Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lesson 34: Why Does Government Kill Initiative?

Radley Balko has written a great summary on the PayPal Wars and just how the federal and state regulatory agencies, cheered on by our society's typical fascist-consumer-advocacy control-freaks, managed to kill PayPal - or, at least, cripple the company just enough to preclude its revolutionary objectives. As Balko explains, Governments are jealous of their power and will never allow something like "freedom" and private initiative to hinder that power:
PayPal’s story is a sad but instructive lesson in how this country treats its entrepreneurs. PayPal is huge and growing. With eBay branding, it now boasts 73 million users, making it by far the largest online payment service. But it’s nothing like what it was intended to be: a way for people to protect the money they earn from greedy governments and protect private purchases from the prying eyes of regulators. Greedy governments and prying regulators saw to that. The company sold out to eBay not because eBay beat it in the marketplace, not because eBay offered a better product, and not to reap a financial windfall for PayPal employees. PayPal sold out because, after the beating it took from those claiming to represent the interests of consumers, selling itself was the only way to keep the company alive. Exactly how consumers benefited from that isn’t clear.
Land of liberty, my Scotch-Irish arse. Read the entire article here. Highly recommended.


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