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From the NYT:

Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea

With a single scholarly article, Lina Khan, 29, has reframed decades of monopoly law.

To be precise, she didn’t actually have a new idea, she just went back and read old Progressive antitrust authors like Ida Tarbell (1857-1944), the daughter of an oilman put out of business by John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly.

In early 2017, when she was an unknown law student, Lina Khan published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal.

By David Streitfeld
Sept. 7, 2018

The dead books are on the top floor of Southern Methodist University’s law library.

“Antitrust Dilemma.” “The Antitrust Impulse.” “Antitrust in an Expanding Economy.” Shelf after shelf of volumes ignored for decades. There are a dozen fat tomes with transcripts of the congressional hearings on monopoly power in 1949, when the world was in ruins and the Soviets on the march. Lawmakers believed economic concentration would make America more vulnerable. …

In early 2017, when she was an unknown law student, Ms. Khan published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal. Her argument went against a consensus in antitrust circles that dates back to the 1970s — the moment when regulation was redefined to focus on consumer welfare, which is to say price. Since Amazon is renowned for its cut-rate deals, it would seem safe from federal intervention.

Ms. Khan disagreed. Over 93 heavily footnoted pages, she presented the case that the company should not get a pass on anticompetitive behavior just because it makes customers happy. Once-robust monopoly laws have been marginalized, Ms. Khan wrote, and consequently Amazon is amassing structural power that lets it exert increasing control over many parts of the economy.

Amazon has so much data on so many customers, it is so willing to forgo profits, it is so aggressive and has so many advantages from its shipping and warehouse infrastructure that it exerts an influence much broader than its market share. It resembles the all-powerful railroads of the Progressive Era, Ms. Khan wrote: “The thousands of retailers and independent businesses that must ride Amazon’s rails to reach market are increasingly dependent on their biggest competitor.”

She has her own critics now: Several leading scholars have found fault with Ms. Khan’s proposals to revive and expand antitrust, and some have tried to dismiss her paper with the mocking label “Hipster Antitrust.”

The Dream of the 1890s Is Alive in Portland.

… Ida Tarbell, the journalist whose investigation of Standard Oil helped bring about its breakup, wrote this about John D. Rockefeller in 1905:

“It takes time to crush men who are pursuing legitimate trade. But one of Mr. Rockefeller’s most impressive characteristics is patience. … He was like a general who, besieging a city surrounded by fortified hills, views from a balloon the whole great field, and sees how, this point taken, that must fall; this hill reached, that fort is commanded. And nothing was too small: the corner grocery in Browntown, the humble refining still on Oil Creek, the shortest private pipeline. Nothing, for little things grow.”

When Ms. Khan read that, she thought: Jeff Bezos.

Her Yale Law Journal paper argued that monopoly regulators who focus on consumer prices are thinking too short-term. In Ms. Khan’s view, a company like Amazon — one that sells things, competes against others selling things, and owns the platform where the deals are done — has an inherent advantage that undermines fair competition.

I pointed out four years ago in Taki’s that progressives had turned against Progressives, specifically on antitrust:

Better a Crook than a WASP: The Left Ditches Progressivism
by Steve Sailer

June 25, 2014

… One of the less heralded developments of recent decades has been the decline of appreciation on the left for the progressive reformers of the first decades of the 20th century and their battles with the robber barons.

When I was young, the history books, which were largely written by those progressives’€™ proteges, were filled with their praise. Today, however, progressive victories against inequality, such as anti-monopoly enforcement and immigration restriction, are ignored or denounced. Perhaps those old progressives seem too WASP for contemporary tastes. That the most effective opponents of crony capitalism tended to be the distant cousins of the capitalists themselves subverts the dominant narrative that the United States must have been fated to white bread ruin without massive injections of more vibrant immigrant ethnicities.

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  1. Hey, Steve, where’s the comments page to “Blood Simple”? I can’t find it, in order to post my succinct zinger. The comments page seems to have been kidnapped, just like the one at Taki’s.

    • Replies: @Lot
  2. Lot says:

    The progressive era was the cultural, military, and demographic peak of the West. It was probably also the period marking the peak genotypical IQ of whites.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  3. eah says:


    Copy the text and run it thru Google translate — the reference is to Schäuble’s remark in 2016 that without migration Germans would become too inbred: Schäuble: Migration schützt Deutschland vor „Inzucht“.

    • Replies: @eah
  4. eah says:

    Creeping into the mainstream, but not fast enough.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @jim jones
    , @Anon
  5. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    This is why it’s entertaining to follow Matt Stoller on Twitter, because he’s a progressive Progressive, and gets disappointed that the new, nonwhite Dems mostly aren’t.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @snorlax
  6. Lot says:
    @Nicholas Stix

    That article is from June, so put your awesome zinger here.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  7. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Stoller’s vision appears to be that instead of having black politicians and bureaucrats merely be frontmen for the corporations, give those same black politicians and bureaucrats actual responsibility to run increasing amounts of the economy.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @anonymous
    , @El Dato
  8. Anonym says:

    Where do you sense that the genotypical trend is with each of the categories of Jews? Including of course IQ.

