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Jobs Bill Funds Safety Network With Spectrum Sale

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the why-own-the-cow dept.

Communications 147

CWmike writes "President Barack Obama's American Jobs Act would allow the FCC to conduct so-called incentive auctions, in which the agency would share the proceeds of a spectrum auction with television stations that voluntarily give up their spectrum. The goal would be to raise $6.5 billion to fund a nationwide voice and data network for police, fire departments and other emergency responders. Lawmakers and other groups have called for a nationwide public safety network since emergency responders had trouble communicating with each other during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks on the U.S."

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You mean like 700Mhz? (3, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393392)

You know, the last time Congress took a bunch of spectrum from TV and allocated some of it to public safety? The D block is still unused, right?

The only thing going on here is an attempt by the Verizons and Comcasts of the world to eliminate competition. (of course Comcast-owned NBC channels would be first to give up their OTA allocations). Public safety is a transparent excuse.

Cock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393510)

Suck it, Trebek. What what?

Re:Cock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394052)

The summary sucks cock too.

Lawmakers and other groups

"Lawmakers"... for people far too stupid to understand "legislators". Yeah let's dumb down all conversations concerning important things like public policy, that way stupid and ignorant and functionally illiterate people can participate too. Man, we'd never make it without *their* input. And heaven forbid if they encountered a reading level higher than their own ... why, they might start getting uppity ideas about learning more so they could keep up ... next thing you know, they'll think more deeply and will demand more representation in the political system. By God, let's not let that happen. Um, someone might lower their self-esteem, yeah, sure they'd never just better themselves. For stupidity!

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (4, Interesting)

evought (709897) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393820)

Public safety is a transparent excuse.

True. The muti-state "public safety network" here is 6m; Storm-chasers and fire watch is 2m. That's what ARES is for. It's simple, reliable technology and there are good volunteers to run it. Our local Sheriff recently remarked that the feds are trying to shove narrow band digital radios down the counties' throats. The proffered radios are expensive, overwhelmingly benefit one corp, and perform poorly in this terrain (the digital radios tend to be all or nothing; in much of rural MO, you can get a poor but comprehensible analog signal further, at least with current equipment). Switching will either hurt strained county budgets or the strained federal deficit (if subsidized) and will mean other services don't happen.

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (4, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393914)

The proffered radios are expensive, overwhelmingly benefit one corp, and perform poorly in this terrain (the digital radios tend to be all or nothing; in much of rural MO, you can get a poor but comprehensible analog signal further, at least with current equipment).

But they work in New York City. Do you *want* more people to die from 9/11? That's what Obama is trying to prevent in this Steve Jobs bill. Think of the children's livers!

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394108)

Analog-only radios are awfully limited though. Can they even send text-messages to each other? It could certainly be useful for them to be able to send text, photos, or see a map with everybody's location on it, for example. I don't know if they'll be getting, but it should be, the DoD has paid companies lots of money to work all this out over the years.

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394304)

I would much rather have a fuzzy voice message in an emergency than equipment that does all sorts of neat tricks, but fails to work because the signal isn't strong enough.

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394450)

No, analog radios can do that too. Ever heard of APRS [aprs.org] ?

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37395032)

Sure, but packet = digital

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394688)

Nice try, cell phone marketing guy.

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394810)

Analog-only radios are awfully limited though. Can they even send text-messages to each other? It could certainly be useful for them to be able to send text, photos, or see a map with everybody's location on it, for example. I don't know if they'll be getting, but it should be, the DoD has paid companies lots of money to work all this out over the years.

Yes, you can. Again, hams have done it.

Text messaging - packet radio. Operates on HF, VHF, UHF.

Photos - slow-scan TV. HF, VHF, UHF.

Locations - APRS (really just a special form of packet radio with GPS).

And none of this is new - most are relatively old and simple technology, over analog radio.

The best part is, the equipment is available now, relatively simple to understand, relatively cheap and easily available. Heck, there probably are handheld radios that support all the above with maybe a computer paired with it.

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (1)

texas (43689) | more than 3 years ago | (#37395056)

Umm... you are aware that packet radio IS digital, right?

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37395106)

Yes, packet radio can be digital. However, most packet radio implementations used by hams run over existing analog radio channels. Kind of like a dial up modem. What is being complained about here is the replacement of the traditional analog radio channel with a much lower bandwidth digital channel.

the equivilant of a text message over analog radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37395082)

As I recall from my childhood, one could transmit a "text message" over analog radio using morse code.

Re:You mean like 700Mhz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394772)

and perform poorly in this terrain (the digital radios tend to be all or nothing

Digital radio, by definition, is all or nothing. This has both pros and cons. In the analog world, getting broken and unintelligible bits and pieces may be enough. Then again, it may communicate an entirely wrong message or more likely, simply be ignored by one end or the other. Digital radio, on the other hand, means that even at the border of coverage, everything still sounds like you're right next door. The problem is, you're one step away from nothing at all. For some reason many people feel comforted knowing that an entirely useless and garbled message, which *might* be able to be uni-directionally heard, means its a superior solution to that of knowing in absolute terms, you are out of communication.

Digital radio also has many security and data advantages, which is one of the reasons why its so popular with government. But even ignoring that, by far, the biggest advantage of digital radio is the ability to better use available spectrum and do so while providing service to more users and even more types of concurrent users. Basically digital radio is a far more efficient use of spectrum while generally providing more capability.

