ObamaPhone

Discussion in 'Debates' started by allison, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. allison

    allison Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thoughts? Cell phones are a luxury item. If you absolutely need to use one, just borrow someone else's to
    Make a quick call or text. A lot of people don't have cell phones, even though they can afford them, and they survive just fine. I personally think it is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and if you can't afford a cell phone,
    Then well you are sol. You will survive just fine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. IronMaiden

    IronMaiden Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    2
    I agree. I don't want my tax dollars paying for people to have a cell phone. It's not a necessity.

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  3. Klamath

    Klamath wants to go to france

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    14
    Agree. Cellphones aren't a necessity, but rather a luxury. Landline phones still exist and won't disappear any time soon, so if you need to make a phone call, you got that. You can always use a friend's cell phone! My taxes don't have to cover an item people can go on fine without.
     
  4. Kirllan

    Kirllan Forever Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    216
    In-Game Name:
    Kirllan
    Cellphones are really a luxury if you think closely. Using tax dollars for this is only going to increase our debt for no good reason. The deficit is big enough so they should not add to it. The government would do well to find ways to decrease our deficit.
     
  5. Danny_DeVito

    Danny_DeVito h e l p

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    181
    In-Game Name:
    Danny_DeVito
    I'm late, but I once upon a time needed one and it isn't some fancy phone they give out. Its a tracphone, as in a little tiny thing that ONLY does text/calls. Not touch screen, and no "qwerty" keyboard.
    No picture taking or sending(no camera), no "snake" types of games, no recording ringtones, ONLY text and call.
    and yeah, they are necessary in this day in age when you need to have a way to be contacted by say, your work place, doctors, etc.
    Also, my mother was special needs and couldn't work, but needed to be able to be contacted by her many doctors and family to check in on her.
    I understand where you guys are coming from, and i think its gross when people abuse the system, but the government phones (at least the ones i have seen first hand) are the most simplest version of a cellphone.
     
  6. AlexanderH

    AlexanderH Waiting for 2028

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    81
    In-Game Name:
    AlexanderH
    Ensuring everyone has a cell phone might actually help you!
     
    StargirlV likes this.
  7. StargirlV

    StargirlV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    239
    In-Game Name:
    StargirlV
    I know this is an old debate but I don't think being connected is a luxury but instead a necessity for millions of people. Also Wireless Lifeline ("Obama phones") is not funded by tax dollars as it is not a part of the federal budget. They are paid for by all telecommunications service providers as they contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund which pays for Lifeline :)
     
  8. Whispered

    Whispered Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    348
    but here's my question, why the heck do people *need* a cell phone? No, you don't need to be contacted immediately by any of the above. If you're not at home, there's a 90% chance you can't go into work immediately anyway. Doctors very seldom have information that will be important for the next few hours. Yes, it may be convenient to get called into work to get more money, but if that is important to you, you should judge whether a cell phone is a viable investment to get that little extra money. Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason people need a cell phone.
     
  9. Danny_DeVito

    Danny_DeVito h e l p

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    181
    In-Game Name:
    Danny_DeVito
    Yeah, to heck with people needing to calling 911 lol
     
  10. AlexanderH

    AlexanderH Waiting for 2028

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    81
    In-Game Name:
    AlexanderH
    It's quite difficult to refute this because of the subjectivity of the word need. A cell phone certainly isn't at the base of the triangle but it's such a resource to people that it can directly affect their survival (for example, someone who is homeless seeking out resources or a migrating refugee staying up to date with other migrants about routes). I would argue that not having a cell phone today is akin to not having electricity.
     
  11. Whispered

    Whispered Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    348
    You can call 911 with any cell phone, even one without service, and even one without a sim card, so long as it is in range of any cell tower from any provider.

    If 911 calling was the purpose, they could give refurbished old flip phones for pennies on the dollar, instead of paying for cell service.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 18, 2018 ---
    One of the beauties of America is that you get what you need from the government. Not what's convenient. A homeless person seeking out resources is better served at a shelter/center. There is nothing that a cell phone does that cannot be served better by brick and mortar stores, or land lines if absolutely necessary.
     
