Re: >H Re: SOC: Continuing genengineering hysteria

Brian Manning Delaney (
Sat, 18 Sep 1999 18:40:21 -0700

Chris Fedeli wrote:
> Brian Manning Delaney wrote:

>> How is this "worse," as opposed to an
>> entirely separate issue: potentially illegal
>> (or deleterious) monopoly control?
>> Anything associated with Rifkin is likely to
>> be bad, to be sure, and _his_ interest in this
>> suit isn't centered on monopoly control.

> Hi Brian. That's the main issue that makes
> this "worse". The suit is being brough
> by Rifkin [....]

Annoying, and very suspicious, yes. But, one can "shoot the messenger" and then assess the message, if I may.

The message is one of the dangers of monopolies, a very important message.

>> Is it, then, that we should put up with >> monopolies in order to advance high tech?

> Monopolies aren't a bad thing in and of
> themselves. Monopolies are only bad when their
> presence is a barrier to competition, preventing
> innovations that might improve the economy. That
> doesn't seem to be the case here.

Perhaps not. What I know of the issue, however, suggests otherwise -- not that the jury is in of course. But this is part of the point of antitrust laws: let's not wait until a sector of the economy has been screwed up by a monopoly (or oligopoly); we can take preventive action.

> The small farmers are a different case. The only
> reason they still exist is because of America's
> romanticized attachment to our history as a
> nation of small farmers. Unfortunately, the
> family farm is about as useful to the modern
> economy as Buggy Whips, Inc.

Measures of the Good extend beyond economic utility and efficiency. (Not to suggest a ham-fisted libertarianism on your part -- you're clearly too well-educated for that.)

Of course, none of this means price supports or other forms of assistance are needed to shore up American family farms. Avoiding monopolies among agribusinesses seems justified, however.

(And speaking of libertarianism, don't libertarians actually LIKE decentralization? -- Never mind that most of the libertarian arguments for decentralization originated with French _socialists_....)

Brian Manning Delaney
(No need to CC replies to me.)