    • Replies: @Lot
  9. anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    Oh I do hope it’s good. Can hardly wait.

  10. El Dato says:

    Venezuela is nice when you have a progressive mansion, progressive servants, progressive burlies with automatics and progressive view over the progressive ocean. And a big german car.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  11. anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    Sounds like fun. You know, those of us born before the late 70s have this notion that the nation would just keep improving, albeit with ups and downs along the way. Because it was true when we were young, and it was true for our parents, and their parents, and so on. Took about 30 years for Hart-Celler to wreak its wreckage. All downhill from here–enjoy the ride as best you can.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  12. anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    Better a Crook than a WASP: The Left Ditches Progressivism

    Better anything at all than white people, and boy are they going to get it.

    You know, it’s a logical fallacy to assume that just because we wouldn’t be happy in South Africa or Zimbabwe, that black people won’t. Who’s to say? They can end up like Malawi or Burundi and be perfectly happy.

    Granted, black Africa is the place more people want to escape than any other place on Earth, but does this mean they need to be saved from themselves? Is it an advertisement for colonialism, or for leaving them to stew in their own juices? Does it mean that black people are incapable of connecting means with ends? If so, then what?

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Mr. Rational
  13. jim jones says:

    I wonder who these mysterious “researchers” are, could one of them be James Watson?

  14. El Dato says:

    Amazon: Cloud Computing Provider with a gift shop on the side.

    Q1 2018:

    AWS accounted for 73 per cent of Amazon’s operating income during the quarter – $1.4bn out of $1.9bn, which is up from $1bn in Q1 2017. AWS remains the market leader in terms of revenue. It generates more than $20bn annually.

    Is the gift shop (and platform) really a big deal? Yeah, it becomes like a government-mandated outlet that everyone goes to. Not because he has but because it’s convenient. But so what. I would rather break up Apple’s stranglehold on the iThing Mobile App market, where they pay themselves 30% of any sale.

    Remember the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit. I can’t remember the details anymore, but the judge had to be attacked for “inventiveness” in finding new interpretations of antitrust law so that the decision for antitrust violations could be rolled back.

    So the disentanglement into separate business line — Operating System, Development Tools, Office, Browser, Online presence via MSN (an early attempt to monopolize the Internet into a Microsoft Walled Garden which deservedly failed) didn’t happen.

    Today Microsoft desperately tries to compete with Amazon cloud, bought Nokia, ravaged it to death, couldn’t find the grit to finish its own mobile platform efforts and is moving hard to surveillance capitalism with Windows 10 “update and telemetry” while racking up prices on locked-in customers. So far, so messy.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Anonymous
  15. El Dato says:

    6. Anyone who isn’t talking about breaking up Google and Amazon is not addressing the center of power in America. Period. There’s a reason Bezos is worth $150B. Bernie’s mentioned him while missing the point. But right now the corporate world is far more ‘progressive’ than you.

    Typical Progressive Fear of the Big Corp.

    Google is a problem as they are based on aggressive ideology, opinion shaping, lobbying and monetization of the clickstreams of the populace.

    Amazon is not a problem in its current incarnation, except if they “deplatform” books, try to set up a locked-down “kindle format” which they can then control (Amazon vanishes 1984 from citizen Kindles: Orwellian moment) or don’t pay their employees.

    I’m even okay with Bezos buying WaPo, every tycoon needs his news outlet. But it should be rebranded to “Amazon Post”.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Dave Pinsen
  16. ATBOTL says:

    Western politics is undergoing a realignment from liberals vs. conservatives to globalist neoliberals vs. nationalist populists.

    This is all part of that larger shift. Now, it’s the nationalists who want to break up the big corporations and the “left” is increasingly defending them. This trend is just going to keep going until the old structures are gone completely.

    Expect to see the argument that being anti-corporate is racist become much more common in the near future.

    On a related note, has anyone been following the saga of Syriza in Greece? That’s the “coalition of the radical left” that came to power on an anti-austerity platform and then did a complete 180 and enforced the most hardline austerity imaginable. Syriza is a microcosm in stark relief of what is happening to the left across the West.

    Here’s an article from a neoliberal propaganda organization trying to spin this as some kind of victory for the “left.”

    “Its task, the task of any democratic political actor with a similar fate, is to transcend and expand the traditional left agenda focused on workers’ rights into a unifying broader political imaginary, as well as transform immediate material grievances into demands for systemic change. The story of Syriza in power, as told by Costas Douzinas the critical thinker, offers a blueprint.”

    This kind of bizarrely twisted narrative is what we are going to be seeing a lot more of as the establishment tries to sell submission to corporate overlords as a “moral victory” for the disgruntled white left.

