identity, no nature, and there's no practical reason why he cannot live with his means of survival destroyed, with his mind throttled and placed at the disposal of any orders they might care to issue.

"Sweep aside those hatred-eaten mystics, who pose as friends of humanity and preach that the highest virtue man can practice is to hold his own life as of no value. Do they tell you that the purpose of morality is to curb man's instinct of self-preservation? It is for the purpose of self-preservation that man needs a code of morality. The only man who desires to be moral is the man who desires to live.

"No, you do not have to live; it is your basic act of choice; but if you choose to live,. you must live as a man-by the work and the judgment of your mind.

"No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else-and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction.

"No, you do not have to think; it is an act of moral choice. But someone had to think to keep you alive; if you choose to default, you default on existence and you pass the deficit to some moral man, expecting him to sacrifice his good for the sake of letting you survive by your evil.

"No, you do not have to be a man; but today those who are, are not there any longer. I have removed your means of survival-your victims.

"If you wish to know how I have done it and what I told them to make them quit, you are hearing it now. I told them, in essence, the statement I am making tonight. They were men who had lived by my code, but had not known how great a virtue it represented. I made them see it. I brought them, not a re-evaluation, but only an identification of their values.

"We, the men of the mind, are now on strike against you in the name of a single axiom, which is the root of our moral code, just as the root of yours is the wish to escape it: the axiom that existence exists.

"Existence exists-and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

"If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.

"Whatever the degree of your knowledge, these two-existence and consciousness-are axioms you cannot escape, these two are the irreducible primaries implied in any action you undertake, in any part of your knowledge and in its sum, from the first ray of light you perceive at the start of your life to the widest erudition you might acquire at its end. Whether you know the shape of a pebble or the structure of a solar system, the axioms remain the same: that it exists and that you know it.

"To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, the man who was-no matter what his errors-the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.

"Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A. Or, if you wish it stated in simpler language: You cannot have your cake and eat it, too.

"Are you seeking to know what is wrong with the world? All the disasters that have wrecked your world, came from your leaders' attempt to evade the fact that A is A. All the secret evil you dread to face within you and all the pain you have ever endured, came from your own attempt to evade the fact that A is A. The purpose of those who taught you to evade it, was to make you forget that Man is Man.

"Man cannot survive except by gaining knowledge, and reason is his only means to gain it. Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of identifying it belongs to his reason, his senses tell him only that something is, but what it is must be learned by his mind.

"All thinking is a process of identification and integration. Man perceives a blob of color; by integrating the evidence of his sight and his touch, he learns to identify it as a solid object; he learns to identify the object as a table; he learns that the table is made of wood; he learns that the wood consists of cells, that the cells consist of molecules, that the molecules consist of atoms. All through this process, the work of his mind consists of answers to a single question: What is it? His means to establish the truth of his answers is logic, and logic rests on the axiom that existence exists. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one's thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.

"Reality is that which exists; the unreal does not exist; the unreal is merely that negation of existence which is the content of a human consciousness when it attempts to abandon reason. Truth is the recognition of reality; reason, man's only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth.

"The most depraved sentence you can now utter is to ask: Whose reason? The answer is: Yours. No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it. It is only with your own knowledge that you can deal. It is only your own knowledge that you can claim to possess or ask others to consider. Your mind is your only judge of truth-and if others dissent from your verdict, reality is the court of final appeal. Nothing but a man's mind can perform that complex, delicate, crucial process of identification which is thinking. Nothing can direct the process but his own judgment. Nothing can direct his judgment but his moral integrity.

"You who speak of a 'moral instinct' as if it were some separate endowment opposed to reason-man's reason is his moral faculty. A process of reason is a process of constant choice in answer to the question: True or False?-Right or Wrong? Is a seed to be planted in soil in order to grow-right or wrong? Is a man's wound to be disinfected in order to save his life-right or wrong? Does the nature of atmospheric electricity permit it to be converted into kinetic power-right or wrong? It is the answers to such questions that gave you everything you have-and the answers came from a man's mind, a mind of intransigent devotion to that which is right.

"A rational process is a moral process. You may make an error at any step of it, with nothing to protect you but your own severity, or you may try to cheat, to fake the evidence and evade the effort of the quest-but if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.

"That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call 'free will' is your mind's freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.

"Thinking is man's only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed. And his basic vice, the source of all his evils, is that nameless act which all of you practice, but struggle never to admit: the act of blanking out, the willful suspension of one's consciousness, the refusal to think-not blindness, but the refusal to see; not ignorance, but the refusal to know. It is the act of unfocusing your mind and inducing an inner fog to escape the responsibility of judgment-on the unstated premise that a thing will not exist if only you refuse to identify it, that A will not be A so long as you do not pronounce the verdict 'It is.' Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence, an attempt to wipe out reality. But existence exists; reality is not to be wiped out, it will merely wipe out the wiper. By refusing to say 'It is,' you are refusing to say 'I am.' By suspending your judgment, you are negating your person. When a man declares: 'Who am I to know?'-he is declaring: 'Who am I to live?'

"This, in every hour and every issue, is your basic moral choice: thinking or non-thinking, existence or non-existence, A or non-A, entity or zero.

"To the extent to which a man is rational, life is the premise directing his actions. To the extent to which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death.

"You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island-it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim, when there are no victims to pay for it, that a rock is a house, that sand is clothing, that food will drop into his mouth without cause or effort, that he will collect a harvest tomorrow by devouring his stock seed today-and reality will wipe him out, as he deserves; reality will show him that life is a value to be bought and that thinking is the only coin noble enough to buy it.

"If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man's only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.

"My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists-and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: Reason-Purpose-Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge-Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve-Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.

"Rationality is the recognition of the fact that existence exists, that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it, which is thinking-that the mind is one's only judge of values and one's only guide of action-that reason is an absolute that permits no compromise-that a concession to the irrational invalidates one's consciousness and turns it from the task of perceiving to the task of faking reality-that the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind-that the acceptance of a mystical invention is a wish for the annihilation of existence and, properly, annihilates one's consciousness.

"Independence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgment and nothing can help you escape it-that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life-that the vilest form of self-abasement and self-destruction is the subordination of your mind to the mind of another, the acceptance of an authority over your brain, the acceptance of his assertions as facts, his say-so as truth, his edicts as middle-man between your consciousness and your existence.

"Integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness, just as honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence-that man is an indivisible entity, an integrated unit of two attributes: of matter and consciousness, and that he may permit no breach between body and mind, between action and thought, between his life and his convictions-that, like a judge impervious to public opinion, he may not sacrifice his convictions to the wishes of others, be it the whole of mankind shouting pleas or threats against him-that courage and confidence are practical necessities, that courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to one's own consciousness.

"Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud-that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness become the enemies you have to dread and flee-that you do not care to live as a dependent, least of all a dependent on the stupidity of others, or as a fool whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling-that honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice: his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others.

"Justice is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that you must judge all men as conscientiously as you judge inanimate objects, with the same respect for truth, with the same incorruptible vision, by as pure and as rational a process of identification-that every man must be judged for what he is and treated accordingly, that just as you do not pay a higher price for a rusty chunk of scrap than for a piece of shining metal, so you do not value a totter above a hero-that your moral appraisal is the coin paying men for their virtues or vices, and this payment demands of you as scrupulous an honor as you bring to financial transactions-that to withhold your contempt from men's vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral embezzlement-that to place any other concern higher than justice is to devaluate your moral currency and defraud the good in favor of the evil, since only the good can lose by a default of justice and only the evil can profit-and that the bottom of the pit at the end of that road, the act of moral bankruptcy, is to punish men for their virtues and reward them for their vices, that that is the collapse to full depravity, the Black Mass of the worship of death, the dedication of your consciousness to the destruction of existence.

"Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live-that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values-that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others- that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human-that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay-that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live-that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road-that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up-that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.

"Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man's values, it has to be earned-that of any achievements open to you, the one that makes all others possible is the creation of your own character-that your character, your actions, your desires, your emotions are the products of the premises held by your mind-that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth sustaining-that as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul-that to live requires a sense of self-value, but man, who has no automatic values, has no automatic sense of self-esteem and must earn it by shaping his soul in the image of his moral ideal, in the image of Man, the rational being he is born able to create, but must create by choice-that the first precondition of self-esteem is that radiant selfishness of soul which desires the best in all things, in values of matter and spirit, a soul that seeks above all else to achieve its own moral perfection, valuing nothing higher than itself-and that the proof of an achieved self-esteem is your soul's shudder of contempt and rebellion against the role of a sacrificial animal, against the vile impertinence of any creed that proposes to immolate the irreplaceable value which is your consciousness and the incomparable glory which is your existence to the blind evasions and the stagnant decay of others.

"Are you beginning to see who is John Galt? I am the man who has earned the thing you did not fight for, the thing you have renounced, betrayed, corrupted, yet were unable fully to destroy and are now hiding as your guilty secret, spending your life in apologies to every professional cannibal, lest it be discovered that somewhere within you, you still long to say what I am now saying to the hearing of the whole of mankind: I am proud of my own value and of the fact that I wish to live.

"This wish-which you share, yet submerge as an evil-is the only remnant of the good within you, but it is a wish one must learn to deserve. His own happiness is man's only moral purpose, but only his own virtue can achieve it. Virtue is not an end in itself. Virtue is not its own reward or sacrificial fodder for the reward of evil. Life is the reward of virtue-and happiness is the goal and the reward of life.

