During the 1940's, the United States was at war against the Axis powers of Japan, Italy, and Germany. There was inflation in the domestic economy. President Franklin D. Roosevelt imposed price controls on goods, services, and pay. Shortages of commodities thus ensued. Roosevelt, to combat the shortages, then imposed rationing of food and certain essentials.
Because corporations were prohibited from raising pay to entice new job applicants, many of these companies then used the gimmick of providing free computer care as the enticement. The "computers" handed out to the workers were of two types: the abacus and the adding machine. Whenever an employee's gadget broke, the company would fix it for free.
During the 1950's, financiers got excited and started insurance agencies to underwrite adding machines. The Federal Government gave tax breaks to corporations that willingly provided computer care insurance to its employees.
By the 1960's, employee benefits often included families (i.e. the worker's spouse and the children, too). Soon, it became commonplace to see these adding machines on children's desks in school.
When Lyndon Johnson was president, he signed into law Gadgetcare, the single-payer computer care for senior citizens. Now old people can be part of the action. The Gadgetcare brochures from the Federal Government depict geezers as number crunchers, happy with their little machines.
By the 1970's, the computer care policies now included calculators. They became popular with young children; so the grade school teachers quit drilling the kids to learn their multiplication tables. Why is it necessary to memorize that 7 x 9 = 63 ... when the calculator does it for you?
Whoop-de-doo! The 1980's is the decade of the PC revolution. Computer care suddenly became expensive. The insurance industry needed to adapt to this changing environment.
A new entity arose -- the Computer Maintenance Organization. These CMOs ration computer care to its customers. Depending on the plan, an individual may be limited to only owning a calculator; another may own the latest PC. But unfortunately, the CMO makes the decision as to what kind, color, size computer you'd receive.
For the following decades, various interest groups sought special favors from the Federal Government. It was primarily a battle between the computer insurers and the computer providers. The ordinary citizenry, meanwhile, were spectators and susceptible to propaganda from both sides of the conflict.
The Federation of American Royal Computer Analysts, a lobbying group (known as FARCA), represents the interests of prescription software manufacturers. They have a heavy influence upon the Font and Code Association (the FCA) which is the Federal regulatory agency that approves and disapproves the release of new software.
Big FARCA has succeeded in persuading both Democrat and Republican lawmakers to continue the ban of cheap software from Canada. Without the competition, American software makers can charge exorbitantly high prices.
Under pressure from FARCA, Congress also passed a bill outlawing Open Source software. As an example, the GIMP software application is now declared illegal because it is "unlicensed." The proprietary product Footychop of Stucco, Inc. has just gained monopoly status. (Likewise, the web browser Firefox is banned by the government; only Internet Explorer and Safari are allowed for the people.)
Both computer hardware and software are extremely complex for ordinary Americans to understand. Thus, the need for:
1) Computer Care Insurance
2) Computer Doctors
3) Government Regulators
The lay person does not have to think for himself; the other players do the thinking for him.
When a person needs a new computer, the clinic provider (as authorized by the insurance company) will send one of its general practice geeks to the person's home. First, this geek will perform some expensive tests on the old computer. Then the geek will conduct a psychosocial examination of his human client. According to guidelines from the insurance company, the client gets a navy blue computer if he's a macho man, a pink computer if she's a dainty lady, a rainbow computer if he's a homosexual, a psychedelic computer if he's an aging hippie.
Likewise, an I.Q. test is to be administered upon the client. Should he score high, then the new computer will have 100 gigabytes of memory in the hard drive; low scorers are relegated to having only 10 gigabytes. If the psychological test reveals him to be sociable, then Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.com should be part of the software package. If he is the restless type, then fast action games need to be included.
The psychosocial examination must be done very carefully! Otherwise, the human client may hire a tort lawyer to sue for computer malpractice.
The uninsured folk cannot legally own computers or software. But they can purchase these products from the black market.
March 2009, President Obama signed into law the United Socialist Computer Care Act. This draconian measure will authorize the IRS to enforce the individual mandate -- by the year 2014, every American citizen will be forced to purchase computer insurance.
In the Obama administration, the Code and Computer Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has appointed a "Juan Perón" as the new Computer Czar. He will dictate the price, quality, and rationing of widgets for our computer care.
By executive order, Obama has declared LINUX as an illegal operating system. The American consumer has only two choices, MACOSX or Windows.
Kathleen Sebelius has been busy, making lists and picking winners vs. losers. There are two code categories: illegal language and government-approved language. A few examples are listed below:
LISP ... Illegal AppleScript ... Approved
REALbasic ... Illegal Visual Basic ... Approved
Java ... Illegal C# ... Approved
Ruby ... Illegal Objective-C ... Approved
Of interest, the United States government has accused Mr. X, the creator of Ruby, of being a "software pirate." Mr. X has refused to denounce the Ruby language; his protégés in the U.S.A. (and in Asia) continue to use it in their computers. (Ruby on Rails, one of its applications, remains popular.)
In retaliation, Kathleen Sebelius has dispatched the United Nations Code Law Enforcers (known as UNCLE) to collaborate with Interpol and go arrest Mr. X (who is hiding in the Far East somewhere).
Meanwhile, the software cartels in Mexico are fighting for supremacy among themselves. The smuggling of illegal software into the United States is extremely profitable. The uninsured Americans (without computer care) are hungry for cheap, illicit software.
Likewise, the underground computer economy in the U.S.A. has generated a crop of illegal programmers who write code without a license. The Federal law dictates that only graduates of the computational schools and who have passed the American Code Association exam are allowed to write computer code.
The United Socialists Computer Care Act (that Obama signed into law) does not address the computer doctor shortage. The American Code Association (ACA) has always lobbied to limit the number of computational schools and the number of graduates, so as to limit the number of computer doctors in the marketplace -- with a shortage of these geeks, they can then charge super high prices to their clients (because there "ain't no competition.")
Another flaw in Obama's computer reform measure is the use of Federal funds to finance porn on demand. For decades, there has been heated rhetoric over porno rights. On one side is the National Organization for Men (NOM) and on the other side is the Christian Right. Back in the early 1970's, the Supreme Court Decision in Bro versus Vade, the justices ruled that men have the fundamental right to pornography. This generated a backlash and the pro-family movement began.
Then during the Obama Computer Care debate, a significant number of pro-family Democrats (in the House) balked at supporting the bill. They were against the use of Federal funds to be used in insurance plans that provide pornography software into the men's computers.
President Obama solved this impasse by promising the pro-family Democrats that he'll issue an "executive order" to contradict the language of the bill. Therefore, the militant masculinists of the NOM organization became furious at Obama. (The Planned Manhood clinics across the country also joined the fray.)
Yet another flaw in the bill is the unfair advantage given toward labor unions. Many have what's called Cadillac plans. Because the insurance companies are not allowed to compete across state lines, the monopoly firms (like United CompuCare and BlueCode BlueLaw) offer only Windows PCs or only Apple Computers -- but not both simultaneously. Now with those people belonging to labor unions, many of them have luxury insurance plans that dish out both Windows and Apples! This will continue under the new law.
The computer market is a big mess. The new reform law will not solve anything. The American people do not know how to shop for computers; they do not know how to negotiate prices with the providers. It's the insurance company that does everything. Thus, the typical client does not know how to think for himself.
The few who dare to think for themselves, face the wrath of the Federal Government. These citizens are labeled as pirates. They use illegal programming languages; they write code without a license.
The Code Enforcement Agency (CEA) and the SWAT teams are busting down doors, raiding people's computers to see if there's any Open Source software such as Gimp or Firefox.
Welcome folks! This is corporate socialism for you.