From: Amram, Oren
Sent: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 2:46 PM
Subject: Property Regime ? from Mr. Lahn
Dear Professor Perritt,
I reviewed Mr. Lahn's analysis and was looking through the materials for your response but could not find it. I would like to know if you are providing this document to us because you agree with these theories and would like us to learn them. Although I have many problems with Mr. Lahn's analysis, I would like to give you a few examples that clearly defeat his argument:
First, in the long run, a creator of music will have no choice but to stop making the music for public enjoyment. This is because it would cost him more to produce the music than he can recover in sales revenue. Therefore, his resources will eventually be depleted no matter how wealthy he currently is. Yes, to Mr. Lahn's point, the music creator will always be able to sing to himself or to find another creative way to enjoy his passion for music. However, the quality of production and his ability to share his works with others will be limited in a capitalistic society such as ours.
Now, the farming example and related instinct to sustain life actually supports a different proposal. That is, a person who cannot make money to survive by following his true talents and passions, will naturally seek different ways to use his time more efficiently in order to survive. For example, if the music creator did not eat anything for a week, but if he knew that he can work at a restaurant and make money to buy a slice of bread, his survival instincts may drive him to do just that. Therefore, here again we have inefficient use of capital.
Next, I have a problem with distinguishing between the middlemen and the creator for the purpose of Mr. Lahn's analysis. No matter how you view it, the end result is that the creator will not get paid for his works. Whether it be the middleman or a random guy off the street that is supposed to make such payment. Therefore, efficient productivity of music will eventually come to a halt as a matter of limited capital. Even if we accept the idea that the middlemen is a critical element to the analysis, if the middlemen is out of business then the music creator's quality of life is indirectly affected. For example, unemployment will grow and people will spend less money on music.
At the end of the day, it's all about money. You need money to purchase inputs that create your work and you need money to live your life in general. How much you need is a different story, but if you get nothing then we have a problem.