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2003 May 09 19:44

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Re: [vox] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?
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Re: [vox] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?



On Fri, May 09, 2003 at 08:39:47AM -0700, Eric D. Pierce wrote:
> > 
> > [1] This actually goes against capitalist ideals; e.g., the 'ideal'
> >     capitalist wants his products to stand on their own merits -- if he
> >     needs to use force to promote them, then he deserves to be kicked out of
> >     the marketplace.
> 
> See John Locke (17th century english philosopher) on 
> "Natural Law" and "Property Rights". 
> 
> The philosophical foundation of the USA constitution was 
> mainly derived from Locke's work.

I'm quite aware of that, although I don't recall making any statements
about the constitution. *grin*

> Monopolists are basically trying to reverse the social 
> evolution towards "higher order" consciousness, compassion,
> democracy, property rights, and so forth, and recreate some 
> elements of mercantilist economic system (like a corrupt
> aristocracy).

Monopolists want an oligarchy, where 

> In other words, it is hard to imagine that any penalties
> against monopolistic business practices could be overly
> harsh.

I disagree there; the entire point of market regulation is to keep the
so-called playing field as level as possible.  Thus, the goal in
punishing a monopolist is to do two things:

    (a) Remove their monopoly power, which they clearly aren't capable
	of using in a responsible fashion.

    (b) Repair the damage to the marketplace caused by the monopolist's
        influence.

So it's not a matter of nothing being 'unduly harsh', but being 'just
harsh enough' to make sure it doesn't happen again.  In Microsoft's
case, the penalties would have to be quite harsh, simply because of the
deapth and breadth of their monopolistic abuse.  Personally, I would
mandate that Microsoft:

    (a) Pay stockholders back for the illegal withholding of dividends
	over the past twenty or so years (that's why they've got $50 
	billion in the bank).

    (b) Pay reparations to the companies they have shunted out of the 
        marketplace through their illegal practices (IBM, Netscape, 
	AOL/TW, etc).

    (c) Split into two seperate companies which are disallowed from 
        partnering with each other for a period of five years; an 
	applications company, and an OS company.

    (d) Provide software refunds to individuals forced to pay for
	bundled OS and application licenses.

-- 
Don Werve <donw@examen.com> (Unix System Administrator)

Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!
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