Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: David Fetter <>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 11:35:53 -0700

On Sat, May 13, 2006 at 02:35:53PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >>>>> "Ben" == Ben Tilly <> writes:
>     Ben> According to historical estimates by Dr Robert Fogel, the
>     Ben> economies of slave-owning states were 9% more efficient than
>     Ben> the economies of non-slave states.
> For the purpose at hand, such cross-section comparisons are
> meaningless in themselves.  The question is whether the slave-owning
> states could have done even better had they converted to a free
> economy.  Fogel's data (as presented in Time on the Cross) seems to
> support an overall relatively high productivity in the South, with
> the free sector being competitive with the slave sector.

I'm curious about why you're talking about slavery as though it were
entirely in the past tense.  Slavery has never been bigger than it is
today. has a little bit on this.

It's all very well to opine on theories of economics and assert, as
many /laissez-faire/ capitalists and their ilk do, that "the market
will take care of it," but before you do so, you really must account
for the fact that slavery is bigger in practice than it has ever been
and is growing at a pretty high rate.

David Fetter <>
phone: +1 415 235 3778        AIM: dfetter666
                              Skype: davidfetter

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