react at ix.netcom.com react at ix.netcom.com
Sun May 17 09:57:10 EST 1998

Marc Andelman wrote:
> react at ix.netcom.com wrote the following, defending state manipulation
> of the economoy;

Unfair!  Attempting to prejudice the jury without argument.  You claim a
disparity between these two statements:

A)   The state is not
> > competing with most private individuals.  It is providing most private
> > individuals with opportunities to make a living both directly and
> > indirectly.
> >

B)  Free enterprise requires a degree of freedom.  When
> > enterprise is controlled and manipulated for the good of a small segment
> > of society it is no longer free.  It becomes, in fact, very expensive
> > for those outside the magic circle.

Let's first examine the error which is easiest to see.  You presume that
an economy manipulated for the good of a comparatively small number of
individuals does not provide the opportunity to earn a living to the
majority others.  These two functions are not in conflict.  In fact, one
may say that the latter in particular is necessary or the status quo
will become unstable.

Is there an error on another level?  Yes, in fact.  When a state which
supported opportunity for the majority is taken over by a faction which
wishes the state to work only for a few, it cannot be done overnight,
and especially if the state is a large bureaucracy.  Thus the state may
exercise those elements of both philosophies so long as they are not
mutually exclusive.  A state which funnels most wealth to a few and a
state which provides the opportunity to the majority to earn a living
are not mutually exclusive.

There are other examples as well - more complex however - to show that
you have not succeeded in discrediting either of my arguments.

> So how is government supposed to make a fair playing field by excercising
> state power to chose who gets hired,funded, or benefits from communal
> largess?

I beg your pardon?  State power to do what?  Where does this enter the
argument?  There is a difference between 'presenting opportunity' the
power to chose specifically who will benefit from that opportunity.

> My original post was about an interesting editorial,or rather, an
> actual research article in May 1 Science that makes a very good case
> why academic patents will totally screw up the industrial job market for
> scientists by making industrial R&D unprofitable.

What I'm saying is that you have mis-identified the source of the
problem.  The problem is that universities have been forced to behave
more like private businesses as government funding has diminished.  You
claim that you don't want them behaving like private businesses, and
your answer is to cut more government funding.  Don't you agree that
there is a logical conflict in your position?

>  Yet all I hear is
> ravings of a looney.

My dear Sir!  You offend me deeply!  But tell me - what is one to do in
the face of your insistent irrationality?

>  I think everyone should be extremely concerned
> about this issue, yet the only response is from some burnout who is not
> firing on all cylinders.

Tch.  I'm embarassed for you.  Such slander!


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