RE: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 15:18:33 MDT

Harvey Newstrom wrore:
> Agreed. I'm not trying to say that these were all deliberate. I'm saying
> that there is enough suspicion to warrant an investigation. I am also
> trying to dispel the idea that there is no basis for the government's
> investigation and that it is all a political plot. People on this list
> to see political conspiracies everywhere. Sometimes, things really are
> simply as they appear.

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't see a conspiracy. I just
think that modern anti-trust law is an inherently bad idea, because the
government's interventions in the market generally do far more harm than the
(limited, temporary) monopolies that can occur in a free market. The current
fiasco with Microsoft is just one more round in a long, sad story.

I also think that as technology develops and the economy grows it becomes
progressively more and more difficult for a harmful monopoly on any product
to exist (because there are more substitute products, more potential
competitors, fewer bottlenecks in the supply of natural resources, and more
chances for new discoveries to overturn the established order in an
industry). In the 19th century anti-trust laws were probably a bad idea, but
you could argue it either way. Today it is hard to see how anyone who really
understands how markets work could even make a serious argument for them -
unless, of course, they reject free markets in favor of some kind of
socialized pseudo-competition.

That, IMO, is what the government anti-trust folks have done. The Microsoft
case isn't about protecting consumers from exploitative monopolies. Its
about protecting businesses from competition, at the expense of the

Billy Brown

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:09:12 MDT