  17. Anon[497] • Disclaimer says:

    How is Tara McCarthy not banned for life from Twitter?

    • Replies: @fnn
  18. @ATBOTL

    Aren’t corporate overlords the main funders of honest left publications? That compels a certain amount of careful editing.

    • Replies: @ATBOTL
  19. fnn says:

    Make that your personal project, whip up a twitter mob and I’m sure you’ll be able to get it done. ADL , SPLC, et al. can’t be everywhere.

  20. anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @El Dato

    Amazon is not a problem in its current incarnation, except if they “deplatform” books, try to set up a locked-down “kindle format” which they can then control (Amazon vanishes 1984 from citizen Kindles: Orwellian moment) or don’t pay their employees. I’m even okay with Bezos buying WaPo, every tycoon needs his news outlet.

    Mayor Marion Barry: “Aside from the murders, DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”

  21. anonymous[337] • Disclaimer says:

    the most hardline austerity imaginable

    LOL… you must be Greek. Unbelievably lazy, irresponsible populace.

  22. George says:

    I think her analysis of Amazon misses that Amazon has enjoyed a charmed existence in many ways. While Amazon’s main street businesses were paying sales tax, Amazon was able to avoid them. One possibility now due to a recent supreme court decision is to reverse that tax advantage for states to make sales tax 20% and eliminate local employment and commercial property taxes and use the internet sales tax to maintain local roads on some theory as that is how stuff is delivered.

    Amazon’s most important subcontractor is still the monopoly US postal service. Maybe Ms Khan can explain why the USPS still has a monopoly on ‘letters’. States could combat this without federal legislation by making it possible for all legal correspondence to be done by without using the USPS. It is interesting that the Rs claim everything should be privatized except the post office and the Pentagon.

    In the past antitrust law has been used to disadvantage Amazon’s competitors. For example, Staples and OfficeDepot were prevented from combining to form an obsolete office products trust which surely would have raised the price of hole punchers. Does Ms Kahn discuss this?

    To me Ms Kahn is being very clever, she is setting herself up as the savior of the Trust busting businesses of the US government, even invoking their patron saint Ida Tarbell. But there is a wee problem with her plan. If I remember right the ‘deep government’ within Standard Oil had gotten tired of John D not pursuing maximum profits so the US antitrust department got maximum help from Standard Oil insiders. I don’t know if this is the case with the, depending on how you count, remarkably unprofitable or brilliantly well positioned Amazon.

    “All Ida needed to topple Standard Oil was a way into the loop, and she got this from H.H. Rogers, a senior director of the company. Her investigation would cover almost all parts of Standard Oil. Ida met H.H. Rogers through Mark Twain, who was friends with both Rogers and McClure’s. Their first meeting was in January 1902, and she subsequently met with Rogers over the next two years.”

    Does Ms Kahn have a way into the ‘loop’? I could not help but notice she is South Asian like a lot of perhaps resentful employees. Bezos for his part has discovered a trick Rocky would not consider fair play, appealing to the military industrial complex through his rocket business.

    Standard Oil’s ‘deep state’ man. Did his Plymouth Rock ancestry make him resentful of German ancestry upstart Rockefeller? Diversity back then meant Germans.:

    • Replies: @Yngvar
  23. 1. President Trump should offer that girl an important sounding job

    2. The excellent podcast Myth of the 20th Century this week covered the progressive era. Great content

  24. nebulafox says:

    Hit the SOB. Hit him hard. I don’t care who does it. Do him one better and eradicate corporate welfare-dedicate those funds to the startups these people want to squash instead, the thing that might keep an independent, truly *middle* bourgeoisie alive and keep our socioeconomic structure continuous.

    The neo-feudalistic filled dreams of our plutocratic and gentry classes must be eradicated if the United States is to thrive in the long run. Peonage dressed in gauzy internationalism, Platonic gatekeepers-piss dressed as wine, **** presented as silk by the GoodThinkers-that’s the vision that they offer America.

  25. nebulafox says:
    @El Dato

    Yes. That’s why the American upper-middle class would like nothing better than to live like their South American counterparts.

    Of course, for a lot of them, it won’t work out that way: either for them or their kids. But the capacity of the human mind for the delusional knows no limits, and progressive bien-pensants have a knack for only whining about a shoe when it pinches them.

  26. snorlax says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “Beto,” despite the Dolezal-esque Spanish nickname, is actually Robert Francis O’Rourke.

    • Replies: @TheodoreKaczynskiFan
  27. Ida Tarbell deserves the credit. She used the earnings from her book about the Rockefeller monopoly on oil to buy this country home in Easton, Connecticut, which is now a national landmark:

    Ida Tarbell:

  28. Anon7 says:

    “…the dominant narrative that the United States must have been fated to white bread ruin without massive injections of more vibrant immigrant ethnicities.

