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Re: Return Economics

  I, for one, read email with an email client, which expects plain text, not
  HTML. HTML is for the Web. If I had wanted to read your web site, I would have
  used my browser.
  But what's with all the html markup?
  Plain text would have made your point just as well, that is, if you have a
  point. I can't tell because I'm not going to wade through all of the
  unnecessary html markup in your message.
  	Kendall Clark, President
  	North Texas Linux Users Group
  On Thu, 30 Oct 1997, John Robert BEHRMAN wrote:
  >This is a cryptographically signed message in MIME format.
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  >This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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  >Thnx fr ths post. Will revrt if I can trace wsj refs. Pls post whatever
  >you find.
  ><P><B>Strategical and Modular Economics</B>
  ><P>My own view is that the economics of digital <I>media</I>, ie storage,
  >transmission and switching, can be correctly analyzed in <B><FONT COLOR="#000099">strategical</FONT></B>
  >terms, a sort of macroeconomics, and in <FONT COLOR="#000099"><B>modula</B>r</FONT>
  >terms, a complementary sort of microeconomics. I suspect my analysis overlaps
  >return economics in some appreciation of interleaved economies of <B><FONT COLOR="#000099">scope,
  >scale, and cycle</FONT></B><FONT COLOR="#000000">, a sort of three-body
  >problem common to the union set of technology markets and market enterprise.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">My question, relative to my own analysis or any
  >other, is whether what anything as pedestrian economics can say really
  >bears decisively on the strategical, political, and popular issues raised
  >by Microsoft's aggression. It may be that century-old laws concocted by
  >rude farmers, merchants, and mechanics a century ago in the context of
  >coal-fired railroads and steam-ships still apply pretty much straightforwardly.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">We pretty much know what a tie-in sale, a conspiracy,
  >predatory pricing and boiler torts are. The jails are full of low-class
  >or non-white people who prey upon even lower-class and less-white people
  >with what <I>Dragnet</I> used to call "bunko" and consisting of what Microsoft
  >seems to do, albeit in their white-bread, nerdy way. Off-hand, I am not
  >sure why rich kids used to getting mama and daddy to fix their traffic
  >tickets should be exempt from the law generally. I know that the PC and
  >the Internet and so on have changed <I>almost</I> everything, but I wonder
  >if the more things change, the more they stay the same.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">I am a fancy-pants economic consultant who would
  >love to get in on either side of the Microsoft litigation at my usual hourly
  >billing rate. But, as just a plain, old Texan, I am not sure but what Microsoft
  >should not be given what Orrin HATCH would recognize as a fair trial in
  >the morning and be hanged a little after noon for simply and flagrantly
  >doing exactly what they are accused of doing for pretty much the old-fangled
  >reason of getting a lot of money in a hurry with less actual work than
  >other "low-bandwidth" folk might have to engage in to achieve the same
  >result.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">The fact is that hardware outfits in Texas could
  >make more money by buying a cheaper DOS/Windows upgrade like Win95 without
  >the cost of IE bundled in and by reselling the sort of build-to-order systems
  >people want and, apart from Microsoft's oppression, get from Dell, Compaq,
  >IBM and other Texas companies. Texas firms should be free to bundle <I>IE</I>
  >or <I>Doom </I>or whatever or not as they see fit, pay a marginal cost
  >or not, in order to get and gain a marginal profit or not.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">What amazes me in all this is the sheer laziness
  >or cowardice of the Attorney General of Texas. He has stood around with
  >his finger up his ass while firms like Microsoft and Intel engage in acts
  >clearly detrimental to Texas commerce and industry. His fine, old elected
  >office has long been empowered and expected to take action against those
  >as would violate common carriage and anti-trust laws that Texans pioneered.
  >However, the last big case here was brought privately by a coal-slurry
  >pipeline against a conspiracy of railroads. The pipeline prevailed and
  >got about a billion-dollar verdict. But, the Attorney General of Texas
  >was a pathetic spectator then as, I suspect, he will remain in present
  >or future action against Microsoft.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><B><FONT COLOR="#000000">Law, Economics &amp; Engineering</FONT></B><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">I wish economists and engineers were in the driver's
  >seat when it comes to action against Microsoft. But, the best chance for
  >that slipped by when the FTC failed to act some time ago with the sort
  >of rather simple measures that would have facilitated more competition
  >then, less litigation now. But, the FTC was more lazy and cowardly then
  >than even the Texas Attorney General is today. All we are looking at, in
  >the decrepit FTC and Texas AG's Office, are a bunch of government lawyers
  >looking to get into private practice by sucking-up and copping-out.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">The one thing I obviously identify with is Microsoft's
  >complete contempt for the sort of lawyers they have had to contend with
  >up to now: Clintonite fund-raisers, IBM's thundering horde of bloody-hands
  >defense lawyers, and, of course, all those intellectual property lawyers
  >just like themselves at Borland, Sun, Novell.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">No wonder the Microsofties feel invincible. They
  >have never been eyeball-to-eyeball with a Texas Trial Lawyer or, for that
  >matter, an old-style SEC lawyer. So, they are the Little League Champs.
  >Big Deal.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">Nader can whip 'em, if he has still got any spit
  >or piss left.</FONT><FONT COLOR="#000000"></FONT>
  ><P><FONT COLOR="#000000">Good Luck and PLAYON JRBehrman sends.....</FONT></HTML>
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