You don’t have to be a Ph.D. in the economics of anti-trust law to see the irony of the federal government’s legal attack on Microsoft. Here we have Microsoft, the leading company in the most productive, competitive and innovative sector of our society, under siege from the least productive and most monopolized element in society the federal government.
Let’s look at the picture before us. The computer industry, which our government argues is being threatened by the alleged monopoly practices of Microsoft, is putting new computers on our desks with ever more effective programs. We can now balance our checkbook, go shopping, design intricate publications and e-mail our parents the new picture of their grandkid all on our personal computer. And with many more features and power, the prices keep going down.
Now what about the federal government? First, its Board of Directors, the Congress, has monopolized the political process. In the last election 98.5 percent of incumbents were reelected, most without any meaningful competition. For those who had served more than 2 terms, the reelection rate was 100 percent. That’s beyond anything remotely possible in the productive private sector. And more important, when is the last time you saw real innovation in the federal government a problem solved or a true cut in the amount of your tax bill?
Monopolies are known to raise prices and diminish quality. That doesn’t match the record of Microsoft or the computer industry. The real monopoly isn’t Mr. Gates and Microsoft; it’s the career politicians in Washington.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.