I notice that this debate has been framed in a way that concentrates on
whether or not windows is a good OS, and whether or not free-market
economics is the best system for introducing the best products to the
greatest number of people, for the best price.
Let's assume for the sake of argument that it is not, that MS makes terrible
products, that progress is not occurring because of their products being on
the market, and that if some central agency were to be set up to determine
which products are allowed to be sold, then we'd all live in luxory and
would not have to work. I would still prefer a free market.
Suppose I started selling dirt, at the price of 30$/ounce. I set up an
internet business, dirtforsale.com, and take credit cards, and ship dirt to
whoever wants it. I'd assume that nobody thinks that I should not be allowed
to do this. Obviously, it's a stupid idea, but there's no reason I should
not be allowed to do it. But then assume that people start to buy it. I do
an IPO, I become a billionaire, and people spend maybe 5% of their incomes
on my dirt. They're using it to decorate the floors of their homes suppose.
I make deals with construction companies telling them that if they want to
put Haradon Dirt in any of the homes they construct, they have to put it in
every single one. I imagine that at this point, there would be a suit
against me by carpet manufactureurs for anti-competitive practices, and
accusations that my dirt is unfairly priced, which would also be the basis
of many suits.
So at what point would my freedom to produce and sell a product be a
secondary consideration to the effect on society that it has?
Zeb Haradon (email@example.com)
My personal webpage:
A movie I'm directing:
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
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