Subject: Re: Novel anti-software-patent article
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 11:24:51 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Bernard" == Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr> writes:

    Bernard> On Fri, Jan 07, 2000 at 12:57:09PM +0900, Stephen
    Bernard> J. Turnbull wrote:
    >> The point of the rant/lecture is simply that in the U.S. over
    >> 50% of the public is fairly directly stockholders (and through
    >> pension funds and the like, that figure goes to 70% or 80%), so
    >> profits are benefits, _not costs_, to the public.

    Bernard> laugh ... that assumes that profit is indeed fairly
    Bernard> redistributed (not everyone benefits from pension funds,
    Bernard> nor equally)

<sigh> I made no such assumption.  My point is to confuse the issue,
until it approximates the chaotic reality.  The "big and profitable is
bad (at least if it is a monopoly)" argument has so far been
invariably associated with separating the "monopolist" from the
"public," and arguing that a rip-off is taking place.  All I ask you
to accept is that the profit is redistributed, and that the
beneficiaries of it are widespread.  I make no assumptions about fair,
except that some redistribution is more fair than none.  The point is
to allow everyone to judge for themselves on the basis of facts how
fair things are, rather than asking them to pierce the veil of the
pejorative "monopoly".

I gather that you see no difference between no redistribution and any
"less than fully fair" (whatever that means) redistribution.  Vive la
revolucion!  :-/

    Bernard>   It also assumes that pension funds will work in the
    Bernard> long term ... and AFAIK they never have in past history
    Bernard> (but I am no specialist of that).

Private funds didn't exist in past history in the form they do today,
not long enough to say with confidence whether they work or not.  But
it is important to remember that they are more accountable to
employees (or and much more so to union managements) than the
employers are in the large majority of cases.

This is not the place for discussion of so-called public "pension
funds," especially since they do zero investment.

    Bernard>   More generally it also assumes that pension funds are
    Bernard> economically sound, which is doubtful, since they seem
    Bernard> mostly to create a stock market inflation from excess of
    Bernard> currency for that market only.

False, in fact.  The insertion of "seem" was commendably cautious.
But again this is not the place.

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