Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 12:35:36 -0500 (EST) writes:
 > I never meant to say that govt should not
 > use the lowest cost / most appropriate solution 
 > for any given problem.  I was merely pointing out 
 > the fact that govt tilting the playing field in 
 > favor of GPL could be a way of shooting itself in
 > the foot at tax collection time since free software
 > businesses are typically much less profitable than
 > proprietary software businesses.

Spoken like a true non-economist!

This is another example of the broken window fallacy.  You might think
"Gee, if I go around throwing rocks at windows, that will help
glaziers.  They'll have more money to spend on food and clothing.
That will help food and clothing vendors who will have more money to
spend on their houses.  And so on and so on, helping everyone in the

What you are missing is that the money spent to fix the window was
available to be spent in other ways.  It is not new money, but instead 
re-allocated money.  By breaking a window, society is not improved,
but is instead out the value of the window.

Now, sez Professor Nelson, the remainder of the thinking is left up to

By the way, Bastiat demolished this fallacy about 150 years ago.  If
your understanding of physics was equally poor, you wouldn't know
about the existance of atomic weapons, nor of atomic power.

-russ nelson     |
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