Heidi Moore\’s Back!

Jeebus: did an economics reporter really just write this?

They rationalize it like this: even though the cable companies have a gross profit margin of around 97% – meaning 97 cents of every dollar they make is pure profit


Gross profit is pure profit?

What? This is worse than Polly or Seumas.

17 thoughts on “Heidi Moore\’s Back!”

  1. That’s just plain weird.
    She’s bitchin’ about internet/cable costing 100USD/month & TimeWarner. I just checked TimeWarner. 65 bucks p/m internet/cable on 12 mo contract.
    Doesn’t she think readers haven’t heard of Google?
    It’s not just economics she doesn’t do. She’s got a real problem with reality as well.

  2. It’s alright Tim – it’s in The Guardian.

    Therefore accuracy and relevancy to the real world don’t count.

  3. Don’t know anything about US comms and not as diligent as BIS, but it seems to me that the devices/connections she is talking about are not mutually exclusive.

    My Android connects to the internet via my WiFi, but that actually costs me less than accessing it via 4G. She seems to imply that you have to pay every supplier for every service, which seems OTT to me.

    Still, it mystifies me why they want this girl anyway when journalism (ho,ho,ho) has Toynbee. Surely one’s enough…

  4. This kind of thing is the problem with our intellectual betters.

    They have no common sense any more. Words are just words. They have no meaning. Post-Modernism, I suppose?

    Not one single person in the several hundred comments underneath has any problem with that one sentence.

    That one sentence tells you that this person is a complete idiot and has absolutely no common sense. Just the time it took her to actually type those words should have been enough of the meanest intelligence to realise that it couldn’t possibly be true. 97%! Really!?

    It’s like that one about the Richard the Third’s grave being discovered hundreds of metres below a car park. Common sense. It can’t be!

    It doesn’t matter where the quote came from. It doesn’t matter who said it. It’s clearly wrong.

    Why can’t these people use their brains?

  5. The Thought Gang

    There seems to be a common misapprehension that economists understand accounting.

    It’s particularly common amongst economists.

  6. They rationalize it like this: even though the cable companies have a gross profit margin of around 97% – meaning 97 cents of every dollar they make is pure profit – they still have to pay to service cell towers and invest in broadband. They have expensive equipment to maintain, see? That’s not monopoly pricing power. That’s just basic subsistence.

    Am I reading this right? Is she saying that because the infrastructure (once set up) costs sod all for each request, that you can therefore ignore the costs of building and maintaining the infrastructure?

  7. The Thought Gang

    @ Tim Arnold

    It seems so. Presumably it would be Ok to charge $10b for the first MB of data.. that being the cost of transmitting it. But thereafter those costs are sunk and you’ve no business expecting customers to chip in.

    Also, you’ve got to aggressively control indirect overheads to keep them down to, er, nil.

  8. The Pedant-General

    Plus all the comments are along the lines of “Govt must regulate to force prices down”.

    I’m sure that service will be just peachy after that. And there’ll be LOADS of competition to bring in new services.


  9. This bit was quite amusing:

    “Think of $100 a month for cable and internet, another $50 a month for a smartphone, $40 a month for an iPad or a similar device; if you travel, add $70 a month for some kind of wireless hotspot like Verizon’s Mi-Fi.”

    So, basically, the internet connection is around $50/mo, and anything over that is for premium services like pay-tv, electronic toys, and so-on.

    The whole article is based on, at best, half-truths. Pretty much par for the course.

  10. She complains about local monopolies I see….

    … so, in her next article, she’ll be complaining about the ‘robber baron’ broadcaster who charges

  11. She complains about local monopolies I see….

    … so, in her next article, she’ll be complaining about the ‘robber baron’ broadcaster who charges GBP150 a year regardless of whether you take their service.


  12. Bloke in Spain – $64.99 is the advertised price, but American telecoms companies are worse than Ryanair when it comes to hidden charges. I tried ordering their base package: it came to $80, then they told me:
    “This amount excludes taxes and fees. After placing your order, the actual amount of taxes and fees will be calculated and reflected in your next bill statement.”
    So you don’t even know how much you can expect to pay until you receive the first month’s bill. Reading other sources online, these extras can account for another $20. That makes Heidi’s $100/month quite plausible.
    Also, “$64.99” is a 12-month offer for new customers only. After 12 months you’ll be moved onto a more expensive package.

    Obviously simple price regulation won’t fix the problem, but a good regulator like our dear Ofcom can create market transparency and enable customers to shop around and switch supplier easily.

  13. “It’s not unusual for middle-class families to spent more than $2,100 a year just to get online”

    My arse. If internet connection is all you want, you can get *business class* internet (unmetered, 20Mbps+ sustained down and several Mbps up and actually helpful and clueful techs) from Comcast for $75/month, all in, no tricks about 3 months discount and 9 months full charge. That’s well under $1000/year. You can’t throw in TV and telephone service – which are, admittedly, overpriced – to the cost and lump it all under “online”.

  14. Wow, something we can have thats cheaper than in the US. Suprising.
    Our internet connection, phone and phone calls comes to under $75 a month most months (residential address). Internet alone would cost us probably half that. No idea of speed as I load web pages and download stock photos, so fast enough for me.

  15. FWIW, my Internet plus cable TV bill is ~$60 per month. Sure, it’s only 4Mbps but it’s unmetered and I get that 4Mbps all the time. My cell phone runs me about another $10 a month. And this is in Costa Rica.

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