"Just as your body has two fundamental sensations, pleasure and pain, as signs of its welfare or injury, as a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death, so your consciousness has two fundamental emotions, joy and suffering, in answer to the same alternative. Your emotions are estimates of that which furthers your life or threatens it, lightning calculators giving you a sum of your profit or loss. You have no choice about your capacity to feel that something is good for you or evil, but what you will consider good or evil, what will give you joy or pain, what you will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on your standard of value. Emotions are inherent in your nature, but their content is dictated by your mind. Your emotional capacity is an empty motor, and your values are the fuel with which your mind fills it. If you choose a mix of contradictions, it will clog your motor, corrode your transmission and wreck you on your first attempt to move with a machine which you, the driver, have corrupted.

"If you hold the irrational as your standard of value and the impossible as your concept of the good, if you long for rewards you have not earned, for a fortune, or a love you don't deserve, for a loophole in the law of causality, for an A that becomes non-A at your whim, if you desire the opposite of existence-you will reach it. Do not cry, when you reach it, that life is frustration and that happiness is impossible to man; check your fuel: it brought you where you wanted to go.

"Happiness is not to be achieved at the command of emotional whims. Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to indulge. Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy-a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.

"Just as I support my life, neither by robbery nor alms, but by my own effort, so I do not seek to derive my happiness from the injury or the favor of others, but earn it by my own achievement. Just as I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of others. Just as there are no contradictions in my values and no conflicts among my desires-so there are no victims and no conflicts of interest among rational men, men who do not desire the unearned and do not view one another with a cannibal's lust, men who neither make sacrifice nor accept them.

"The symbol of all relationships among such men, the moral symbol of respect for human beings, is the trader. We, who live by values, not by loot, are traders, both in matter and in spirit. A trader is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved. A trader does not ask to be paid for his failures, nor does he ask to be loved for his flaws. A trader does not squander his body as fodder or his soul as alms. Just as he does not give his work except in trade for material values, so he does not give the values of his spirit-his love, his friendship, his esteem-except in payment and in trade for human virtues, in payment for his own selfish pleasure, which he receives from men he can respect. The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread-a man of justice.

"Do you ask what moral obligation I owe to my fellow men? None-except the obligation I owe to myself, to material objects and to all of existence: rationality. I deal with men as my nature and their demands: by means of reason. I seek or desire nothing from them except such relations as they care to enter of their own voluntary choice. It is only with their mind that I can deal and only for my own self-interest, when they see that my interest coincides with theirs. When they don't, I enter no relationship; I let dissenters go their way and I do not swerve from mine. I win by means of nothing but logic and I surrender to nothing but logic. I do not surrender my reason or deal with men who surrender theirs. I have nothing to gain from fools or cowards; I have no benefits to seek from human vices: from stupidity, dishonesty or fear. The only value men can offer me is the work of their mind. When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit.

"Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate-do you hear me? no man may start-the use of physical force against others.

"To interpose the threat of physical destruction between a man and his perception of reality, is to negate and paralyze his means of survival; to force-him to act against his own judgment, is like forcing him to act against his own sight. Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man's capacity to live.

"Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind. Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason-as no advocate of contradictions can claim it. There can be no 'right' to destroy the source of rights, the only means of judging right and wrong: the mind.

"To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument-is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment: you threaten him with death if he does. You place him into a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life-and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.

"Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: 'Your money or your life,' or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: 'Your children's education or your life,' the meaning of that ultimatum is: 'Your mind or your life'-and neither is possible to man without the other.

"If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind. That is the moral absolute one does not leave open to debate. I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason. I do not enter discussions with neighbors who think they can forbid me to think. I do not place my moral sanction upon a murderer's wish to kill me. When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him-by force.

"It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction. A holdup man seeks to gain wealth by killing me; I do not grow richer by killing a holdup man. I seek no values by means of evil, nor do I surrender my values to evil.

"In the name of all the producers who had kept you alive and received your death ultimatums in payment, I now answer you with a single ultimatum of our own: Our work or your guns. You can choose either; you can't have both. We do not initiate the use of force against others or submit to force at their hands. If you desire ever again to live in an industrial society, it Will be on our moral terms. Our terms and our motive power are the antithesis of yours. You have been using fear as your weapon and have been bringing death to man as his punishment for rejecting your morality. We offer him life as his reward for accepting ours.

"You who are worshippers of the zero-you have never discovered that achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Joy is not 'the absence of pain,' intelligence is not 'the absence of stupidity,' light is not 'the absence of darkness,' an entity is not 'the absence of a nonentity.' Building is not done by abstaining from demolition; centuries of sitting and waiting in such abstinence will not raise one single girder for you to abstain from demolishing-and now you can no longer say to me, the builder: 'Produce, and feed us in exchange for our not destroying your production.' I am answering in the name of all your victims: Perish with and in your own void. Existence is not a negation of negatives. Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation, evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us. Perish, because we have learned that a zero cannot hold a mortgage over life.

"You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.

"You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power-and secretly add that fear is the more 'practical'-you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned. You dart in panic through the trap of your days, looking for the exit you have closed, running from a pursuer you dare not name to a terror you dare not acknowledge, and the greater your terror the greater your dread of the only act that could save you: thinking. The purpose of your struggle is not to know, not to grasp or name or hear the thing. I shall now state to your hearing: that yours is the Morality of Death.

"Death is the standard of your values, death is your chosen goal, and you have to keep running, since there is no escape from the pursuer who is out to destroy you or from the knowledge that that pursuer is yourself. Stop running, for once-there is no place to run-stand naked, as you dread to stand, but as I see you, and take a look at what you dared to call a moral code.

"Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.

"It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him-it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.

"The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin.

"A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.

"Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.

"What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge-he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil-he became a mortal being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor-he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire-he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness; joy-all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was-that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love-he was not man.

"Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives.

"They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man. No, they say, they do not preach that man is evil, the evil is only that alien object: his body. No, they say, they do not wish to kill him, they only wish to make him lose his body. They seek to help him, they say, against his pain-and they point at the torture rack to which they've tied him, the rack with two wheels that pull him in opposite directions, the rack of the doctrine that splits his soul and body.

"They have cut man in two, setting one half against the other. They have taught him that his body and his consciousness are two enemies engaged in deadly conflict, two antagonists of opposite natures, contradictory claims, incompatible needs, that to benefit one is to injure the other, that his soul belongs to a supernatural realm, but his body is an evil prison holding it in bondage to this earth-and that the good is to defeat his body, to undermine it by years of patient struggle, digging his way to that gorgeous jail-break which leads into the freedom of the grave.

"They have taught man that he is a hopeless misfit made of two elements, both symbols of death. A body without a soul is a corpse, a soul without a body is a ghost-yet such is their image of man's nature: the battleground of a struggle between a corpse and a ghost, a corpse endowed with some evil volition of its own and a ghost endowed with the knowledge that everything known to man is nonexistent, that only the unknowable exists.

"Do you observe what human faculty that' doctrine was designed to ignore? It was man's mind that had to be negated in order to make him fall apart. Once he surrendered reason, he was left at the mercy of two monsters whom he could not fathom or control: of a body moved by unaccountable instincts and of a soul moved by mystic revelations-he was left as the passively ravaged victim of a battle between a robot and a dictaphone.

"And as he now crawls through the wreckage, groping blindly for a way to live, your teachers offer him the help of a morality that proclaims that he'll find no solution and must seek no fulfillment on earth. Real existence, they tell him, is that which he cannot perceive, true consciousness is the faculty of perceiving the non-existent-and if he is unable to understand it, that is the proof that his existence is evil and his consciousness impotent.

"As products of the split between man's soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness. Both demand the surrender of your mind, one to their revelation, the other to their reflexes. No matter how loudly they posture in the roles of irreconcilable antagonists, their moral codes are alike, and so are their aims: in matter-the enslavement of man's body, in spirit-the destruction of his mind.

"The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive-a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society-a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself. Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man's mind, say the mystics of muscle, must be subordinated to the will of Society. Man's standard of value say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure 0f God, whose standards are beyond man's power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. Man's standard of value, say the mystics of muscle, is the pleasure of Society, whose standards are beyond man's right of judgment and must be obeyed as a primary absolute. The purpose of man's life, say both, is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question. His reward, say the mystics of spirit, will be given to him beyond the grave. His reward, say the mystics of muscle, will be given on earth-to his great-grandchildren.

"Selfishness-say both-is man's evil. Man's good-say both-is to give up his personal desires, to deny himself, renounce himself, surrender; man's good is to negate the life he lives. Sacrifice-cry both-is the essence of morality, the highest virtue within man's reach.

"Whoever is now within reach of my voice, whoever is man the victim, not man the killer, I am speaking at the deathbed of your mind, at the brink of that darkness in which you're drowning, and if there still remains within you the power to struggle to hold on to those fading sparks which had been yourself-use it now. The word that has destroyed you is 'sacrifice.' Use the last of your strength to understand its meaning. You're still alive. You have a chance.

"'Sacrifice' does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. 'Sacrifice' does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. 'Sacrifice' is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don't.

"If you exchange a penny for a dollar, it is not a sacrifice; if you exchange a dollar for a penny, it is. If you achieve the career you wanted, after years of struggle, it is not a sacrifice; if you then renounce it for the sake of a rival, it is. If you own a bottle of milk and gave it to your starving child, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to your neighbor's child and let your own die, it is.

"If you give money to help a friend, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to a worthless stranger, it is. If you give your friend a sum you can afford, it is not a sacrifice; if you give him money at the cost of your own discomfort, it is only a partial virtue, according to this sort of moral standard; if you give him money at the cost of disaster to yourself that is the virtue of sacrifice in full.

