13 May, 2007

Improving gas mileage using the free market.

Senate or House has recently passed an increased mileage standard: in 2020 cars will have to make at least 35 miles using a gallon of fuel -- like a non-hybrid Civic could do 20 years ago. Woo-hoo!

Certainly, automakers aren't happy. I suppose, if left alone they'd still make horse-driven carriages. Proven technology and all, the public would buy anything, as long as it is domestic, reliable, etc.

So it would seem the so called free market needs constant kicking and prodding in order to produce something that is actually good for general public. Or, as a pedantic reader would say, monopolies should be restricted - which is rather tough to do with car makers, telecoms, cell phone makers and pharmaceutical companies. In other words, if an industry that produces something more advanced than shovels or firewood, there would be just a few big companies, monopolies de facto. Interestingly, these are the very industries that affect peoples' lives the most. ;)

Neo-monarchy to the rescue! Instead of wasting time and taxpayers' money for discussing only marginally useful laws, our ideal monarch would instead parallelize the monopolies' with the public interest. Being true to his despotic, non-democratic self, he'd severely limit the freedom of the few individuals. As you might have guessed, he'd prohibit car makers high management to buy gasoline for their transportation. Instead, he'd give them 20 gallons per week, 5 extra for Labor Day weekend. I am fairly certain all the cars they make would soon be able to travel from Detroit to LA and back using half of those 20 gallons.

Free market wins, as usual!

04 May, 2007

Getting rid of the money, part 2.

So, after solving the pharmaceuticals problem, the wise monarch has his wrathful eyes on the cell phone makers. By nothing but assuming a weasely conspiracy can he explain the reason why different cell phones have non-matching power/USB cords. Really, all phones do have very similar buttons, with the same numbers and letters on them, and Answer button is green, Hang-Up button is red, so there are some standards which could cover the power and the data cords, too.

This conspiracy extends to other devices, not just cell phones, and even to the devices made by the same company. His Majesty's grand vizier has a camcorder and a still camera from Sony, and these devices have power cords incompatible with each other and neither of them can charge off USB. Clearly, it's more profitable this way: should you get, say, the camcorder charger compromised by a puppy, you won't be able to use neither of the million chargers you already have in your house, nor any of a billion mini-USB cables lying around will be of any help. And once your dear camcorder starts blinking a red LED and beeping pitifully, you'd run into the nearest electronics store to get a new charger, made by guess whom?

But nothing is impossible for the wise king: and again he would strike the offenders right into their board of directors, setting a limit on the percentage of the devices manufactured by their company that they can use, unit-wise (e.g. if a Samsung executive has 4 cell phones and 4 notebooks in his house, 8 devices total, only, say, 20% of them -- 2 -- can be Samsung-made). Plus, these highly-privileged persons would be stripped from one little privilege: they wouldn't be allowed to buy any chargers while holding their office, but would be only able to borrow them from other people -- including the directors of their competitors or even complete strangers on the street.

After being unable to charge their personal gadgets a couple of times, after begging strangers for a charger, they'd call a secret meeting and unify the power sockets across devices, thus entering a collusion that we, the public, can benefit from, for a change.

Again, the wise neo-monarch proves that the free market can benefit the public, no matter what commies say. Only very little regulation is needed, most people won't even notice it :)