A couple days ago Scott Adams did a Periscope in which he endorsed a universal single payer plan. If Scott, who is respected among the ‘right’, can get away with left-wing ideas and still be respected, why can’t I. Here is my crazy left-wing idea.
Most people when they think of nationalization, they think of auto companies and bank bailouts, but what if an already successful company were nationalized?
My idea is the nationalization of Microsoft: the US govt. buying out Microsoft (or the Windows division of it) for a large premium (so it’s not like shareholders lose money in this deal).
My reasoning is:
–Windows is arguably the most important software program in existence. Millions of people and thousands of businesses and govt. agencies depend on it.
–Windows is an okay product but sub-par, full of bugs and glitches. My windows 10 and 8 laptops are worse then the windows 7 one. In fact, the latest version of Windows are so bad that people were paying a premium for Windows 7, because it’s reliable and easy to use relative to 8 and 10. https://www.cultofmac.com/211604/people-hate-windows-8-so-much-theyll-pay-125-to-downgrade-to-windows-7-image/
–Because Windows has no competitors and few good alternatives, Microsoft’s main focus is not on making a better product, but one that is profitable enough to satisfy Wall St. This means Microsoft’s pursuit pf profit possibly comes at the cost of reliability. The economy is being held back by a product that could be better. The US govt. buying Microsoft and then devoting its resources to making the best of version of Windows possible (one that has fewer bugs, fewer freezes, better usability ,etc) could potentially boost the US economy via improved productivity. Windows 8 for example was so bad that (and this my own theory) that it shaved off a bit of GDP due to decreased PC sales and loss of productivity from people finding it hard to use.
–Milton Friedman, when asked about deadly automobile fuel tank fires, remarked that to make a car that has zero fires would cost so much that no one would be able to afford it. The small risk of fire is the cost having an automobile that is affordable. This is a valid point, and I agree. But in the case of Windows, unlike cars, there are no good alternatives, and a huge amount of the economy depends on Windows working. Milton Friedman would object to this, but I think that the high initial cost of the buyout would be offset, over many years, by increased productivity and GDP growth. A few tenths of a percent over many years ads up.
There is no guarantee gov-Windows will be better than what exists, but one possibility would be to have two versions then let people decide which is better.
Two obv. objections are that that is may lead to a slippery slope. Why stop at Microsoft. What about other large companies. Second, part of the problem is not Windows, but rather the hardware. Hard drives, for example fail, but this not the fault of Microsoft.