    This is a well-phrased summation of the hard Left Democrat position. I especially like it because it highlights Openness to New Experience, one of the Big Six psychological traits, and the one that correlates most highly to people with IQs over 130.

    This “dominant narrative” was aimed at our elites, and it has brought them (and all of us) down in just a couple of generations.

  29. Lot says:
    @El Dato

    The DC judge who was about to break Microsoft up into 3 companies was removed from the case after he did a long and inappropriate press interview. New judge didn’t see the need. It isn’t like MS has a 92% market share in OS and used it to sabotage other companies in order to gain a similar market share in the key word processing and spreadsheet markets.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  30. Lot says:

    I don’t think data exists to support an estimate. 50%+ intermarriage rates are the main trend.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  31. snorlax says:

    Jewish (scientific/technological) achievement seems to have peaked in the first half of the 20th century, although that or shortly after (moon landing) is arguably also the peak of human achievement, so there may be confounding factors.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  32. old Progressive antitrust authors like Ida Tarbell (1857-1944)

    Antitrust and antisuffrage. That part is usually left out.

    The Tarbells were neighbors of the Whitneys in Watertown in the 1630s, and intermarried. So she no doubt shares a chunk of ancestry with that notable clan. Not quite the Huntingtons, but not far behind them in acheivement.

  33. @snorlax

    Jewish (scientific/technological) achievement seems to have peaked in the first half of the 20th century, although that or shortly after (moon landing) is arguably also the peak of human achievement, so there may be confounding factors.

    If we resettled Jews on the Moon, half the commenters on would complain that they stole it from the Arabs. Several of the columnists, as well.

    After all, the visible light from their moon station base is proof that they were there first.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  34. @anonymous

    Granted, black Africa is the place more people want to escape than any other place on Earth, but does this mean they need to be saved from themselves? Is it an advertisement for colonialism, or for leaving them to stew in their own juices? Does it mean that black people are incapable of connecting means with ends? If so, then what?

    What they “need” is what everyone needs–to run their own nations.

    What they “need” in the sense of getting to what civilized people would consider a decent life is a lot of evolution very fast. The introduction of a radically new environment–Western industrialism and technology–necessarily kicks off a spurt of evolution in a species in response. (Something Gould–thinking himself insightful–could call a “punctuation” in his equilibrium.)

    Left to themselves where blacks had to develop, deploy and make use of this technology, it would–speculating, but reasonably–lead to, over generations, a rise in IQ and “middle classness” among Africans as the ones who could make use of it would lord it over, outbreed and outfeed those who could not.

    This process however is interfered with by continual interaction with the rest of the world–Western/Chinese imports and companies operating at the behest of kleptocrats, Western aid and medical interventions and then the Western disease–the birth control pill and Western ideology. The result being less demand for and survival benefit for Africans who can be productive with Western industrial technology and the doofuses mostly kept alive and breeding. The package doesn’t look good.

  35. Wouldn’t concentration of wealth and power be a useful thing for the age of identity politics?

    Think about it from the point of view of the leaders of various factions looking to hustle money and jobs for themselves and their supporters/relatives. Would you rather have a small group of businessmen and politicians (many of whom you may know from school, neighborhoods or country clubs) to deal with or hundreds, if not thousands scattered across the country. You only have so much time and reliable staff, so it works in your favor to keep the numbers small.

  36. The railroads were not “all-powerful.” They were going bankrupt all the time. That is why J.P. Morgan had a job: reorganizing railroads in bankruptcy.

    Morgan also did a pretty good job reorganizing US finances in the 1907 bankruptcy.

    And Ida Tarbell. When Rockefeller came calling with an offer for Daddy’s oil company Daddy refused the deal. So instead of living happily ever after with a nice little cache of Standard Oil stock he went broke. Poor Daddy.

  37. anon[733] • Disclaimer says:

    Retrospectively, the trusts were good for consumers and awful for competitors. Sounds a lot like Amazon. People like Amazon.

    The FAANGs used regulated monopoly’s infrastructure to build out the wires (and wireless) that everyone depended on. Net neutrality is Netflix’s desire to continue to keep someone else paying for their network.

  38. Sean says:

    Bezos can drive down pay and conditions because the high paying jobs are gone or going under free competition with China. The goods are cheap, but the earning jobs have been offshored. The trouble with free markets is not its effect domestically but the application of it to cover international trade. as shown by Clinton’s secret speech in which she called for open borders for trade (as revealed to the electorate by a timely Russian military intelligence hacking of DNC emails). Antitrust is not good domestically, shareholder value is increased by breaking up large corporations and sacking workers. And how can such American firms hope to survive in the face of penetration of their domestic market by Chinese attackers with massive economies of scale, eh?

  39. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @El Dato

    I would ban the FAANGs from acquiring new companies for 5 years, and make Google spin off the search engine as a separate company, Facebook do the same with Instagram, and maybe Amazon spinoff AWS.

