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plaintext version of Mr.Behrman's remarks
- To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
- Subject: plaintext version of Mr.Behrman's remarks
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Beech Family)
- Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 21:14:14 -1000
Being the curious type [and needing an excuse to avoid doing tasks like
doing dinner dishes and paying bills] I translated Mr. Behrman's message
from HTML into plaintext. I agree we whould not post to the list in HTML in
the future..but I thought I'd pass this on in any case:
======= begin Mr. Behrman's comments =========================================
My own view is that the economics of digital media, ie storage, transmission and
switching, can be correctly analyzed in strategical terms, a sort of
macroeconomics, and in modular terms, a complementary sort of
microeconomics. I suspect my analysis overlaps return economics in some
appreciation of interleaved economies of scope, scale, and cycle, a sort of
problem common to the union set of technology markets and market enterprise.
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.
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 Dragnet 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
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
almost everything, but I wonder if the more things change, the more they
stay the same.
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.
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 IE or Doom 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.
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
Law, Economics & Engineering
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
The one thing I obviously identify with is Microsoft's complete contempt
for the sort of lawyersthey 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.
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.
Nader can whip 'em, if he has still got any spit or piss left.
Good Luck and PLAYON JRBehrman
====== end Mr. Behrman's comments ====================================