  12. StargirlV

    StargirlV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    239
    In-Game Name:
    StargirlV
    Lifeline isn't just for immediate or emergency contact, it's expected to be used by people who are unable to afford cell phone or land-line service at all and in some cases offer land-line services at a discounted price and it is only one per household. This means some people are unable to be contacted by phone at all. So they may not need to be immediately contacted by work or health care providers, etc - but they will most likely need to be contacted/contact at some point. It could cost people their employment and make access to health care more difficult and without a doubt make childcare more difficult etc.

    I also found this: source - lifelinefacts.com

    "One survey found that 54% of Lifeline subscribers use the service to connect with doctors and for other health-related issues. Lifeline connects low-income Americans to emergency services, their health plan’s nurse help line, their doctors’ offices to arrange for appointments and follow-up, and preventative care text messages. The mobile health services that Lifeline provides are especially significant to underserved populations — including low-income older Americans, persons with disabilities, and Americans living in rural areas — who may be unable to access health care otherwise."
     
  13. AlexanderH

    AlexanderH Waiting for 2028

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    81
    In-Game Name:
    AlexanderH
    A cell phone would be incredibly useful in locating a shelter, contacting it beforehand, and determining transportation or directions to it.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  14. Whispered

    Whispered Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    348
    And that would be great if these cell phones were to provide such services and were specifically enabled to do so. Unfortunately, there are no limitations on the use of the phones, meaning that there is no way to actually guarantee that those services are what the phones are being used for. Further, the survey you reference makes no difference between making one phone call to a doctor to set up an appointment or ask for one refill and someone who is actually using it for life-saving assistance.

    The existence of smart-devices now has made it possible for patients to monitor blood pressure/glucose and other vital signs and have them automatically sent to the doctor - the devices themselves have the internal hardware to send it via a cell phone network, and that plan could be covered by the government without the risk of using it for other purposes.

    If you are going to argue cell service is necessary to contact doctors' offices, it would seem also a good argument that the service should be limited to such use. This sort of limitation would require very little work to implement and would be possible based on already maintained databases of doctors' phone numbers (by CMS, a government agency).

    The use of a cell phone for employment is not only not necessary, but is something that the person employed will need to judge if necessary or not. There are millions of people in the US who do not have a cell phone, or who refuse to use their cell phone for work related purposes. Many top executives of companies have actually admitted in interviews that they do not permit anyone at work to contact their cell phone and do not use it for work outside the office. The only reason a cell phone would be necessary for work is to be called into work at a time you are not scheduled - which is a luxury that if someone values (extra shifts), they would use their money to get a cell phone plan (many of which exist for 10-20 dollars a month, which would be more than paid for with one extra shift per month).


    I'll also point out that those who are homeless already would have to go somewhere to charge this device... which means they could just as easily go to a library, police station, fire station, hospital, etc. and simply ask for the nearest shelter and for transportation assistance.
     
  15. AlexanderH

    AlexanderH Waiting for 2028

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    81
    In-Game Name:
    AlexanderH
    This makes a needlessly-limiting assumption due to the existence of portable battery banks which someone may have with them that are pre-charged, or otherwise charged in the past and still holding a charge for them no matter where they are. Even one battery bank today can charge a phone multiple times, meaning a homeless person would not have to spend time seeking out a place to charge it depending on the circumstances of that moment. Sometimes, facilities are closed or otherwise inaccessible, and a phone may be their only companion in this testing time for them.

    You might argue that a phone might as well be a brick without a connection. On the contrary, a phone unconnected with the world in the present moment can still be useful. For example, maps with real satellite imagery and other information on what resources are locally available can be previously downloaded for offline reference, whenever someone is able to go to a location offering free Wifi. Although nice and useful to have, this removes entirely the need for a data plan. They could also use this opportunity to request to charge their phone and batteries, and talk to the staff about resources that may help them.