"If you renounce all personal desire and dedicate your life to those you love, you do not achieve full virtue: you still retain a value of your own, which is your love. If you devote your life to random strangers, it is an act of greater virtue. If you devote your life to serving men you hate-that is the greatest of the virtues you can practice.

"A sacrifice is the surrender of a value. Full sacrifice is full surrender of all values. If you wish to achieve full virtue, you must seek no gratitude in return for your sacrifice, no praise, no love, no admiration, no self-esteem, not even the pride of being virtuous; the faintest trace of any gain dilutes your virtue. If you pursue a course of action that does not taint your life by any joy, that brings you no value in matter, no value in spirit, no gain, no profit, no reward-if you achieve this state of total zero, you have achieved the ideal of moral perfection.

"You are told that moral perfection is impossible to man-and, by this standard, it is. You cannot achieve it so long as you live, but the value of your life and of your person is gauged by how closely you succeed in approaching that ideal zero which is death.

"If you start, however, as a passionless blank, as a vegetable seeking to be eaten, with no values to reject and no wishes to renounce, you will not win the crown of sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice to renounce the unwanted. It is not a sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice to give your life for others, if death is your personal desire. To achieve the virtue of sacrifice, you must want to live, you must love it, you must burn with passion for this earth and for all the splendor it can give you-you must feel the twist of every knife as it slashes your desires away from your reach and drains your love out of your body, It is not mere death that the morality of sacrifice holds out to you as an ideal, but death by slow torture.

"Do not remind me that it pertains only to this life on earth. I am concerned with no other. Neither are you.

"If you wish to save the last of your dignity, do not call your best actions a 'sacrifice': that term brands you as immoral. If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty. If a man dies fighting for his own freedom, it is not a sacrifice: he is not willing to live as a slave; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of man who's willing. If a man refuses to sell his convictions, it is not a sacrifice, unless he is the sort of man who has no convictions.

"Sacrifice could be proper only for those who have nothing to sacrifice-no values, no standards, no judgment-those whose desires are irrational whims, blindly conceived and lightly surrendered. For a man of moral stature, whose desires are born of rational values, sacrifice is the surrender of the right to the wrong, of the good to the evil.

"The creed of sacrifice is a morality for the immoral-a morality that declares its own bankruptcy by confessing that it can't impart to men any personal stake in virtues or value, and that their souls are sewers of depravity, which they must be taught to sacrifice. By his own confession, it is impotent to teach men to be good and can only subject them to constant punishment.

"Are you thinking, in some foggy stupor, that it's only material values that your morality requires you to sacrifice? And what do you think are material values? Matter has no value except as a means for the satisfaction of human desires. Matter is only a tool of human values. To what service are you asked to give the material tools your virtue has produced? To the service of that which you regard as evil: to a principle you do not share, to a person you do not respect, to the achievement of a purpose opposed to your own-else your gift is not a sacrifice.

"Your morality tells you to renounce the material world and to divorce your values from matter. A man whose values are given no expression in material form, whose existence is unrelated to his ideals, whose actions contradict his convictions, is a cheap little hypocrite-yet that is the man who obeys your morality and divorces his values from matter. The man who loves one woman, but sleeps with another-the man who admires the talent of a worker, but hires another-the man who considers one cause to be just, but donates his money to the support of another-the man who holds high standards of craftsmanship, but devotes his effort to the production of trash-these are the men who have renounced matter, the men who believe that the values of their spirit cannot be brought into material reality.

"Do you say it is the spirit that such men have renounced? Yes, of course. You cannot have one without the other. You are an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness. Renounce your consciousness and you become a brute. Renounce your body and you become a fake. Renounce the material world and you surrender it to evil.

"And that is precisely the goal of your morality, the duty that your code demands of you. Give to that which you do not enjoy, serve that which you do not admire, submit to that which you consider evil-surrender the world to the values of others, deny, reject, renounce your self. Your self is your mind; renounce it and you become a chunk of meat ready for any cannibal to swallow.

"It is your mind that they want you to surrender-all those who preach the creed of sacrifice, whatever their tags or their motives, whether they demand it for the sake of your soul or of your body, whether they promise you another life in heaven or a full stomach on this earth. Those who start by saying: 'It is selfish to pursue your own wishes, you must sacrifice them to the wishes of others'-end up by saying: 'It is selfish to uphold your convictions, you must sacrifice them to the convictions of others.

"This much is true: the most selfish of all things is the independent mind that recognizes no authority higher than its own and no value higher than its judgment of truth. You are asked to sacrifice your intellectual integrity, your logic, your reason, your standard of truth-in favor of becoming a prostitute whose standard is the greatest good for the greatest number.

"If you search your code for guidance, for an answer to the question: 'What is the good?'-the only answer you will find is 'The good of others.' The good is whatever others wish, whatever you feel they feel they wish, or whatever you feel they ought to feel. 'The good of others' is a magic formula that transforms anything into gold, a formula to be recited as a guarantee of moral glory and as a fumigator for any action, even the slaughter of a continent. Your standard of virtue is not an object, not an act, not a principle, but an intention. You need no proof, no reasons, no success, you need not achieve in fact the good of others-all you need to know is that your motive was the good of others, not your own. Your only definition of the good is a negation: the good is the 'non-good for me.'

"Your code-which boasts that it upholds eternal, absolute, objective moral values and scorns the conditional, the relative and the subjective-your code hands out, as its version of the absolute, the following rule of moral conduct: If you wish it, it's evil; if others wish it, it's good; if the motive of your action is your welfare, don't do it; if the motive is the welfare of others, then anything goes.

"As this double-jointed, double-standard morality splits you in half, so it splits mankind into two enemy camps: one is you, the other is all the rest of humanity. You are the only outcast who has no right to wish to live. You are the only servant, the rest are the masters, you are the only giver, the rest are the takers, you are the eternal debtor, the rest are the creditors never to be paid off. You must not question their right to your sacrifice, or the nature of their wishes and their needs: their right is conferred upon them by a negative, by the fact that they are 'non-you.'

"For those of you who might ask questions, your code provides a consolation prize and booby-trap: it is for your own happiness, it says, that you must serve the happiness of others, the only way to achieve your joy is to give it up to others, the only way to

Re:Tea Party (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590287)

"The FairTax will not be enforceable and evasion will be rampant"

The truth: More than 80% of all tax returns are eliminated under the FairTax--every individual filing. What remains are retail outlets collecting the FairTax. Of these, 80 percent of all retail sales now occur at large retail chains like Wal-Mart. The point is oversight will still reside under the Treasury Department but the government's responsibility will be over a far smaller "universe" of tax collection points making compliance oversight far less costly and far more effective than the current system which costs $265 billion a year in compliance costs and still comes up $350 billion a year short of what is owed.

Read more information about compliance in the FairTax white paper: FairTax Reduces Complexity, Compliance Costs and Noncompliance.

"The FairTax will not be revenue neutral (i.e. bring in the same revenue as the current system) at 23%"

The truth: The FairTax rate of 23% (when calculated inclusively like income tax rates) has been thoroughly researched to provide all the revenues now collected under both the income tax system and through FICA payroll taxes. Reports otherwise are largely based on the President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform which declared the rate would have to be much higher. What the Panel failed to make clear in an amazingly shameless sleight-of-hand is that they never studied the FairTax legislation as it exists in pending legislation. They ignored $22 million of FairTax research and, instead, quietly devised their own national consumption tax which they loaded with the exemptions and deductions they felt were "politically realistic". They also failed to calculate the effects of elimination of the FICA tax on annual taxpayer burdens or on the distributional effects of the FairTax across the income spectrum. Upon completion--and after declaring a national consumption tax flawed--they then refused to publish their underlying assumptions.

For more information on this topic, see these research papers.

        * Taxing Sales Under the FairTax - What Rate Works?
        * A Comparison of the FairTax Base and Rate
        * Comparing Average and Marginal Tax Rates under the FairTax and the Current System of Federal Taxation

"The FairTax is not politically viable"

The truth: Great public policy changes do not happen easily. We believe, however, in the promise of the Founding Fathers that this is a nation, "of, by and for the people". In the last year we have seen more Congressional co-sponsors come on board faster than ever before. We have seen five of eight GOP candidates and one Democratic candidate embrace the FairTax. With increased media coverage, as at least one candidate has made this a central plank of his campaign, more and more Americans have come to understand the powerful benefits the FairTax offers the nation. They are, in turn, joining our growing citizen army and are beginning to communicate their wishes to their elected officials. All of this progress is a consequence of the body politic first learning about and then accepting the FairTax. As our ranks grow such pressure will increase on Members of Congress and at some point, the voice of the people will eclipse the voices of the relatively small number of Washingtonians who profit working the income tax system at great cost to the nation. Enactment of the FairTax will require an activist citizenry and a resurgence of what has been too often forgotten--public policy can and should be driven by the public. All that is required is that we all dare to be fair and remind our elected officials that they work for their constituents--not for the narrow self-interests of the tax writing committee, the lucrative tax lobby business or the academicians who have built careers around the complexity of the tax code.

For more information on this topic, see these research papers:

        * Tax Administration and Collection Costs
        * A Macroeconomic Analysis of the FairTax Proposal
        * An Open Letter to the President, the Congress and the American People
        * Fiscal Federalism - The National FairTax and the States

"The FairTax is regressive and shifts the tax burden onto lower and middle income people"

The truth: The FairTax actually eliminates and reimburses all federal taxes for those below the poverty line. This is accomplished through the universal prebate and by eliminating the highly regressive FICA payroll tax. Today, low and moderate income Americans pay far more in FICA taxes than income taxes. Those spending at twice the poverty level pay a FairTax of only 11.5 percent -- a rate much lower than the income and payroll tax burden they bear today. Meanwhile, the wealthy pay the 23 percent retail sales tax on their retail purchases.

