Re: Free-Market Economics

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 19:46:45 -0400

Bobby Whalen wrote:
> I have some questions about Free-Market Economics that I hope someone
> can answer.
> I will start by saying that I agree completely that a “true”
> free-market economy would be ideal. One that is competitive, open, and
> decentralized. 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. If your answer is no, then what methods or “laws”
> would enable the market to remain free and competitive without large
> corporations controlling policy? As an anarcho-libertarian I want to be
> free of any coercion, government or corporate. How do we as extropians
> propose to enhance the potential of a “true” free-market taking hold?

Rather than looking at Microsoft's continuing status, try looking at
what they have really had to do to keep that status. The error of people
who point the finger at monopolies is that their excuse would only work
in a market with no technological progress, as all it would take to beat
out the monopoly is to build a better mousetrap. Microsoft succeeds
because its people are not satisfied to be number one for a day, they
want to stay nuber one, and, despite claims to the contrary by
reminiscers of that quaint old Apple, they must constantly improve their
products to compete with the other companies that build better products
than Microsoft's previous versions. Even in no-tech industries, like
farming, monopolies are hard to come by because of the commodity value
of the product.

Do you wonder why the anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft have faded
away, its because the cheif whiner, the President of Novell, lost out,
and the number two whiner, Ellison of Oracle, has decided he could do
better by trying to do a technological end run around Microsoft with his
NC technology. Aldus got bought by Adobe, so they chilled out.

All that antitrust stuff in the news was just the competition trying to
put some brakes on Microsoft, who had taken advantage of some strategic
mistakes the others had made.

I think that the high level of Microsoft haters out there indicates that
Microsoft won't dominate the applications industry, and the evidence
from Corel so far indicates that this will remain this way as the
competition seems fully capable fo turning out quality, even superior

As for the OS market, so what? SOmebody has to set the standard. Ghu
knows that Apple abrogated that right when they continually charged a
stiff premium for an OS that did not get improved very often. The fact
that Microsoft was able to come along and kick their butts indicates
that the monopoly domination claim is bogus.
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			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}