From: Forrest Bishop (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Jan 27 2002 - 05:03:25 MST
----- Original Message -----
From: Pete McAlpine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2002 5:32 AM
Subject: Re: Selfishness Report
> >It certainly contradicts Rands world-[view].
> First read Rand. She explains somewhere how
> important reputation is in a free economy and
> how regulation undermines the function of reputation.
A lucid analysis of this is found in the essay "The Assualt on Integrity", by Alan Greenspan (orig. 1963), in
Rand, Ayn (editor), *Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal*, (orig. 1946- 1966), The New American Library, Inc., 1967
"What collectivists refuse to recognize is that it is in the self-interest of every businessman to have a reputation for honest
dealings and a quality product. Since the market value of a going business is measured by its money-making potential, reputation or
"good will" is as much an asset as its physical plant and equipment...." [pp 118]
"It requires years of consistently excellent performance to acquire a reputation and to establish it as a financial asset.
Thereafter, a still greater effort is required to maintain it: a company cannot afford to risk its years of investment by letting
down its standards of quality for one moment or one inferior product; nor would it be tempted by any "quick killing"....It is a
built-in safeguard of a free enterprise system nad the only real protection of consumers against business dishonesty...." [pp119]
"Government regulation is not an alternative means of protecting the consumer. It does not build quality into goods, or accuracy
into information. Its sole "contribution is to substitute force and fear for incentive as the "protector" of the consumer. The
euphemisms of government press releases to the contrary not withstanding, the basis of regulation is armed force. At the bottom of
the endless pile of paper work which characterizes all regulation lies a gun..."
A reputation for integrity is also an individual's hard-earned asset, which takes years to acquire and can be lost overnight. It
is not something that can be purchased or fabricated from whole cloth. When that person is publicly slandered without basis, on an
email list for example, it may diminish his standing in the eyes of others, thus causing him harm. The legal remedy of suing for
libel is only partially effective, it cannot fully undo the tresspass. Other methods may be brought to bear, as in a barroom brawl.
Thus, treating others with the modicum of respect that characterizes civilization is more than simply a homily to good manners.
-- Forrest Bishop Chairman, Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering www.iase.cc
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