Here we go again... (2)

f16c (13581) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393438)

Isn't that one of the reasons for the digital TV conversion? I recall that as one of the reasons to change the spectrum layout last time. How much more do they need anyway? The reason for a lack of communication before was a lack of planning as much as anything else.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393522)

It was the only reason.

AT&T \ T-Mobile Merger - Please Kill (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394374)

Yeah!

AT&T says it needs to by T-Mobile to get more spectrum - and now we have a better answer - they can get the spectrum and we don't get a monopoly.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

bjwest (14070) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394430)

The reason for the switch to digital TV was to get more people on the cable/dish teat. I live less than 50 miles from my states capital, and can only barley pickup the local channels with a huge ass expensive antenna and signal amp. I can only imagine people in more rural areas and farmers way out in the middle of nowhere.

I'd like to see the figures for the dish providers subscriptions before and after the switch.

Move along, Citizen (0, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393466)

Remember Citizen, your work, your money, your family, your life - all exist merely to further the aims of the Federal Government. If you disagree, we have a nice campground down in the Caribbean we can show you.

You have a typo. (1, Funny)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393534)

Remember Citizen, your work, your money, your family, your life - all exist merely to further the aims of the Monstrous For-Profit Corporations .

I've taken the liberty to fixed the typo for you.

Liberty (4, Interesting)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393748)

Oh, I don't know. I think some Democrats actually believe they're taking away our liberty for our own good. That makes them every bit as dangerous and culpable*, just not as numerous. They're not to be easily dismissed.

*(... as dangerous and culpable as money-grubbing Democrats and Republicans. Yes, both.)

Re:Liberty (3, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393818)

I think some Democrats actually believe they're taking away our liberty for our own good. That makes them every bit as dangerous

No, it makes them more dangerous. A corporation may turns its sights away from us towards greener pastures, but someone that believes that they are "helping" us.. they will never turn their sights away. Its the worst possible evil.

So said C.S. Lewis (5, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393948)

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

Re:So said C.S. Lewis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394852)

You've described Sharia law.

Re:So said C.S. Lewis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394874)

Nanny states. Fuck em!

Re:Liberty (1)

MichaelKristopeit421 (2018882) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393962)

more evil than killing everything you encounter without prejudice?

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

Re:Liberty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393984)

more evil than killing everything you encounter without prejudice?

Yes.

Surprised?

Re:Liberty (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394034)

u college jealous? gdi bitter because money mine? more strong, squat big?

jealous of my bitter babby beta? gdi scum frat castle jeans?

HEY GDI FAGGOTS WHY CRY? MAD THAT PUSSY NO GET? BITTER AT BUSINESS? CONNECTIONS? QUESTION ME, ANGRY?

just because i get party pussy means you mad alcohol!? beer bbq jealous at me?

u frat greek? money? get mad at money? i make more stuff better so i better than you mad!

make business connection make 4034K year/month? yeah frat jalous

legit no homo, business connections = party legit

Re:Liberty (1)

MichaelKristopeit421 (2018882) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394294)

you're an idiot.

Re:Liberty (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394480)

I sense someone is mad for me. Why train post theme troll slashdot? Occupying a small mercy is ever present. Nothingness shakes beliefs of idiots shoots shitposter of stagnated slashdot. Upset owns you? I also do too? Truth is founded your delicious butttears of money mine troll.

Re:Liberty (1)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394612)

ur mum's face is mad.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen hypocrisy based pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Liberty (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394708)

Actually, you seem like a pretty chill guy. Shoot me an email. Maybe we can meet up and do some... stuff, if you know what I mean.

Re:Liberty (1)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394732)

ur mum's face seem like a pretty chill guy.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen hypocrisy based pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Move along, Citizen (0)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393566)

we won't even get the island scenery, have you seen any of the hundreds of currently empty FEMA detention centers (concentration camps), complete with children's playgrounds behind the barbed wire? what the hell, we know they aren't for illegal aliens....

Re:Move along, Citizen (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393640)

I haven't, and a quick Google search just pulls up stuff that makes me feel crazy even looking at them. You have any documentation that doesn't require an aluminum foil hat?

Re:Move along, Citizen (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394444)

Last time I followed a tinfoil hat (not aluminum, you know that causes Alzheimers) trail from /. about secret FEMA stuff, I found people desperate to believe that railway auto carriers sighted on sidings were for transporting prisoners and/or slaves. Hydraulic ramps became "modern-day guillotines", tiedown anchor points (with short lengths of chain) became "shackles", and any number of polite posts from people explaining this and in some cases linking to reputable sources about the very real existence of auto carriers were ignored or mocked for their faith that not everything is a gov't conspiracy. Oh, and the same page mentioned (sadly with no concrete data that could be used to figure out what the hell they were on about) those FEMA concentration camps, which these prisoner trains were presumed to be prepared for hauling people to. (Well, the people they didn't guillotine enroute, anyway.)

So at least that particular site was full of 100% nutters. Maybe the FEMA camps are documented somewhere else where sane folks live, but if so I imagine there's also some explanations there. I don't trust the government more than the next /. libertarian, but if it were what they say, that's not the sort of secret our gov't is any good at keeping, ya know? Especially bureaucratic parts like FEMA...

So I really wouldn't worry about it.