Under the federal income tax, slow economic growth and recessions have a disproportionately adverse impact on lower-income families. Breadwinners in these families are more likely to lose their jobs, are less likely to have the resources to weather bad economic times, and are more in need of the initial employment opportunities that a dynamic, growing economy provides. Retaining the present tax system makes economic progress needlessly slow and frustrates attempts at upward mobility through hard work and savings, thus harming low-income taxpayers the most.

In contrast, the FairTax dramatically improves economic growth and wage rates for all, but especially for lower-income families and individuals. In addition to receiving the monthly FairTax prebate, these taxpayers are freed from regressive payroll taxes, the federal income tax, and the compliance burdens associated with each. They pay no more business taxes hidden in the price of goods and services, and used goods are tax free.

How can the FairTax generate lower net tax rates for everyone and still pay for the same real government expenditures? The answer is two-fold. Firstly, the tax base is dramatically widened by including consumer spending from the underground economy (estimated at $1.5 trillion annually), and by including illegal immigrants, those who escape their fair share today through loopholes and gimmicks. In addition, 40 million foreign tourists a year will become American taxpayers as consumers here. Secondly, not everyone's average net tax burden falls. For households whose major economic resource is accumulated wealth, the FairTax will deliver a net tax hike compared to the current system.

Consider, for example, your typical billionaire, of which America now has more than 400. These fortunate few are invested primarily in equities on which they pay taxes at a 15 percent rate, whether their income comes in the form of capital gains or dividends. In addition to having the income from their wealth taxed at a low rate, the principal of their wealth is completely untaxed either directly or indirectly. Assuming they and their heirs spend only the income earned on the wealth each year, the tax rate today is 15 percent. In contrast, under the FairTax, the effective tax rate is 23 percent. Hence, the very wealthy will pay more taxes when the FairTax is enacted. In a nutshell, those who spend more will pay more but low, moderate and middle income taxpayers will benefit from the greatest gains in reduced tax liabilities.

Who is Anonymous Coward? Re:Tea Party (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590911)

For twelve seconds, you have been asking: Who is Anonymous Coward? This is Anonymous Coward speaking. I am the Slashdot Account who has no life. I am the account who does not sacrifice anything. I am the account who has deprived you of sensible postings and thus has destroyed your threads, and if you wish to know why you are perishing-you who dread blather-I am the account who will now tell you.

They can either do it openly or covertly (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#27590133)

Look, one way or the other, almost every broadband ISP has overbuilt their network and was not prepared for the advent of HD video and streaming services. The hard fact is that they cannot (and never could) deliver "unlimited" bandwidth. So either they:

a) Raise their prices considerably on all their "unlimited" plans--sucks for the light users, who are basically subsidizing the heavy users who want to stream HD video and movies

b) Covertly start throttling back heavy users--sucks for everyone, since no one even knows how much they're being throttled and there is no option of paying a premium to escape it

c) Set download caps--sucks compared to the "free ride" heavy users are getting now, but at least it's out in the open with no throttling bullshit (and light users don't get penalized).

Personally, I'll gladly take c. But there is for sure one option that is *NOT* on the table:

d) Everything stays priced the same as now, without throttling or download caps

So pick a, b, or c. And stop kidding yourself that you can pick d.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

dykofone (787059) | about 5 years ago | (#27590207)

They certainly will have to pass on the costs, and I would prefer openly, but why-oh-why do they pick the tiered level approach? It's the same way the cell phone companies do it: you have to guess how many minutes you're going to use ahead of time, then get shorted for what you don't use and pay huge overages for when you exceed you're initial guess. Let's get back to the electric utility model where you are charged for exactly what you use, and if anything, you get lower off-peak rates.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

Pooklord (49550) | about 5 years ago | (#27590407)

. . . I'm going to guess it's much more fair by using the electric utility model and much more profitable by using the "heads-I-win_tails_you_lose" model of cell phone companies.

Guess which model they're going with?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 5 years ago | (#27590659)

They do it because the cell phone companies are making money with it. Utilities use metered because electric load is fairly constant and predictable. Even the use of AC is predictable. With a phone though, I can go a month and use about 60 minutes, and then the next one, I can use up 3000 (yay conference calls). I prefer knowing how much I pay ahead of time to getting wildly differing phone bills.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 5 years ago | (#27590787)

What costs? Their bandwidth costs have been going down, and their profits have been going up. There are no costs they have to pass onto the consumer.

You mean the cost of losing their cable business because Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes do what they do, but better and cheaper? I think that's the cost they're passing onto the consumer. It's an anti-competitive penalty to lock consumers into the "Time Warner Family of Products".

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | about 5 years ago | (#27590959)

I've often wondered why we can't have packet meters. Too difficult to implement? Too intimidating to customers?

But tiered pricing isn't so bad if you do it right. I agree that the way cell phone providers do it sucks. But it's not the only way.

In Australia, when you hit your cap you start getting drastically throttled. That means you're pretty much limited to email and low-bandwidth web browsing. If that happens to you a lot (it wouldn't happen at all to most users) and if you care about it (I suspect most people would be content to wait until the next billing cycle before restarting their P2P software) then you call up the ISP and ask to change your plan.

Of course, overage charges are a big source of revenue to cell providers. American ISPs will certainly go the same route if we let them.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

MagicM (85041) | about 5 years ago | (#27590253)

d) Everything stays priced the same as now, without throttling or download caps
So pick a, b, or c. And stop kidding yourself that you can pick d

What's wrong with picking d? It just means that at peak times, when your ISP has to process more data than it has bandwidth for, everyone's transfer rate goes down. This happens until those watching streaming video get fed up with the "buffering..." and go do something else, at which point everyone else's transfer rate goes back up.

Nobody has to pay more, no schemes are necessary, and those ISPs who also happen to be Cable TV operators get to rejoice in the fact that streaming video failed. Everyone is happy.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

bFusion (1433853) | about 5 years ago | (#27590335)

Someone mod parent up. God help me, it actually makes sense.

Granted, it's not "expandable" in the traditional sense that there will always be an increasing number of internet users, but at least it's not (covertly or otherwise) railing users for simply paying for a service.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Interesting)

Chabo (880571) | about 5 years ago | (#27590373)

What should actually happen is that they advertise the speed their infrastructure is capable of.

If Comcast has 100Mbps of total bandwidth available for the 100 customers on my node, then they should sell me a 1Mbps plan, even if it costs the same as my current "unlimited" 6Mbps plan, capped at 250GB. If I happen to get more than 1Mbps at times because my neighbors aren't using their bandwidth, then that's better for me, and for my ISP.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

uncqual (836337) | about 5 years ago | (#27590997)

Back in the day when people had landlines, did they think that their "unlimited local calling" allowed them to use the phone while everyone else also was? They probably, if asked, thought so, but in reality if everyone in the city picked up their landline to place a call at 6PM, many (actually, probably most) of them wouldn't have gotten a dial tone.

If your house has 200 AMP service from the electric company, do you think you can draw 200 AMPs at any time? Well, no, not if everyone in your area is also using "their" 200 AMPs at the same time.

What do you suppose would happen if everyone in a town supplied with municipal water turned on all their faucets at the same time. Yep, they would get a dribble compared to what they would get if they just turned it on at a random time.

Virtually all utilities "over subscribe". I'm betting that if you read the medium sized print in your residential cable broadband contract, you will find that they don't guarantee bandwidth. If you want bandwidth guarantees, try business class services.

I'd agree, if the advertised "Up To X Mb Per Second" isn't available much of the day, the advertising would be dishonest, but in my limited experience, most times of the day, ComCast meets their "up to" bandwidth advertising.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 years ago | (#27590565)

Everyone is happy.

Except for me... If it weren't for streaming video I'd probably settle for 768k service from Verizon DSL for $14.99/month.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590693)

The problem is the issue behind this whole thing has nothing to do with internet traffic and the poor ISPs who can't keep up. It's about keeping people from watching content on the net rather than on the TV, or on the Cable Provider's website which they charge for. Hulu has deals with the networks, not with the cable providers. TWC doesn't like that.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

shaka999 (335100) | about 5 years ago | (#27590771)

Thats a really crappy solution....for everyone.

At the minimum there should be a premium service where the packets are prioritized. If I'm running a business or just want to play a game I should have an option to get decent performance when I want it.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (0, Flamebait)

fm6 (162816) | about 5 years ago | (#27590783)

What's wrong with picking d? It just means that at peak times, when your ISP has to process more data than it has bandwidth for, everyone's transfer rate goes down. This happens until those watching streaming video get fed up with the "buffering..."

Excuse me, do you have a full-time job? I'm guessing not. Because people who do only use their home ISP connections during the peak times you mention. That's when we're home from work and want to recreate. What's a major recreational use of the Internet? Streaming media.

That's actually how I watch most broadcast TV these days. I live in an area with lousy reception, I refuse to get cable (not so much the cost as the distraction of 1000 channels of crap), and anyway watching online is much more convenient. If I can only do that at off-peak times, I can't do it at all, and my ISP service loses a lot of value to me. Why should I give that up just so a few heavy-bandwidth users can get a free ride?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

samriel (1456543) | about 5 years ago | (#27590815)

Or, you can pick

e) raise the prices and throttle back EVERYBODY

which is what Insight has done. Their "10.0" plan, which is supposed to be 10 megs/second, has only ever netted me 900kb/s on a good day.

