by David G. Hanger
August 18, 2004
In this regard only has Tom erred in his otherwise excellent article, an error primarily semantic in nature undoubtedly, but one with some consequence nonetheless. No, Tom, Karl Amylon is not a socialist; he is a fascist punk. Fascism is the form of government that despises free enterprise and centralizes all industrial authority, not socialism. That minor error aside he has pinpointed precisely how extreme Amylon's attitude toward the private sector really is.
Despite Amylon's assertion that the public sector does it better than the private sector, the evidence of Amylon's own record demonstrates what a complete lie that is. For several years I have encouraged, albeit subtly, others to review the records of the Ketchikan Internet Service case against KPU. A little digging would have brought to light the fact that KPU's internet service has been losing operationally $500,000 a year, a number that exceeds considerably the annual revenues Ketchikan Internet Service collected while providing service to almost as many customers. This operational loss does not include several millions spent for equipment obsolescent at the time of purchase.
Nor is KPU's internet service in the same league qualitatively with the private sector service it destroyed. KPU has had as many service outages in a week as KIS had in its entire existence, but comparable quality is best measured in this business by the level of security of the system, and only a handful of people in this community begin to understand the sophistication of the KIS system that was almost invulnerable to outside attack. By comparison KPU system security verges on the non-existent.
What most locals fail to understand is that this basic KPU internet service at $12 or so a month actually costs KPU between $37 and $38 a month to deliver, and I am confident you can all figure out from there where the rest of that money is coming from. KPU has been subsidizing their internet service for several years now which, of course, is one of two reasons why KPU rates were recently increased. Whether we use KPUnet or not does not matter; we are all paying for the service at a rather exorbitant monthly cost.
What Karl Amylon has presented us with his own performance is a perfect case study of the fallacy of his own assertion that the public sector does it better. For many times the cost of the private sector service previously available KPU provides a service of lower quality. (The issue of high-speed internet access is a classic example of smoke distorting reality. The simple fact is KPU is paying out the nose and otherwise conjunctively dealing with AT&T for some of the limited fiber-optic space available locally. Nothing has materially changed in ten years respective the town's fiber-optic capacity. KPU just periodically tosses a couple extra hundred thousand to AT&T to sustain the pretense they can provide reasonably-priced, high-speed internet access, then disperses that massive subsidy of this perfidious loser to the rest of us.) Not only is Amylon's assertion fallacious, he has also demonstrated by his conduct that he is an incompetent phony.
It is time for this community to wake up to the fact it cannot afford Karl Amylon's experiments in social and economic engineering. The right is telling you, and the left is confirming in this instance that Amylon's hatred for free and private enterprise is a reality, which leads to one simple fact. We need a new city and KPU manager badly. Free enterprise is the stuff of life in this great land, messy though it may be, and any individual so intent on using our tax dollars to destroy free enterprise should be summarily fired.
Good job, Tom.
David G. Hanger
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