Re: Free-Market Economics

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 21:31:44 -0400

Bobby Whalen wrote:
> 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!

1) hardware advances are expanding faster than OS advances. Evidence:
Prices for then year standard configurations are lower, allowing one to
buy more than the minimum necessary for even the "bloated" new system.

2)Granted bloat is a problem, and the fact that so many businesses are
not upgrading their systems as fast as MS thought they would is causing
them to make some changes in their priorities for their newer versions
yet to come out. However, much of the bloat is unavoidable as new
systems need to be able to be compatible with all of the older versions,
etc., so as time goes on, there are more and more filters, links, calls,
etc. that an OS must handle.

3)the base PC systems offered by the big names that many people buy
because they are so affordable are absolute crap. They are extremely
detuned versions, like HP's initial pentium offering of a 75MHz system
with only 8 megs of ram, when responsible people were using a minimum of
100 MHz chips to run Win95.

It really shouldn't matter how long it takes Win95 to start up. For
starters, it still starts faster than a Mac, and secondly, if you had
sufficient RAM it actually starts faster than Win 3.1 (its 32 bits mean
that its processing twice as much information as well). THirdly and
finally, what IS important is how fast applications run on the OS, and I
can say that any application will run faster on 95 than on 3.1 (because
the same version of Word, for example is 16 bits, it will run
approximately twice as fast on a 32 bit OS as on a 16 bit OS.

Also, if you are running on an ISA bus, it is no wonder, as the ISA bus
was not built to handle 32 bit processing.

> >
> >>
> >The only way corporations can possibly coerce is by means of
> government.
> >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...

In an anarchy, every citizen will understand that their own self defense
is their own responsibility. THose that don't deserve their fate.
> 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.

As I recall, the government can revoke your drivers license, pilots
license, as well as many other "licenses" to practice simple tasks if
you refuse to accede to their authroity to demand you take their piss,
blood or breath tests. THey can even judge you impaired if you "fail" a
simple physical dexterity test (a freind of mine who has an inner ear
impairment has lost her license on site over a dozen times in the last 6
years. If thats not harassment, I don't know what is). Corporations do
not have the same authority.

ALso, if you are an employee and are not an operating owner or partner
in the firm, you have no vested interest in the company, so if you don't
conform to their standards, they have every right to ask you to leave.
You are not owed a job.

As for the gas station monopolist, those are the breaks. If the gas
station owners did not utilize public opinion to force a curtailment or
accomodation, its their own damn fault. I have seen numerous communities
across the country successfully fight big corporations like Walmart and
Costco who wanted to come into their communities.

My own town here just lost such a battle due to sheer stupidity. They
had succeeded in keeping Costco out last year, but this year, Walmart
dug up an old plan permit without an expiration date in the city records
for the property they want to build on. They bought the permit from the
guy who received it, and are now going to build a store. The local
yokels were stupid in that they 1) didn't have expiration dates on
building permits, and 2) they didn't buy that permit from the owner
first, and 3) didn't pass an ordinance mandating a maximum square
footage any retail or wholesale space can operate on.

For those of you in foreign countries where Walmart and Costco have not
spread the gospel of "everything for less", they are a chain of stores
that typically cover at least several football fields in indoor area,
you need a map to get around in, and can find just about anything you
could possibly need at typcially less than half the price you will find
anywhere else. Also, unlike most other retail operations, employees have
an active program of freindliness and helpfulness (I think its something
they put in the water) that can be disconcerting to begin with, but once
you get used to it, you start to resent the rude way you are treated
anywhere else.

Note: This is probably why EuroDisney is so unpopular....its like an
alien planet to be treated like a human being rather than a number in a
socialist "paradise".

			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]}