Interesting law

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.14.0100 MDT)]

In reading the fine print on Borland's web pages, I came across the interesting statement below. Basically, it says that Borland is allowed by law to make any promises or claim any virtues for what its software will accomplish for a user ("forward-looking statements"), without any obligation to live up to those promises, and with full freedom to renege on them any time it finds that adhering to them would be impossible or even unprofitable. And it doesn't have to revise its claims after failing to meet them, either. Apparently this language is written into the law -- most probably pasted in verbatim from material provided by industry lobbyists.

Caveat Emptor indeed. Did you ever read anything slimier?

Best,

Bill P.

···

============================================================================
Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined under the Federal Securities Laws, including the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is subject to the safe harbors created by such laws.Forward-looking statements may relate to, but are not limited to, the benefits to be derived from Borland Delphi 2006, C++Builder 2006 and C#Builder and the benefits to be derived from the integrated development environment of Borland Developer Studio.Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks that may cause actual events or results to differ materially. Factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially include, among others, our ability to enhance the quality and scalability of our products, improve the integration and overall functionality of these products as part of our ALM software development platform and evolve our ALM platform toward our vision of SDO; acceptance of our products and services including our enterprise software development platform/solution; our ability to successfully deliver on large transactions; our ability to establish or enhance strategic alliances; rapid technological and business change that can adversely affect the demand for Borland products and services; and general economic factors and capital market conditions.These and other risks may be detailed from time to time in Borland periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, its latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and its latest Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained from www.sec.gov. Borland is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

In a message dated 10/14/2005 3:11:01 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, powers_w@FRONTIER.NET writes:

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.14.0100 MDT)]

In reading the fine print on Borland’s web pages, I came across the
interesting statement below. Basically, it says that Borland is
allowed by law to make any promises or claim any virtues for what its
software will accomplish for a user (“forward-looking statements”),
without any obligation to live up to those promises, and with full
freedom to renege on them any time it finds that adhering to them
would be impossible or even unprofitable. And it doesn’t have to
revise its claims after failing to meet them, either. Apparently this
language is written into the law – most probably pasted in verbatim
from material provided by industry lobbyists.

Caveat Emptor indeed. Did you ever read anything slimier?
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 - Title I: Reduction of Abusive Litigation - Amends the Securities Act of 1933 (SA) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (SEA) (together, the Acts) with respect to private class action suits to mandate that each plaintiff seeking to serve as a representative party file a sworn certification: (1) that the plaintiff did not purchase the subject matter securities at the direction of counsel or in order to participate in a private action; (2) that identifies any other action filed during the preceding three-year period in which the plaintiff sought to serve as a representative party on behalf of a class; and (3) that the plaintiff will not accept payment for serving as a representative party on behalf of a class beyond the plaintiff’s pro rata share of any recovery, except as approved by the court.

···

You might want to get off of your soapbox long enough to actually read the legislation. You can find it at; http://www.lectlaw.com/files/stf04.htm

The summary above should be sufficient to show that your inferences may not be all that valid. I’m not quite sure what is ‘slimy’ about their disclaimer. Maybe you could help me out.

It seems you have this wonderful habit of making inferences that you are sure are both valid and obvious to everyone else, and I think this is a good example of just such a case. What do you think?

Best,

Bill P.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined under
the Federal Securities Laws, including the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is subject to the safe harbors
created by such laws.Forward-looking statements may relate to, but
are not limited to, the benefits to be derived from Borland Delphi
2006, C++Builder 2006 and C#Builder and the benefits to be derived
from the integrated development environment of Borland Developer
Studio.Such forward-looking statements are based on current
expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks that
may cause actual events or results to differ materially. Factors that
could cause actual events or results to differ materially include,
among others, our ability to enhance the quality and scalability of
our products, improve the integration and overall functionality of
these products as part of our ALM software development platform and
evolve our ALM platform toward our vision of SDO; acceptance of our
products and services including our enterprise software development
platform/solution; our ability to successfully deliver on large
transactions; our ability to establish or enhance strategic
alliances; rapid technological and business change that can adversely
affect the demand for Borland products and services; and general
economic factors and capital market conditions.These and other risks
may be detailed from time to time in Borland periodic reports filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not
limited to, its latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and its latest
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained from
www.sec.gov. Borland is under no obligation to (and expressly
disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking
statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

[From Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.15)]

<Bill Powers (2005.10.14.0100 MDT)>

<In reading the fine print on Borland’s web pages, I came across the
interesting statement below. Basically, it says that Borland is
allowed by law to make any promises or claim any virtues for what its
software will accomplish for a user (“forward-looking statements”),
without any obligation to live up to those promises, and with full
freedom to renege on them any time it finds that adhering to them
would be impossible or even unprofitable. And it doesn’t have to
revise its claims after failing to meet them, either. Apparently this
language is written into the law – most probably pasted in verbatim
from material provided by industry lobbyists.

Caveat Emptor indeed. Did you ever read anything slimier?

Best,

Bill P.>

I agree it is slimy. Unfortunately, it is the law. And, there are many laws of men that are just as slimy or slimier. There is an old principle where (a man’s word was his bond). I think that would be a better “law” for all relational dealings, not just commercial dealings.

I see this is all under SEC law. I don’t know much about that, but I had always assumed it related only to “forward looking statements” concerning future investment performance. And, limited to statements concerning that, I don’t find it slimy. Caveat Emptor should apply and that is fine with me.

However, it seems that Borland has extended the SEC law to any claims it might make even about the performance of its products? That seems wrong to me but it may be within the perogative of any public statements about anything.

What I do know a bit about is the Uniform Commercial Code. I was a salesman and contract negotiator for a decade with Westinghouse. I worked intimately with lawyers in that work. In fact, I was on the Settlement Team of what in 1975 was the largest commercial lawsuit in history. It was over the supply of uranium for fuel in nuclear plants.

Westinghouse bascially claimed legal excuse from contract performance based on “commercial impracticability,” Section 2-615 as I recall. Yep, if you were going to loose money instead of make money on your contract, and it was not your fault do to unexpected events, you could renig on your contract. We tried to excuse ourselves from a $2 billion liability that would have bankrupted Westinghouse. That is the law and not too different than what Borland has put in writing that you consider slimy.

As I recall, the UCC provisions applied to contracts unless you specifically disclaimed them. IOW, you did not have to put such “slimy” language directly in the contract. It still was there to protect the supplier. This may be different under the SEC law. Perhaps if you want the protection you have to say it explicitly?

Anyway, there are many “outs” for performance under contracts. Another is “force majeur.” This can be acts of God (like hurricanes) or practically anything beyond your control, such as government decrees preventing performance (say nullifying the sale of uranium to Iran).

