Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How Europe Imposes A "Maximum Wage"

Microsoft charged with a $1.3 billion fine by the EU for charging developers too much money to make compatible products.

Article: EU fines Microsoft a record $1.3 billion

EU regulators said the company charged “unreasonable prices” until last October to software developers who wanted to make products compatible with the Windows desktop operating system.

The Commission, executive arm of the European Union, has now fined Microsoft more than any other firm for failing to comply with sanctions. It said no other company had ever ignored sanctions.

Microsoft had initially set a royalty rate of 3.87 percent of a licensee’s product revenues for patents and demanded that companies looking for communication information — which it said was highly secret — pay 2.98 percent of their products’ revenues.

The EU complained last March that the rates were unfair. Under threat of fines, Microsoft two months later reduced the patent rate to 0.7 percent and the information license to 0.5 percent — but only in Europe, leaving the worldwide rates unchanged.

The EU’s Court of First Instance ruling that upheld regulators’ views changed the company’s mind again in October when it offered a new license for interoperability information for a flat fee of 10,000 euros ($14,900) and an optional worldwide patent license for a reduced royalty of 0.4 percent.

In effect the EU is saying that Microsoft is charging its competitors too much money and thus THEY are making too much money. As a result the EU sets a fine upon Microsoft and in effect THE GOVERNMENT IS CONFISCATING THE MONEY that Microsoft has made in excess of what the GOVERNMENT said was FAIR.

Who defines what "fair" is?

Is there any thought in these regulators that if left alone that Microsoft will seal its own fate? With Linux and the Open Source Movement - which I am a player in - Microsoft is being addressed in the Free Market by alternative software which is improving each year. My personal goal is to have a Non-Microsoft environment on most of the computers that I own. I would like to drive this - not have the government to fine its way into determining the players in the market.

The mindset and practices of European governments are out of hand but are indeed popular as the American left would love to see many of these strong handed regulatory practices adopted by the United States.

If Microsoft decided to ignore the fines and discontinued selling its software in Europe - it would be European businesses and users that will be hurt the most in the short term - the next 5 years or so. In the long run a player such as Linux would step in to fill the void in Europe in the absence of Microsoft.

The European Commission has in effect worked as a competitor against Microsoft. This is the very behavior that has many companies moving out of "Old Europe" into less developed countries in the EU old Soviet Bloc and to Asia.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Article: Castro Resigns From The Government Of Cuba!

For the life of me - I will never understand some things in this world. I struggle to understand why many of the most vocal operatives in America and around the world who call for justice, human rights, Democracy and FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS have a soft spot for this one Fidel Castro.

A guy who retains power over a country for 50 years and then hands over power to his brother without having any open elections in between seems to be the operator of a family owned business rather than the leader of a nation that the Left can be proud of.

Despite all of the violations of their core principles as shown in Cuba - the Left seems enamored by free education, free health care and more equal distribution of wealth - meaning nearly everyone is POOR - seems to have great redeeming value and allows them to look past these other plaguing challenges.

It is said that "Cubans have free speech"!!! long as they don't CRITICIZE THE REVOLUTION. This indeed is NOT "free speech" then. The same people who warn us here in America against the "perpetual corporate wars" put on by the Military Industrial Complex are silent regarding the "50 years Revolution" that seemingly has no end. It too has a permanent state of protection against critical inspection. It too serves the purposes of the government well. They would be locked in in Cuba if they took the same position against the government there as they do here in the United States.

The sad truth is that communism and socialism is AGAINST HUMAN NATURE. In order to have these systems in place the government must implement mechanisms that SUPPRESS human nature for their system to survive.

I look forward to the future of the nation of Cuba.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bush Sends $3.1 Trillion Budget To Congress - So Much For His Deficit Fighting Promises

Article: Fox News

Over the years various Bush Administration operatives released projects detailing their plans to reduce the budget deficits to near $0 over the next 7 years from the point at which they spoke. Well - funny how times change.

The Bush Administration has delivered the largest budget ever! A massive $3.1 trillion block buster budget. It has over $400 billion worth of deficits. So much for his recent 'get tough on spending' disposition.

In some strange way - I can at least respect the Democrats. They tell you that they are going to RAISE YOUR TAXES AND spend lots of money. The Bush style Republicans seek to lower taxes - a good thing - but they keep spending and spending and spending. EITHER show some back bone and make some real cuts in spending OR throw away your promises at tax cuts because they have shown little willingness to live within the financial container that they have developed.