"But this is the state of politics in the 21st century. Where cutthroat, greedy-ass corporations that only care about profit margins and how large their bank accounts are take a walk while regular people like you and me get screwed over trivial things."
Oh, you mean that the corporations are only interested in profiting, good for them - go corporations. How does a corporation in a free market profit? By uncoerced trade. Which means someone must make the decision to purchase (which means the option to not trade remains). Who do you think has raised the standard of living so dramatically in industrialized nations (and to the degree that a nation is free, the standard of living rises)? Why, corporations have; gee maybe they should be punished!
Define 'regular people.' There is no such thing as a 'regular person.' There are only individuals.
Oh and, comeon, you could at least quote Marx if you're going to be a collectivist. He stated all this in far more eloquent terms.
Someone that will rail against corporations who seek profit by free-trade, will proclaim that it is ok to take (rob) an individual's profit (earned wages) at gun point in the form of 'taxes.' Although they'll tend to say that it isn't necessary to use such language as 'force,' or 'robbery,' or 'gun point.'
The fundamental difference, is that in a free society, a corporation *earns* it's profits by voluntary trade; a government *takes* taxes at gun point. It is the difference between economic power, and political power - something that extremely few individuals understand.
"Microsoft and their linked corporations had a virtual monopoly. Do NOT try to deny this. What's happening now? A government that once tried to do the right thing in getting them to break up is suddently their biggest fan, all because of a leader change."
There is nothing inherently wrong with a monopoly in a free market. It is a coercive monopoly, which can only be created by the government, that is a problem. For instance, the power generation and distribution system in America is mostly ruled by coercive monopolies, who are protected by the threat of force. Other industries that have been treated the same way include telecom, aerospace, and the railroads. Microsoft is one of the first corporations to have gained a significant (near monopoly) share of a market without the assistance of the government (through franchises, subsidies, etc.); Intel is another.
You have a warped sense of "the right thing," of course this coming from someone that believes it is ok to initiate the use of force (force being what supports the government's ability to institute regulations on the economy).
"Thanks to this and many other incidents that protect businesses at the expense of the common citizen, it's no longer the United States of America."
Define 'common citizen.' Does that not include the individuals who work for Microsoft that are being punished? (what do you think a corporation is anyway? it is a number of individuals working together) Apparently not, you little collectivist. It is the United States of America; but the remnants of what made this country great - capitalism - are being obliterated. It is often wondered what has enabled America to achieve the greatest level of prosperity, political stability, and freedom in the history of the world, it is capitalism (and a limited version at that).
The greater the level of capitalism present in a political system, the greater the level of freedom. Red China? no capitalism... no freedom. Soviet Russia? no capitalism... no freedom. Nazi Germany? no capitalism... no freedom. Most of Africa? no capitalism... no freedom (the lack of property rights being why Africa is a mess, property rights being a fundamental part of capitalism). The connection isn't difficult to make. Why has Europe been going in a cycle of destruction for 1500 years? no capitalism (which leaves force, i.e. seizure and plunder as the only means to acquire wealth; which is what Hitler and all the tyrants before him attempted).
"Makes me re-affirm my anarchist beliefs every goddamn day..."
Anarchy leads to multiple factions fighting eachother in tribal warfare, rather than one constitutionally limited government whose job it is to protect individual rights (individual rights being something that can only be violated by the use of force, and corollaries to force).
"Well I'll be damned, money really can you buy you everything. I wonder whose palms MS greased to get the previous ruling overturned? I'm sure President Bush is going to have a larger than normal campaign budget for the next Presidential election. Gee, I wonder where he will be getting all of his money?..."
Microsoft shouldn't have to buy off anyone; there should be seperation of state and economics for the same reason there is a seperation of state and religion. No, money won't buy you everything; it won't buy you rationality, integrity, or self-esteem.
"He he, didn't expect anything else from Bush & Co. Ahhh, there's nothing like a solid corrupt government. U-S-A,U-S-A,U-S-A,U-S-A.....
*Flo is from germany and you shouldn't take his comments about US politics too serious*"
Your disclaimer doesn't let you off.
Germany has produced several of the most evil men in history; from Immanuel Kant, to Karl Marx, to Hitler - all learning from the previous. I fear to see what comes next.
"I will try to avoid any one-sided comments and say that I do think it is important that we have regulations to make things fair, that there are adequate punishments for those that break these regulations, and it's important that we continuously watch both sides of the equation."
This is the classic "don't go to extremes" argument. The bit about "one-sided comments" is another way of saying it. You say you will try to avoid one-sided arguments; what if one side of the argument is correct, will you avoid it?
Evil by itself is impotent, middle of the roaders give it power; in any mixture between good and evil it is only the evil that has something to gain - middle of the roaders act as the delivery device for the evil.
You think it is ok to punish someone who breaks regulations? What if the regulations are wrong, immoral or evil? Which in this case they are; anti-trust laws (beyond being immoral) are impossible to follow, and are so on purpose. Anti-trust law was established to give politicians further power over the economy (and tens of thousands of controls have necessarily spread from there).
Anti-trust is a realm of law where one only knows they are guilty afterward. Every business is guilty of some violation when it comes to anti-trust, it is an issue of who gets prosecuted. Here, you try and comply with this (and then make sure you understand every single prior anti-trust case):http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/foia/divisionmanual/ch2.htm
"Antitrust cases were made to prevent one company from buying say all PC markets and then 5xing the price."
The amount of existing, erroneous information on how the free market works is ridiculous.
If a company bought all of the PC makers, and then 'fixed' the prices, say, to a point where consumers were paying $10,000 per computer - competition would be created overnight by the equity markets, because there would be a lot of money to be made by undercutting that $10k price. Hell, I would start a PC company and undercut the price. This is why there can be no such thing as a harmful monopoly in a capitalistic political system. Beyond that, it is a corporation's right to charge whatever it wants to for *it's* product/s - it is called property rights, and without property rights there is no such thing as freedom.
A corporation in a capitalistic system has no ability to block new competition from entering the market, and if they try to by using force, it is the government's job to retaliate.
Microsoft doesn't see a lot of competition in the operating system market for a couple of reasons. They don't charge a price that is high enough, such that a new company has incentive to make the huge investment necessary to compete with them; and while there is a lot of money to be made, Microsoft's product satisfies what consumers want (that is, the quality of the product is such that consumers, in the tens of millions, buy it). Linux is presenting a potentially superior overall offer: cheaper and better quality, and it is gaining market share in the server market for such reasons.
Steve Jobs and Apple could have filled the role Microsoft did, Jobs happens to mostly suck at business - or he would have positioned Apple to fill slot in the PC sector that Microsoft did (instead he chose to keep the market for Apple's products 'closed'). Microsoft's competition has completely failed to compete - Sun, Oracle, AOL, etc. whine and complain, but haven't created an operating system in an attempt to rival Microsoft.
The funding of the government attack on Microsoft by their competition is an issue of envy.