Ah well, it's that or Comcast.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

Chabo (880571) | about 5 years ago | (#27590963)

Are you sure you're not confusing bits and bytes? Cause 900 kilobytes per second is about 7 megabits per second. It's not 10, but it's decent.

If you did get it right, that's fine, I just wanted to make sure.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (0, Flamebait)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 5 years ago | (#27590267)

But what about my god-given right to massive unmetered bandwidth without having to pay for it?

</sarcasm>

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (3, Informative)

Poltras (680608) | about 5 years ago | (#27590389)

But what about my god-given right to massive unmetered bandwidth without having to pay for it?

That right exists in many country, European and Asian. You just have to move there.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (4, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 5 years ago | (#27590399)

So, why is it that South Korea can have 100 mb/s up and down to your house for US$18? And Japan is now rolling out 1 gb/s up/down to the house for less than $100/month?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1, Redundant)

MagicM (85041) | about 5 years ago | (#27590707)

Population densitiy. [wikipedia.org]

South Korea: 498 people per square km
Japan: 337 people per square km
United States of America: 31 people per square km

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Funny)

Nukenbar (215420) | about 5 years ago | (#27590931)

Then why can't we get it in U.S. cities [demographia.com] ?

The top 190 U.S. cities have population densities ove 500people per sq km.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Informative)

empiricistrob (638862) | about 5 years ago | (#27590979)

Is this a serious answer, though? The vast majority of the land area of the US is almost unpopulated. But *MANY* people live in highly populated areas.

For instance:
San Francisco: 6688 people per square km
New York: 10482 people per square km
Chicago: 4816 people per square km

For comparison, Tokyo has a population density of 5847 people per square km.

So, to re-ask the grandparents question: Why are our urban areas so far behind Japan and South Korea's urban areas?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27590679)

Where exactly are you getting free broadband service from? Oh wait, you mean this was just some lame strawman argument?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about 5 years ago | (#27590293)

A good chunk of the outcry (at least what I've read) is more about how much they're charging per gigabyte, not just that they want to cap.

I couldn't find the article with a quick search, but Time Warner is expensive compared to their competitors (ie. ~$5-6 per gigabyte for the lower-tier plans). In places where there's no competition, that's not very good.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about 5 years ago | (#27590295)

Time Warner can do what ever they want if they pay back the $200 billion in infrastructure they received from taxpayers enabling a monopoly in some areas. All the data so far shows that a very small percentage of people are very heavy users and it remains to be be seen if that is actually causing any problems for Time Warner. What is clear is that Time Warner is trying to protect their outdated cable tv business model, and as long as we paid for the infrastructure they should have limits to what they can do with it. They should publish data on their problems if they want any reasonable resolution. Until then, "d" is the only option that can be picked.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Interesting)

rts008 (812749) | about 5 years ago | (#27590777)

Well said.

Besides that, I don't see how throwing more money at them will magically clear up the problem. We already tried that[as you mentioned], yet here we are again. "Bury us in money, and everything will instantly be OMGZ!!! Ponies!"

I read my TOS with my ISP before I signed. There is no clause or restriction on usage of bandwidth/data amounts.
What limits there are involve not setting up a webserver, or connecting more than three computers to the net at a time.

The service I get now for $40 USD/month would jump to a minimum of $75 USD/month.

Sounds like a raw deal to me. I'm not with TW, but don't like the thought of this becoming an 'industry standard'.

FTFA:

When networks are built out, the level of bandwidth consumption must be projected in advance; when those projections fall short, networks encounter serious congestion problems. Now that online gaming, streaming video, remote console and hard drive access, VoIP, and video conferencing are all increasingly common uses of the Internet, bandwidth consumption has exploded. According to Time Warner, it's exploding 40% faster than previously expected.

[my emphasis]

Yet all of those services have joyously and lavishly been advertised and marketed by these very same ISP.'s. What did they expect? Was this not what they were aiming for by promoting them?
I'm not buying this load of BS.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Interesting)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | about 5 years ago | (#27590301)

I, like anyone else, would love to have unlimited internet.

But, if this metered approach is going to work, there needs to be a way to provide a real time, accurate way to view how much of your allotted data has been used. Without this there will never be a fair way to do it.

Maybe they should ship everyone a mode with a digital meter right there on the front that starts to change colors the closer you get to your cap.

Even then, certain things, such as security updates, need a way to get passed through without detracting from your allotment.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 5 years ago | (#27590453)

"Maybe they should ship everyone a mode with a digital meter right there on the front that starts to change colors the closer you get to your cap."

Well, they'd better do it for free.

I bought and paid for my own cable modem to save money...I don't like having to pay rental fees, or the high $$ they charge you that you can buy for significantly less elsewhere.

Unlimited plan != unlimited data (1, Redundant)

dada21 (163177) | about 5 years ago | (#27590307)

The biggest problem here, as far as I can tell, is dealing with privacy laws or fear of reprisal in dealing with privacy issues.

No ISP worries just about the overall network, they worry about the last mile connections just as much. Since neighborhoods share a certain-sized pipe to the backbone, that pipe's overall usage is their major cause for concern. I know everyone here thinks this has to do with profitability, but when you run a business and see a limited-supply item skyrocket in usage (i.e., everyone is using YouTube or Hulu or whatever), you have to take steps AHEAD of schedule to price in expansion of that limited-supply item.

What the ISPs need to do is offer ALL users upgrades immediately to routers that will display their current monthly usage in a simple LED/LCD screen. This would not be hard to do, but it would be costly. By doing so, users would get comfortable with what they're using in terms of data transfer to/from their ISP. Get people involved NOW.

If things keep moving upwards in terms of data transfer needs, then you can let people know that there either has to be caps or there has to be price increases. Anyone who thinks "unlimited" means unlimited bandwidth is a retard. Unlimited means you don't have to disconnect your modem when you're done: you can stay connected for an unlimited amount of time.

I have _THREE_ mobile broadband cards to deal with the 5GB caps and to deal with areas with network shortfalls: AT&T, Sprint, TMobile. The 3G service is great, and I use about 20GB a month between the three. I have 2 running at all times through my Cradlepoint router, and when one gets past 5GB, I pull it for the rest of the time period and stick in the third. It's great for me. Yes, it costs me $200, but for business purposes its a write-off and I need my access everywhere. Even my TMobile G1 untethered exceeds 5GB per month -- from a handheld phone.

My home DSL is uncapped, but I don't have a problem paying more if I am in the top tier of users (I'm not). The problem is figuring out how much I am using.

I'd rather see a hardhack than a software interface to the router, especially for beginning users. Throttling after hitting a cap is the best move, I'd say, because they still have web/email access, and they'll have to learn to cut back on video or music next month (or buy the larger cap).

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

swilver (617741) | about 5 years ago | (#27590321)

I pick d) -- healthy competition proves it is possible. It's not like the technology to move more data over the same lines hasn't improved over the years.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 5 years ago | (#27590327)

Look, one way or the other, almost every broadband ISP has overbuilt their network and was not prepared for the advent of HD video and streaming services. The hard fact is that they cannot (and never could) deliver "unlimited" bandwidth.

Oh, of course not -- nobody is saying that they could. So where are the bottlenecks? Are they bottlenecking? Or are they just sore that they're losing 5% of their profits due to increased metered charges from their upstreams?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#27590331)

Look, one way or the other, almost every broadband ISP has overbuilt their network and was not prepared for the advent of HD video and streaming services.

Who says? Anyone without a vested interest in you believing it?

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

Thraxen (455388) | about 5 years ago | (#27590381)

Throttling is easily better caps if the throttling is transparent and fair. With caps you will either hit a wall and your connection will cease to work or you will be hit with overage charges. I'd much rather see a sensible throttling scheme that is applied ONLY when the system is hitting maximum capacity. But how about this for option D:

d) Spend some those billions in profits to upgrade the network.

As recent reporting has shown, TWC profited over 4 billion on their data services last year and their expenses actually dropped.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Interesting)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about 5 years ago | (#27590465)

Or you could have a set cap with a high speed. When you hit your cap, they limit your speed to some minimal number for email and web browsing. I've heard of that system before, I believe in Australia and/or New Zealand.

Of course, I'd rather they upgrade their network, but there are other options...

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

Thraxen (455388) | about 5 years ago | (#27590555)

Yeah, a combo of quota + throttling. But if you're going to throttle when you hit the cap, I'd just rather see throttling when the network maxes out. This way you can still get good speeds during off-peak hours.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 5 years ago | (#27590383)

Or, just get a business connection. I pay about $70/mo, with no caps, no blocked ports, I can run servers, I get a static IP.

At least that's what I get from Cox cable....

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590397)

I'm one of the first to quit TW if they do such a thing...and probably I'll switch till nobody is offering unlimited bandwidth anymore... :(

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Informative)

BenFenner (981342) | about 5 years ago | (#27590415)

e) Spend a portion of net profit on replacing costly/limited connections with cheaper, higher efficiency bandwidth connections to allow your business to remain competitive in the marketplace. --Remember, this is what any good business does and what stock owners should be insistent on. Otherwise, due to competition and natural market forces, your company will become stagnant, outdated, irrelevant and surpassed by nimbler, smarter companies.
Competition ladies and gentleman, a wonderful thing. For some reason it seems like Time Warner Cable didn't get the competition memo. Let me be the first to say; enjoy your misguided, shortsighted failure to up-and-comer _EMPTY_REFERENCE_ !