Re:Move along, Citizen (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394672)

Actually, after I made that post, I found a PopMech article [popularmechanics.com] debunking several of the more popular internet stories.

Re:Move along, Citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393710)

Caribbean? Wow man, way to miss the conspiracy news.

Re:Move along, Citizen (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393998)

...and the unsustainable debt accumulated by these companies to purchase bandwidth is backed by Government guarantees of repayment...regardless of how much money we have to print. The inflation destroying the savings accounts of fiscally responsible people is necessary, incidental, and unimportant. The expansion of the economy from the stimulating services created leveraging this expanded spectrum use will enrich everyone.

Re:Move along, Citizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394120)

...and the unsustainable debt accumulated by these companies to purchase bandwidth is backed by Government guarantees of repayment...regardless of how much money we have to print. The inflation destroying the savings accounts of fiscally responsible people is necessary, incidental, and unimportant. The expansion of the economy from the stimulating services created leveraging this expanded spectrum use will enrich everyone.

You noted it was unsustainable. That tells me you get it. For all the rest, here's your vision:

Yeah, "everyone" except everyone who did things right, learned to like delayed gratification, lived frugally and thriftilly, put away money for the future despite modest means, reluctantly and never carelessly entered into debt, made do with the conveniences of yesteryear instead of always having to have the latest shiny, made financial plans for their children and grandchildren including college tuition, didn't want to burden others who work hard for what they have, lived within their means, and generally acted like a responsible adult person, et al ...

Except for them, EVERYONE will be enriched. Yay? They earned it, uhm, right? Right?!

So what happens when you simultaneously reward one behavior and punish its opposite? On a very large scale? Any guesses?

Yeah, keep ignoring rational wisdom. See what kind of life that gives you. See what kind of nation it transforms into. As above, so below.

$6.5 billion absolute nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393476)

Spectrum auctions [ebay.co.uk] don't seem to get much more than £15 these days.

Re:$6.5 billion absolute nonsense (1)

tgeek (941867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393944)

You forgot to add in shipping and handling.

Don't need more spectrum (3, Insightful)

superid (46543) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393488)

I'm an EMT, there are 5 radios in my ambulance. I don't need more ways to talk to people. I need policies, documentation, good equipment, and most of all consistent interoperability training between multiple departments and jurisdictions. I really don't think the fix is more spectrum.

Re:Don't need more spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393720)

The proposed "more spectrum" is intended to go towards a system designed for interoperability, at which point you will hopefully have only one radio rather than 5. (Most likely, this will end up freeing a lot of old spectrum.)

Re:Don't need more spectrum (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394026)

Pah, Want to know the problem? Emergency types seek always to installing infrastructure and process. Interoperability is a buzzword that is often applied to the process and infrastructure.

When in fact, Infrastructure is the least needed part of the whole system. If infrastructure worked, then we already have a great emergency system - Cell phones. Yet the Cell phone system fails quickly in emergencies. What is needed is trained commnicators, and let them do the communicating. Firefighters, Police, and other emergency workers aren't trained in communications beyond mashing of a button and talking.And that isn't to be expected - they have their jobs to do.

But what is the best frequency to communicate across 1500 miles during daylight? 300 miles at night? You need someone who not only knows how to talk, but knows what to send where. ALE systems might work, but is there one on the other end. A trained radio operator who is knowledgeable in electronics is what is needed. Time and again, Ham radio operators figure out how to communicate when the awesome technology goes down. It's like the first casualty of war is the strategy plan.

And yet, what to we have now? The Hams were essential in comms after 9011, and other disasters like Katrina. But instead of figuring out what the Hams did, The emergency folks essentially said Wow, you Hams did great! Now you have to become like us!

Adding more bandwidth won't help, there will just be more infrastructure to fail. Another factor is that the cell phone carriers want more bandwidth to allow their customers to download more awesome apps for their smartphones.

With the ascendancy of digital electronics over old fashioned analog, the world is in dire need of good rf engineers. Because if there is one thing that it seems a lot of people just don't get, its that spectrum isn't infinite.

Re:Don't need more spectrum (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394038)

ObXKCD: http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Don't need more spectrum (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394158)

Also an EMT. Low band VHF (ugh) for our primary radio, UHF for the cops, and a VHF radio for interop. Couple of portables for each.

Recently, a neighboring town went to a trunked system, so now we can't communicate with them unless we do it over a state police channel that they're required to monitor. Not a technological issue, they just won't let us in. And we can still communicate over interop if the sh*t really hits the fan.

I've never quite understood the "everybody talks to everybody!" mentality that these discussions assume. If I need to talk to all those people that I basically never have the need to talk to in normal operations, I probably won't have the time to figure it out. That's why we have dispatch.

Re:Don't need more spectrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394196)

I'm an EMT, too. You know what I need? Pussy. Stat. How can I be expected to do my job with a set of blue balls? Stimulus? Stimulate my cock. Jobs? Sure, if it's a blow job.

Assuming it creates the jobs baraq claims it will, that comes out to $250,000 per job.

For $50,000 or so, you could create 5 times the jobs by paying hot MILFs, barely legal teens, college coeds, and even female midgets and amputees to sexually please our nations EMTs.

It's all good. (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393490)

The jobs bill is a joke. It's not going to be passed. It exists so that Obama can say "Look, I did a jobs bill, and this obstructionist do-nothing Congress wouldn't pass it!" You could say it's the kickoff to the Obama 2012 campaign.