  40. Mr. Anon says:

    With a single scholarly article, Lina Khan, 29, has reframed decades of monopoly law.

    Why, this is the greatest thing since that muslim kid invented the clock.

    The dead books are on the top floor of Southern Methodist University’s law library.

    Dead books…………by dead white men………….from a dead white world.

  41. LondonBob says:

    It is a lot easier for the alphabet agencies to spy on you if the tech companies are monopolies. The Chinese and Russians avoid the US tech companies and have their own domestic equivalents.

  42. Mr. Anon says:

    Jeff Bezos should donate a bunch of money to Yale Law in exchange for editorial control of the Law Review, and then expunge Ms. Khan’s article from it.

  43. ATBOTL says:
    @Redneck farmer

    What are you talking about? Corporations fund Counterpunch?

  44. @Lot

    Anyone looking for an alternative OS to Microsoft or Apple should check out Linux Mint. It is quite good for a day-to-day home OS.

    Where it falls down a bit are app availability and handling multimedia, the second issue being partially driven by the first.

    • Replies: @Lot
  45. Anonymous[408] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    If we resettled Jews on the Moon, half the commenters on would complain that they stole it from the Arabs. Several of the columnists, as well.

    Not so much. The Jews have been suggested Madagascar, Uganda, Oregon, so as to prevent their stealing the land of Palestine.

    They should be offered Florida, Hawaii, Long Island, or Puerto Rico.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Lot
  46. Anon[250] • Disclaimer says:

    My main issue with Amazon is that I want the Washington Post out of Bezos’ hands. It’s a bunch of barking drivel these days.

    As for the rest of the company, I don’t care enough about it to think it needs breaking up. As a consumer, I benefit from Amazon. As someone who looks over the landscape, Walmart’s online business is steadily increasing, and it’s share of online sales is growing. Amazon’s going to have a competitor.

    Much of the problem with tech companies and their crazy social justice warrioring is that they’re run by YOUNG guys. Old guys have had more time to learn about life, and they are not enamored to the point of silliness about giving power to some pain-in-the-neck dumbass POC who screws everything up.

  47. Anon[250] • Disclaimer says:

    We would have kept progressing if we had never started allowing the massive wave of immigration to enter our country during the 1980s. Housing prices would still be cheap, our crime rates lower, our traffic deaths lower, our roads would be less crowded, and whites would be getting good wages without all that competition from Mexicans. Our health insurance rates would be lower if doctors and hospitals weren’t have having to treat a massive wave of undocumented Mexicans without health insurance, and who disappear after treatment without paying. Our taxes would be lower if we weren’t having to pay for all the third-world freeloaders on our welfare and foodstamps. With lower taxes, US whites would be better off by every measure.

    But there are too many people out there who cannot do basic, kindergarten-level economic thinking. Their weak IQs go belly up when they try to think about these things, and then they go vote Democratic because stupidity is easy to demagogue.

    They can’t even understand this simple concept: If A is the only applicant for a job, A is going to get it. But if B and C apply as well, A’s chances drops to 33%. But you can’t make stupid young white Democratics understand this. They are DUMB and insist on screwing themselves over. They DESERVE to go on riding bicycles and yearning to live in a pod in New York because they’re so utterly stupid and in denial.

  48. @Anonymous

    They should be offered Florida, Hawaii, Long Island, or Puerto Rico.

    Florida and Puerto Rico were stolen by the same folks who stole al-Andaluz. We stole Hawaii. And you’ll have to be more disambiguous about “Long Island”, as Wikipedia lists more than 45 of those.

    The Jews have been suggested Madagascar, Uganda, Oregon, so as to prevent their stealing the land of Palestine.

    This might come as a surprise, but there are already people living in Madagascar, Uganda, and Oregon. Their feelings don’t matter, but the Palestinians’ do? And only one of those four places has had any Jewish presence over the centuries.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  49. @anonymous

    black Africa is the place more people want to escape than any other place on Earth, but does this mean they need to be saved from themselves?

    It means they cannot be saved, period, and must be kept away from us.  What they do with themselves is not our affair.

  50. Lot says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Microsoft stopped Dell and Gateway from selling Linux preinstalled PCs by charging them based on total sales, not on total sales that actually had windows installed on it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @snorlax
  51. Lot says:

    No way bro we’re native Middle Easterners. Palis can go rebuild Syria after Assad wins.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  52. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    I know a LOT about Gateway, don’t ask how.

    Gateway (and Dell and a couple other vendors) did sign a total sales contract with M$ to get a lower per unit license price. That would not have stopped Gateway from offering Linux on PCs and giving the Windows license and media with the system as well.

    What DID make Gateway publicly anti-Linux was Ted Waitt’s perception, probably correct, that had Gateway showed “disloyalty” towards M$, the next year their license fee would have gone up.