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 years ago | (#27590443)

How would A work? Do you mean reduce demand for bandwidth by charging more, or do you mean charging more and using the increased money to expand? I'm just somewhat confused, it seems you're saying they don't have the capability, so I'm not sure how charging more is going to increase their capability.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 5 years ago | (#27590491)

What's the point of having bandwidth limits _and_ download limits? And really, I don't think customers should have to pay because TW couldn't do the algebra to determine what hardware they needed based on the bandwidth they sold to each customer. THEY are the ones who marketted the bandwidth, its not like they had no idea how many bytes a month people could download.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (2, Interesting)

S77IM (1371931) | about 5 years ago | (#27590521)

e) Implement Quality-of-Service pricing. If the network really does get congested, you can pay extra to give your bits priority. If the network isn't congested, you pay the same as everyone else.

(This maintains net neutrality if all customers pay the same rate for high priority. When Time Warner Cable gives a higher rate to FoxNews.com than to CNN.com because they are partners with CNN, that would break neutrality.)

  -- 77IM

TANwhatever (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 5 years ago | (#27590543)

I pretty much agree with you, except for the part where you blame the problem on the recent growth of streaming media. This problem has been around since commercial ISPs started appearing. Streaming media has just made the issue impossible to avoid.

Somehow geeks can't get it through their heads that providing bandwidth costs money. Back around 1992, I started to watch a talk on CSPAN about the potential of this new thing called the Internet. I tuned out when the geeks in the audience started flaming the speaker for suggesting that you should ever have to pay anything beyond a simple connection charge for unlimited bandwidth. About the same time, an online service I was subscribing to (Netcom) started morphing into an ISP — and promptly faced a rebellion from users who couldn't understand why Netcom wouldn't let them resell access.

How hard is this to understand? It's like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet and expecting to get a week's worth of food for $5. It's very funny that so many techies are devout "pure" Libertarians, yet seem unable to grasp the most basic concept of that philosophy, "There is no free lunch."

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590577)

Yeah, that is why in the Netherlands ftth (up to 100/100 mbit for a reasonable price, less then 50 euro's per month) is put into place. Option D certainly is an option, but you guys need more competition. Caps here are virtually non-existent, with for example an ADSL-provider with 21EUR/month plans (24/1 mbit ADSL) has the following "fair use policy":

Internetting is only fun when you're able to use your connection on full speed without any restrictions. We provide you with the fastest possible connection to your house, without any fair use policy's or restrictions. It's your connection, so you decide what to do with it. Download till you drop? We dont care! That is what we call "Unlimited freedom".

So get more competition and prices will drop. It's just that TW is a corporation, and they don't want to invest money in their network (which is plain stupid anyway, if they provide a decent HD-videostore and they skip DRM they would help legal downloads *A LOT*). You can defend their plans in the way you do, but seriously, if you want value for money don't let them take you for every byte you transfer.

e) fair and open metered pricing (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 5 years ago | (#27590581)

e) reasonably priced tiers

Set your prices so your percent profit margin + per-customer profit for must customers is the same regardless of usage.

Say you want a gross profit of $1/customer/month + 50% of total revenues with the idea of plowing most of the profits back into future network improvements, aka "retained earnings." Say your low-bandwidth customers cost $11 each to service, and your high bandwidth customers cost $10/each plus $1 per 10 GB. Set your prices at $12 for low-bandwidth users, and charge your high bandwidth users $11 plus $2 per 10 GB. I pulled these numbers out of a hat, but the point is, if you use real numbers and reasonable gross profits and are open about it, people won't complain.

If you've got a customer who wants to pay for 2TB/month, that's a nice $411.

Oh, and of course you need to provide a way for customers to know and control their usage, a way to forgive customers who are tricked such as through a virus, and a way for customers to say "I don't ever want to pay more than X, if I approach X then throttle me to dialup speeds" so their children's friends don't bankrupt them.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

falconwolf (725481) | about 5 years ago | (#27590593)

Look, one way or the other, almost every broadband ISP has overbuilt their network and was not prepared for the advent of HD video and streaming services.

If they overbuilt their broadband networks then they should be able to handle HD, HD uses broadband. Fact is is they didn't build enough broadband and oversold their services.

The hard fact is that they cannot (and never could) deliver "unlimited" bandwidth. So either they:

a) Raise their prices considerably on all their "unlimited" plans--sucks for the light users, who are basically subsidizing the heavy users who want to stream HD video and movies

If users aren't heavy user then they don't need unlimited, in which case tiered services make sense. However that's not how the service was sold.

c) Set download caps--sucks compared to the "free ride" heavy users are getting now, but at least it's out in the open with no throttling bullshit (and light users don't get penalized).

Setting download caps is setting limits and is a breach of contract. At least it would be with my service, the only limit with mine was that speed was not guaranteed.

Falcon

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 5 years ago | (#27590615)

I think you're papering over the real problem. Download caps can be set in such a way that they aren't an issue even to power users. Restrict caps to peak hours. Throttle all bandwidth after cap has been exceeded. Meter bandwidth after cap has been exceeded. All can be done such that even if I happen to download the latest WoW expansion twice (once for Mac, once for PC), watched a few Netflix streaming movies and tried out Ubuntu, Suse and Redhat in a free for all, I don't get royally shafted in my connection availability or pocket book.

What is concerning here is that Time Warner has a huge incentive to drive people to use cable TV to get their video. In other words, I'll be shocked if their implementation of bandwidth caps, throttling and metering is designed in such a way to optimize user experience. What I do expect is that it is optimized to drive the largest possible amount of people to use cable for video and entertainment, and internet for anything else.

I'm not ok with that. Down that road lies the balkanization of the Internet and madness. Of course, this also makes it painfully obvious that the current customer response is completely besides the point. They shouldn't bitch about tiered pricing, bandwidth caps or anything like that, but about the complete lack of competition in the vast majority of the broadband markets. Sadly, I have zero hope for anything changing in that regard.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (4, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 5 years ago | (#27590681)

Actually you skipped the only options that should even be considered.

a) They need to pony up and install the extra infrastructure they've already been paid to install with our tax dollars and then actually provide the service they are currently selling.

b) Since they're apparently unwilling or incapable of doing A, relieve them of their monopolies and introduce more competition.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

mr crypto (229724) | about 5 years ago | (#27590691)

Openly is definitely better. I think that it is reasonable for companies to charge users more when they use more bandwidth. The real root solution is keeping the market competitive by allowing people to easily switch providers and maintaining net neutrality.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#27590729)

Or they could come up with a sane progressive billing system.

Say $2 a month for each mbs so that if I wanted a 10mbs connection my base bill would be $20. Then offer pricing that actually coincides with costs. I highly doubt that TW is paying 1$ per gb to transfer data through the big pipes. I don't know the actual cost because that information isn't readily accessible to the consumers but I can't imagine it's more than 10 cents per gb. Whatever the cost is, bump it up by 50% and pass it on to me. Let me decide how much data I want to use and don't try to force some ridiculous low/medium/high tiering system on me.

Time Warner gets $20 + 50% of whatever my download costs are to opperate and take their profit; they even get to charge the 'abusers' more as they use more bandwidth. Meanwhile, Grandma who checks her email once a week can get internet for $10 a month, the average user would see their costs drop significantly also, and the people that actually are running up costs get to pay a bigger share.

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (5, Interesting)

srh2o (442608) | about 5 years ago | (#27590755)

All the evidence I've seen shows that d.) is entirely possible. Time Warner Cable has been making large profits already with the current system and their is no evidence that there is a bandwidth crunch. In fact all the evidence points to bandwidth caps having little or nothing to do with network management and everything to do with a cash grab. Best of all the COO of Time Warner Cable Lendell Hobbs agrees with me. "Mr. Hobbs tried to strike a balance, saying that while the company is concerned about the cost to maintain its broadband network, investors should not be worried. He said it was "absolutely not" true that Time Warner's profits were being squeezed by the cost of heavy broadband users. "If you are getting feedback that there is an immediate problem, nothing could be further from the truth," he said." http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/time-warner-cable-profits-on-broadband-are-great-and-will-grow-because-of-caps/ [nytimes.com]

Re:They can either do it openly or covertly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590881)

I call B.S.

I'm in Austin and I've seen my d/l speed double in the last 12 months, in a heavy usage area (UT campus), so complaints about bandwidth shortages are suspect at best. But regardless...

Time Warner pays pennies per gigabyte upstream for termination. The prices they are looking to charge are orders of magnitude out of line with their costs. This is about protecting their TV and pay-per-view business, plain and simple.

They can do B transparently (1)

aywwts4 (610966) | about 5 years ago | (#27590929)

Really they are only (supposedly) oversubscribed during prime time.

If top tier users get some QOS that sounds reasonable. As a top tier user, I don't care that all my bandwidth is at 10meg all the time, I just want to be able to use the internet without worrying it's THIS episode of The Office or SUSe ISO or Ubuntu update that will push me over the edge.

They Could make QOS transparent, If you use more than X (say 100Gigs a month) You will be QOSed between the hours of 6 and 12PM. All your traffic will be "bulk" except for DNS and small HTTP query's.

Are they trying this with existing customers? (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 5 years ago | (#27590145)

Are they trying to no LIMIT people who have and have had for awhile, the advertised 'unlimited' plan?

Yeah, I could see how they'd get pissed.

I could see Time Warner trying to set this up with NEW customers, but, with existing ones...how can they change it in the middle of the game? I know they say in the TOS they can change some things, but, can they legally change the basic service agreement on what a person contracted with them to provide?!?!

Re:Are they trying this with existing customers? (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 5 years ago | (#27590181)

"Are they trying to no LIMIT people who have and have had for awhile, the advertised 'unlimited' plan?"

I have got to start reading before I hit submit:

Are they trying to start to LIMIT people who have and have had for awhile, the advertised 'unlimited' plan?