(I make no comment here on the value of the actual policies contained in the jobs bill, merely on the motives of those proposing it and its chances in Congress.)

Re:It's all good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393550)

Masters achieve two aims with one move. It is both a kickoff, and also a reasonable jobs package. Whether Congress passes it or not depends on how desperate Americans really are for jobs, and whether the Republicans can risk being seen as obstructionist in a dire job market.

Re:It's all good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393660)

Ah yes.. just as reasonable as the last $800 billion jobs bill (shovel ready, immediate results, remember?). Let's face it, this bill exists because the pile of free pork money is getting low.

Re:It's all good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393786)

That one saved 100 million jobs. This one being half the size will only save 50 million jobs. Nobody is promising a net decrease in unemployment.

Oh, wait, that can't be right -- unemployment must have dropped dramatically due to the first $800 billion. I presume it will only drop by half as much due to another $450 billion.

No, wait, that doesn't sound quite right yet.

Something else is going on here. Let me think about it.

Re:It's all good. (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394318)

How the heck do you measure saved jobs? Someone want to explain that for me?

I DO recall promises that the unemployment rate wouldnt hit certain milestones, and THOSE promises were reneged on.

Re:It's all good. (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393778)

Herein I will criticize the jobs package.

There are going to be some tax breaks starting Soon (late 2011) for small businesses and workers. At the end of 2012, these tax breaks will expire. Also, the Bush tax cuts will expire (increasing tax on the bracket from 35% to 42% and the tax on long-term capital gains from 15% to 20%). There will also be another 0.9% Medicare tax on income over $200,000, and a 2.9% surcharge on investment income. Also, the government will raid charity for ~$400 billion (lesser tax deductions). Also,

So a small business owner is supposed to see these 16-month tax breaks and go "Yay! I'm going to create some jobs!"

Also, job training. Do me a favor. Go look up some former job programs like MDTA, CETA and JTPA and see how well they worked (and the current program, WIA) and tell me with a straight face that this is going to help the economy.

Also, more stimulus-style spending. Because the last round worked so very very well, and we know that paying it back in the future isn't going to be a problem at all nosiree Bob.

So the jobs act is a joke, but it would be worse if it were serious.

Re:It's all good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393960)

Interest rates are so low that borrowing is pretty much free money. Yes, free. Rates are so low compared to inflation that investors are practically paying *us* to borrow their money. There's absolutely no reason we shouldn't be going into debt and investing in this country. We have boatloads of infrastructure projects that need to be funded right now. They'll pay for themselves easily. There's new technology that the rest of the world is leaving us behind in developing that we could be funding. That'll pay for itself.

Fortune 500 companies are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, right now. They're not hiring people. If Corporate America won't create jobs, then it's left to the government to get it done. That's what we did to get out of the Great Depression and that's what we need to do now.

Bottom line: Debt is a long-term problem. Chronic unemployment is an immediate one and if we don't solve it, the hit to the economy will (and already has) cost us far more than any jobs package. At least with the jobs package, we'll have built some stuff.

Re:It's all good. (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394168)

The difference between "investing" and what the government is doing when it spends money on stimulus is this: when you invest $1, you expect to get more than $1 of useful stuff back - and probably more. You want to get the most bang for your buck. When the government spends $1, they go out of their way to get as little bang for the buck as possible, so that they can spend more. For instance,

In one redolent example, a federal contractor said he was told to use smaller, nonstandard tiles that are harder and more expensive to install in order to increase the cost of the project.

(-- Why the Stimulus Failed, in The Wall Street Journal, c.f. also No Such Thing as Shovel-Ready [mercatus.org] and Did Stimulus Dollars Hire the Unemployed? [mercatus.org] )

I'll give you something, through. It's true that the money is "free" until the world economy actually thaws and people demand interest for their money again. But come on -- what are the odds of that happening? :b

Re:It's all good. (0)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394308)

Fortune 500 companies are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, right now. They're not hiring people. If Corporate America won't create jobs, then it's left to the government to get it done. That's what we did to get out of the Great Depression and that's what we need to do now.

We got out of the Great Depression by reversing FDR's policies in order to fight a war and then failing to keep him alive in 1944. Truman didn't have the pull to reimplement the FDR scheme.

Bottom line: Debt is a long-term problem. Chronic unemployment is an immediate one and if we don't solve it, the hit to the economy will (and already has) cost us far more than any jobs package. At least with the jobs package, we'll have built some stuff.

Chronic unemployment is also a long term problem by definition.

But let's consider your core assertion, that someone needs to do something about all these bad problems we have and government is uniquely positioned to fix these problems.

The first question is "Why isn't business hiring?" They're allegedly sitting on huge sums of money as you admit. If we pay attention to what actual business people say, they claim that the current economic climate is too risky to hire people. A common refrain is that government regulation, particularly at the federal level, makes it particularly difficult to hire people. For example, businesses which grow past 50 employees trip a lot of new regulation on health care benefits. Similarly, the uncertain regulatory climate allegedly means that new investment is unnaturally risky.

So we have businesses with lots of cash and claims that government regulation inhibit hiring people and making investments. We also have actions which run counter to a businesses natural interests. It doesn't make sense for a company to keep cash around. It's very unusual, historically.