So, perhaps your lack of understanding of the law has led you to conclude that Borland is doing something slimy when in fact they are just elucidating the law that applies to every supplier. I am still surprised to see what they have written.

BTW, after an extensive trial against about 30 electric utilities around the world, we had the insight from the consolidated case Judge that he would not rule in our favor. I personally worked on settling $1 billion of those claims over a period of almost five years. We settled for about a cost of about 50 cents on the dollar by selling future product at cost instead of price. It actually turned out reasonably well in the long run for both the utilities and for Westinghouse. And, it looks like nuclear power is finally coming back some 20 years after I left it. But, I think I will stick to leadership based on HPCT. It is less slimy. 8-))

Kenny

[From Bruce Abbott (2005.10.15.1520 EST)]

[Bill Powers (2005.10.14.0100
MDT)] –

In reading the fine print on Borland’s web pages, I came across the
interesting statement below. Basically, it says that Borland is allowed
by law to make any promises or claim any virtues for what its software
will accomplish for a user (“forward-looking statements”),
without any obligation to live up to those promises, and with full
freedom to renege on them any time it finds that adhering to them would
be impossible or even unprofitable. And it doesn’t have to revise its
claims after failing to meet them, either. Apparently this language is
written into the law – most probably pasted in verbatim from material
provided by industry lobbyists.

Caveat Emptor indeed. Did you ever read anything
slimier?

As I read it, the “forward-looking statements” referred to in
the disclaimer are statements about what the company believes that a
future product (or future version of a product) will offer. For
example, Borland may believe that they can build into Delphi an automated
programmer what will write code for you based on what you say you
want your program to do, and announce that they expect Delphi 2007 to
offer this “auto-coding” feature. The legal disclaimer means
that they cannot be successfully sued if they are unable to deliver the
promised new feature (so long as it is not claimed to be present in the
product).

This would be very different from selling a product with the claim that
it will do X, Y, and Z when in fact it does not have those capabilities.
Such misrepresentations would not fall under the protection of the
disclaimer you cited, or so I believe. Not that you have much recourse
when the software you purchased is bug-filled and practically unusable,
but that’s a different irritation.

Bruce A.

[From Dick Robertson,2005.10.17.1244CDT]

Kenny,

I appreciate your spelling out the issue from producer’s and consumer’s
point of view, but what interests and concerns me most is the point
that Bill originally made and that you touch on in your last line

Kenneth Kitzke Value Creation Systems wrote:

[From Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.16)

<Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1523 MDT)>

<I’m not so sure it’s fine with me. Why shouldn’t it be
against the law to deceive or mislead investors or buyers?>

<Best,

Bill P.

I think this can issue can cut both ways sort of like Bryan
implied. But, that SEC statement that Borland used including product
performance/benefit not just financial performance estimates is not
only slimy, it smells to high heaven.

Given my view of how our government and regulatory agencies are, if not
completely owned, at least mainly under the control of producers, do
you, as businessman as well as PCT subscriber, see any hope that
consumers could ever get an even playing field in regard to things
like that SEC regulation? How would it come about?

Best,

Dick R.

···

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1025 MDT)]

Bruce Abbott (2005.10.15.1520
EST) –

As I read it, the “forward-looking statements” referred to in
the disclaimer are statements about what the company believes that a
future product (or future version of a product) will offer. For
example, Borland may believe that they can build into Delphi an automated
programmer what will write code for you based on what you say you
want your program to do, and announce that they expect Delphi 2007 to
offer this “auto-coding” feature. The legal disclaimer means
that they cannot be successfully sued if they are unable to deliver the
promised new feature (so long as it is not claimed to be present in the
product).

This is in line with the general effort of businessmen to protect
themselves against lawsuits, which from their point of view are all
“frivolous” (just as all regulations are
“unnecessary” and “oppressive” and all government
spending on products other than their own is “wasteful”).

In Borland’s case, why do you suppose they want protection in relation to
their announcements about future products (and enhancements of current
ones)? I think you have to start by asking why, from the business
standpoint,such announcments are made in the first place. I think they’re
made in order to capture the interest of people who might plan on using
such products, and who might buy the current version of the existing
product, or postpone buying something else, if they know those
improvements will be available in a year or two. I’m sure the reason for
the announcement is not in the spirit of public service, simply to do us
all the favor of letting us in on future products. It is to influence
potential purchasers and purchasers of current products.

If we conclude that the announcement is self-serving, as all business
announcements surely are, the next thing to ask is why it invokes this
odious law, which protects businessmen from having to live up to their
hype. It’s almost as if Borland fully expects not to achieve its
announced projections. The law is also “forward-looking,” to a
time when the enticements prove to be something less than promised, and
when someone has purchased a current product or postponed a purchase of
something else in order to obtain the Borland product when it appears.
But Borland can simply say, “Sorry, we overestimated our abilities,
or the market, or underestimated the difficulties, or thought of
something else to do that would make more money. You have no recourse
under the law.” The message from Borland is “Wait to buy our
next new products, which will accomplish X, Y, and Z, but if they don’t
accomplish X, Y, and Z, don’t try to blame us. The law gives us a Safe
Haven.”

That’s why they cite this law in their promotions. They know most people
don’t read, or give much thought to, the fine print, but they want
something to point to.

This would be very different
from selling a product with the claim that it will do X, Y, and Z when in
fact it does not have those capabilities. Such misrepresentations would
not fall under the protection of the disclaimer you cited, or so I
believe.

Oh, yes, they would. Toward the end of the paragraph, you will find
this:

“Borland is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such
obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as
a result of new information, future events or otherwise.”

That’s pretty blatant. When the forward-looking statements become a
purported description of the current product, and the product fails to
fit them, the forward-looking statements can continue to be disseminated
without revision, because they were written before the product actually
appeared. I’m sure this is why Microsoft, Borland, and other companies
are not legally required (when their announced products appear) to revise
their advertising to warn that they are limited, bug-ridden, and
vulnerable to malicious attacks. They didn’t say so before the products
appeared, so they don’t have to revise the claims they made.

It’s interesting that such a sentence would appear on this web page.
Somebody obviously anticipated a disturbance, and took steps to counter
it before it could appear, surely an advanced mode of control in every
sense. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what that anticipated
disturbance might have been.

Anyway, that’s the law. It was obviously not thought up by ordinary
consumers.

The advertisers and lawyers who bought the congressmen who passed this
law must have received, if there is any fairness left in the universe , a
generous (I will not say “liberal”) reward for putting such an
enomously lucrative escape clause into the law books. How rich would Bill
Gates be if he had to tell the truth about Windows?

Capitalism is a system under which sellers charge as much as the market
will bear for as little as the market permits them to deliver. Of course
this means there is a basic conflict with consumers (as well as with each
other), because consumers then have to adopt the strategy of trying to
pay as little as possible (nothing, if they can get away with it) for as
much as they can possibly get. What keeps the conflict going is that the
sellers need the consumers to do the work, and the consumers can’t
organize themselves enough to conduct the affairs of the economy without
the sellers. This may be, as some claim, the best system every devised,
but surely we can think of a better way to conduct human
affairs.

