To the People of Orem: uNOpia to Utopia!

Constitution of the State of Utah

For those who live within the jurisdiction of the City of Orem, or any other UTOPIA-city, I would recommend visiting the two websites linked below and doing all you can to spread good information to your neighbors concerning the issue of UTOPIA, and the city’s involvement in “providing” fiber optic internet service.

The current deal coming with Macquarie not only has many signs of coming failure, but could also come with an additional 18-20$ utility fee per month, per household! And what happens if the utility fee isn’t paid? Your water may be turned off!

The tax and other issues would come regardless of whether or not the household is using the internet service – And that is not even touching the issue concerning this operation being an example of the improper role of the state in society!

The two websites, the first of which involves a petition that can be signed online, are found below:

uNOpia to Utopia
Standing for Orem

At the end of the day, this is not about internet service, in any form. This is about the proper role of government. People’s rights are not only NOT being protected by forcing them to pay for a service they may or may not use (or may or may not even want to use) – but those very rights are actually being extremely violated by such action!

UTOPIA, and this potential deal with Macquarie are examples of the state getting actively involved in the free market through agreements and mergers called: Public Private Partnerships.

Without having time to go into much detail, just keep in mind the obvious incentives at play with Public-Private Partnerships. Often the “public” part is liable for the costs (via taxable dollars, of course), while the so-called “private” portion gains the profits. These often involve decisions that aren’t accountable to the people, and decisions that, at best, involve conflicts of interest! Just the bare fact that this contracted company has access to benefits that other companies do not have in the economy naturally demonstrates the obvious fact that free market principles are being abandoned by these types of deals.

Often these deals merely result in the increase in power and taxes by the state entity, and an increase in revenue from the private entity – regardless of the merits and success of the venture. The people of Orem deserve better than these types of debacles in their public institutions and better usage of their tax dollars!

At the end of the day, the City of Orem was a creation of the State of Utah. The State of Utah is supposed to be limited by the Constitution of the State of Utah – and would those limitations not logically include and extend to the entities that are its’ creations? And yet, the constitutional clauses pertaining to the free market system seem to, as usual, be ignored by the city.

In addition to clauses banning special privileges to certain corporations, as well as banning any loaning of city credit, Article 12, Section 20 of the Utah Constitution states:

“It is the policy of the state of Utah that a free market system shall govern trade and commerce in this state to promote the dispersion of economic and political power and the general welfare of all the people. Each contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce is prohibited. Except as otherwise provided by statute, it is also prohibited for any person to monopolize, attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons to monopolize any part of trade or commerce.”

But, at the end of the day, it is entirely up to us whether or not we get involved and try to influence the representatives of Orem to vote down this new potentially huge failure for the people. In other words, it may be entirely up to us whether or not those clauses have meaning here at this time.

Please contact the Mayor and City Council and inform your neighbors about this issue.

UPDATE: The Orem City Council voted 6-1 against this measure. (See Here)

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