Finally, we have a number of other recessions and depressions to compare the current one to. There are graphs of unemployment versus the time since a recession started for a dozen or more recent US recessions. The current recession is much more severe and slower to recover than most of these other recessions. But not the Great Depression. So what else does it have in common with the Great Depression? A similarly proactive government appearing to be doing everything it can to create jobs.

I think it's past time to consider that maybe government is not helping here. For example, consider this simple metric for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). It spent roughly $600 billion over a number of years. The Congressional Budget Office, which traditionally acts as a propaganda mouthpiece justifying the laws passed by Congress, has claimed [care2.com] that it "created or saved" up to roughly three million jobs. That's roughly $200,000 spent per job "created or saved" according to one of the most optimistic sources out there.

Now maybe you don't flinch at such a number, but I think we could have spent that $200,000 per job better, say by not spending it at all.

A proportional boost from the recent $450 billion proposal would "create or save" only about 1.5-2 million jobs, if it turns out as successful as the CBO claimed the ARRA was. That's not good enough. Official unemployment is roughly 9 million people and there are many more who don't show up on that radar.

And we also have the problem that we don't actually have evidence that such larg-scale jobs stimulus actually works, now or even in the 1930s when FDR tried it in an attempt to end the Great Depression.

Keep in mind that there is an alternate strategy which already has been proven to work even in serious recessions (such as the 1957 one). Namely, let things be. Businesses can't sit on cash forever. And if as a president you're not actively sowing uncertainty via poorly thought out regulation and a business-hostile administration, then they don't have a reason to wait either.

Re:It's all good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37395028)

If we pay attention to what actual business people say, they claim that the current economic climate is too risky to hire people. A common refrain is that government regulation, particularly at the federal level, makes it particularly difficult to hire people. For example, businesses which grow past 50 employees trip a lot of new regulation on health care benefits.

You dumbass! You really do believe everything Hannity and his ilk are spewing.

Think about it! Business owners do not sit around thinking "I will hire more people when the overall economy improves or when the government dismantles regulations for 50 or more employees". It has nothing to do with economic climate or regulations.
There are some businesses right now that are hiring like crazy. How come? Because...

Businesses hire people when they NEED more people.

And, when do businesses NEED more people?
When they have to make and sell MORE product or serve MORE customers.

And, when do they need to make and sell MORE product or serve MORE customers?
When the demand for their product or service increases.

And, how can the demand be increased in a recessed economy?
By STIMULATING the economy through tax-cuts and job-programs so that people have the money to spend on products and services that the aforementioned businesses offer or by starting projects (creating demand) to which the aforementioned businesses can sell their products and services to. All this gets the money moving out of the so-called liquidity trap and that starts a positive spiral to recovery. Now, this doesn't mean that spending should be wasted to pay people to just break and fix windows ("broken window fallacy") but it does mean spending money on projects that provide long-term net benefit to the society such as infrastructure projects, schools, research etc, This not only improves the long-term well-being of the society but also provides for job-creation that leads to businesses bidding for spending-related projects which triggers them to hire more people who in turn now have the money to spend on some product or a service which in turn increases demand for other businesses selling that product or service. Tax-cuts also help because they put more money in employed people's pockets which they use to buy products and services which in turn increases demand which in turn makes businesses hire more people which in turn.. Hope you get the idea. .

And oh, regarding your condemnation of ARRA. The problem with ARRA was that it was not big enough to get a positive feedback loop going as described in the previous paragraph. It created a couple of million jobs but the spark was too small to turn into a big bonfire, it just kind of fizzled. If ARRA had been big enough to help close the output gap, it could have done much better.

Re:It's all good. (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393982)

... the motives of those proposing it

Amazing how many people delude themselves into thinking they can read minds. I'm constantly hearing attacks on the president asserting intimate knowledge of his motives. "The president hates America, the president is wants to destroy America, blah, blah, blah."

I would like to tell these people that they really can't read minds, and everyone would be better served by commenting on actual policies.

Re:It's all good. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394332)

Most of the criticisms I hear and voice are more aimed at "I think Obama has poor policy decisions". Any issues with that?

Re:It's all good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394398)

I knew you were going to say that!

You've got it absolutely right (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394094)

There's no surprise it's being announced when the Republican Tea Party primary warmup debates are going on. Obama couldn't get the Debt Ceiling deal done without giving away 3/4 of the store, when not doing so would have supposedly caused a Constitutional crisis (it wouldn't have actually caused the US to default, in spite of what Obama and the Tea Partiers said, but would have caused massive cuts in Social Security checks and Federal paychecks.) And he's pretending that he can announce a "Jobs Bill" and expect a Republican House to pass any of it just on his say-so?

Re:You've got it absolutely right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394400)

(it wouldn't have actually caused the US to default, in spite of what Obama and the Tea Partiers said, but would have caused massive cuts in Social Security checks and Federal paychecks.)

Sounds every bit as bad as a default to me, regardless of the terminology used to describe the effects, it's still not paying your obligations.

Re:It's all good. (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394452)

WTF is this even doing in a "Jobs" bill. Wait. I know. It;s not a Jobs bill. It's the annual payoff Democratic donors Bill. A grab bag of Dem pork.

Fuck you all.

