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Essay/Term paper: Government intervention

Essay, term paper, research paper:  High School Essays

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It is not only unnecessary for the government to intervene to maintain a free market, it is extremely wrong. Intervention by any outside party in corporate matters is inappropriate and basically contradicts the meaning of a free market.

There are some positive effects government intervention could produce. These pros are, in fact, few, and questionable, at that. Take for instance, the situation with Microsoft. The government is sticking its nose in where it doesn't belong. Let's try and get passed that point for a moment and examine the good that could come out of government intervention.

One possible pro to this intervention is that it would most likely create a more equal market (not "fair market.") The term "fair market" is like an oxymoron in this case because basically the government is saying, "Hi, we're the United States government and we're sorry but we cannot let you continue to run your business. Although you have spent your life working to improve and simplify the computer industry, we simply feel you have made too much money." How is this in any way fair? In some people's eyes it is for the best of the economy and the computer industry, but it is definitely not fair. For the government to break down Microsoft, a multi-billion dollar company would be ridiculous. True, maybe the market would be more equal. No more mammoth company, just moderately sized companies. This could be a pro. But who is the government to decide that a company is too large? And if so where is the line drawnone billiontwo billiontwenty billion?

One other possible pro to government intervention in the Microsoft case would be that smaller, newer companies would have a "fairer" shot at being recognized. Once again, the term "fair" is open to discussion. What is considered to be fair to some can be completely unfair to others. Smaller computer companies would undoubtedly have a better chance at becoming popular. However, people are free to do whatever they want. No one forces people to use Microsoft applications. They are simply put, the most user-friendly, simple but efficient programs that happen to be compatible with a great deal of PCs. Microsoft was that small, unknown company once too. They had no help from the government in their quest for fame and fortune, why should other companies?

The few pros to government intervention are arguable. Now let us discuss the cons to government intervention. Government intervention is in no way necessary to maintain a fair market. Economic power is not as dangerous as people think. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. What does that mean? It means that I am struggling to buy a 1994 Ford Explorer, and Bill Gates, wellhe can buy Ford (and GM and Daimler Chrysler and anything else he wants.) Big deal. He has economic power. Economic power is the power to produce and it requires intellect. Bill Gates works hard and is a very wealthy man. He still has no political power. He still has no military power. Political and military powers are the power to enforce and punish. Gates has no such power. He is a smart man who found Harvard boring and dropped out to start a small computer business out of a garage. Bill Gates made it to the top and now the government wants to take it away from him. It is morally wrong. That is a con to government intervention. It is just plain wrong. How can the government take something that someone worked hard to earn? I know what you're thinking"don't they do that to me every April?" Very funny but lets be serious here. There is no reason for the government to intervene in cases like this. Bill Gates did not use hostile takeovers, price gauging or any cut throat tactics to get to where he is. He simply had the best product around and it caught on incredibly well. Gates provides all of his applications- a web browser, a word processor, a database, a spreadsheet and more at a fair price (about 5% of the cost of a PC.) Maybe smaller companies can't afford to give so much away at a competitive price, but that's not Bill Gate's problem, nor is it the government's place to intervene. The government makes Gates out to be a tyrant. He does not force anyone to use his programs. So don't buy his programs. Don't give him any of your hard-earned money. What will happen? Reports like this may take four hours longer to complete, that's about it. Try that with the government. Refuse to send them any of your hard-earned money. Who's going to come knocking on your door? The government or the 20 billion-dollar man?

Another con to intervention in economic matters like the Microsoft case is that the government is more worried about trying to stop Bill Gates from becoming richer, which is not against the law, than trying to stop actual lawbreakers. There are so many more productive things the government can be doing. The capitalistic system we live in is based on individual rights. Those who generate wealth should be the rightful owners of it. Capitalism is supposed to protect individual rights and property. It is supposed to protect good and punish evil. Nothing is ever said about an excess of wealth being evil in Capitalism. In the Microsoft case, the government is sticking to Marxist ideals more than Capitalist ones. Marxists believed that profits accumulated to property and property was equal to theft. This is what our government basically saying.

Microsoft may well be a monopoly. It is a huge powerhouse corporation that can afford to give its products away for dirt cheap to control the market. There are, however other options. There are other programs for IBM computers and there is also the option of using a Macintosh system. There are other programs that are good, and the new Macintosh computers have proven to be faster than the latest Pentiums. Why, then? Why is Microsoft the leader? The answer is Bill Gate's work is done well. It is user friendly, innovative and works with the majority of PCs. No other company's product is used more widespread than Bill Gates. Even the prosecutors putting him on trial probably use his programs. He should be left alone. He has done no one any harm. He makes life easier for the non computer literate, and has made thousands of employees and shareholders millionaires. He has used fair business practices and started from nothing.

Even if Microsoft is a monopoly, it will not end the free market system. If anything, the government will ruin it. A free market should mean it is free of everything excluding commerce, including government intervention.


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