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Dan Fylstra

American computer industry entrepreneur, president of Frontline Systems Inc., co-founder of VisiCorp (which published the first spreadsheet software in 1979) and founding Associate Editor of BYTE Magazine in 1975


Pandora's box is open. The impact of politics on our livelihoods is growing every day, and we don't know what to do about it. Most of us would rather avoid thinking about or spending time on politics - we'd rather be creating new technology, and satisfying more customer wants and needs. Many of us, if asked, would echo the classic cry laissez faire - leave us alone! But the politicians won't leave us alone. Because of our relative lack of sophistication and lack of involvement in politics, we are on the defensive. We're likely to end up on the short end of any compromise...

1998 - from "Opening Pandora's Box", a warning about government intervention in the Microsoft case and the growing politicization of business
Most of us cling to the notion, or at least the hope, that [government bureaucrats] will somehow act intelligently in the public interest, and things will turn out OK. We've never examined public choice theory, which predicts that in the public sector as in the private sector, key players will pursue their own self-interest, not the broad public interest. ... The results for consumers... are beside the point, as long as we are not that politically influential. Indeed, public choice theory predicts that a political system like ours will transfer wealth from the politically unorganized to the politically influential. The ideal outcome, from the politicians' viewpoint, is that we all become supplicants, on an ongoing basis, fighting among ourselves for the favors that only they can hand out.

1998 - from "Opening Pandora's Box", a warning about government intervention in the Microsoft case and the growing politicization of business