First, however, we must institute a kind of social MOL, and get people to
recognize both sides of the conflict. A revolution at the same level as
the conflict won’t change anything, as we keep discovering, and
forgetting.

Best,

Bill P.

[From Fred Nickols (2005.10.16.1350 EDT)]

The "safe harbor" statement below applies, I believe, to Borland's financial
performance as a company. It simply says that the future is uncertain and
that Borland's financial performance might be affected, among other factors,
by the performance (or non-performance) of its products and services.

What's so "slimy" about that?

···

Bill Powers (2005.10.14.0100 MDT)]

In reading the fine print on Borland's web pages, I came across the
interesting statement below. Basically, it says that Borland is
allowed by law to make any promises or claim any virtues for what its
software will accomplish for a user ("forward-looking statements"),
without any obligation to live up to those promises, and with full
freedom to renege on them any time it finds that adhering to them
would be impossible or even unprofitable. And it doesn't have to
revise its claims after failing to meet them, either. Apparently this
language is written into the law -- most probably pasted in verbatim
from material provided by industry lobbyists.

Caveat Emptor indeed. Did you ever read anything slimier?

Best,

Bill P.

==
Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined under
the Federal Securities Laws, including the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is subject to the safe harbors
created by such laws.Forward-looking statements may relate to, but
are not limited to, the benefits to be derived from Borland Delphi
2006, C++Builder 2006 and C#Builder and the benefits to be derived
from the integrated development environment of Borland Developer
Studio.Such forward-looking statements are based on current
expectations that involve a number of uncertainties and risks that
may cause actual events or results to differ materially. Factors that
could cause actual events or results to differ materially include,
among others, our ability to enhance the quality and scalability of
our products, improve the integration and overall functionality of
these products as part of our ALM software development platform and
evolve our ALM platform toward our vision of SDO; acceptance of our
products and services including our enterprise software development
platform/solution; our ability to successfully deliver on large
transactions; our ability to establish or enhance strategic
alliances; rapid technological and business change that can adversely
affect the demand for Borland products and services; and general
economic factors and capital market conditions.These and other risks
may be detailed from time to time in Borland periodic reports filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not
limited to, its latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and its latest
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained from
www.sec.gov. Borland is under no obligation to (and expressly
disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking
statements whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise.

====

In a message dated 10/16/2005 2:18:35 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, powers_w@FRONTIER.NET writes:

  Bruce Abbott (2005.10.15.1520 EST) --
As I read it, the "forward-looking statements" referred to in the disclaimer are statements about what the company believes that a *future* product (or future version of a product) will offer. For example, Borland may believe that they can build into Delphi an automated programmer what will write code for you based on what you *say* you want your program to do, and announce that they expect Delphi 2007 to offer this "auto-coding" feature. The legal disclaimer means that they cannot be successfully sued if they are unable to deliver the promised new feature (so long as it is not claimed to be present in the product).

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1025 MDT)]

This is in line with the general effort of businessmen to protect themselves against lawsuits, which from their point of view are all “frivolous” (just as all regulations are “unnecessary” and “oppressive” and all government spending on products other than their own is “wasteful”).
I’m sure you have the data to back up these claims. Probably under the pile of papers that validate your levels of the hierarchy

Capitalism is a system under which sellers charge as much as the market will bear for as little as the market permits them to deliver.
Sounds like you can use a course in economics. What a wonderful cynical approach you have. I see you subscribe to the Marken school of non-economics.

Of course this means there is a basic conflict with consumers (as well as with each other), because consumers then have to adopt the strategy of trying to pay as little as possible (nothing, if they can get away with it) for as much as they can possibly get. What keeps the conflict going is that the sellers need the consumers to do the work, and the consumers can’t organize themselves enough to conduct the affairs of the economy without the sellers. This may be, as some claim, the best system every devised, but surely we can think of a better way to conduct human affairs.
What a terrific bit of logic. Did an epiphany cause this? If there were no ‘sellers’, what would consumers consume? Can you make your own gasoline and car? What a wonderful bit of insight into the mind of a very troubled individual. You are certainly one little angry puppy. Try deep breathing exercises

First, however, we must institute a kind of social MOL, and get people to recognize both sides of the conflict. A revolution at the same level as the conflict won’t change anything, as we keep discovering, and forgetting.
Ah yes; MOL, the savior of the world if only people knew of its strength. Imagine if the MOL were around in the 1930’s, WW II might very well have been avoided. Of course the notions of ‘instituting’ and ‘getting people to…’ resound of free choice and are not coercive.

For someone who is supposed to be an ‘expert’ in control and human behavior you have pitiful little understanding of how and why people do what they do. Stick to your theoretical simulations and spreadsheets, you have no chance in the real world.

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1523 MDT);

I see this is all under SEC
law. I don’t know much about that, but I had always assumed it
related only to “forward looking statements” concerning future
investment performance. And, limited to statements concerning that,
I don’t find it slimy. Caveat Emptor should apply and that is fine
with me.

I’m not so sure it’s fine with me. Why shouldn’t it be against the law to
deceive or mislead investors or buyers? I think what’s happened is
that courts as well as businesses have accepted that it’s impossible to
do business without lying and deception – some high court, I forget
which one, gave an opinion long ago making “harmless puffery”
acceptable in advertising. But what’s harmless about it? One thing leads
to another, and the net result is to let the seller misrepresent what is
being sold. I don’t let people do that to me twice if I have any choice;
why should the law let it happen even once? Business is not a game being
played for poker chips; we’re talking about methods that have real
consequences for flesh and blood people. Yet you can’t read or hear an
advertisement anywhere that simply tells the truth about a product or
service – that doesn’t somehow dress it up and make it appear more or
better than it is. Harmless puffery indeed.

Best,

Bill P.

The only solution I have for this situation is awareness. If people
become aware that they can’t trust anything they read about any product,
and begin demanding proof that they’re getting what they pay for, and
start getting their money back every time a false claim is discovered,
the truth will become profitable and lies will carry a cost. I say we
should make the cost as high as possible. The customers will do that once
they see how they’re being deceived and manipulated.

[From Bryan Thalhammer (2005.10.16.2045 CDT)]

Bill et al.,

I have been following this a bit. I think what we see here are expectations
based on principles and expectations based on observing current practice.

You know the old joke, what is 100 lawyers at the bottom of Lake Michigan: A
good start. But seriously, the problem is that there is a surplus of trial
lawyers, and they need a place to practice, given that Antarctica is not yet
settled.

