THE REASON FOR THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS
THE PROTECTIVE PATENT
The protective patent and the reasons for it is the root of all the current world economic problems.
In a nutshell, most real improvements in already established products will cost more than any gain/profit from making them!!
For more than a century, it has been well known in the product marketplace that the retooling, new advertising and redistributing of really progressive model improvements will cost the maker more than it will make in profits for doing so.
Hence, the protective patent:
Large manufacturers scour all new patents to find any really path-breaking new patents. Such patents are few and far between. Possibly one in a million or at least one in many thousands. The truly important patents are then bought up, protected, and stored away instead of being brought out to the market.
This practice of not bringing out real advances and letting the old out-dated products continue as long as they still make money has been the practice of the marketplace for over a century now.
Today, with the current demise of the marketplace and our many other problems, we are in the final, ultimate results of this awful practice, and there is no foreseeable way out, other than governments financing the losses that bringing out viable products will cause, if that is still possible (by which, I mean: if there will still be enough money available to do so).
Today, we finally have come to the moment where new products are absolutely necessary to both save the world and to give people products that they will still feel a need to buy, instead of continuing on with their old out-dated products that still work, however imperfectly. Since WW II, the world has gone through a long period of fast improvement in most products and economies that allowed easy buying of new features they wanted. But key features that were necessary and should have been brought out long ago, such as climate-saving features and features that made us fuel efficient and independent of oil, were not brought out, because they would have entailed complete retooling and production changes that cost more than any gain from bringing them out.
In other words, the money to finance those improvements was simply not there, because those improvements will not generate enough profit to pay for them!!!!!!!!
That statement is the heart of the current economic demise.
Like Mother Courage, in Brecht’s great masterpiece ”Mother Courage“, after bargaining too long to save both her son and and her profits, and then hearing the shots that killed her son, she says ”I think I have bargained too long” (Ich glaub ich hab zu lang gehandelt). And then, to add horror to misery, she has to look right at her dead son, as they carry him in, and not let on that he is her son, or they would kill all the rest of the people there. After they pass by, she collapses. That is the current state of the world markets. And no one wants to let on what they have done by protecting and not bringing out the advances that would have saved the marketplace, for fear that they would be blamed and punished.
The world markets have waited and bargained way too long for making green products, oil-free products, new products that really are different from the old junk and not just a new screw here and a new convenience there. And now, especially with the current economy, the money just is not there for them to design the necessary products and retool to bring them out. It is too late. People can use their present inefficient cars and their present old-model computers for a long time without buying new. And there are no rewards for buying new. And also, because of the economy, even the old products are not selling. So there are fewer jobs and fewer people to buy anything anyway.
This is a horrible vicious circle that has been long coming and will not go away soon. Certainly not by itself.
Like Mother Courage, the world has bargained too long on the old stuff. And now the means for bringing out the new and changing everything for the new needs is not there. It has been killed by the protective patent reasoning and mentality. And Government has not done what was necessary to underwrite the necessary technologies.
Also, any plan to improve the economy, especially long term, has to include funding for bringing out new models and new improvements, without thought of eventual profits from doing so. And it must also contain the absolutely firmest controls to ensure this use of provided money, because it is the long-term mentality of modern business to try to side-step any such costly items and pocket the money instead.
That, exactly, is what the government should be doing. And most important is that it do so in a fashion that makes sure the moneys are used solely for the purpose of covering the cost of bringing out all necessary products for global recovery, fuel efficiency, and real technical advances that are expensive to implement, and for absolutely no other purposes whatsoever.
©2008 Mark B. Anstendig. All rights reserved.
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