Re: Free-Market Economics

Bobby Whalen (
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 17:08:50 PDT

Guru George writes:
>"Bobby Whalen" <> wrote:
>But is a market free, if a company becomes so powerful
>>that it establishes a near-monopoly on a given market and in turn
>>prevents competition and progress form occurring?
>>A good example now I
>>believe is Microsoft.
>You must be joking! Isn't one of the great whinges of our time how
>terribly difficult it is to cope with progress and competition in
>computers? Continuous upgrading seems to be the norm.

I think the progress on the hardware side has been great. However, if
there wasn't continuous upgrading then Microsoft and Intel (Wintel)
would go out of business. Microsoft comes out with a new, more bloated
version of their software, and Intel in turn has to come out with a new
and faster chip for it to run on. Have you ever noticed that it takes
Windows 95 longer to load on a Pentium than Win 3.1 on a early version
of the 486? If you consider Windows 95 progress then you haven't really
fathomed the potential software that could really be done on these
supercomputer chips we now posses. Microsoft and Intel are in bed
together to insure future business and market share. If you have not
noticed this, then you must be kidding!
>The only way corporations can possibly coerce is by means of
>When people say 'corporate coercion' in the usual sense, it's just
>another whine.

I definitly have to disagree here. Lets me diverge for a moment. I
consider myself an anarchist. A "true" anarchy is where individuals can
do anything they want as long as it dosen't interfere with anothers
freedom. If an individual or group of individuals grabs a bunch of arms
and starts terrorizing the rest of the people in this "anarchy" into
submission, then we no longer have "anarchy" but a new form of
authoritarianism.. Now back to corporations...

It's corporations that are increasingly requiring piss tests to get a
job. Imagine if you had to take a random piss test from the government
just to stay in "good citizen" status and not be thrown in jail! Please
don't misunderstand me, I'm not defending government in any way. What I
am saying however, is that a corpocracy is not a free-market. A good
example was in the early part of this century when Rockefeller would
open up a new gas stations next to small independent operators. When
one of his stations first opened they would charge less then wholsale
prices until the other guy COULD NO LONGER COMPETE and go out of
business. As soon as the small-time operator went out of business,
Rockefeller would raise the price of gas higher than the small-time guy
was originally operating at. If you consider this practice fair-game in
a Free-Market economy, then I will have to take serious odds with the
whole concept of a "Free-Market" as you are presenting it.

B. Whalen

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