Apple has just today been found guilty of e-book price-fixing, as we predicted three years back would and should happen. The only question leading up to that verdict has been to asses whether our government would be savvy enough to understand why, and on what specific legal grounds it would be able to convict Apple.
Yet, I am less interested in Apple’s legal culpability than in Apple’s economic culpability. An economic culpability that is judged by a government with a very dubious understanding of free-market economies itself, and some very disturbing implementations as a result (as I describe in many of my other blogs on that subject).
“We are thinking of making a push for free-markets on next year’s agenda” is what a member of Congress told me during my visit to Capitol Hill six months ago. Evidence that free-market mechanisms in some 237 years of our independence have not, and are not engrained in the “operating system” that runs the economics of our country.
As a 20-year Apple fan, way before Apple’s distinctive vision became a reality recognized by many others, I see today’s verdict not as a testament of Apple’s malice but as an overreach that virtually every company, driven by public market pressures in their many previously unchallenged attempts to wall off competition, is guilty of. The verdict proves technology can no longer merely roam free and remain unaccountable (as I predicted also). Which sends a clear signal to the technology industry to grow up, and deploy economics that allows technology, aided by the global coverage of the internet, to broadly and responsibly encircle the world.
Face economic fallacies first
Apple, under Steve Jobs’ direction, has done a splendid job of deploying vectors of technology that produce more tangible social economic value, albeit in some cases by taking precarious advantage of greater-fool economics, legislation that was lacking, or legislation in desperate need of curbing unbridled freedoms, that would then allow all marketplace participants to separate a man from a thief.
Apple is in a unique spot. Because it is winning the technology battle, with its competitors still stuck in a rut from the past (while their desperate and disparate vectors still manage to convince the entrenched greater-fool).
Because of that leadership, Apple is faced with the discovery of the economic fallacies we have deployed (and sold across the world), first. And given the silly political battles, that despite our country’s daunting economic challenges seem to take precedence over the acceleration of sound economic policies on Capitol Hill, Apple is likely to face an even greater wrath of flawed economics, that are beyond ripe for reinvention.
A new vector for Apple
I urge Tim Cook to deploy a new vector of innovation Steve Jobs (admittedly) could have never envisioned. And that is to serve the invention of renewable economics, that is driven by technology as an imperative tool, to our government on a silver platter.