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September 27, 2007

Comments

Mean 3Monkey

You know, the government sponsors semi-monopolies all the time. Every patent or copyright issued is a government-supported monopoly for the use of a particular idea or media. What about the drug companies which use tax-payer funded research to develop patented drugs which, though costing only pennies to manufacture, are sold for millions of times their production costs? Should these also be subject to rules guaranteeing access? I'm personally rather ambivalent about the patent system and other instances of government-supported monopolies, but you seem to be judging the use of the electromagnetic spectrum by a harsher standard than other such monopolies.

md

I actually completely agree with you about drug companies and, to a lesser extent, companies like air carriers who also receive government funding to prop them up. I think their's something unholy about government money funding research for the "common good" only to have that research used to make completely out-of-scale profits while health care costs raise higher and higher.

I don't believe patents (in their current form) help promote competition and excellence. They instead allow companies to rest on their laurels and litigate in place of creating better and cheaper products in a freer marketplace.

In this case, I believe our best choice is to vote with our dollars. The difficulty being that it's very hard to get out of a cell phone contract in the states, as providers will extend contracts for years for something as minor as adding more monthly text messages to your plan. I think everyone who can terminate service with Verizon should and should make the company aware of why they're making this decision.

As always, I enjoy your well-thought-out comments.

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Ahem

  • If Ayn Rand and Walter Benjamin got in a cage fight and then made up over foie gras, single malt scotch and indie pop, you'd have the delightful adventures of "That Was Probably Awkward." Plus or minus the single malt and foie gras, depending on the week's finances. But always the indie pop. Sad, stirring indie pop. And a decent happy hour.

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