Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Anti-Trust and Free Trade?

Trust-
Definition 1 A legal arrangement in which an individual (the trustor) gives fiduciary control of property to a person or institution (the trustee) for the benefit of beneficiaries.
Definition 2 A monopolistic corporation, prior to the enactment of antitrust laws.
Definition 3 the trait of trusting; of believing in the honesty and reliability of others; "the experience destroyed his trust and personal dignity"
Fiduciary-

An individual, corporation or association holding assets for another party, often with the legal authority and duty to make decisions regarding financial matters on behalf of the other party.

Antitrust laws-

The Federal laws forbidding businesses from monopolizing a market or restraining free trade.

Free Trade-
International business not restrained by government interference or regulation, such as duties.
Contradiction-
Opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas {Principle of contradiction} (Logic), the axiom or law of thought that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time, or a thing must either be or not be, or the same attribute can not at the same time be affirmed and and denied of the same subject.


Is anyone confused by the above? The emphasis was added by myself to help make it clear. Now take a look at this story which I have excerpted below and tell me if this makes sense:

Microsoft first sells an XP operating system with Media Player included at no charge. Consumers are generally happy with that because they get an already bundled media player at zero out of pocket cost. (They are, of course, perfectly free to delete Microsoft's own media player and/or to download any rival media player.) Competitors who sell rival media players complain, however, that Microsoft's free bundling makes it harder for them to do business. And they bring all of this to the attention of the European antitrust regulators.
So the European regulators come in, absent of any evidence of consumer abuse, and order Microsoft to sell a consumer inferior version of Windows XP so that rival media player competitors will have an opportunity to do more business. But, the coup de gras, the name of the consumer inferior version must not reveal that it is in fact consumer inferior! Indeed, Microsoft has been ordered to do nothing commercially that would make the consumer inferior operating system appear less attractive to consumers and that includes, apparently, naming the product correctly. Microsoft, in short, has been ordered in effect to lie about its new operating system in the title and all in the name of preserving "competition."


Really speaks well for the "Wisdom of Crowds" don't you think?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The alleged Microsoft monopoly puts consumers on the horns of a dilemma. Competition is great. It drives suppliers to produce better products at lower prices. But MS's bundling strategy makes it hard for even the biggest software manufacturers to compete. On the other hand, MS products are arguably as good as it gets (how would we know since the own they field in so many areas?). Actually there are free alternatives out there and a whole cult following surrounding Linux.

My first computer was an Apple IIc which I eventually upgraded to a MAC. MACs are better machines with a better OS than Windows. Ultimately I had to go with the flow. Windows is quite simply the standard. Everywhere. Can't argue with that kind of success. Beta vs VHS? Beta was better. 4-channel vs stereo? 4-channel was better in that it rendered a truer version of surround separation.

As for me, I lament the lack of competition, but I'll stick with Windows and all the spinoffs that MS produces. You go with MAC. Or Linux. In the end, no one can compete with MS because MS makes more sense. S//Dystopic Asynchronous Dissonance

4:11 PM  
Blogger Sarah Beth said...

Competition is what keeps the best the best. If the little guys can't compete because they can't make a better product, maybe they ought to keep working at it. Lowering the standards just, well, lowers the standards. It also treats Microsoft as if they were a criminal, convicted of being the best.
Free Trade isn't equal to Not Free Trade aka regulated trade. Anti-trust and Free-trade are antithetical

5:09 PM  
Blogger M.T. Daffenberg said...

The socialist rings in. . .

I agree with you! Your logic is indisputable, and I like how solid your argument is laid out--nice, philosophical job. Where you and I probably disagree is that I believe in the forced giving of one's money i.e. taxes, charity, etc. when you control the most money and resources. How that is to be judged, haven't figure it out. . . yet. But when you're as filthy rich as Bill Gates, you had better be putting a whole lot of that filth back into society. Being rich and not promoting a better society with those riches is as irresponsible as driving drunk (morally speaking). The good news is, Bill Gates does a whole lot of great stuff with his money, so criticize him I will not. (Sorry 'bout the Yodaspeak). The Wal-mart family however. . .

12:55 PM  
Blogger Sarah Beth said...

Haha, thanks for the kind words. Uh, yeah, this is what we disagree on, I sorta ranted at your Wal Mart post, so I guess you can see my position pretty well there. I won't re-state it here, although it may have been more appropriate for me to keep it here in the first place. (Don't blame me I was possessed by the ghost of Capitalists present.)

5:47 PM  
Blogger M.T. Daffenberg said...

Sarah,

I don't blame you for anything. You're obviously intelligent. I replied, but before I came back to your page--I also ranted. I wish you knew how much I used to stand right where you're standing, I've worn your shoes, hell, I've probably even tried on a couple of your hats. But I've changed, good or bad. My change involved a larger focus on compassion and empathy for my fellow man, need-mongers or not. And if you read my rant, I, too was possessed, by Karl Marx and Che Guavara and all past members of local 1049. ;)

I hope none of our exchanges are taken personally--unless of course I attack you personally, then I would completely understand if you took it personally. :)

9:06 AM  
Blogger Sarah Beth said...

Not personal at all. I love the discourse. Gets the blood pumping and the brain working :)

9:41 AM  
Blogger Sarah Beth said...

Haha, also, I wasn't always a gung ho Capitalist either. I would have considered myself a moderate socialist not so long ago. I had one of my lifetime goals as reforming Capitalism into a more socially responsible system. Now what I'm learning is that pure laissez faire Capitalism is the most socially responsible system, and it has never fully existed, but the closer we move to it (which we are moving farther and farther away currently) the more prosperous everyone becomes. Sure, there are greater disparities in wealth, but everyone's bottom line is raised. We don't all have to be financially equal, that is a myth.

10:14 AM  
Blogger M.T. Daffenberg said...

Re: comment above.

I'd live with that and be happy, if we could actually get there.

1:38 PM  

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