Originally Posted by Nute
I read that not only did Sasktel not cost tax payers money in 2004, but they paid in the tune of $85 million in dividends to the Saskatchewan government, which in theory should reduce the burden on Tax payers.
Look at it this way - in order for SaskTel to return $85 million to the politicians, they had to rake in a surplus of say $200 million. Through waste and mismanagement, that $200 million was reduced to say $130 million.
Then they keep retained earnings of say $45 million to help keep up the facade they are a 'competitor' not a monopoly. The remaining $85 million goes back to our huge government to waste as they see fit.
Wouldn't it be better for the citizens if SaskTel just charged individuals and businesses $200 million less??? That $200 million would have done a lot more for the economy than it has in the control of SaskTel & the treasury.
Let's relate that back. $200 million across 1 million residents. Imagine rebates or phone bill reductions of $200 per person per year. Say your family has 5 people, that's a tax-free $1000 to you. You'd have put that $1000 to work in the economy and maybe a few jobs would have been retained here and a few less companies would have moved out of province. Instead of $33 per month for local phone service, it could have been a more fair and reasonable $15.
But instead people are content to have this phoney warm and fuzzy, justified by the largely symbolic act of returning money to the treasury. They've been conned into equating 'profitable' and 'successful'.
As I see it, the money flows like this:
SaskTel overcharges citizen for essential utility, extra money goes back to government treasury
It's a tax that SaskTel collects and takes a tidy share for their part in 'handling'. It would almost be more efficient to just tax us than have the money do a two step through SaskTel, no doubt shrinking in the process.
Imagine watching a bully rob everyone on your street and then applauding him because he kicked in a little bit of his take to the neighborhood charity fund.
To my mind, Crowns making a sizeable profit means they overcharged and didn't plan or manage that well. But Crowns making grotesque profits means grotesque mismanagement and abuse. To take those gross profits and kick them back to the politicians that turn a blind eye to all this just adds insult to injury.
Originally Posted by Nute
When any company, be it private or public, launches a new product/service, of course it is going to have to be either internally or externally financed, AKA subsidized until it turns profitable.
That's not necessarily true. It's entirely possible to launch products and services that are cash flow positive. If SaskTel Max is so far from profitable that it needs such heavy subsidies one might ask what business they have offering it then? If SaskTel Max can only get subscribers at price that's below market value and through massive advertising budget, maybe that money could be better spent elsewhere?
It sounds like you have numbers at your disposal. Share with us then the total amount SaskTel & its subsidiaries pay in advertising SaskTel Max per year. Tell us the gross and net revenues of SaskTel Max. People can judge for themselves if this is really a situation where they are just helping get this venture going a bit or if (as I suspect) there is zero chance of it ever standing on it's own two feet.
from the people I have talked to we have some of the lowest utility rates in Canada
Which government ministers and crown corp employees you been talking to? Kidding (sort of) but the facts just don't support this. Look at last year for hard evidence if you want. Even with some creative accounting that objective experts said looked pretty funky, the government still had to distribute $138 in overcharge refunds on utilities. No doubt the same will be happening this year too.
SaskPower has been raising rates at 3-4X the CPI, SaskEnergy just applied for a 27% hike. By your own admission SaskTel is funnel mammoth overcharges back to the treasury. None of this supports your contention of low utility rates.
Keeping this on topic, like I say, I'm glad there's a low priced alternative out there to keep the other players competitive and to help address your situation of bad service. You're obviously content with 2 TV outlets and small low resolution picture. But please don't try to say the Max TV service is in any way helping keep taxes down when it's actually the opposite.