The politicians running Dallas, TX, are offering another example of what pro-liberty economist and economic historian Robert Higgs described in his groundbreaking book, “Crisis and Leviathan” as “the ratcheting effect.”
That’s the year-upon-year, month-upon-month, day-upon-day phenomenon of politicians claiming society is plagued by an ever-increasing array of “crises” that, of course, only can be solved by politicians. Those “fixes” don’t fix anything, shift useable capital and human energy away from where free individuals would utilize them, and, subsequently, see the same or future politicians add new “fixes” to solve the problems they created or worsened.
Thus, on April 18, Dallas city “officials” reviewed plans to make the entire city “internet-equal,” because, of course, any “inequality” in anything is assumed to be evil, people have a “right” to wifi-enabled internet, and politicians can force some people to pay for making everyone “equal.”
City leaders want Dallas to be a ‘Smart City’ with wireless internet access everywhere. The plans were discussed Monday at a briefing for the City Council Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
And, of course, many involved in the push appear to be very concerned with the “inequality” in wifi supply, an inequality, they imply, that is tied to region, race, and economic “status.”
And, to them, this justifies wealth redistribution, wifi-style:
During the COVID-19 pandemic when kids were forced to stay home, the North-South digital divide in Dallas became a greater problem.
Which forces honest observers to ask, “What is a ‘digital divide’? Why is that a problem? Who forced kids to stay home, away from the tax-funded schools? Who replaced private family decisions about education and budgets with political commands? Who forced people who don’t have kids to pay for the education of other people’s children? Who shut down businesses and mandated masks?”
Most important: “Who defines ‘problem’?”
From root to branch, every fibre of the “forced to stay home” situation, and the fallout it caused, stem from government mandates, going all the way to government claims of control over education. (Sorry! In leftist parlance, that’s “offering children the blessing” of government-mandated pedagogy.)
And the root of that is the conceit to claim that one’s own perspective is more important than another’s, and to subsume his or her prerogatives beneath one’s own.
If someone tries to do that in the private world of society, people usually look at it as criminal.
But it’s the modus operandi of politics.
’Southeast Dallas is one of the areas that has some of the largest percentages of households with children that lack internet access,’ City Councilman Jaime Resendez said.
Again, we see disturbing assumptions: that it’s a crisis for some people of meager means to be without high-speed fiber internet (evidently, providing it will be part of the Dallas plan, in addition to spreading wifi signals everywhere), and that the city should tax people to bring that blessing to those who can’t get it.
As Ternesha Womack notes, for The Dallas Express, the buzz of “fairness” rises as queen-bee collectivists assume they can use unfair means to make the political “hive” conform to their ideal.
According to Dottie Smith, President of Dallas nonprofit The Commit Partnership and co-chair of the Internet for All coalition, in 2020, nearly 75,000 Dallas County families lacked reliable broadband, making virtual learning difficult.
Why is this the concern of the polis? Under the original Lockean view of the “justified” political arrangement, government was supposed to be for stopping/punishing person-on-person aggression and theft. Now, it’s the machine of aggression and theft, dictated by the morphing crisis-mentalities of the politicians.
And it’s so “critical,” to make all “equal” that wifi radiators – and cameras -- will be posted all over the city…
The plan is to install new streetlights in the area that are topped with WiFi devices.
Beyond expanding internet access, Dallas City Council intends for these streetlights to aid in the fight against crime in South Dallas.
Of COURSE the council does…
Not only will the new fixtures provide lighting, but their built-in WiFi devices will feature cameras with microphones for gunshot detection.
Ahh, yes. “Gunshot detection.” No problem.
Don’t worry about privacy… The politicians will decide where privacy is worthwhile and where it isn't. That, of course, will depend on whether you’re part of a preferred “subgroup”, if you’re a part of a favored class…
Due to privacy concerns, the City has decided not to place the camera-equipped devices on the residential streets on Bruton Road.
And, to round it all off, we get an example of journalistic normalcy bias. Womack writes:
According to City officials, $1 million is available to fund the equipment and make Red Cloud’s WiFi system operational by September 2022.
This cash doesn’t rain down from the clouds. It’s not “available,” it is taken from people, many of whom might not want this, or who might have other preferences that take precedence over supplying “high-speed” internet to others.
The way to find out if people value wifi and high-speed net connectivity is to get the government out of it, allowing consumers to pay or not pay, and freeing-up companies to enter the market without bowing to the politicians – something that is a real problem in Dallas, right now.
Pandering and political schemes cannot hide the government aggression. Claims of “fairness” merely reveal their arrogance and conceit.
But you can bet that Dallas will not be the only city where politicians push for the same kind of handout and surveillance.
What a "devout Catholic." pic.twitter.com/XRuwfiBSnd— MRCTV (@mrctv) May 3, 2022