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"Christopher P. Tully" <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>On the proposal to havce each Free-Net send any portion of its
>donations to a national office to be redistributed, I see many
>problems:
>
>1)  I, the donor am less likely to donate - I don't mind giving to my
>public radio station and having them send some of their money back to
>the national office, but then I get the daily news from the natioonal
>office, so I benefit directly by that.  However, under the model
>discussed so far, the national office only takes in money and then
>redistributes it (presumably keeping some fraction for its own
>operating expenses) - it does not provide a service comperable to the
>NPR News.  This might work if the national office were to handle
>negotiations for all Free-Nets to have access to a given set of
>commercial services....
 
Isn't NPTN offering cybercasting and Academy One services already?
 
>2)  Why should I, the Free-Net, send money to the "home office" just to
>have it sent back to me?  This costs ME!!  In addition to not having
>the money right away, not all of the money that I send in will even go
>back to other Free-Nets, because the national office has to get its
>operating expenses from somewhere.  So, again I say that I am willing
>to support a national office, IF it provides a service that is useful
>to my community.
 
Perhaps because Free-Nets are not in business simply to make money for
themselves.  If they are, why bother?  Prodigy already does this.  I
thought Free-Nets were supposed to be something *else*, however.
 
>3)  Remember United Way?  This model makes it possible for one
>dishonest person to undermine the entire Free-Net system the way the
>United Way has been affected.  Another model that might work as far as
>spreading the wealth, is to have the wealthier systems provide
>grants-in-aid to smaller systems.  Or, if a small system cannot support
>itself, why not merge with a neighboring larger system which is self
>supporting - the small system can shipit data etc to the larger system
>(as in news stringers) and the larger system can provide a set of local
>lines in the community that originally established the small system.
 
The United Way was (is?) a classic example of something being run by
people on the basis of what was best for THEMSELVES -- why should the
top UW people have given up their huge salaries.  Sounds more like what
you were advocating than what I was, IMO.
 
>These are just the ones that I thought of off of the top of my head,
>but I am quite willing to play devil's advocate when it comes to my
>local entity sending its money (or a fraction thereof) to a national
>office, just to have it sent back.  Aside from striking me as
>incredibly inefficient, I can't think of one instance in which this
>model is currently working.
 
The highway system?  The telephone and electric utilities in rural
areas?  More pertinent to the discussion at hand, don't the private TV
broadcast stations in the UK pool their advertising revenues in some
way?  I know Channel Four has shown things that US broadcasters
wouldn't DARE touch (well, *some* PBS stations *might* show such things
in the 2:00AM slot).
 
I can't think of an example where selfish profit maximization WORKED
when it comes to electronic media (if you define "worked" as something
other than "earned the most money for those who own the media").
 
David Barts  N5JRN                      UW Civil Engineering, FX-10
[log in to unmask]                Seattle, WA  98195