Chad the Elder, resident of St. Louis Park and most voluminous writer at (if not mastermind of) Fraters Libertas
, has watched his city engage in an attempt to be really cutting edge in its mad rush to soft socialism -- solar wifi. Here are pictures
of the plan to put little antennas and solar collectors around the suburban Minneapolis city. Note: all pictures taken on a sunny day. Not sure if sun was the problem or not, but the city now announces that it must scrap the plan
. It appears to be $800,000 or more invested in this project, for which they have about 200 families hooked up (not on solar, alas) and news reports
indicate that another $3 million might be needed to get the poles transferred to the city so they might complete the project
. Chad argues instead to keep them as monuments
I think the city should keep the poles and panels that dot our city landscape as a reminder of the futility of government getting involved in areas far outside their legitimate scope and trying to provide service that isn't needed. Let them stand as a reminder for the next time some "enlightened" civic leader proposes the next half-baked scheme to improve our quality of life. Especially if it sounds "cool"...
The story isn't very new, of course: Like so many other projects, Tim Wu
demonstrates, wi-fi has been almost as incapable of busting the last-mile problem of internet delivery as any other alternative to DSL or cable. The cities cannot really build the systems themselves, nor do they want to: They seek a shared ownership with the private sector. The only thing relatively unique about SLP's attempt was the government putting a green spin on this to either make it sound cool or gain political support from environmental groups that can get you a band of door knockers whenever you need them.
Labels: economics, Minnesota