Agency Intercommunication not a Spectrum Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393492)

Unfortunately, Congress is attempting to solve a technical problem that can't really be solved at this level. Although everybody wants more wireless spectrum, and can never have enough, adding spectrum here will not make intercommunication happen. What will make it happen is causing the various public service agencies to create municipal communication agencies that build and operate the radio systems for all of the agencies in a coordinated fashion.

Unfortunately, what a spectrum allocation does is make it possible for this to happen by a complete replacement of all existing public service communication systems in a municipality, because the old radios are not compatible with the new frequencies. So, we're going to put them all on the new frequencies, and replace all of their equipment. The communication equipment companies love this and that's who is behind it. If that's not enough, they've just gone through a wholesale replacement of systems because they were mandated to go to narrow-band channels and APCO P.25 digital communications capable equipment (mostly they use the digital equipment in FM rather than digital mode, because the codec in APCO doesn't handle background noise well). This was also driven in part by the equipment manufacturers. And we're going to throw out that brand new equipment now.

We also did this just recently with the 700 MHz band, and those frequencies are still mostly unused.

Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393498)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Spectrum should be leased, not sold (3, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393558)

It belongs to the public. A single entity should not get exclusive access to the spectrum in perpetuity. They should have to pay an annual lease on it to continue using it.

This also prevents companies from buying up spectrum to stifle competition. If they lease large amounts of spectrum which they then don't use, the bid price on the remainder will go up. The government can then use that bid price to raise the lease price for all spectrum in subsequent years, making it too expensive for companies to continue sitting on that spectrum. It's the same concept behind property taxes in real estate - by raising the price to own property in a highly desirable area, you force the owners to do something useful with the property rather than sitting on it as a speculative or anti-competitive move.

Re:Spectrum should be leased, not sold (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393876)

AMEN!

It was theft to give away the frequencies, instead of TV corporations having to regularly renew their permission from the government, which came with restrictions, to use the frequencies.

After GWB gave those national treasures away as presents to those corporations, they rented out subcarriers on the extra frequencies they didn't need, but now owned. NOW, some will be "voluntarily giving up" some of the extra frequencies they didn't need, and they will be sold, and the corporations get to keep half the current sale value of them. And the people who had those frequencies stolen away from them, now only get half the current value. Remember radio spectrum is limited, so will only go up in value. Good thing we are selling more spectrum now, so we can piss it away on short term spending...and then buy, or rent, it back in a generation for 1,000 times the price.

Why aren't people yelling loudly about this?

Re:Spectrum should be leased, not sold (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37393974)

Because people are waiting for the TV that uses that spectrum to tell them to what to yell about.

Re:Spectrum should be leased, not sold (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394024)

When you actually use spectrum, you have equipment (wireless radios and stuff) that becomes useless if the spectrum gets taken away. You can't just repurpose arbitrary hardware to operate on new frequencies. You need different chips, different antennas, and probably new deployment studies so you know where there's coverage - not to mention the actual work of going out there and reconfiguring or reinstalling everything. Spectrum is much more useful (and valuable) when you can be sure that it's going to stick around for a while.

Besides, at another level, you can convert between income streams and lump sums using the wonders of Economics. A billion dollars in the Treasury is ~$35 million a year in interest charges that the government doesn't have to pay (using recent interest rates for the 30-year Treasury bond).

Re:Spectrum should be leased, not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394128)

Spectrum is much more useful (and valuable) when you can be sure that it's going to stick around for a while.

Or you could use less specialized hardware.

Re:Spectrum should be leased, not sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394382)

I suspect that there is a possible large campaign contribution involved. Or someone with a large pool of dead voters.

Still trying (1, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393630)

Obama is still trying to feather the government nest on the backs of taxpayers. We need to slash spending and taxes to revive the economy. The Bolsheviks have failed.

Re:Still trying (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393860)

Obama is still trying to feather the government nest on the backs of taxpayers. We need to slash spending and taxes to revive the economy. The Bolsheviks have failed.

What the crap are you talking about?
After 9/11 everyone agreed that we needed to get all our emergency services talking to each other on the same frequency...
then nothing happened. We've spent over a trillion dollars in Iraq/Afghanistan, but $6.5 billion for domestic emergency response
is feathering the government nest?

The only mighty wind is the one coming out your ass.

Re:Still trying (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393990)

He's talking about the crap that Obama called a "jobs bill" that this spectrum plan is attached to - the one paying for 16 months' worth of temporary payroll tax incentives (woo, comma, hoo) with permanent tax increases (conveniently postponed until 2013, after the general election).

He also refers to Obama's previous stimulus efforts, ObamaCare, and the campaign premise of "spread the wealth around", calling these policies "Bolshevik" - a simple application of rhetoric, comparing these ideas with others who called for redistribution measures, with disastrous consequences.

I mean, if you'd like to dispute those characterizations and the validity of his premises, that's one thing, but if you actually found that confusing, you're probably not smart enough to be talking about politics on the Internet.

Go ask Europe how austerity is working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394020)

Spoilers: It's not.

We've somehow managed to survive... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393770)

... without it for the last 10 years, why piss the money down the rat hole now when we can least afford it? Government make-work jobs don't recover an economy. Real, organic economic growth recovers an economy - that is - production that is based on the laws of the free market and demand. You can build something of little utility that nobody really wants or needs (especially since any police department, fire station, or rescue squad in the nation is a phone call away and any smart phone user can locate one anywhere in seconds).

Then there's the question of why. Why does NYPD need instant, over-the-air access to LAPD? What could possibly be so exigent to warrant the expenditure on such a system?

