Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: Russ Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 01:33:14 -0400

Richard Stallman writes:
 > This common intuition is the wrong way to judge copyright issues or
 > patent issues.  They should be judged based on the public interest.

This applies to economics as well.  Your common intuition about
economics often leads you (RMS) to incorrect conclusions.  Take this

 > It is a common tactic of the wealthy to try to manipulate people
 > through their intuitions into serving the wealthy's interests.
 > (Compare with politicians that say "I will cut your taxes" and in fact
 > give most of the tax cut to the rich.)

If taxes get cut by 50%, then the rich paying $100,000 get $50,000.
If taxes get cut by 50%, then the poor paying $  1,000 get $   500.
Your economic intuition tells you that this is unfair, because a
tax cut of $50,500 gave most of the tax cut to the rich.

As you point out, common intuition does not lead to reliable

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