An article on yesterday’s Slate elicited two responses from me:
a) zOMG there’s a decent article on Slate!
b) The narrative that Jobs was the marketeer and Wozniak the brains behind the AppleCo ‘counter-culture’ creed isn’t new, but it does highlight the failure of Classical economics to provide the best product for the lowest price: Namely, that we have what is less than a computer for the cost of a computer, driven mostly by the double forces of an uninformed consumer public and the propaganda of ceaseless advertising campaigns.
The market’s constant efforts at undermining itself – socializing liability, fostering monopolies and keeping everybody as uninformed as possible – is tantamount to piracy, when all is said and done. While paying off reviewers to gawp at inferior products sold at higher prices isn’t as insidious as, say, selling tainted baby food and stonewalling government inquiries, it comes from the same mode of short-term economic reasoning, and is hypocritical when those very same industries yell at foreign countries for resisting globalization.
It stems from the barriers to competition – entry costs, disinformation, etc (indeed, by this definition all advertising is by nature a lie and most economic reporting and journalism is tainted, just like, well, most regular reporting and journalism) – and is most hilarious in that it comes from within. Capitalism was always a crock, propped up by socialism every time it failed (which is just about every five to ten years), and it never learns, if Apple is any indicator.