    Understand that Microsoft had a standard Windows OEM package license and media deal that any registered wholesale customer could buy, in the $75-100 range, per machine. That was what you got from a white box PC parts vendor or the smaller retailars or VARs when you bought a non name brand PC. But bigger licensees-Compaq, HP, Dell, Gateway, and the next ten or so down the line-got much better pricing, “much” being in the context that Dell and Gateway were operating on “Purple Hillary Hair” profit margins for popular desktop packages. Each vendor negotiatd this every year and it was a separate and secret amount. It was thought, probably correctly, if you pissed Bill off he would jack the price and small increases translated into millions of lost profits.

    Gateway sales and tech support people were told in no uncertain terms that Linux was something Gateway did not and would not support and you would be better off buying a PC from someone else if you wanted to run this detestible and noxious code.

    There is a famous Usenet exchange on this:

    shows a chatroom exchange between an ostensible customer and a Gateway sales agent, archived from ye olde Usenet.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Lot
  53. Anonymous[408] • Disclaimer says:

    They don’t look like Middle Easterners. Would be at home in Long Island, Florida, Puerto Rico, Arizona.

  54. Anonymous[408] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Florida and Puerto Rico were stolen by the same folks who stole al-Andaluz. We stole Hawaii. And you’ll have to be more disambiguous about “Long Island”, as Wikipedia lists more than 45 of those.

    Long Island, New York (currently). After that, Puerto Rico would be just about perfect. It needs the investment. And the Jews gain of independence there would be of mutual benefit to the United States and Puerto Rican’s. Independence at last.

    This might come as a surprise, but there are already people living in Madagascar, Uganda, and Oregon. Their feelings don’t matter, but the Palestinians’ do? And only one of those four places has had any Jewish presence over the centuries.

    Presence doesn’t matter considering that the Jewish population in Palestine in 1860 was only around 3%, most of that in Jerersalem. Jerusalem count be a UN-administered city.

    The Jews would need to bid for national rights to all or a part of Madagascar, Uganda, and Oregon, as they should do for Palestine. We are talking about the richest ethnic group in the world you know. Palestine would likely be the most expensive of the four, so it may be least likely.

  55. @Anonymous

    Bill Gates didn’t get to be the richest man in the world by letting PC makers do nice things at his (opportunity) expense for PC users.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  56. Lot says:

    The effect of the contract however was to remove the price advantage of Linux, stopping consumers from seeing when they order computers that Windows adds about $90 to the price. For a home user, price was near to the entire reason to get a Linux desktop. Only a monopolist could get away with this, even Nvidia when it had a 75% consumer GPU market share never would have dared.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  57. Lot says:

    Ending the practice was one of the few things MS was forced to do as a result of antitrust suits.

  58. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    What no one understands is that the key to Microsoft’s immense success in dominating the desktop operating system market had little to do with Microsoft’s technical acumen and much to do with a Wayne Gretzky-like ability to be where the puck would be. Even so, the decisive play was something no one predicted.

    When Microsoft got the contract to supply IBM with an operating system for its new PC, it was a profitable opportunity but not one that seemed immensely so. IBM actually offered three operating systems for the original PC, PC-DOS not being espeically better than the other ones. But IBM was selling an expensive machine to businesses and a few home users that had a need to be compatible with what businesses had. Consumers did not flock to the PC when other alternatives were better for gaming, home productivity and other applications at much lower cost.

    Microsoft’s contract allowed then to sell the operating system to other companies as well, but those machines were not “100 percent IBM compatible”, so most application programs would not run on them in the same versions as for the PC. And no one else could make a ” 100 percent compatible PC”, because the operating system was actually partly on the disks and partly embedded into the machine. The part embedded into the machine was called the BIOS. MS-DOS or PC-DOS was actually the part of the OS that CP/M makers Digital Research called the BDOS. IBM’s BIOS was proprietary to IBM, just as the Macintosh’s boot rom was loaded with the Toolbox, and Apple went to great lengths to make it proprietary to themselves.

    As time went on, and Asian companies started making PC-physically-compatible motherboards available at retail prices below what IBM paid to make them, people realized that if they could sell a real IBM BIOS ROM there was a lot of money to be made. Small mom and pop shops occasionally just sold pirated ROMs, burned from a real PC or XT ROM, but IBM would get wind of it and put them out of business if they got beyond the neighborhood level. If they could have a 100 percent compatible ROM that IBM couldn’t stop, then there was money to be made.

    And eventually, someone did just that. They had a “clean room team”, actually two teams, one to attack the IBM BIOS and a second, who swore on a stack of whatever programing text was sacred then, they’d never seen any of the source or the executable object code of the PC BIOS. The first team wrote a paper describing what the BIOS did without telling hw it was done, the second took the paper and wrote clean code from that paper. IBM sued, the other guys won, and for several reasons-one being it became the cheapest computer with low profit Taiwanese parts, another being eople’s sense of larceny at going over on IBM and then pirating the expensive software at work-the PC became the dominant platform within a year or so.