Re:We've somehow managed to survive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394064)

>Then there's the question of why. Why does NYPD need instant, over-the-air access to LAPD? What could possibly be so exigent to warrant the expenditure on such a system?

Terrorist attacks. Also the problem wasn't that NYPD couldn't talk to LAPD, it's that they couldn't talk to FDNY.

Re:We've somehow managed to survive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394100)

Politician don't like being questioned on subjects that can expose dirty secrets that the public shouldn't know about.

Re:We've somehow managed to survive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394558)

Why does NYPD need instant, over-the-air access to LAPD? What could possibly be so exigent to warrant the expenditure on such a system?

Just in case some terrorist in NYC launches an ICBSM (Inter continental ballistic shark missile) at LA. The TSA spent millions on sweat detectors, so why not billions on this?

Good. (1)

Chardansearavitriol (1946886) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393804)

But we should be doing many of the things the comission said. But this is a good one especially. If we're going to have emergency services, why would we keep them on a line thats subject to being overwhelmed in the event of an emergency of catastrophic proportions? to superid: You wont be listening to any more radios, unless something along the lines of a massive terrorist attack happens. Then, with those radios being overwhelmed, you wont be left to stramble and make choices with anything but a local view of the immediate situation. Says right in the slashdot summary. Thats the major purpose of the network. Not so people who can already communicate well do, but to bring mor epeople on, without fear of the slew of services that manifest in the wake of a disaster being overwhelmed. Its really, really important if your night suddenly goes from "dehydrated kid with syncope" (by the way, who breaks into a small town EMT center in winter? Cold IV fluids certainly wake you up. jerk vandals.) to "level 5 hurricane" or "large fireball downtown" to be able to communicate in the now heavily used communications networks. Just sayin'

Spectrum sale? (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393832)

I never owned a Spectrum, it had a terrible keyboard. Back in those days I had a Commodore 64

Problem? (2)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393838)

Just dial 9.1.1.1!

Or in the IPv6 world, 0009:0001:0001:0001:0001:0001:0001:0001.

When I read the title (2)

abednegoyulo (1797602) | more than 3 years ago | (#37393950)

and seing the keywords Jobs, Bill, and networks, for a minute there I thought of a different content of the article.

Jobs? Bill? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394000)

The jokes practically write themselves!

Re:Jobs? Bill? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394286)

I read those two words and immediately thought, "Gates is visiting Steve? And what do they have to do with a spectrum sale?"

Spectrum (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394044)

An easier way to raise money would be to deregulate broadcasters and allow them to offer broadband services, similar to what is being done in Europe using a DVB-T2 format. There is already a provision that would provide a 5% ancillary revenue fee back to the government from broadcasters, teh gift that would keep on giving. The problem seems to be that our government wants concentration of certain industries with a few...sounds a bit Fascist, doesn't it?

Jobs are made by new businesses (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394074)

Obama and everyone else in the government have it wrong.

Giving money to existing businesses will not create jobs. Existing businesses already have the employees they need to create their product, and if you give them money in a bad economy they will hoard it waiting for the economy to get better. (This is not 100% true in all cases, but as a general rule it works very well.)

You get jobs from new businesses. New businesses grow to accommodate production - once a business can meet demand for it's product or service, growth essentially stops.

New businesses come from innovation on top of infrastructure.

Most innovation is an incremental improvement in an existing product. Your company makes perfusion pumps. If you can make the same pump but 5% smaller, or 5% lighter, or 5% cheaper, or lasts 50% longer - that's generally good enough to start a business.

Innovation:

Patents are largely impossible for the small business right now. They are expensive and don't afford any sort of protection. Patent descriptions are so broadly written and subject to so much interpretation that it is likely that any innovation you make is covered by numerous patents. There are trolls out there ready to take everything away once you've done all the hard work.

Any similarities between your product and an existing product will net you a copyright violation.

Infrastructure:

The criminal laws are so broadly written and subject to so much interpretation that enforcement has become largely discretionary. Local prosecutors are not held responsible for bringing merit-less cases to court, so be sure not to piss anyone off in the government.

The regulatory laws are broadly written and subject to interpretation, and again enforcement has become largely discretionary (viz: Gibson and Martin [slashdot.org] )

The cell phone network only covers metropolitan areas, and is so unstable that Apple can come out with a popular product (IPhone 1.0) and overload the system, making it impossible to make calls. In Manhattan (!)

High speed internet is only available in metropolitan areas, and is so overloaded that the carriers are implementing rationing (aka data caps).

Our electric system is old and outdated - by some estimates 20% of the generated power is wasted because we can't route it efficiently.

Our postal system is expensive and somewhat unreliable, yet we can't let more efficient companies (UPS and FedEx) deliver mail.

Our air travel rules are so invasive and abhorrent that people refuse to use it. Good luck getting your sales people to other cities, or sending an engineer to work out problems with a vendor.

Our tax structure is so complicated that it requires expert advice and constant vigilance for compliance. With Amazon giving in [slashdot.org] to external states demands to collect sales tax, expect this to get a lot worse before it gets better. Every cash-strapped state, county, and local town will be all over the net looking for their cut.

About the only piece of infrastructure in the US that seems to be OK is the interstate highway system.

