Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Tue, 09 May 2006 23:19:29 -0400

     > 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.

I don't think so.

     > 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...

You have chosen a specific scenario where the tax cut is a uniform
fraction of taxes paid.  My statement is not limited to that scenario;
some tax cuts benefit the rich out of proportion to their tax figures.
But let's look at your scenario.

I did not say that this is "unfair".  What I said is that this leads
the non-rich to support the interests of the rich.  It may be unfair
as well to make poor people pay the as high a tax rate as the rich,
but that isn't what I said.