The last post we talked about the dangers that socialism and communism pose to human spirit and the chance to manifest prosperity. Some of the people who commented worried if free enterprise could really provide opportunity for all, and Bones raised the issue of monopolies.
Actually this monopoly issue is the red herring that gets tossed about every time the issue comes up. Total bullshit, and just more of the memes (mind viruses) that governments try to infect you with. They would have you believe they are the natural result of capitalism, but in fact, the opposite is true. As my friend and critical think Bob Burg notes, any and all monopolies were either totally government imposed (postal service), government sponsored (telephone back in early 20th century – interesting how prices came down once the monopoly ended) or government-bribed (where the special-interest Lobbyists come into play). Monopolies can ONLY exist through government force; otherwise there is always some gutsy new entrepreneur that will come along and take away the business.
A couple years back, I was waiting in an airport lounge, when I picked up a copy of "Fortune" magazine. It had a column by Stuart Alsop, criticizing Microsoft and Bill Gates. Headlined, "The Right Thing to Regulate," he continued spreading the meme that Microsoft is a monopoly (Which he probably doesn’t even realize he is spreading, since he has been infected and parasitized like so many of the “experts” in the financial world.), and called for government action against it.
What an easy target. One that is sure to be popular with the herd. Why, everybody can agree that Microsoft is the death star destroying everything in its way until they control the world. I mean Gates is worth what, $56 billion last time I checked. “How much is enough, anyway?”
Wrong. Very, very wrong.
When Alsop writes a column like he does, pandering to the lack and limitation beliefs of his readers - he simply demonstrates his real absence of understanding on how capitalism and free enterprise actually work.
It’s interesting to note that when someone asked Ayn Rand why Americans are so anti-intellectual, she replied that it was because America's intellectuals were so anti-American. The Alsop column is a perfect demonstration of that. America is the only country in the world founded on the principles of free enterprise, yet Fortune magazine that is supposed to be an icon of the entrepreneur mentality, regularly prints such silly socialist blather as this.
More importantly, what do you think happens to you when you read such inane drivel? It programs you for lack. You see yourself as a helpless victim of the billion-dollar corporation, needing the government to “save” you from its abuses.
What is Microsoft's crime?
That they created software that millions of people want to use. Millions of people who are not that computer savvy, including senior citizens and young kids - have learned that we can actually work a computer that uses the Windows operating system.
But Bones, I know what you’re thinking: Didn't the US government say that Microsoft was bundling their Internet browser with the operating system, therefore strangling trade, and creating a monopoly?
(Sigh.) Here's the analogy. Suppose Tony Robbins and I are doing a seminar on the same weekend, both are in Chicago. I offer a free CD album with your seminar registration. Should Tony sue? Petition the government? He could claim unfair trade, restraint of trade, and monopoly.
Or why doesn't he just offer a free CD album with his own seminar? Or better yet, he could offer two!
You see the government does not need to legislate seminar companies, control prices and determine value. (Let alone run banks, insurance companies, and car companies!) If you let free enterprise work - it will take care of the consumer all by itself. Competition is what keeps prices low, and values high.
If you are serious about success - Bill Gates should be one of the heroes at the top of your list. And Microsoft should be treated by the US government like what it really is - a true American success story.
It's easy to depict Microsoft as the billion-dollar monster, devouring everything in its path. That's what meme-infected herd media does. It's easy
pickings, pandering to the Joe the plumber crowd. It’s like bobbing for water.
These deceptions ignore one very simple fact. Microsoft is a company formed by a couple of kids who dropped out of college - because they had an idea and a dream. Gates and Paul Allen created a company based on innovation and attracted people like Richard Brodie, and legions of other bright people.
The thing that will ultimately control Microsoft is not government regulation. It is the fact that right now, all over the world, there are other bright kids sitting in a dorm room somewhere with nothing but empty pizza boxes - who will come up with the next development in software, one that could make Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, or even Windows obsolete.
And they will do this, driven by the desire to live the American dream, as personified by Gates, Allen, and the thousands of millionaires created by Microsoft.
I remember when I first read the Fortune column, I was a dedicated Windows use. Yet today I’m writing on a MacBook, have a MacBook Air, iPod and iPhone. And using the Firefox browser. Why? Because the free market came up with innovations that I like better.
The media, government and the education system would have you believe that monopolies are a danger. Yet there is no history or evidence to support that at all. And plenty of evidence to the contrary.
To be prosperous, you have to have discernment. Question what you read and hear. Analyze why the herd thinks the way it does. And think differently!