Must-watch vid: If You Use the Internet, You May Already be a Millionaire!


Former producer Ted Balaker has put together a nice vid for The Fund For American Studies. It features Reason contributor Michael Cox of Southern Methodist University and Students For Liberty's Michelle Fields. From the writeup:

The number of Internet users worldwide has now surpassed two billion and so many of us have integrated the web into our lives so much that it's hard to quantify how much it's worth to us. But why not give it a shot? Think about it.

How much would someone have to pay you to give up the Internet for the rest of your life?

Would a million dollars be enough? Twenty million? How about a billion dollars?

More here.


NEXT: Because Consumers Balk at Spending 10 Times As Much for a Light Bulb, They Must Be Forced

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  1. Maybe I am cheap, but I will take a million and run.

    1. yep, a mil and I’d be good.

      1. That’s what I was thinking. I’m sure I’d regret it at some point, but you can wipe away a lot of tears with $1M. Also, what Hank says below.

  2. Two chicks at the same time, man.

  3. You don’t need any of that shit. All you need is a rifle, a good axe, a chisel, and a canoe with a paddle. You think you are “richer”? Guess again, pantywaists.

    1. All you need is a rifle, a good axe, a chisel, and a canoe with a paddle.

      And a video camera, apparently.

      Also, if everyone followed you, it would stop being the wilderness pretty quick, or you’d have to go further and further to find it.

    2. Dick, I confused you with this fella, Joad Cressbeckler.

      It won’t happen again…

  4. VG video and I agree with it except for the statement that private industry creates/invents all major products that we use.

    The first computer was a invented by Konrad Zuse in 1936 while working for Henschel Aircraft Company which was a supplier at that time to Hitler’s Nazi run Germany. Henschel built numerous planes for the Nazis. While I don’t for sure my guess is that there is a good chance that Zues was working on the design of Nazi aircraft when he invented the Z1 in 1936 which was the world’s first computer

    1. But you aren’t using Zuse’s computer, you’re using one designed and manufactured by the private sector. Human beings working in the government sector are still human beings, and can indeed be innovative. But without the emergent order of a market system they won’t get much further than that.

      1. Universities would probably provide some innovation and/or perhaps conversion from military applications to civilian apps. But the military would probably be the primary provider of innovation without a some sort of market system.

  5. All value is subjective.

    1. Including the value of that judgment?

  6. Would I trade lifetime internet access for enough money to be financially independent and secure.

    You bet I would.

    Now, how much money is that?

    For me, probably around $5MM. I’m sure I could be talked down, a little.

    1. Did you figure in for the future hyperinflstion and repudiation of the currency, or will you convert it to physical soon as you get it?

    2. My magic number is actually the amount that safely invested produces $250k/yr. so right now I need 73x that. I used to only need 40x that before the government destroyed all the standard safe investment vehicle returns. (I could probably get 3% in muni-bonds, but I’m not sure I consider them safe after all the pension problems I’ve read about.)

    3. The implications of foregoing the internet are staggering. It’s more than just your ISP connection, the way technology is progressing it will mean no telephones, media, communications, books, etc.

      But that’s assuming you can still use the internet indirectly through employees and associates. If you can’t even do that, then you’ll be a literal hermit.

      1. Think also your healthcare, housing choices, transportation choices (you’ll need more of it). Even what I eat – last week I got a recipe from and found a resturant on and got my reservation on I’d be ordering from the flyers left at my doorstep.

      2. the way technology is progressing it will mean no … books

        Don’t be silly.

  7. Nuh-uh, these people are poor because of rich people!!!!…

    1. Maybe if this guy wasn’t such a douchbag leftist, instead of being a failed “serial entrepreneur”, he’d be a successful business owner.

      So, because he was a failure at running his own business, it’s up to the rest of society to pay for his failure. What a piece of shit.

  8. This is tough – I’m 26, so the rest of my life could be a pretty long time. Also, does this mean just the browser part of the internet? Could I still use my Roku to watch my stories? I’d say a billion, because I could buy a yacht and a private island, and Reason still has a print formatt, but it’d be damned hard

  9. How about a billion dollars?

    A billion dollars? To never again be exposed to digitized human stupidity?

    Where can I pick up my check?

  10. Hells yes. There’ll be something better soon anyway like smell-o-vision.

  11. I’m not so sure I could do it, honestly. Since almost all of my information, entertainment, and social activity is channeled through the Internet, I would essentially be giving up my life for money. What would I spend it on?

    Does this include online multiplayer? Streaming movies and music? Smartphone apps? Cloud-based data storage? That all comes through the Internet. You could really give all that up, for the rest of your life? And who can say what glorious new heights we will achieve in the coming decades? And with life extension, you could be around for centuries without Internet. Fuck that.

    1. I’m with Joe, the Internet adds so much more to my life than even 1 billion dollars could add. Besides, without the Intraweb what would I do with a billion smackers?

  12. It would be well into 8 figures.

  13. Relax, Comrades. It’s a hypothetical. Now, on to the really important choices: Paper or plastic? Coffee or tea? Beatles or Bartok? Table or tree?

    1. Re-usable bag, Coca Coca, The Moody Blues, Hammock. Anything else you need to know?

  14. A life without the internet would be financially more efficient – less ads, less envy, more time to earn money. Giving up the internet would probably net you a million anyway. Someone also giving you another million and you are set.

    1. Getting all your cash from the teller instead of the ATM? Making deposits via paper check instead of EFT? Keeping a paper check log instead of online? Writing checks instead of using a debit/credit card? Or rather carrying cash, since most stores would refuse checks they couldn’t electronically verify?

      That’s just day-to-day. Then there’s the question of how you would manage investments.

      Really financially efficient.

  15. I would give up TV (including YouTube videos) for half that. But the Internet also includes email capability and (which does not publish a print catalog) and Reason’s Hit & Run. Also it includes rss agregators. I do not want to have to rely on newspapers and TV for the news.


    Think of the children!!!

  17. A cool Mil (tax free), yeah i would take it and run, retire at 35 with a boat in the islands living off the intrest

  18. Does this include online multiplayer? Streaming movies and music? Smartphone apps? Cloud-based data storage? That all comes through the Internet. You could really give all that up, for the rest of your life?

    I’m laughing my ass off, here, because I use absolutely none of the things listed.

    … “Where’s my mil?” Hobbit

  19. Speaking seriously, would I give up the Internet for 1 million dollars?

    For as long as it took me to purchase a new iMac and get it set up.

  20. I will give up the internet for a million dollars. But you have to give me the million upfront, and then, I totally promise I won’t use the internet.


    Oh? That? That was nothing, just my horrible eye disability acting up again.

  21. I am ashamed that no one has yet to mention the profound attractiveness and, presumed, fecunditity of the host.

    And so therefore, I felt the need to comment.

    Also no one has yet to mention Stardust, the Overly-Excited-When-Prompted Questions Man.

    And so therefore, I felt the need to comment: majesty in two flavors: Hot and Batshit.

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