I share your belief and set of expectations of a world village, where business
people provide products for flesh and blood people, and that corporations are
only bigger citizens of the world village, and have responsibilities and social
limitations as any other citizen.

That being said, the world has moved on. Ever since before the 80s the belief
and expectations is that the world village is indeed a place to harvest profit,
and the citizens of that world village, big and small, are no different than
resources we mine, fish, and deplete from the environment.

The picture I am drawing is that of Hardin's Tragedgy of the Commons.
<http://www.constitution.org/cmt/tragcomm.htm> Where originally it seems
possible that everyone can neglect community membership, denying responsibility,
and eventually, the resource will dry up and...

So the two beliefs/expectations are clashing here, and that is typical of the
political debates that are going on now about everything: Social Security,
Privacy, Oil Wars, and Freedom from being taken advantage of by a more powerful
entity. I throw my hat with equality and with accountability of the sort that
puts criminals such as ENRON CEO and others in the pokey.

Of course I am diverging a bit from the Borland thing, but it's all in the same
topic. Companies need to be prosperous, people need to be able to use their
products without fear of loss because of incompetence or negligence. There are
tradeoffs and there needs to be a balance.

But in truth I can see both sides, but not one or the other exclusively.

--Bry

[Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1523 MDT);

···

I see this is all under SEC
law. I don't know much about that, but I had always assumed it
related only to "forward looking statements" concerning future
investment performance. And, limited to statements concerning that,
I don't find it slimy. Caveat Emptor should apply and that is fine
with me.

I'm not so sure it's fine with me. Why shouldn't it be against the law to
deceive or mislead investors or buyers? I think what's happened is
that courts as well as businesses have accepted that it's impossible to
do business without lying and deception -- some high court, I forget
which one, gave an opinion long ago making "harmless puffery"
acceptable in advertising. But what's harmless about it? One thing leads
to another, and the net result is to let the seller misrepresent what is
being sold. I don't let people do that to me twice if I have any choice;
why should the law let it happen even once? Business is not a game being
played for poker chips; we're talking about methods that have real
consequences for flesh and blood people. Yet you can't read or hear an
advertisement anywhere that simply tells the truth about a product or
service -- that doesn't somehow dress it up and make it appear more or
better than it is. Harmless puffery indeed.

Best,

Bill P.

The only solution I have for this situation is awareness. If people
become aware that they can't trust anything they read about any product,
and begin demanding proof that they're getting what they pay for, and
start getting their money back every time a false claim is discovered,
the truth will become profitable and lies will carry a cost. I say we
should make the cost as high as possible. The customers will do that once
they see how they're being deceived and manipulated.

A very interesting reply from a control expert.

In a message dated 10/16/2005 8:38:55 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, powers_w@FRONTIER.NET writes:

I see this is all under SEC law.  I don't know much about that, but I had always assumed it related only to "forward looking statements" concerning future investment performance.  And, limited to statements concerning that, I don't find it slimy.  Caveat Emptor should apply and that is fine with me.

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1523 MDT);
I’m not so sure it’s fine with me. Why shouldn’t it be against the law to deceive or mislead investors or buyers?
An interesting claim. On what grounds is this made? I read the law and did not see this. I could be wrong, so please show mw what led you to believe these things.

I think what’s happened is that courts as well as businesses have accepted that it’s impossible to do business without lying and deception – some high court, I forget which one, gave an opinion long ago making “harmless puffery” acceptable in advertising.

A wonderful example of an unsupported inference taken as the truth and gospel. This is not harmless. Bill is walking around with beliefs based not on data, but on a series of personal theories he cannot define or describe.

“Some high court”? indeed.

Judging from the responses it would also seem that folks have different perceptions about what this law actually means and more importantly none of the provided inferences are illustrated. Everyone is just sort of tossing their two cents in.

How can I judge which opinion might be worth thinking about when they are all not illustrated?

Easy, by sticking with like-minded people.

But what’s harmless about it? One thing leads to another, and the net result is to let the seller misrepresent what is being sold.

Again, another inference that Bill thinks should be obvious to all based on what is in his head, and unwilling to share. It’s the “Trust me, I know…”

I don’t let people do that to me twice if I have any choice;

Do what to you? You continue to use Borland products, why? Where is your personal responsibility in all this? As a control system I don’t see how Borland is coercively making you use their software. What am I missing here?

why should the law let it happen even once? Business is not a game being played for poker chips; we’re talking about methods that have real consequences for flesh and blood people.

How dramatic, and spoken like a true reactionary. Oops!! did I say reactionary? I meant revolutionary sorry. But in either case another innuendo filled statement with no basis in substantiated facts.

Yet you can’t read or hear an advertisement anywhere that simply tells the truth about a product or service – that doesn’t somehow dress it up and make it appear more or better than it is. Harmless puffery indeed.

If you are pushing for truth in advertising you might want to start in your own back yard with PCT and the unsubstantiated and unsupported claims you make about your theory.

You wrote the preface to Tim Carey’s book on the MOL, did you read the book? On what basis do you make the claim that the MOL is helpful? How do you know it is not Tim Carey and not the MOL? And again I ask, what connection does the MOL have to PCT?

Best,

Bill P.

The only solution I have for this situation is awareness. If people become aware that they can’t trust anything they read about any product, and begin demanding proof that they’re getting what they pay for, and start getting their money back every time a false claim is discovered, the truth will become profitable and lies will carry a cost. I say we should make the cost as high as possible. The customers will do that once they see how they’re being deceived and manipulated.

Bravo, a very capitalistic idea if I do say so myself. What product are you switching to from Borland?

[From Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.16)

<Bill Powers (2005.10.16.1523 MDT)>

<I’m not so sure it’s fine with me. Why shouldn’t it be against the law to deceive or mislead investors or buyers?>

It should be and I think it is against the law to intentionally deceive or mislead investors.

But “forward looking statements” typically refer to forecasts or projections of future sales or earnings. If you provided such estimates to the best of your knowledge and they don’t materialize, I don’t think there is anything slimy about that. Stuff happens in external variables that you can’t control. And, I think every investor I ever met understands that it is like picking the Super Bowl Champion at the start of the season.

BTW, my counsel to business clients has always been to never give specific numbers to outsiders, even if you have some best estimate forecasts internally. If those were better than last quarter or last year, I always recommended something like “We expect to better.”

Some CEOs would say that won’t be acceptable to their “Market Analysts.” When I would assure them that other clients did it all the time, they would say, their business or analysts are different! So, my next advice was to use a control chart for the variable and give them a six sigma range. But, that range was often too large. I can tell you a hundred examples where companies predict a 20% rise in EPS and when they hit 18% (better than the competitors or the market average) their stock drops 10% when it should go up IMHO. It is so stupid to give out these forecasts, but it is amazing how many stupid things people do [Vonage Ads] whether they be CEOs, engineers, or psychologists.