Re:Are they trying this with existing customers? (1)

cabjf (710106) | about 5 years ago | (#27590535)

Yes. The plan is to let existing users see their usage for a couple of months then let them pick which tier to sign up for at the end of the summer.

Re:Are they trying this with existing customers? (1)

tftp (111690) | about 5 years ago | (#27590263)

can they legally change the basic service agreement on what a person contracted with them to provide?

Yes, they can do that - and it happens all the time in all industries. You just get a nice letter like "We are redoing our plans, and the one that you are on is no longer available. Call our customer service to transition you onto one of new plans." I recall that Sprint sent me such letter a few years ago because I had an account with them for a long time.

What was that? (3, Funny)

DarKnyht (671407) | about 5 years ago | (#27590149)

TW Exec 1 - "What was that?"

TW Exec 2 - "That was the sound of a million subscribers switching to DSL and our stockholders crying in pain."

Re:What was that? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 5 years ago | (#27590259)

Yeah, because AT&T and other DSL providers aren't going to set download caps just as soon as Time Warner does.

Seriously, you think they want a bunch of heavy users as customers--when they lose money on each one of them? If you're the kind of user who wants to fight download caps, odds are your the kind of broadband customer that NO ISP WANTS; cable, dsl or otherwise.

Re:What was that? (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27590337)

AT&T owns most of the phone lines and has their own backbone connections, the cost of lighting up more fiber and even running more fiber along the existing right of ways they're using is minimal compared to the amount of money they're fleecing out of their customers. I get even worse service than it was back in the pacbell days, arguably they ought to have figured out how to give it to me cheaper by now, but it's ten bucks a month more. And for what? Crushed by the Death Star. They bought my fucking cellphone provider, too.

Re:What was that? (2, Insightful)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | about 5 years ago | (#27590737)

Seriously, you think they want a bunch of heavy users as customers--when they lose money on each one of them?

As soon as Granny figures out she can get her soaps anytime, we ALL will be "heavy users". Streaming video, in any acceptable resolution, is a resource HOG.

Re:What was that? (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | about 5 years ago | (#27590635)

Why bother with AT&T?

In most areas you can switch to earthlink using the same modem, same lines and switch the service over by phone in less than an hour.

Be sure to call time warner and tell them your canceling your internet with them due to unsavory business practices.

Re:What was that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590649)

That was the sound of a million subscribers switching to DSL and our stockholders crying in pain.

That's me! I dropped off my cable modem yesterday. Honestly, I'm liking AT&T. It's faster, cheaper, and better, but I know what weasels they can be.

Re:What was that? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 5 years ago | (#27590847)

DSL? We've got fiber to choose from in Austin (AT&T U-verse). Plus we have a third-party cable provider (Grande) with limited availability. I think Time Warner is actually actively committing suicide.

Actually, what I think they're doing is checking to see if customers will get off their butts in a fairly competitive market and switch. That's the experiment. If everyone just rolls over and takes it in a competitive market, they can know they can roll it out to their monopoly markets without fear.

What's The Catch (1)

Clipless (1432977) | about 5 years ago | (#27590159)

Why is Time Warner all of a sudden "listening" to the complaints of its customers?
Does anyone else think that there has to be a catch?

Re:What's The Catch (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about 5 years ago | (#27590367)

This might just be my paranoid/pessimistic side talking, but I don't think I'd be surprised if they did all this to get the public worked up. When they do finally implement the caps, they can give us lower prices/higher rates than what they just showed us and still pocket a nice chunk of change.

Anyone dealt with a salesman before?

Re:What's The Catch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590545)

if caps "fail in the marketplace" they will pleading for help from congress on Net Neutrality. So either way the consumer is screwed.

They will get their money one way, or another (0)

Pooklord (49550) | about 5 years ago | (#27590197)

The only people who logically wouldn't support a tiered system like this, are those who use far more bandwidth than the "average" person--and who therefore, are currently NOT paying for it. As a comparatively low bandwidth person myself, I prefer a tiered solution, where I just pay for what I use.

Now if only we could buy our cable channels the same way, where you only pay for what you want and not for the bazillion shopping channels too . . .

Re:They will get their money one way, or another (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590333)

You don't seriously think a company wants to lower the price charged to the majority of its users, do you?

Re:They will get their money one way, or another (1)

Pooklord (49550) | about 5 years ago | (#27590365)

I wasn't suggesting that--if anything they can make their operation more profitable by increasing the margin on the amount they charge for the bandwidth that actually is used.

Re:They will get their money one way, or another (3, Informative)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 5 years ago | (#27590919)

Did you look at their tiers? Basically they have:

1) Affordable tier for people who think the Internet means email.
2) Raping tier for people who know about websites like YouTube.

They're effectively placing all their users who use the Internet regularly in the same bucket as file traders.You only have to download a few movies monthly off of iTunes or Netflix to need their unlimited plan.

If you are a slashdot user, my guess is that you are in tier 2. Or you read slashdot using lynx.

Probably How It All Went Down (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#27590199)

TW Scam Artist: So this is how it works. See this graph here? Stats are showing that 80% of your users lie in monthly usage between 1GB and 100GBs of usage and they're paying about $45 as it is. So we reward the ten percent below 1GB with 1/3 their normal cost and we hit the 80% in bell curve here with 66% increase in price.
TW CEO: And the 10% above 100GB per month?
TW Scam Artist: Fuck 'em. We don't even want their business and what they're doing is probably illegal as it is. We hit them with one crippling monthly payment and they leave. There will be splash back but nothing our mitigation team can't handle.
TW CEO: I see. How on earth are we going to market a 66% increase to 80% of our users?
TW Scam Artist: We aren't. We're going to cherry pick stats. That's 1,000 songs downloaded from iTunes. Do you download 1,000 songs a month? No. That's 1,000,000 webpages and we point out that that isn't humanly possible to do in a month. We gotta be careful and skirt some of the obvious stuff like if you stream netflix, youtube, vimeo or any video site just a few hours and you're already in the $75 range. Avoid that. And avoid questions on people who download DVDs or even large updates to popular software like Warcraft and Windows.
TW CEO: So we just unleash this on them?
TW Scam Artist: No, we do a trial run and expect bad feedback. Then we say "oh gosh, some people didn't like it, so we're doubling the lower limit to 2GB!" and that loses us like 1% of the bell curve but we don't care. The people feel like they're vindicated blah blah blah they don't even realize or sign anything when this goes into effect. After that bullshit trial run, we are free to unleash it because it looks like we've done our homework and compromised our profits in the interest of the consumer.
TW CEO: Why are we doing this, are we having network and hardware problems?
TW Scam Artist: No, are you stupid? That shit gets better daily. Oh, did I hurt your feelings? I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was employed by a bunch of dumbass hippies waiting to roll over whenever an opportunity of epic proportions gets dropped in their lap.
TW CEO: My apologies, here's your sack of money.

Trial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590351)

I didn't even know they'd been charged. Was it crimes against the state or something?

Hang 'em, I say!

Re:Probably How It All Went Down (2, Funny)

compro01 (777531) | about 5 years ago | (#27590375)

You had me until "So we reward the ten percent below 1GB with 1/3 their normal cost".

Re:Probably How It All Went Down (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | about 5 years ago | (#27590481)

To be precise, reward should be in quotes and be said sarcastically. It's the cost of the lipstick they're applying to the pig.

Re:Probably How It All Went Down (3, Insightful)

bFusion (1433853) | about 5 years ago | (#27590431)

That sounds about right.

Hell, the latest major patch for World of Warcraft was closing on a gig by itself. If I have two computers and two laptops that need to download it (for girlfriend and other visiting friends) I'm completely boned.

Granted I can copy/paste the patch file from one computer to another, but it's the principle of the thing here! There is this feeling I get from these revisions that "If you use more than a few gigs a month you're probably a pirate anyway" ... it's REALLY easy to burn through a gig or two just doing normal non-illicit internet hijinks.

It's an interesting idea. (1, Insightful)

LocutusMIT (10726) | about 5 years ago | (#27590355)

I think the idea is sound, but the prices are way too high.

We currently pay about $50/month for cable modem (for four residents). If Time Warner cut their prices by two thirds—or even by half, as we don't come close to using 100GB/month—they'd essentially match Comcast, but I'd get a discount any month I don't hit the max. I'd switch over in a heartbeat.

Not that I expect them ever to do that.

Bandwidth is a utility, like electricty... (0, Redundant)

DomNF15 (1529309) | about 5 years ago | (#27590357)

So start getting used to the idea of being charged for how much you use...

Re:Bandwidth is a utility, like electricty... (2, Insightful)

Thraxen (455388) | about 5 years ago | (#27590657)

Then TWC needs to be as heavily regulated as other utilities. Last year they PROFITED over 4 billion on their data services. The cost to maintain their network was roughly $150 million and was actually lower than the previous year. So why don't they put some of that money toward increasing capacity?

Also, there's a pretty clear difference between using up a physical resource like water or electricity which must be generated and consuming bandwidth.

It's not bandwidth. (3, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | about 5 years ago | (#27590363)

It's not bandwidth they need to cap, it's download speeds.

Seriously, just because someone downloads 3TB's of porn doesn't mean the internet is going to run out of fuel. The kicker is how FAST they are downloading.

If everyone in the world started downloading at 4MB/sec then we would have problems. It's not how much they download.

Re:It's not bandwidth. (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | about 5 years ago | (#27590523)

I don't know for sure if it's correct, but others have pointed out that ISPs pay for their bandwidth by the total amount downloaded, not the speed. Their other costs would be fixed, so it does make some sense from the ISP's side to set a cap.

