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Safelink Wireless - Free Govt. Subsidized Cell Phones

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The other day I caught this

for a service called "Safelink Wireless" which offers free cell phones subsidized by the US government. The service is provided by Tracfone (a subsidiary of América Móvil) and according to their website "about us" page:

TracFone Wireless believes that cell phone ownership is a right and an important tool for individual success in today's world. Everyone should have a cell phone without the need for a contract or a high credit rating. People should have the right to always know what their cell phone service will cost and no one should have to pay more than they want or can afford. TracFone Wireless believes in making the cost to own & maintain a cell phone as low as possible and TracFone Wireless never charges extra fees to activate your service.

TracFone Wireless is glad to lead the movement in the U.S. to make cell phone service available to everyone. TracFone Wireless invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year to reduce the prices of our cell phones and make them affordable for all.

Wow. People are born with a right to technology that requires launching satellites into outer space and sending communications soaring through miles of open air. Who knew? I've also tried unsuccessfully to figure out what government act brought this service into existence. It's the first I'm hearing of it but it seems its been around for several months at least. According to the site, in MI where I live the plan offers 68 minutes a month that roll over. Yeesh.

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So people have a right to something which has not been around as long as people have and which to come into existence required the exercise of rights which this very "cell phones are a right!" plan would have to violate? Brilliant. What will they think of next? Oh, I know! The plan starts becoming popular, gets expanded to meet increasing demand which then damages business for other companies who are not being government funded so then the government gets an effective monopoly over dirt cheap cell phone business and other companies now stop working to make cheaper cell phone business and instead focus on trying to offer better, fancier service. Then this trend is noticed and it is claimed "Well, see there? Look, private companies just can't make cheap cell phone business. They only can serve the richer people to give them unnecessarily fancy phone plans while the rest of us are on long waiting lists just to get enough for emergency bare minimums." It is then debated over if to be able to sufficiently secure the "rights" of everybody to some cell phone service if a "single payer" plan should be implemented, maybe a cell phone mandate as it is being reckless for people not to have phones with them at all times in case of emergency. Then what kind of plans should be allowed? Cell phone companies will be told they can't offer cheaper plans that don't cover text messaging services because that's discriminatory against the deaf, that you have to make sure they come with the ability to cover numerous languages, that they should all come with child safety features that can be activated to allow for things like only allowing calls to and from a few numbers the parents program in and to emergency service contacts. Maybe they should have to cover headsets and/or speakers so as not to make things difficult for people who are paralyzed or have no arms? And then of course you have to make sure to build more cell phone towers even where there are very, very few people since rights can't just apply to "most" people now, right? And do we offer these services to non-citizens too? Oh lawdy!

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This shouldn't come as a surprise to any of you. It's simple logical deduction...

If we have a right to highspeed internet


which we clearly do,

then obviously we need some way to access it when we are out and about.

It's not going to be that useful to have it at home since we will never be there.(takes a lot of work to pay for all of these universal rights, after all)

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  • 1 month later...

I second my right to a free iPhone! :D I'm pretty sure it's in the Bill of Rights somewhere.

TracFone Wireless may have been offering this service for a few months, but the idea has been around a lot longer than that. In Michigan, my ex-girlfriend's sister had one in the summer of 2008. How was it used? Everything except in the pursuit of finding a job, of course. (Which, I assume, is their definition of "individual success" - but maybe not).

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Hey, this is America. In this country if you can't pay for something yourself, you just bitch about it until your congressman introduces a law forcing productive people to pay for it. I have the "right" to a free house (I can't pay my mortgage so I'll just use the ballot box to steal the money from you fellow Objectivists :pimp: ). I have the "right" to free electricity, too. So I'll just exploit the Ohio law that prevents my power from getting shut off during the winter months because I might freeze to death :worry: . I'll just stop paying my electric bill in October, so my power company gets screwed and is forced to give me free power for six months. I also don't need to worry about DP&L putting a power limiter on my electricity because those are illegal to use during the winter. Don't forget free transportation! It would be a horrible violation of my "rights" if I were forced to ride a bike or (god forbid) walk somewhere. Time to bitch to my congressman to steal the money from someone else. And of course we can't forget free health care! I can't pay the ER bill when I get drunk and fall down the stairs so I'll just make those evil rich people pay for it.

Hey, I'm the average American and you need to feel sorry for my plight. The 1st of the month is very busy for me. First I need to stop by the welfare office, then I directly proceed to the liquor store and then finish up my day by picking up a 50-bag from my dealer. Time to head back to my section 8 housing to sit on my ass while I receive free electricity, chatting away on my free cell phone.


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