The Inalienable Right to High-Speed Internet Access
The federal government will spend almost $82 million in Missouri to expand high-speed Internet access in rural areas. This is no doubt a boon to rural residents who want faster Internet access, but is this really a necessary function of the government? Most people in rural areas can already get high-speed Internet access through satellite connections — although they carry the same limitations as satellite television.
More to the point, if these people deeply desire faster Internet service, they have the option of moving into a decent-sized town and getting a cable or DSL connection. The fact that they don’t indicates that, for the vast majority of these people, living in a rural area is more important than having extremely fast Internet service. Choices involve trade-offs, and if a person chooses to live in a rural area, he should either be willing to forgo high-speed Internet access or pay the market rate for the service. Because I live in Saint Louis, it is easier for me to attend large, public events like Cardinals games and the upcoming Rush concert than it is for someone from Shannon County, but that does not mean the government should subsidize trips to Saint Louis for people from Shannon County. At the same time, I cannot enjoy Missouri’s outdoors as easily as someone from Shannon County, but the government shouldn’t pay for my float trips on Current River.
A person should be free to live where and however he pleases provided he does not interfere with the equal right of others to do the same. It is not the government’s role to subsidize one way of life over another.
Link via John Combest.