<I think what’s happened is that courts as well as businesses have accepted that it’s impossible to do business without lying and deception – some high court, I forget which one, gave an opinion long ago making “harmless puffery” acceptable in advertising. But what’s harmless about it? One thing leads to another, and the net result is to let the seller misrepresent what is being sold. I don’t let people do that to me twice if I have any choice; why should the law let it happen even once? Business is not a game being played for poker chips; we’re talking about methods that have real consequences for flesh and blood people. Yet you can’t read or hear an advertisement anywhere that simply tells the truth about a product or service – that doesn’t somehow dress it up and make it appear more or better than it is. Harmless puffery indeed.>

I was a salesman. I did use what was called salesman’s puff. I might say, “You could cut your cost up to 20% if you bought this gizmo!” If I believed that it was theoretically possible, I think that is puff. Say one out of 10 customers hit 20%. That is where Caveat Emptor comes in. The buyer must ask more questions and the salesman needs to be honest. What was the average savings? Well that was 10%.

<Best,

Bill P.

The only solution I have for this situation is awareness. If people become aware that they can’t trust anything they read about any product, and begin demanding proof that they’re getting what they pay for, and start getting their money back every time a false claim is discovered, the truth will become profitable and lies will carry a cost. I say we should make the cost as high as possible. The customers will do that once they see how they’re being deceived and manipulated.>

Bill, most companies have a 100% return of product for any reason policy. And customers rip them off like crazy. Women buy a dress and wear it to a party and then bring it back because it didn’t fit or look right. That isn’t right either, is it?

My son Chris, whom you met a long time ago, is right now the warranty officer for a company. He knows his company is being ripped off by customers, tells his boss and the boss says give em the credit or replacement. They are too good/big a customer to upset them by accusing or confronting their deceit. That is stupid and the customers are the slimy ones.

I think this can issue can cut both ways sort of like Bryan implied. But, that SEC statement that Borland used including product performance/benefit not just financial performance estimates is not only slimy, it smells to high heaven.

Kenny

In a message dated 10/16/2005 9:51:05 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, bryanth@SOLTEC.NET writes:

[From Bryan Thalhammer (2005.10.16.2045 CDT)]

Bill et al.,

I have been following this a bit. I think what we see here are expectations
based on principles and expectations based on observing current practice.

You know the old joke, what is 100 lawyers at the bottom of Lake Michigan: A
good start. But seriously, the problem is that there is a surplus of trial
lawyers, and they need a place to practice, given that Antarctica is not yet
settled.
I thought the law was to prevent certain kinds of frivolous law suits.

I share your belief and set of expectations of a world village,
On what basis? What is a ‘world’ village? Will Islamo-fascists be part of this love-in? How do you expect the ‘world’ to get along when you can’t get a hundred people to? (CSGnet)

where business
people provide products for flesh and blood people,
And who do they supply it to now?

and that corporations are
only bigger citizens of the world village, and have responsibilities and social
limitations as any other citizen.
And who exactly ‘inhabits’ big corporations? What does it mean to be a ‘bigger’ citizen?

That being said, the world has moved on.
I’m glad you noticed.

Ever since before the 80s the belief
and expectations is that the world village is indeed a place to harvest profit,
and the citizens of that world village, big and small, are no different than
resources we mine, fish, and deplete from the environment.
Another economics expert. It seems history is not one of your forte’s either.

Unfortunately, you, Powers and Marken do not and cannot distinguish or understand the differences between capitalism and mercantilism (wealth accumulation). With capitalism, the profitability of any company is based on the ability of any one company to supply a value a customer is willing to pay for, continuously over a long period of time, or at least as long as the company wants to stay in business. For capitalism to work, you need to have free unfettered markets and open competition for the consumer dollar.

The economy in the US is not capitalistic, nor has it ever been. It is a combination, with many aspects still held over from the mercantile days of the 14th - 18th centuries, and lots of elements of central planning and socialism.

Before you go on ranting and raving about something it is usually a good idea to actually know something about it.

The picture I am drawing is that of Hardin’s Tragedgy of the Commons.
http://www.constitution.org/cmt/tragcomm.htm Where originally it seems
possible that everyone can neglect community membership, denying responsibility,
and eventually, the resource will dry up and…
Read Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, and try a bit of history on the Pilgrims and the early Virginia settlement at Jamestown. These were big experiments in ‘community’ living, and like the Soviet Union they fell flat on their collective faces. No pun intended.

So the two beliefs/expectations are clashing here, and that is typical of the
political debates that are going on now about everything: Social Security,
Privacy, Oil Wars, and Freedom from being taken advantage of by a more powerful
entity. I throw my hat with equality and with accountability of the sort that
puts criminals such as ENRON CEO and others in the pokey.

How about government officials who decide to take your money and give it to someone else without your permission? Can you tell me the difference between sanctioned theft by the government and by private theft by someone who feels ‘entitled’ to a portion of someone else’s wealth because they don’t have it?

Who decides who gets what and on what basis?

Of course I am diverging a bit from the Borland thing, but it’s all in the same
topic.

Yes, it is about how and why people control as they do, and maybe one day

someone will actually have some understanding of how these all go together.

Companies need to be prosperous,

How does this happen without profitability?

people need to be able to use their
products without fear of loss because of incompetence or negligence.

On whose part? Do we really need warning labels on detergents saying that it is not a good idea for people to eat the stuff?

There are
tradeoffs and there needs to be a balance.

According to whose set of rules? If you are unwilling to talk about it and are uninfluencable, how do you intend on striking a ‘balance’ with someone else?

But in truth I can see both sides, but not one or the other exclusively.

‘Seeing’ both sides is not sufficient. Being able to make an informed choice is. How do you go about making informed choices when you put the responsibility of that choice in the hands of others? Yes, fraud is a crime and should be punished very heavily. But if I were to ask you about yourself and I asked you how smart you thought you were and you said “very”, and then you turned around and made a dumb mistake that cost me money. Should I then be allowed to sue you for fraud and misrepresentation?

Depends, doesn’t it? That is why we have courts of law.

What I fail to see in your argument or Bill’s is a sense of personal responsibility.

From [Marc Abrams (2005.10.17.1543)]

I know this was addressed to Kenny but I assume that if you wanted this to be a private conversation you would have contacted him privately.

In a message dated 10/17/2005 1:51:05 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, r-robertson@NEIU.EDU writes:

[From Dick Robertson,2005.10.17.1244CDT]

Given my view of how our government and regulatory agencies are, if not completely owned, at least mainly under the control of producers, do you, as businessman as well as PCT subscriber, see any hope that consumers could ever get an even playing field in regard to things like that SEC regulation? How would it come about?
First of all, aren’t we all consumers? Even the ‘producers’ and ‘regulators’ are consumers, are we not?

