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3G Auction to Aid Gore's Campaign

By Stargazer in News
Fri Jul 14, 2000 at 09:07:43 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

Business/technology watcher Robert X. Cringely discusses the upcoming October auction of Third Generation Wireless (3G) contracts. Similar auctions fetched spectacular amounts in Britain, and Cringely sees in the United States' auction a chance for the government to get some serious money -- and an opportunity for Al Gore to get a campaign boost.

As it stands, Clinton is seriously underestimating the amount of money that this auction should bring to his initiative to balance the budget and pay national debt. With over $1 trillion being possible for the government to earn (compared to the $2.67 billion guesstimate), Cringely muses that Al Gore will get credit and a serious campaign boost for such a mass of funds.

Do you think that the average voter in America really cares that much about high-tech high-business? Will it really help Al Gore's campaign as much as Cringely thinks it will -- to the point that W. will not have a chance to recover? Do you think it will even help him at all?


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3G Auction to Aid Gore's Campaign | 14 comments (12 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
The Gore windfall isn't about tech (3.00 / 1) (#1)
by Rasputin on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 04:08:42 PM EST

In fact, the less the voters know about technology, the better it is for Gore. All the voters will see is a substantial paydown of the total debt. The less they know about where the money came from (and the fact that this is unlikely to happen again for several years) the better for Gore.

I suspect George Jr's best chance is to play up the fact that it's a one shot deal and the debt is still going to be paid by the American people. Only it will now be paid in the form of user fees for the new wireless technology instead of by taxes. Of course I don't know how much you should trust a Canadian's commentary on American politics ;)

This actually strikes me as a slightly more progressive form of "tax". The people paying are the ones using the service and would generally be those in the best position to pay.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

Re: The Gore windfall isn't about tech (none / 0) (#12)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Jul 14, 2000 at 11:17:51 AM EST

Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

The rat who won: the winner rat, that is. :)

[ Parent ]
Gore and Bush are *not* the only candidates (none / 0) (#2)
by pretzelgod on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 04:54:13 PM EST

I was hoping the k5 community was a tad more informed. Oh well.

Ever heard of the School of the Americas?

Re: Gore and Bush are *not* the only candidates (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by Inoshiro on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 05:40:08 PM EST

I'm Canadian, but I think that I've heard of Ralph Nader and the Green Party as nice people to vote for... :-) Perhaps you should share your own listing of parties and hopefuls.

[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Re: Gore and Bush are *not* the only candidates (none / 0) (#5)
by bobsquatch on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 06:01:07 PM EST

Much as I'd like to see third parties grab some seats in this election, we're going to have a Democrat or a Republican in the White House. Nader, Buchanan, and Whoever-the-hell-the-Libertarians-are-running don't stand a chance.

I'll take seriously the prospect of a third-party President in 2001, just after I take seriously the prospect of all the air in my living room just coincidentally jumping to the dining room. And meteorite insurance for my bike. And Britney Spears actually saying something deep and intelligent in an interview. None of these are impossible, just not worth my time, since they ain't gonna happen. Get over it.

[ Parent ]

Re: Gore and Bush are *not* the only candidates (none / 0) (#8)
by bsletten on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 06:21:43 PM EST

I've read many condemnations of the three party system when people still basically fall on either side of an arbitrary midpoint in the spectrum. It is argued that any vote for a third party candidate will end up electing the opposing party's candidate.

In a campaign of an incompetent boob against a capricious policy butterfly, I'd like to vote for C), but fear the boob getting elected. At the same point, I'd rather not endorse the butterfly. If it weren't for the pending Supreme Court appointments, I wouldn't care...

Withdrawing in disgust is not the same thing as apathy. -- Rich Linklater

[ Parent ]
Re: Gore and Bush are *not* the only candidates (none / 0) (#11)
by Rasputin on Fri Jul 14, 2000 at 09:35:12 AM EST

I understand that, even as an outsider. Unfortunately there are 2 problems that need to be considered here:

1) While there will probably be a few non-[democrat|republican] candidates elected to the house, the reality is the odds of a non-traditional party getting the presidency is right up there with the odds of the moon becoming a black hole.

2) As far as I know, the electoral college still can't count past 2 ;)
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.
[ Parent ]

3G Costs (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 06:10:38 PM EST

$2.6 billion is a very conservative estimate indeed, the British licenses have gone for 22 billion in total, that's about $33 billion.

Now consider the US has over four times the population than the UK, the licences are going to be very hot indeed.

Without a doubt, these licenses are just another form of tax, since the costs will undoubtedly be passed onto the consumer, whilst the government happily counts its coffers.

Re: 3G Costs (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Jul 14, 2000 at 08:53:36 PM EST

It's not a tax, or to be somewhat more truthful, it is a tax on the shareholders not the users. Prices in a compatative market are decided by the variable cost and *not* the fixed cost.

The problem arises only when they overpay and can't recupiate the cost. Being heavely in debt they will fold, with them the banks and with that you have S&L2

[ Parent ]

Re: 3G Costs (none / 0) (#14)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Jul 15, 2000 at 06:12:14 AM EST

And the government can then spend that money on public services or reduce other taxes, either of which provide a general benefit. We collectively own the wireless bandwidth wireless companies need, so why not get the greatest possible benefit from the resource? The licenses would end up going to the highest bidder anyway as those without would purchase them from those who were lucky enough to get one, so it's much better that the revenue from this go to a public purpose.

[ Parent ]
Wouldn't doubt it (none / 0) (#7)
by sallgeud on Thu Jul 13, 2000 at 06:14:34 PM EST

Would you have any doubts that Gore would take money from companies with the expectation that he give them preference. He's done it before.

That's a whole lot of money for doing.. nothing re (none / 0) (#10)
by marks on Fri Jul 14, 2000 at 03:56:39 AM EST

The same thing is going on in The Netherlands at the moment, see this page. Basically these auctions are a great abuse of power; "You want something that's useless to me, nevertheless, I've got it, therefor you must pay". In the end it all comes down to customers paying the government for some very expensive air.

3G Auction to Aid Gore's Campaign | 14 comments (12 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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