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Mike Champion scripsit:
> I'm a bit distressed to see the list wander off into the Capitalism
> thread, but hey, at least the posts aren't in rhyme!
Well, no reason why not:
There was a man named Henry George
Of land monop'ly quite the scourge.
Wealth, said he, is what we make
For profit or consumption's sake:
Stone axe, print book, or Jedi saber,
We make them with Capital, Land, and Labor.
The natural world, you understand,
Is what economists mean by "Land";
Including sea and sky and soil,
And iron, forests, coal, and oil.
"Capital"'s wealth used for production;
On "Labor" we need no instruction.
The return on Labor we call "Wages"
(All this is written on many pages,
Paper and Web; I can barely tap it all);
"Interest" is what's paid to Capital.
And those who by some accident
Own Land, we pay them what's called "Rent".
This maxim Henry carved in stone:
OURSELVES, OURSELVES ARE WHAT WE OWN.
The products of our mind and hand
Are at no other man's command.
But what is not of our own making
Is anyone's at all for taking,
Provided (this point is due to Locke)
They leave enough so as not to block
Others from taking Land as good
That still is free, it's understood.
If this is so, then why endure
So many who are so very poor?
Simple: we've decided to pay
All Rent to those who (as we say)
By hook or crook have gotten hold
By being there first and being bold.
Then they, or their heirs, get to collect
(Waking or sleeping) what they expect
The traffic will bear. The rest of us
Must pay what they ask, without any fuss,
Or else go scratch -- for without Land
There is no scope for mind or hand.
The amount of Land is fixed, you know,
Higher prices won't make it grow.
(The self-same law we can construe
Of those who own ideas too.)
Why should the rest of us pay Rents
To their current recipients?
Their title's not one we should endorse,
It is commonly based on force.
Instead, community Rent collection
(The so-called "Single Tax") based on inspection
And assessment, would be just
And pay for services that we must
Have, like national defense,
Safe water, protection of innocence.
What's this to do with XML?
Quite a bit. You see, Ideas as well
As Land belong to all mankind.
If we technologists allow the blind
And greedy to enclose this space,
A commons of the human race,
We and our children will be paying
Forevermore (it goes without saying)
To Concept-owners, past all praying.
So by this maxim be impressed,
USE THE TOOLS THAT WORK THE BEST.
Do not yield your sovereign judgement,
To any sort of political fudgement.
The criterion of sound design
Should be, must be, your guideline.
And if you're designing documents,
Try RNG. We charge no rents.
John Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_