One of the big problems with government in my view is that all laws that are passed are passed favoring one group of people over another. Laws and regulations are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ depending on which group and side you might happen to be on in any one issue.

Yes, I to believe big business is in bed with the government and herein lies, I believe the solution. Get representatives into office that represent your interests and views rather than their own.

This country was not founded on the principle of career politicians. That is, people who get elected to be re-elected. The pay is great, the benefits unsurpassed and the retirement benefits ungodly. It clearly pays to be a politician for life.

When you talk about a ‘level’ playing field, I believe if capitalism were truly given a chance, you might find that to be the case. But you need to understand what capitalism is, and is not. A ‘level’ playing field, like everything else, has its costs

Capitalism is about consumerism. It is the consumer who decides what is and is not produced by what they spend there money on, and as such which companies are, or are not profitable. Companies or individuals providing goods and services cannot make profits unless people see value in buying from them UNLESS there is a government forced monopoly, or government regulations and taxes that make competition prohibitive and not viable.

You see Dick, people like talking about the winners and profit makers but you never hear about the losers, and the products and people who’s ideas never got off the ground. A healthy capitalistic society would produce a great many more losers than winners and that is important, because it is by that competition that our producers know what and how much to produce.

We often like to think about this as supply and demand.

But this comes at a cost some folks just can’t tolerate. Capitalism involves risk. What sells today may not tomorrow. Since the advent of digital photography, how many people in Rochester NY, and Kodak are looking for work when they used to be gainfully employed making film?

How many people can still make a living shoeing horses? The increases in our standard of living do not come without its human costs.

When government ‘protects’ certain industries from competition by tariff’s and overprotective and competition stifling regulations it increases the costs to all consumers. Labor Unions also increase the cost of goods by artificially raising the cost of labor.

When we ‘protect’ the steel workers from foreign competition the cost of our cars and other utilizers of steel go up.

I just read today that the UAW (United Auto Workers Union) medical benefits adds $1600.00 to the cost of every vehicle produced in this country by American manufacturer’s. Of course the foreign firms producing in this country like Toyota do not have this problem, they are non union shops.

And please don’t confuse capitalism with the accumulation of wealth and mercantilism. Yes, you can become very wealthy under capitalism, but that is through supplying value that people are willing to buy. You can become wealthy under socialism by being a member of the ‘right’ political’ group.

Capitalism is not a zero sum game. Everyone can have a piece of the pie, and remember, there will always be at top 1% and a lower 20% of wage earners. That is mathematical certainty. The real question is what kind of standard of living do those 20% possess.

I don’t think anyone alive today in any bracket, even the lowest living in the US, would trade what they currently have for being a millionaire 300 years ago.

The playing field can never guarantee equal results because we as people are not equal in ability, desire, or talents. We should guarantee equal opportunity to all, and I think we do a pretty good job of working at that.

Is it ‘fair’ if I invest my life savings in a business and it fails and I’m left broke? Is it ‘fair’ that some sports pro’s and entertainers are making tens of millions a year and contribute little to the ‘welfare’ of others while teachers in some areas merely scrape by? Is it ‘fair’ to the consumer that NYC will not allow a Wal-Mart to open so it can ‘protect’ the ‘small’ business person?

Is it ‘fair’ that NYC will not allow competition for cable TV services so they can charge a princely ‘licensing’ deal that enriches a few at the expense of all in the name of ‘protecting’ the business?

Against what? Competition and possible failure? Welcome to central planning.

Regards,

Marc

[From Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.17}]

<Dick Robertson,2005.10.17.1244CDT>

<Given my view of how our government and regulatory agencies are, if not completely owned, at least mainly under the control of producers, do you, as businessman as well as PCT subscriber, see any hope that consumers could ever get an even playing field in regard to things like that SEC regulation? How would it come about?>

I see free enterprise and free markets as the best economic system for a society. It empowers consumers the most. You can’t sell what someone won’t buy. There is always the fear of an unholy monopoly. But I think this is a rare bird and can’t be sustained over the long term and is less likely in a global economy.

I see government as poison to free enterprise. I see government as the problem and not a solution. This is the only sensible position I can see using PCT glasses. Businesses can’t make consumers buy. They can’t put you into prison if you don’t. Governments do both. They are coercive at the core. They are as bad for citizens as any business monoply.

Sorry to beat around the bush. :sunglasses:

Kenny

[From Rick Marken (2005.10.17.2220)]

Marc Abrams (2005.10.17.1543) --

Capitalism is not a zero sum game. Everyone can have a piece of the pie

A zero sum game is one where one player's gain is necessarily some other players' loss because there is only a finite amount of stuff (wealth, in the case of an economy) to go around. So if there are two people in an economy with wealth (GNP) equal to 10, then both people can certainly have a piece of the "pie" (a share of the wealth). But if one person increases the amount of wealth consumed then that necessarily decreases the amount of wealth available for consumption to the other person. For example, if one person has 5 units of wealth then the other must have 5 units as well. If the first person increases his wealth to 9 units then then second necessarily has only 1 unit available. This is how zero sum games work (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-sum). It seems to me that this is the way all economies must work. And they will work this way even if the total size of the economy (the wealth) constantly increases (in the example, if wealth goes from 10 to 20 to 100, say). It's still true that if one person gets more of the total (what ever that total value is) the other gets less.

Best

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

From [Marc Abrams (2005.10.18.0127)]

In a message dated 10/18/2005 1:24:17 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, marken@MINDREADINGS.COM writes:

[From Rick Marken (2005.10.17.2220)]

Marc Abrams (2005.10.17.1543) –

Capitalism is not a zero sum game. Everyone can have a piece of the pie

A zero sum game is one where one player’s gain is necessarily some
other players’ loss because …
Yes, this is a zero sum game.

there is only a finite amount of stuff (wealth, in the case of an economy) to go around.
No, this is a fallacy, and a huge one. In a capitalistic economy wealth is created. Wealth or the accumulation of wealth is a mercantilistic concept.

Wealth is created by new innovations and ideas and people saving and spending their money on them. The amount of money in circulation at any time is controlled by the government, or more accurately the Federal Reserve which is supposed to be non-political… We can have as much or as little in circulation as we please, or as the Federal Reserve pleases.

In fact what Adam Smith came out and railed against in the Wealth of Nations was mercantilism. You may want to read it.

So if there are two people in an economy with wealth (GNP) equal to 10, then both people can certainly have a piece of the “pie” (a share of the wealth). But if
one person increases the amount of wealth consumed then that
necessarily decreases the amount of wealth available for consumption to
the other person. For example, if one person has 5 units of wealth then
the other must have 5 units as well. If the first person increases his
wealth to 9 units then then second necessarily has only 1 unit
available. This is how zero sum games work (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-sum).
Yes, but since your original premise is false so are all the conclusions you draw from it, such as this, but thanks for the explanation of how zero-sum works, unfortunately you are not describing a capitalistic economy with it though.