    Then, Microsoft had the goose that laid the golden egg. When they went public, Gates was a billionaire.

    But Microsoft never really wrote an operating system on its own. They bought MS-DOS from a small company called Seattle Computers for $25,000 cash. They bought an AT&T Unix license and sold Xenix, which they spun off as SCO, and then they hired the crew from DEC that wrote VMS and wrote what is now the modern Windows OS in its core, “Windows NT”. Microsoft would not have had the technical skill to write a cleanroom BIOS, even if they were not entangled with IBM.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  59. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    If you bought a white box PC, Windows added about $90, but the heavy hitters like Dell , HP, GW, Compaq were paying a lot less. I’ve heard $45 to $55 was ballpark. It was very secret officially.

    If you did not want to pay for DOS/Windows on principle, most any white box PC vendors would sell you a OS-less PC and not charge you, assembled or in pieces. The kind of people who ran Linux tended strongly to be people who built their own computers up from parts anyway, or ones that salvaged and scrounged semi-obsolete PCs and reloaded them. Small vendors paid the same for each OEM copy of Windows and if one did not want the OS, that was just that much that they didn’t pay in the first place.

    Money was not the reason you would prefer Linux to Windows. Linux was a completely usable OS and environment that ran pretty much like a SPARCstation on SunOS from 1.0 onward, whereas Windows 3.1, 95, and 98 were in many ways utter piles of shit. Windows 2000 was probably the first version of Windows that actually worked reasonably well in a networked environment.

    Like any Unix OS, users need to pay a certain price in terms of the learning curve and most people would rather pay another hundred dollars every time they buy a new computer than learn a new environment. Apple has developed a pretty comprehensive front end and utilities to isolate Mac OS users from the Unix back end, but none of the several desktop environments and managers found as defaults with Linux distros have nearly the refinement or the acceptance.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  60. Silva says:

    Is there anything Syriza could’ve done instead once it became clear that Greeks in general wouldn’t even think about Grexit?

  61. @Anonymous

    Well said. The guys who did the clean room write of the BIOS even duplicated a bug IBM had in their 8250 UART:

    “I want to replace the 8250 UART in my IBM XT with a 16550A but the original 8250 UART had several bugs so the original IBM BIOS includes code to work around these flaws, but this made the BIOS dependent on the flaws being present so subsequent parts like the 8250A, 16450 or the faster 16550A 16550D could not be used in to upgrade the original 8250 in the IBM PC or IBM PC/XT.

    So any information on the BIOS pach used in the IBM XT would be very usefull to me.”

    But you have to give Gates credit for his marketing skills. He recognized the importance of IBM putting its “seal of approval” on a machine and an OS and negotiated the right to sell a similar OS himself. Back then, nobody got fired for buying from IBM.

  62. @Anonymous

    Linux is free as long as you value your labor at $0 per hour. That said, the distros have gotten much better because of things like apt-get, and Linux Mint works pretty well right off the iso.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  63. anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    There is something odd about Tarbell. It is like someone writing a book about the IBM PC would fuel a current Microsoft antitrust action. Tarbell wrote about 1870-1880 and Standard oil wasn’t broken up for another 30 years.

    The break up predated the automobile!

    Standard was already losing market share and couldn’t afford the buildout of the automobile age. John D was long retired and the breakup increased his personal wealth.

    However the entire argument wasn’t harm to the consumer but rather how oil profits were divided between producers and refiners. John D wanted to and succeeded in extracting every dollar out of the oil industry. I suppose Microsoft and Intel extracted all the profits out of PCs.

    Amazon uses predatory pricing which is difficult to prove. Plus they roughly break even on a cash basis.

  64. Anonymous[268] • Disclaimer says:
    @El Dato

    Why is Windows so cheap now? Professional editions used to cost hundreds of dollars. Now you can get them on eBay for the price of a pizza.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  65. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    Linux was originally intended not to replace Windows but to replace, or at least emulate, expensive engineering workstations like Sun SPARC, SGI, HP 900s and the like. Actually, the Linux kernel proper was mostly began to enable its originator to make good on a challenge his CS professor made to him. Once the kernel was available, it was used to make a whole OS from tools provided by Richard Stallman’s Free Software Foundation.

    PC hardware got to be faster and more powerful than the workstations and they died out. Sad, because they were better made and more elegant than the PC hardware, but that’s how it goes.

    It’s worth noting that the specs on a $35 Raspberry Pi are almost identical to those of a fully tricked out SPARCstation 20 which sold for $35,000 new-in 1998 or thereabouts.

  66. Yngvar says:

    It is interesting that the Rs claim everything should be privatized except the post office and the Pentagon.

    They are both in the Constitution.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  67. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Yes, but the monopoly the Post Office has in handling first class mail (but only First Class Mail, not parcels) is not. That’s the Postal Express statutes, which provoked Lysander Spooner to write his missive, No Treason , which was almost as famous as the works of Malice Rosenbomb in libty circles when I was involved.

    Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American political philosopher, essayist, pamphlet writer, Unitarian, abolitionist, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He was a strong advocate of the labor movement and severely anti-authoritarian and individualist in his political views.

    Spooner’s most famous writing includes the seminal abolitionist book The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, and No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority which opposed treason charges against secessionists. He is also known for competing with the U.S. Post Office with his American Letter Mail Company, which closed after legal problems with the federal government.

    American Letter Mail Company

    Being an advocate of self-employment and opponent of government regulation of business, Spooner started his own business called American Letter Mail Company which competed with the U.S. Post Office. Postal rates were notoriously high in the 1840s,[7] and in 1844, Spooner founded the American Letter Mail Company, which had offices in various cities, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.[8] Stamps could be purchased and then attached to letters which could be sent to any of its offices. From here agents were dispatched who traveled on railroads and steamboats, and carried the letters in hand bags. Letters were transferred to messengers in the cities along the routes who then delivered the letters to the addressees.

    This was a challenge to the United States Post Office’s monopoly.[7][9] As he had done when challenging the rules of the Massachusetts Bar Association, he published a pamphlet titled “The Unconstitutionality of the Laws of Congress Prohibiting Private Mails”. Although Spooner had finally found commercial success with his mail company, legal challenges by the government eventually exhausted his financial resources. A law enacted in 1851 that strengthened the federal government’s monopoly finally put him out of business. The lasting legacy of Spooner’s challenge to the postal service was the three-cent stamp, adopted in response to the competition his company provided.

    The Postal Express statutes had apparently been enacted shortly after the Constitution was ratified, and were a dead letter until Sooner had annoyed the wrong people, from my memory of the issue discussed in libty publications such as Liberty ( a far superior, monochrme plain paper alternative to Reason) and the entertaining articles in the old Loompanics catalog.

    (They were referred to as the Postal Express statutes but in USPS official writings seem to be called the ‘Private Express Statutes’.)

    Private Express Statutes

    What are the Private Express Statutes? (608.5.0)

    The Private Express Statutes are a group of laws under which the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has the exclusive right, with certain limited exceptions to carry letters for compensation. The Statutes are based on the provision in the U.S. Constitution that empowers Congress “to establish Post Offices.”

    What is the purpose of these Statutes?

    Congress enacted the Statutes to protect the USPS and thereby enable it to fulfill its mission of providing mail service to all parts of the country at uniform rates. The Statutes enable the USPS to fulfill its responsibilities by preventing private courier services from competing selectively with the USPS on its most profitable routes.

    What is a letter?

    For the purpose of the Private Express Statutes, a letter is defined as a message directed to a specific person or address and recorded on a tangible object. A more complete definition can be found at title 39, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 310.1.

    What do the Private Express Statutes require?

    The Statutes provide that letters may be transported outside the U.S. Mail system only if one or more of the exceptions apply, or appropriate postage is paid. The basic prohibition is against private carriage of letters for other persons without payment of postage.

    Are there any exceptions to the Private Express Statutes?

    The law allows for the private carriage of letters under certain circumstances, including:

    Letters for which sender has paid at least 6 times the price currently charged for the first ounce of a single-piece First-Class Mail letter.
    Letters weighing at least 12-1/2 ounces.
    Letters sent with and relating in all substantial respects to the cargo that they accompany.
    Letters carried by the sender, recipient, or the regular, salaried employees (not independent contractors) of either party.
    Letters carried without any financial or other valuable compensation.
    25 or fewer letters carried by special messenger on an infrequent, irregular basis for the sender or addressee.
    Letters carried prior or subsequent to mailing.
    Properly marked letters whose value or usefulness would be lost or greatly diminished if Letters not delivered within certain time standards listed in postal regulations (“extremely urgent” letters).
    Letters addressed to campus destinations that colleges and universities carry in their internal mail systems for their bona fide student or faculty organizations.
    Letters carried from a point in the United States to a foreign country for deposit in the foreign country‘s domestic or international mails for delivery to an ultimate destination outside the United States.
    Data processing materials sent between an office and a data processing center, within certain delivery time standards listed in postal regulations.
    Certain international ocean carrier-related documents accompanying cargo.
    Advertisements enclosed with merchandise in parcels or accompanying periodicals under certain conditions.

    More information regarding exceptions and suspensions to the Private Express Statutes is available in 39 C.F.R. §§ 310.3 and 320.

    The GOP and the donkeys seem to support the postal monopoly with about equal fervor.

  68. @snorlax

    This doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. He’s the senatorial equivalent of Shaun King.

  69. snorlax says:

    Professional editions used to cost hundreds of dollars.

    They still do, the ones on eBay are pirated or fake.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  70. Anonymous[174] • Disclaimer says:

    Where are all these fake licenses coming from? How can they be activated if they’re fake?

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