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Re: Technological inheritance

  	                   VERSUS  MICROSOFT  CORP.
  	(Please reply to  myturn@vcol.net   if what you see is
  	 not easy to read -- short lines with a wide left margin.)
  	Louis Proyect  today quoted Gar Alperovitz's article,
  	"Distributing Our Technological Inheritance" from the
  	Oct. 94, Technology Review, as follows:
  	"If we admit that what any one person, group, generation, 
  	 or even nation contributes in one moment of time is 
  	 minuscule compared with all that the past bequeaths like
  	 a gift from a rich uncle, we are forced to question the 
  	 basic principles by which we distribute our technological 
  	The above states an activist concern (1) to prevent 
  	monopolistic advantage, however acquired, from
  	destroying competition in the communications arts,
  	sciences and market, and (2)  to prevent a general
  	shriveling of  income, in pursuit of communications
  	advances, because no attempt is made to support
  	excellence and effort in communications; -- a 
  	shriveling that results from maldistribution of our 
  	technological inheritance.
  	The Department of Justice and the courts, (if it comes
  	to that in the end), will determine what to do about the
  	facts we have heard on this List (and elsewhere). I am
  	confident Microsoft will back down.  The exact 
  	compromise is not easily guessed.
  	But what of our inheritance -- how can it be distributed
  	in ways that will make it grow faster, and have it do the 
  	most good for the society we all make possible -- the 
  	one on which we depend?
  	I would not take from Microsoft or its owners capital
  	they have acquired, (except as current law may require).
  	But I would look to the future to see if by tax reform
  	and budget reform we cannot ensure future funding of
  	competitive scientific, artistic and commercial work,
  	no matter how much any firm may be ahead in any
  	field.  How to do that?
  	On a large scale, as we did with Aluminum, government
  	can fund competition in communications (and all its
  	aspects), if that ever becomes necessary.  Right now,
  	private capital seems to be ample in all areas.  There
  	is no slowing down in sight.  (And, of course, the anti-
  	trust enforcement at the heart of the current matter will
  	do much on this large scale.)
  	On a small scale, to keep the our startups from having
  	to close operations and go hungry, subsidized full 
  	employment -- for ordinary people and for gurus and
  	dreamers -- is necessary.
  	If national economic policy was quick to keep 
  	government loans, grants and spending always high
  	enough to avoid recession, and the civil right to credit
  	from government (as employer of last resort) were
  	implemented, we would be distributing the benefit 
  	of our technological inheritance in a practical way.
  	To win support for such a regime, full reliance on
  	functional finance is in order. This means that no
  	income (or other) tax is imposed except to prevent
  	inflation.  And where compulsory saving will do as
  	well as taxes, it would be used instead of taxes.
                John Gelles        email to:    myturn@vcol.net
                 http://www.myturn.org   ;   http://www.rain.org/~jjgelles/
                 Economic rights, wealth and individual and national 
                 security -- financed by credit -- inflation protected
                 by automation and saving --  not by high interest, 
                 high unemployment and high taxes.