Any single one of these can be considered minor, or could be ignored or dealt with by accommodation. Allocate some funds to hire a CPA, or a lawyer, or patent searcher, or whatever.

Taken in concert, the whole package puts a severe chilling effect on business growth in the US. That's why we don't have jobs any more, that's why the economy is taking so long to turn around.

We just don't have it any more.

"Free" Trade is a huge factor (0)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394324)

Free Trade is not free.

The empire is going down; this large train is headed for bigger crashes and despite some of us seeing it coming it can't stop in time even when the clueless people take notice.

It really does not matter what bill you come up with-- the broken system will output garbage; adapting to they system isn't going to help but that is what is being tried.

It is rather simple, the terrorist religious fanatics have won this decade; on both sides over here and in the middle east. They continue to win. Our nuts are rising to new extremes (ironically also holding Fascist ideologies) if the debt limit phoney crisis and the GOP debates don't illustrate that then you probably are not cut out for politics. Obama is negotiating with terrorists; the reason you don't negotiate with them is because they have leverage; once you implement a non-negotiation policy you remove that leverage and put the blame onto them. This "Jobs bill" is easily 60% GOP concepts that have poor or miserable track records; they won't pass it if it is 99% if the politics help Obama. period. The hostages can die, they don't care (or are bluffing) and so they have leverage... Not that the Dems are that far off in their viewpoints these days; they've shifted towards the GOP slowly for decades... working for those corporate dollars.

Your statements about the USPS are way off; you don't know what you are talking about-- when you overreach you risk undermining your credibility. FedEx? ha!

An interstate highway bridge collapsed just a few years ago; remember?? That was a shared mistake between MN and the feds. Roads last a long time and that system has been equally mismanaged.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394364)

Exactly. We have fundamental systemic issues that a bit of "stimulus" spending here & there is not going to fix. Plus, most of the things you mentioned are there due to entrenched assets, with no representation of the opposing side. For instance, who lobbies on behalf of the public domain?

And then there's all the big stuff like health care, social security, and the real estate market black-holing a ton of value.

Unacceptable (3, Informative)

Space (13455) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394102)

I volunteer with a fire department in rural east Texas. None of the area volunteer fire departments want the new networks the cities keep pushing for. There is an 800MHz trunked network used by a few local law enforcement officers. There are only five carrier frequencies on that system and more than five departments using the network. If my department was on that same network and we were in a burning building and needed to communicate with the pump operator we are not guaranteed to be able to transmit. A fire fighter could burn up because the local PD was busy checking a license plate. Unacceptable.

Re:Unacceptable (1)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 3 years ago | (#37394838)

If you're in the piney parts of southeast Texas (Beaumont, Houston, Jasper, Vidor), you'll discover something interesting about 800Mhz. A pine needle is almost the same length as an 800Mhz radio wave and thus they make great RF absorbers. Get into a good dense grove of pine trees and you'll not be able to hear shit.

The folks where I used to live in the Texas hill country got a big hardon once for an 800Mhz trunked system until they discovered they'd have to put in 20ish separate repeater sites to cover the county.

Instead they invested their drug bust money in a system that you could hear all the way down to Corpus Christi but couldn't talk back into from 20 miles away without a 100W mobile.

Re:Unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37395000)

Not so. If that's the case, the system is not being managed nor provisioned correctly.

Digital radio systems also provide for a "priority call" and/or emergency call, whereby it can actually boot users from their current call, thusly ensuring that fire fighter's call gets through. And with last call priority, you can be sure such calls go to the top of the queue once you do successfully make contact, without fear a second plate check will cut you off again. You're also ignoring the fact that if both the firefighter and the PD are using the same channel at the same time on an analog system (what you use now), one of two things will happen. One, the stronger signal will win, meaning the fire fighter's call may be silently lost with the fire fighter having no indication it was lost. Or two, now both calls, the PD and FD calls, are now both completely garbled and both calls are lost with the possibility of both knowing they were lost. On a digital system, the firefighter knows the call completed. That's simply not true with analog.

Simply put, I'm not sure who gave you such bad information, but almost nothing you stated is well grounded. Nonetheless, everything you said is a very common misconception.

Horrible idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394272)

OK how frequently do catastrophic emergencies happen?.... ALMOST NEVER -- Why should we base our communications system around this scenario? Can you imagine the bureaucratic nightmares involved with the daily operation of a national emergency communications network?! Since when does anything on a national level work swimmingly? It would nearly neuter the productivity of every local district. What we have now works well. Each department and area is responsible for it's own administrative domain. It keeps policy relevant, streamlines change, and best of all COSTS US NOTHING. This idea is foolish and offers little benefit outside of extreme emergency.

Re:Horrible idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394288)

A large part of the internet was originally constructed (mil.net) to enable efficient communication between various NORAD sites in the event of a global thermonuclear war...

6.5b does not build a public safety network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394300)

the real estimates are between 10 and 30b. there is no way to get that from spectrum auctions. they should just use the commercial networks which will run more efficiently and have better maintenance. The bill pushes for a new government run company to build a nationwide network. Why not bid it out to the current networks?

The new network will lease towers from American Tower or Crown Castle (same as verizon/att), and buy the same LTE equipment as verizon/att and then work in what way that is better? The new network will have less coverage and be more expensive. Where are they going with this?

Jobs Bill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37394622)

Though this was about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates doing something together.
Comprehenxion failE, ma gramma sux too!

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