Re:It's not bandwidth. (1)

DomNF15 (1529309) | about 5 years ago | (#27590569)

No, really, it is bandwidth. If you cap download speeds, you are in effect capping bandwidth. i.e. someone capped to 50kb/s who is constantly downloading for a month will have used considerably less bandwidth than someone who is constantly downloading at, say, 300 kb/s for a month.

Re:It's not bandwidth. (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | about 5 years ago | (#27590739)

A cap on download speeds is a cap on bandwidth implicitly. You can't download more than [(seconds in that month) * (kilobyte/second) / 10^6] gigabytes in a month.

A cap on bandwidth is a cap on download speeds implicitly. Assuming you don't want to pay overage, your effective constant download rate is [(cap in gigabytes * 10^6) / (seconds in a month)] kB/s.

So for the month of September (it's round with 30 days):
2592000 seconds in September (30 days * 24 hrs/day * 60 min/hr * 60 sec/min = 2592000)

Assume that we cap at 2 mbps (it's a good round number):
2,000,000 bits/second * (1 byte / 8 bits) = 250000 bytes/sec = 250 KB/sec (standard telco math - 1KB = 1000 B)

That means the max I can download is:
250 KB/sec * 2592000 seconds = 648000000 kilobytes / 10^6 = 648 gigabytes

That, of course, assumes that you can get that consistently at all hours of the day. The problem, of course, is that no ISP network is set up for that (which is why they want download caps), and no ISP is going to guarantee that to its residential customers.

Re:It's not bandwidth. (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | about 5 years ago | (#27590961)

I know it's lame to reply to myself, but take a look at it from the other way: 100 GB cap in September:

(100 GB / 1 month) * (10^6 KB/ 1 GB) * (1 month / 2592000 seconds) = 38.6 KB/s * (8 bits / 1 byte) = 309 kbps.

So Time Warner wants you to pay the same for your large pipe as for a 300 kbps pipe, around six times faster than a 56K modem.

Rochester (5, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | about 5 years ago | (#27590401)

As a Rochester Time Warner customer myself and my friends who are also customers are pretty upset about all of this. The big problem is that as far as broadband goes choices are slim. Either Time Warner, or Earthlink, who buys its bandwidth from Time Warner. Beyond that its either Clearwire, Frontier DSL, both of which suck, or shell out a ton for a commercial grade installation in your house/apartment, which probably isn't actually an option. I've already said that if someone like Verizon were to introduce FiOS to the area at the same time Time Warner did this, they'd probably have a lot of people jump ship...

Re:Rochester (2, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | about 5 years ago | (#27590631)

They probably will still lose a lot of customers for this. This is just an extension of their initial tests. They want to see how hard they can squeeze before losing too many customers. The markets they're planning to roll this out in have limited competition. They aren't likely to lose too many customers, but they can use that data to project what would happen in an area with more competition. If they cannot be convinced to either put reasonable caps in place or abandon capping at all, I think the best response would be to let them know you are canceling and why. Then switch to their biggest competitor in your area.

Re:Rochester (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590903)

Then switch to their biggest competitor in your area.

Which, in the Rochester area, happens to be Time Warner. The company is competing with itself, effectively.

Re:Rochester (1)

metalcoat (918779) | about 5 years ago | (#27590773)

As another Time Warner customer in Rochester it has already been discovered that Time Warner will also cap Earthlink consumers. That leaves LocalNet which I have really never heard of and the choices you described. So basically we are screwed. Please support Eric Massa!!

Re:Rochester (1)

mc1138 (718275) | about 5 years ago | (#27590905)

Yeah that's what I wasn't sure about with Earthlink, though I figured something like that would happen...

Nyit nyao! (-1, Troll)

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Squeak louder (2, Interesting)

MasseKid (1294554) | about 5 years ago | (#27590541)

It's clear that squeaking is doing some good. So lets squeak louder and harder. Personally, I don't use TWC (thank god), but if I don't say something now, it will be a matter of time before this is an "Accepted" practice.

And Verizon Says... (4, Informative)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about 5 years ago | (#27590617)

from stopthecap.com [stopthecap.com]

Samuel Greenholtz, a retired manager from Verizon, offered this absolutely impenetrable thinking on why broadband providers needed to impose caps on customers and were forced to charge way too much for them:

While a tiered pricing structure may have been inevitable in the long run, if the corporate bashing horde stayed out of the way, the vast majority of users would have avoided paying more for additional capacity. Time Warner Cable does give the politicians what they are looking for â" more bandwidth availability for all of its subscribers. Still, the lowest speed package is not going to be enough for most of the consumers â" and so they will have to take the higher tier offerings â" along with the new overage charges. Had the MSOs been allowed to just cap excessive users, most of the subs would have continued to receive a reasonable amount of bandwidth at the same flat price.

Ironically, all of the illogic obsession with net neutrality will result in even more of a usage-based pricing scheme. There will now be several layers of capping. The anti-ISP crowd has actually created a more beneficial pricing system for these companies. And there is certainly nothing unfair about this development. But the clamoring for so-called equality resulted in an acceleration of the removal of the all-you-can-eat advantage for consumers.

Stopthecap.com is referenced in the article to which Slashdot linked. The citation above from Sam Greenholtz was so outlandish, so clearly showing pro-corporate stances, I had to call it out. I didn't think the corporate side was so violently opposed to net neutrality and unlimited bandwidth, but with gems like "illogical obsession" and "corporate bashing horde", I'm surprised that there's not any active raping and pillaging.

Re:And Verizon Says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590781)

I didn't think the corporate side was so violently opposed to net neutrality and unlimited bandwidth, but with gems like "illogical obsession" and "corporate bashing horde", I'm surprised that there's not any active raping and pillaging

My wallet says differently. *cough* comcast... *cough*

Actually. (4, Informative)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 5 years ago | (#27590719)

They haven't rescheduled anything. This is the exact same start date I got when I called them. This is just more fluff.

I called and emailed (to make sure I cost them the most money) to verify that my price lock guarantee wouldn't allow them to charge me an extra cent or restrict my access. Once I'm done with that I've notified them I'm leaving.

This is going to be really unpopular once people understand their marketing. My mom and dad don't have cable, but they do have Road Runner. They watch Netflix Watch Now movies (as they really like old movies and British TV shows, a place where Netflix excels). My Dad mentioned that he was hoping it would lower his bill. I pointed out that he was exactly the sort of user they were trying to get more money out of. He doesn't utilize their enormously profitable cable division and he's downloading movies from a competitor. He's going to be a direct target of this price gouging.

If my Dad (who's decently tech savvy) didn't spot this then the "unpopularity" they're seeing now is going to be nothing compared to what happens when they try to attempt to bill people for it.

Pay as you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590793)

In theory I'm fine with tiered pricing. However, its application by TWC is terribly unfair. Cable companies should offer a pay as you go plan similar to what cell phone companies offer for lite users. For example, $2 or even $3 per GB/month. Heavy users can opt for a monthly plan with a fixed download limit and a reduced $1 per GB/month over that limit.

As it stands now, as a current TWC customer, I would pay approximately the same amount each month with a 5 GB download limit. It's a terrible value proposition for the customer. No wonder so many people are protesting.

At the very least, offer a chance for some customers to actually reduce their monthly bills.

Greensboro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590863)

I live in the Greensboro market for Time Warner and there are many people who are upset here. It has been on TV and in the paper here for the last 2 weeks or so since they made the announcement. The mayor has already said she is planning on talking to AT&T and Verizon. Now whether she actually does or not...

Anyone Familiar with "Cloud Computing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27590879)

I've worked for TWC in the past, and I have no love for the company. However, I can see the points people are making on both sides of the argument.

Average user says "Yay cheaper!"

Heavy user's/techies says "Noooooooo!"

Here is an interesting concept I am going to pass along that is overlooked by majority. Just an opinion. I have no idea whether or not any of this actually plays into TWC's plans.

Possible future of technology, computers, and software....Cloud Computing.

Not familiar with the term? Get familiar:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

Granted...this technology is still a ways off from affecting average internet users...but the possibility weights very heavily towards more and more cloud computing.

Its feasible in the future...that an average household PC would be not much more than a terminal workstation connected to some server farm someplace else. The server farm would be doing all your advanced computations, processes, storing information, even running video and streaming it back to you.

Sounds cool yeah? Yay technology. Oh...wait...now just imagine how that might affect an average user's throughput/bandwidth. Even your average user is now the equal to what they call "heavy users". You think streaming a few video's from youtube or netflix was bad...yuck.

TWC has been running this way for along time, low end users, high end users...and have never bothered to change it until now. Sure you can blame the crappy economy if you want...but I doubt it. They are looking towards the future.

This technology exists. This technology is evolving. Its possible this technology is the future. It would be silly to assume theres not at least one person at TWC who knows this.

One of my personal guesses is, they see this as a possibility and just want to get it into place early so people do not understand what they might be getting into. Internet usage has no place to go but UP. Low end users are never going to use less...only more. Higher users are only going to use more. Even your average user, which they consider low usage...they are getting more informed, doing more and more on the internet.

Even crappy social websites are attracting millions of users, streaming music and video on their sites. (myspace, facebook, etc.) internet usage has no place to go but UP.

One other point...one of the largest growth industries even in this bad economic times...Online gaming. Its never been bigger. Its estimate to keep growing. Everything from browser games to MMOs. They'll be eating up more and more usage as well as size and complexity grows.

All these are things TWC knows.

They aren't just trying to stick it to the heavy users...they are trying to stick it to everyone. Thats how TWC rolls...maximum profit. They are very good at misdirection. They don't give a crap about anyone.

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