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Re:Churning Milk into CURDS
On Tue, 16 Dec 1997 19:32:01 -0500 (EST), Charles Behney wrote:
>Subject: CHURNING MILK INTO BUTTER
>It is sad that the Baby Bells ATT, IBM were extorted with rent from the
>courts. We really only needed one telephone from Western Electric, one
>set of IBM computer compilers and one long distance provider. Mr.
>Glassman's combination of "naive inattention and arrogance" has missed
>the underlying dangers of the biggest business story of the nineties. He
>assumes that the basis of the misunderstanding is that Microsoft makes
>good software, that they are merely clever marketeers, rather than
>cybernetic shoppers on Supermarket Sweep. Washington's game looks
>saltier than Microsoft's approach, but states such as Utah have watched
>the gains of fifteen years of computer programming disappear in a cloud
>of Microdust. Senator Orrin Hatch is hardly "selling wealth protection,"
>unless you include the US $50K+ fund raising that an average senator
>must raise every week. Senators must feel like advertising executives
>for Ziff Davis. That's a lot a churning at limited waterholes.
This is the same "free market" James K. Glassman who pronounced himself
"Rush Limbaugh's favorite liberal" and proceeded to take the same lengthy
space to preach "crypto-Libertarianism" (aka unreconstructed social Darwinism
cf Mitch Stone in an earlier post) and call himself a "true liberal". I have copied my
letter to the local editor in response to Mr Glassman (what I wrote, not the
butchered version that was printed), and see no reason to spend anymore
time on his version of the Microsoft case. His writings are nothing more than a
rubber stamp for robber barons.
===============To the editor "Libertarian, not Liberal"===================
Re: James K. Glasman ("Just an Old-Fashioned Liberal", OWH 11/21/97), one
might expect that a professional journalist would know the difference between
a liberal and a libertarian, and could use the words correctly in a sentence.
Furthermore, "Rush Limbaugh's favorite liberal" would be far more accurately
termed a "crypto-libertarian" (cf Mitch Stone, in the Appraising Microsoft dialogue).
This is unreconstructed social darwinism with Ayn Rand as the most recognized
prophet of our times. "Free" markets are canonized as though "just getting out of
the way" will insure the best outcomes and level the playing field in an instant. As
a metaphor, if you imagine all the lines, signs and regulations on the highway
removed, you'd soon realize that the only drivers who feel "free" are those driving
the biggest rigs, and, drunks. The rest of us would pay the price for this "freedom".
As to the "freedom of consumers and scientists to find their own way" in matters of
technology, you probably feel akin to the "libertarian" camp at Microsoft. They feel
their "freedom" to do business as they see fit (dumping, fraud, coercive contracts,
etc) should not be restricted or regulated by the FTC or the DOJ. But when it comes
to protecting their copyrights, they want the full force of the government and the law
to punish those software "pirates" (who is the biggest pirate here?). And a special
Micro$oft tax break (15-20% on a billion dollar tax bill) is only fair as well. I do agree
with Mr. Glasman that "when government devotes itself to enforcing moral regimes,
tyranny is around the corner". But as to the rest of this "liberal" laissez faire doctrine,
mankind decided a long time ago that there had to be a better law than that of the
jungle. That's how we came to have enough time and security to consider paying
people for their philosophy, and their opinions. But, obviously, that is no assurance
of a quality product.
One might add the recent request of MS to eliminate overtime pay for computer
workers in the state of Washington. In the true "whatever improves the bottom line"
spirit, they'll argue from both sides of their mouths simultaneously as to the proper
role of government.
CAB copied Glassman's words for you. I don't think they merit repeating.
Glenn T. Livezey, Ph.D.
Director of Perinatal Research
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
University of Nebraska Medical Center
600 South 42nd Street
Omaha, NE 68198-3255