I Hope to Someday Own a Monopoly

I Hope to Someday Own a Monopoly
2012-07-30

NB: THIS IS A RANT-Y PIECE OF WRITING. YOU ARE FOREWARNED
———————————————————

I started my evening today with a little light reading – the
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Previous to delving into the actual text, I
perused the Wikipedia article[1] and would like to briefly touch upon
some thoughts.

My Reason for Working
———————
I work solely for my own gain. I really don’t care at all if what
I do helps somebody else or not; I only care if the work is
financially profitable for me or not. I do not expect any handouts
or unsolicited help from anybody, and I do not give these things
either. I do not ask for the fruits of another man’s labor, I
purchase the fruits of his labor with the fruit of my labor.

I grew up hearing the mantra “Work hard, play hard” constantly
from my father. I also always heard my father say “You are going
to work every moment of every day of your life, so you are either
going to work for your family for free, or you will work for
somebody else for pay.” I have not yet found a possible third
outcome to my days – I am either working for my family for free
around the house, or I am working for somebody else for pay.

To that end, at some point in my future, I fully intend on owning
a business that completely disrupts at least one industry. In that
business, I intend to make as much profit as possible. I use the
words “own”, “make”, and “profit” explicitly for the connotations
that they possess; “Own” is for the fact that _my_ business
will be the fruit of _my_ labor, and exist solely for _my_
benefit. “Make” is used because my business will create its worth,
instead of leeching off of the success of others as a parasite. I use
“profit” because profit alone is what will drive my business. I, and
by extension my business, will not allow anything to stand in our way;
We will overcome, sidestep, or ignore any obstacle, any person, any
law that gets in-between me and my profit. The fruit of my labor is
mine and mine alone – To do with what I, and I alone, will.

Monopolies
———-
Everything that I have read where the view that monopolies are bad
is held, has used the argument that monopolies are bad because
they hurt the consumer. This belief holds that a monopoly can
charge a higher price than is fair for a good or service, and that
a monopoly no longer has to be efficient as they can directly
influence supply levels.

This is a crock of shit. If there is only one company that makes a
particular good, or provides a particular service, consumers
always have the option of “voting with their dollars.” If a good
or service is over priced, then the market is ripe for a competing
business to undercut the incumbent and disrupt the industry. If a
company no longer has any incentive to be efficient, again, the
market is ripe for a competitor to spring up and drive
competition.

All arguments for the viewpoint of monopolies being bad however
are based on the assumption that the business exists only to
provide a good or service as cheaply as possible to the consumer
base. This is simply not true; a business should exist fore the
sole purpose of squeezing every cent of profit possible out of the
consumer base. It is for exactly that reason that I strive to
somebody own a monopoly – that is where the profits are the
greatest.

Jiving with the FOSS Ideals
—————————
I did struggle for some time making this belief jive with my
wholehearted belief in free-as-in-freedom software. I have found a
way to rationalize believing in completely free and unrestricted
capitalism with free software in my own mind. Using very
permissive licensing, such as the MIT or LGPL licensing, it
possible to make these two ideals mesh. A permissive licensing
scheme allows each consumer who legally obtains the good (or code,
or application, or program) in some manner to do whatever they
wish with the good that they have obtained. This extremely
permissive scheme is the exact mechanism that drives
competition. If I have a customer purchase a software library from
me, and then start re-selling modified versions, by the virtue of
making as much profit as possible, I am incentivized to make my
library better, cheaper, something in order to get consumers to
“vote with their dollars” for my product over my competitor’s. I
don’t believe that a restrictive copyleft license, such as the
GPL, allows a free market to flourish. I hold the belief that for
the reasoning outline above, such a licensing scheme stagnates the
market. I would be very interested in hearing other opinions on
this point however. You cannot learn unless your current beliefs
are challenged.

Conclusion
———-
I sincerely hope that I someday earn the opportunity to practice
what I preach (running my own business). I also hope that when I
reflect on my life in my last seconds, that I can be look back
without regret and know that I always acted in line with my
ethics. I recognize the inherent selfishness in my beliefs and I
contend that nobody and nothing other than myself (and those that
I hold dear) should matter to me. These are my beliefs, and you
are welcome and encouraged to disagree with them and hold your own
beliefs. Just please do not attempt to force-feed your beliefs to
me; I will however entertain civil discussion.

[0] http://transition.fcc.gov/Reports/tcom1996.txt
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_Act_of_1996

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