It seems to me that this is the way all economies must work. And they will work this way even if the total size of the economy (the wealth) constantly increases (in the example, if wealth goes from 10 to 20 to 100, say). It’s still true
that if one person gets more of the total (what ever that total value is) the other gets less.
Ok, here is my data;

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: SECOND QUARTER 2005 (FINAL)
CORPORATE PROFITS: SECOND QUARTER 2005 (FINAL)

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property

located in the United States – increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2005,
according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP
increased 3.8 percent.

I say our GDP can and does grow, and you seem to think it does not. How do you come to this conclusion?

Regards,

Marc

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.18.0712 MDT)]

Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.17) –

I see free enterprise and free
markets as the best economic system for a society. It empowers
consumers the most. You can’t sell what someone won’t buy.
There is always the fear of an unholy monopoly. But I think this is
a rare bird and can’t be sustained over the long term and is less likely
in a global economy.

This faith is widespread, but I see no justification for calling it the
best economic system. It works better than some others have
worked, but only because the others, like communism, have gone beyond
economics and social progress to become dictatorships that repress human
freedoms. It seems to me that those capitalists who moan the loudest
about regulations and taxes are the very ones who want to get away with
polluting our air, water, and food, who want to be able to cheat and lie
and steal without regulators watching them, who want a contract to be
good only as long as it’s convenient for them, and who see nothing wrong
with paying people subsistence wages and accumulating obscene amounts of
wealth and power for themselves. If it weren’t for those small drawbacks,
capitalism would be a great system. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to
the theory.

Free enterprise is fine as long as it’s his own freedom that the
entrepreneur is thinking about. Taking risks is fine as long as you mean
risking other people’s money. The level playing field is great as long as
the entrepreneur can make the rules: the main rule is, Me First. If your
neighbors had the morals of corporations, you wouldn’t want your children
to live next to them. Just read the articles of incorporation of any
corporation. If an individual announced similar statements of purpose,
he’d be called sociopathic. Corporations do not exist for the benefit of
anyone but the corporation, and they have no responsibility to anyone or
anything else – not even the nation in which they exist, and most
definitely not to the people who operate them and use their services.
Which is weird, since without those people these fictional entities
wouldn’t even exist.

I see government as poison to
free enterprise. I see government as the problem and not a
solution.

Kenny, you’re forgetting something. The government is us. You and me, and
everyone else who lives here. It is a product of free enterprise. We
elect people to serve us, and generally we get the leaders we deserve.
It’s not some foreign invader that says we want sellers to be honest,
it’s those very consumers you think are so well taken care of who vote
for people who will devise and enforce the regulations which are the only
thing that keep the most aggressive and successful businessmen halfway
honest and enforce at least the appearance of a social conscience. They
don’t trust businesses, and for very good reasons: without regulation,
there are always businesses that run wild with greed and threaten to
wreck everything. People don’t feel empowered when they see businesses
corrupting the very government the consumers have elected to protect
themselves. They don’t feel empowered when they see the big corporations
doing away with all restraints, and getting continuously larger and more
powerful. Just the opposite! What businesses are complaining about when
they reject government is the attempt of their own customers to retain
control of their own lives instead of turning everything over to the
benevolence of entrepreneurs, those soft-hearted cuddly friends of the
downtrodden.

This is the only sensible
position I can see using PCT glasses. Businesses can’t make
consumers buy. They can’t put you into prison if you don’t.
Governments do both. They are coercive at the core. They are
as bad for citizens as any business monoply.

I trust the government a whole lot more than I trust any corporation, and
I am very glad that corporations are a little afraid of government. At
least I know that the government I vote for is supposed to live up to
certain ideals about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, equality
under the law, freedom of speech and thought. Corporations don’t give a
damn if I die as long as they can sell the casket, and their
“ideals” have nothing to do with my liberty or my pursuit of
happiness, or anything else I value more than money. They fire people who
say anything bad about their employers. All they understand is money and
power. more money and more power. If they were really people, as the law
says they are, most of us would find them loathsome. That is not how the
people I want to live around behave.

Somehow I can’t help thinking we can do better than that.

Best.

Bill P.

From [Marc Abrams (2005.10.18.1031)]

In a message dated 10/18/2005 10:08:45 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, powers_w@FRONTIER.NET writes:

I see free enterprise and free markets as the best economic system for a society.  It empowers consumers the most.  You can't sell what someone won't buy.  There is always the fear of an unholy monopoly.  But I think this is a rare bird and can't be sustained over the long term and is less likely in a global economy.

[From Bill Powers (2005.10.18.0712 MDT)]
Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.17) –
This faith is widespread, but I see no justification for calling it the best economic system.
Ok, which system do you view as currently being the ‘best’? And how did you come to this decision?

It works better than some others have worked, but only because the others, like communism, have gone beyond economics and social progress to become dictatorships that repress human freedoms.

Ok, again I ask, what do you propose is a better system and how do you come to this inference?

It seems to me that those capitalists who moan the loudest about regulations and taxes are the very ones who want to get away with polluting our air, water, and food, who want to be able to cheat and lie and steal without regulators watching them, who want a contract to be good only as long as it’s convenient for them, and who see nothing wrong with paying people subsistence wages and accumulating obscene amounts of wealth and power for themselves.
This is a very long statement and sentence. I’m not sure what you are attempting to say here, and maybe you can explain this to me, but why do you feel what you said above could not be said of any economic or political system? After all we are talking about people here are we not, or does the Empire State Building actually get to vote and spend money?

The above statement is more an indictment of how people treat one another than anything else. What am I missing here that I’m not seeing?

If it weren’t for those small drawbacks, capitalism would be a great system. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the theory.

Unfortunately you like any others misunderstand ‘capitalism’. First of all capitalism was given its name by one Karl Marx for the purpose of denigrating it, and apparently he was successful.

Second, capitalism as written about by Adam Smith was written as a descriptive, not a prescriptive theory. Along the lines of evolution. Adam Smith hoped to explain how he saw people actually conduct business between among themselves.

Economics is not, in my view a prescriptive theory, it is descriptive, but that has not stopped anyone from trying to make it normative.

Free enterprise is fine as long as it’s his own freedom that the entrepreneur is thinking about.

What makes an ‘entrepreneur’ any different from any other control system?

Taking risks is fine as long as you mean risking other people’s money.

Do you mean like government spending? Why single out the entrepreneurs?Did you buy your home for cash? If so, good for you, if not, do you have a mortgage? Why do you think borrowing money for a home so you can enjoy life a bit more is any different then borrowing money to start a business for the same purpose.

Isn’t this simply a value judgement on the part of the control system?

