Greetings, fellow free-marketeers

What's news today?

June 1998

-- In a stunning vindication of the power of consumer choice and market responsiveness to individual demand, AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS announced today it intends to acquire MONSANTO for $34.4 billion in stock. "We started talking recently and it made sense to put our companies together," said John R. Stafford, chairman, president, and chief executive of American Home Products. "Everything that appears is good, and everything good will appear -- these are the guiding principles we use to determine how best to deliver value to our customers and shareholders."

-- The deficiencies of centralized planning were demonstrated in a particularly brutal way as tornadoes swept the northwestern and midwestern sections of the United States, killing two in New York state, and effectively destroying the small city of Spenser, South Dakota. Wall Street's response to the disasters was a chorus of I-told-you-so's. "Until the National Weather Bureau puts weather and atmospheric conditions under modern market control, we can continue to expect such Stalinist atrocities," said Jon. S. Corzine, senior partner at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Corzine dismissed claims that weather and atmospheric phenomena are physical rather than economic as outdated. "The fall of the Soviet Union demonstrated once and for all that it is the laws of the market, not history or matter, that are the final determinants of reality," he claimed.

-- Fears that the Fed will raise interest rates in the near term were assuaged by the release yesterday of a Treasury Department report showing that the rate of use-value continues to fall. "No growth in real income coupled with unrestrained growth in rentier capital can only mean the proletariat -- I mean middle class -- is content with its continuing impoverishment -- I mean standard of living," according to a Treasury Department official who declined to be identified. Locally, New York deputy mayor Randy M. Mastro cited the transfer of lots from community garden organizations to real estate developers as a prime example of government and private industry working together to keep citizens expectations low.

-- A little noticed side effect of the government's anti-trust case against Microsoft has been the repeal of Brooks's Law. Both industry and government sources say that the law, which requires productivity on group software projects to fall as more programmers are added to a team, was a serious hinderance to continued American competitiveness in the software industry. Industry sources expressed guarded optimism that the 2nd law of thermodynamics might also be repealed in the wake of this reform. "The repeal of the entropy law would remove a significant legislative obstacle to further innovation not only in semiconductors but also many basic industries," said Andy Grove, CEO of Intel.

Reported by Hector Rotweiller:



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