Thursday, May 25, 2006

Being economically ignorant, liberals usually miss the point

Some anonymous liberal coward left a ridiculous comment at the end of my entry debunking the notion that Microsoft software is "overpriced."

To start, Microsoft is not a monopoly. Hasn't this guy ever heard of Macs and Linux? Case closed.

If there are no barriers to market entry, then a company is merely dominant, not a monopoly. But what constitutes a barrier? Well, merely being competitive is not a barrier. It's the would-be entrants' fault for not being as competitive. A true barrier, and hence a true monopoly, exists only through the power of government -- which Microsoft clearly does not have.

If you think something is "overpriced," then don't buy it. Clearly Microsoft software is valuable to a lot of people, because they're willing to pay hundreds of dollars per Windows or Office license. Developing an operating system is very costly, and not many companies bother, so guess what: we're back to supply and demand. Microsoft "manipulates" the price as much as my local grocery store "manipulates" the price of bananas. If I think the price is too high, I won't buy it. If I think the price is too low, I'll buy more. It's up to the company to determine at what price it maximizes sales revenue.

But like I said last night, it's just like liberals to tell others how to live their lives. Instead of trying to persuade you, they want to use the power of government (i.e. courts and the FTC) to prevent you from buying peacefully and voluntarily from the company of your choice. Instead of offering rational thought, they spew invectives about "overpriced" and "evil capitalists" that are contrary to economic truth.

The guy doesn't even understand computer software. Large games typically are that way because of all the graphics files, not necessarily because of code. Second, nobody would pay $500 for a game because you don't always run the game; you pay $50 because you expect it to give you at least several hours of entertainment. You do, however, need to run an operating system all the time, which increases demand. An operating system is also far more complex than any silly game. It needs to have the flexibility to run just about anything thrown at it, from hardware to software, whereas a game need only know enough to partner with the operating system. It's been years since programmers had to write software to suit a machine, not require people to have a machine that suited the software.

"I bet you're the same person who would defend rising oil prices as and mindblowing profit margins of oil companies on rising oil prices of suppliers." I'll forgive his circular babbling to get to the point. I don't have to defend rising oil prices as a result of...rising oil prices. All right, maybe I won't forgive that, because it's among the stupidest phrasings I've ever heard.

I think he meant rising oil prices as a result of oil being more expensive to produce (i.e. pump, transport, refine and transport again). But I don't. Oil prices go up in accordance with simple supply and demand, which I don't have to defend, because it is economic fact.

Will liberals ever learn?


Anonymous Quincy said...

"Oil prices go up in accordance with simple supply and demand, which I don't have to defend, because it is economic fact."

Perry -

I believe this sentence should read:

"Oil prices go up in accordance with simple supply and demand, which I don't have to defend, because it is economic fact, NOT TO MENTION A HEALTHY DOSE OF GOVERNMENT MEDDLING."

Just catching up here, and see you've been very busy fisking! Keep it up!

Saturday, May 27, 2006 3:47:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Interesting you brought up Microsoft...right-wing friend of mine got into a debate with a left-wing friend of mine, and the subject of Microsoft and a monopoly came up...left-wing friend had basically convinced right-wing friend that it was the government's duty to break up the Microsoft monopoly.

I basically mirrored your arguments: supply and demand, supply and demand, supply and demand.

While we're on the topic of markets, I got into a bit with the left-wing friend about pharmaceuticals. I summed up his argument like this: "but-but-but...those pharmaceutical companies want to make MONEY!!! That isn't right!"

Sunday, May 28, 2006 1:08:00 PM  

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