    A phone wouldn't replace someone's ability to ask a real person for assistance, but rather enhance their ability to figure out what to say and whom to say it to.

    I would also like to touch on a few things in the response to @StargirlV. The response mentions the considered issue of a phone, like most phones do, offering services that no struggling person should likely be interacting with (although, I do ask what specifically this is referring to). My argument here is this: Although the nicer the phone the better, is there a valid reason to actively remove features in a free phone given to someone in need? Or would it be better to just create a basic phone for them, not caring whether it allows them to do things we would consider "luxurious"?

    Closing, on the stance on the importance of a phone in the course of employment, whether that's after someone has a job or when they're seeking out one: I can only speak from my personal experience here, but I have always been told to "apply online" to jobs when I walk into a physical location and ask for an application. Yes, a homeless person likely could go to a library, but they couldn't always be at the library and this would limit their ability to apply for as many jobs as they could and know when they get a response. I also have heard that, although I disagree with this, an increasing amount of jobs are requiring people to be "on-call" at all times. Whether that's legal or not, an employer might disfavour someone they learn won't be able to abide by this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  16. Whispered

    Whispered Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    348
    So... they're homeless, and they can spend tens of dollars on a portable battery bank which they still have to go somewhere to recharge? Last I checked, homeless people tend to spend the bare minimum on food and actually save their money to try and stop being homeless - not spend it on a luxury such as a portable battery bank.

    I'm not disagreeing with you that a homeless person or rural person could use a phone. Of course they can. It may even make some things faster or more convenient for them. That does not make it a necessity. A car is a virtual necessity to have gainful employment for many people. The government does not provide cars to those who cannot afford them.

    The government's job is to provide for the general welfare - not to provide welfare. Connecting America to each other may be very convenient, but it is not necessary for the general welfare of the country. The only other duty the government has to its citizens is to provide safety and security. This is done through the provision of military for our nation's protection, the provision of emergency services for lifesaving work and crime fighting, and through the provision of basic necessities required for life to those who are unable to afford them - such as the minimum food necessary, the minimum housing necessary, etc. A cell phone is not a "minimum necessity" for life. Period.

    It's like saying the government should provide everyone a gift card to the restaurant closest to their house. It's more convenient than going to the store and cooking, for sure. It's also faster to go to a restaurant. It's not necessary, period.
     
  17. AlexanderH

    AlexanderH Waiting for 2028

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    81
    In-Game Name:
    AlexanderH
    I understand you. At this point, we are debating the purpose of government. I agree that the government has no legal obligation to prove anyone even the most basic phone. This debate is on whether the government should guarantee that everyone has a phone, and I understand your point of view that it currently wouldn't be considered a necessity like food stamps and electricity assistance are. My only question would be whether you would be willing to revisit this debate in 10 years, because, I ask whether you acknowledge that a phone might someday be considered as basic as electricity.

    The only other thing I wish for us to keep in mind is that homeless people wouldn't necessarily need to spend precious money buying battery bank(s). They may already have battery bank(s). In the scope of this debate and my point of view, battery banks would be a luxury allowing homeless people to be able to spend more time sorting their situation out while having a phone that can remain operational for longer. Of course, the first step would be a provision of just the phone. I was simply highlighting that battery banks can make them more viable than one might think otherwise when the ability to charge may not always be available.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  18. Whispered

    Whispered Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    348
    The opinion that the government should provide some "minimum standard of living" is one that is a perfectly valid one. In fact, I think one could argue that regardless of your opinion on what government should do, anything they do is contributing to some minimum standard of living.

    I think that the minimum standard of living certainly can change over time. For example, when the country started, many people including new immigrants were given plots of land - whereas now people are lucky if they qualify for low income housing in an apartment complex. That being said, I don't foresee a phone being a necessity unless the availability of public information and technology (such as libraries, police departments, low income organizations, pay phones, etc) greatly decreases. A phone is and will always be similar to a car - while it does make it easier to do some things and may open more opportunities, it is not a necessity for life.