The level playing field is great as long as the entrepreneur can make the rules:

The entrepreneur doesn’t make the rules. The consumer does. The playing field is determined by the consumer not the producer.

As much as I might like for my idea to make a lot of money, only the consumer will decide if that is so. Unfortunately we have government often trying to tell us what is best for us.

the main rule is, Me First.

Sounds like a controlling system to me. Where do you see the differences in an entrepreneur and a politician?

If your neighbors had the morals of corporations, you wouldn’t want your children to live next to them.

Corporations have no morals any more than they have intelligence per se. Corporations like any other organization is comprised of people who have or lack morals. Why do you think a politician has any higher set of morals than any other person? As a controller how would you expect PCT to answer this?

Just read the articles of incorporation of any corporation. If an individual announced similar statements of purpose, he’d be called sociopathic. Corporations do not exist for the benefit of anyone but the corporation, and they have no responsibility to anyone or anything else – not even the nation in which they exist, and most definitely not to the people who operate them and use their services. Which is weird, since without those people these fictional entities wouldn’t even exist.

Again, this all sounds very much what you might expect from a control system. How and where does PCT show this to be coming from something else?

I see government as poison to free enterprise.  I see government as the problem and not a solution.

Kenny, you’re forgetting something. The government is us.
Bill, your forgetting corporations are us as well.

You and me, and everyone else who lives here. It is a product of free enterprise.
What does free enterprise have to do with the government?

Have you seen Red China lately? A capitalistic communistic country. Who woulda thunk this? :wink:

We elect people to serve us, and generally we get the leaders we deserve.
What does this mean?

It’s not some foreign invader that says we want sellers to be honest, it’s those very consumers you think are so well taken care of who vote for people who will devise and enforce the regulations which are the only thing that keep the most aggressive and successful businessmen halfway honest and enforce at least the appearance of a social conscience.
And who keeps the government ‘honest’? Or more precisely, the career unelected government bureaucrat who makes and enforces those wonderful regulations you speak of.

Second, at least I know the business man has an incentive for being honest; wanting my business. A government official does not answer to any individual. Ever go to a government office and ask for help?.

They don’t trust businesses, and for very good reasons:
Such as? And why would you trust a government official any more?

without regulation, there are always businesses that run wild with greed and threaten to wreck everything.
Yes, and that is also the very reason we have laws, and it seems our prisons are full of non-business people as well, although you may want to call some of these folks entrepreneurs. :wink:

People don’t feel empowered when they see businesses corrupting the very government the consumers have elected to protect themselves.
How do businesses ‘corrupt’ government? Do you really believe politicians are out there to ‘protect’ you? Why and how again, is a politician controller different from an entrepreneur controller?

They don’t feel empowered when they see the big corporations doing away with all restraints, and getting continuously larger and more powerful.
Can you give an example of a corporation or two you feel fits this description and why?

Just the opposite! What businesses are complaining about when they reject government is the attempt of their own customers to retain control of their own lives instead of turning everything over to the benevolence of entrepreneurs, those soft-hearted cuddly friends of the downtrodden.
I’m not sure why, and I’m not sure how, but I’m curious as hell as to how and why you seem to mix the behavior of people in big corporations and the behavior of entrepreneurs in the same bucket. I would think they might have different agenda’s. I could see large corporations trying to get close to government in order to enlist their help in getting anti-competitive legislation, tariffs, and regulations enacted. But an entrepreneur would want just the opposite. An entrepreneur wants the most competitive conditions to exist so he has a chance against the big boys.

I think you are placing entrepreneurs in the same category as con men and I just don’t see the evidence to back that up.

Sure there are ‘corrupt’ entrepreneurs, just as there are corrupt politicians, doctors, social workers, and UN officials. We are all controllers, so what does PCT and control have to say about all this?

This is the only sensible position I can see using PCT glasses.  Businesses can't make consumers buy.  They can't put you into prison if you don't.  Governments do both.  They are coercive at the core.  They are as bad for citizens as any business monoply.

I trust the government a whole lot more than I trust any corporation, and I am very glad that corporations are a little afraid of government.
Why? What can one do to you that another can’t?

At least I know that the government I vote for is supposed to live up to certain ideals about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, equality under the law, freedom of speech and thought.
Why do you assume this and why do you assume others want to take this away from you?

Corporations don’t give a damn if I die as long as they can sell the casket,

Did you get a condolence card from your local politician when Mary passed away?

and their “ideals” have nothing to do with my liberty or my pursuit of happiness, or anything else I value more than money.

And your local politician?

They fire people who say anything bad about their employers.

Should they give them a raise? :wink: You seemed to take much offense when I said bad things about you. How do you see yourself different from them?

All they understand is money and power. more money and more power.

Are you talking about politicians, business people, or just all people (controllers) in general here? If we are all controllers, than why are you any different than the rest of us?

If they were really people, as the law says they are, most of us would find them loathsome. That is not how the people I want to live around behave.

You can choose to live where ever you want, and under any economic or political system you find to your liking.

Somehow I can’t help thinking we can do better than that.

Maybe, but I don’t get any clues from this post how your understanding of control and PCT might help facilitate that.

I hear a very angry individual here and I don’t think it wears well on you Bill. Am I wrong in my assumption here about your anger?

I’m much more interested in some of the solutions you may have up your sleeve. Seems like a much better way of spending your time, but of course you have your reasons for controlling for the things you do, as well as we all do, politicians, entrepreneurs, and everyone else.

Regards,

Marc

Kenneth Kitzke Value Creation Systems wrote:

[From Kenny Kitzke (2005.10.17}]

<Dick Robertson,2005.10.17.1244CDT>

<Given my view of how our government and regulatory agencies
are, if not completely owned, at least mainly under the control of
producers, do you, as businessman as well as PCT subscriber, see any
hope that consumers could ever get an even playing field in regard to
things like that SEC regulation? How would it come about?>

I see free enterprise and free markets as the best economic
system for a society. It empowers consumers the most. You can’t sell
what someone won’t buy. There is always the fear of an unholy
monopoly.

OK when there is real competition, then I would agree with you, but in
the case at hand, doesn’t Borland essentially have a monopoly. Sure,
you can elect not to program with Pascal or Delphi, but supposing
you’ve got a huge library of programs that you still want to work
with, and they say, “We’ve got a new product and we don’t support our
old ones anymore, and the new product has the [indicated] slipouts for
us.” What then?

Best,

Dick R.

···

But I think this is a rare bird and can’t be sustained over the
long term and is less likely in a global economy.

I see government as poison to free enterprise. I see government
as the problem and not a solution. This is the only sensible position
I can see using PCT glasses. Businesses can’t make consumers buy.
They can’t put you into prison if you don’t. Governments do both.
They are coercive at the core. They are as bad for citizens as any
business monoply.

Sorry to beat around the bush. :sunglasses:

Kenny