Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 15:03:15 +0900

>>>>> "Ben" == Ben Tilly <btilly@gmail.com> writes:

    Ben> So the North was in a better long-term future.  But the South
    Ben> was coping just fine with the economic realities of the day.

That's what I've been saying all along.  But ...

    Ben> When you value the opinions of those who might or might not
    Ben> be free, then freedom clearly is worthwhile.  However it does
    Ben> not always pay for the person who stands to own someone else.

The reality of the slavery we are discussing is that it was originally
based on theft, and continued to be sustained by theft for some
hundred-odd years.  Of course thieves stand to benefit from their
theft, as do fences and the fences' customers.

However, all of the analyses you discuss assume that the initial
capital invested was legitimate---that's an important aspect of what I
mean by the error of static analysis.  To the extent that the theft
was ongoing, and was going to be abolished, there may have been
unaccounted costs whose effect on profitability would not be
recognized for some time to come.

Note that the "legitimacy" here is pretty ill-defined for the purpose
of the economic analysis.  Nevertheless, my intuition is that even on
its own terms a lot of that "slave capital" was not accounted for at
economically accurate prices.


-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory