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February 16th, 2013

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on.

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  1. Marisan
    February 17th, 2013 at 16:14 | #1

    Re Eddie Obeid et al: (And there is a lot of Als)
    It’s only the middle class that is shocked by this. They thought they were special.
    Those of us down the bottom are long accustomed to being ripped off by Eddie and all the “et als”
    Welcome to our life.
    Eddie and co best be aware that their actions will not be tolerated for much longer.
    There is only so far that a population will allow themselves to be pushed before they react.
    Now the Middle Class are in our boat.
    Wait until they realise that.

  2. David C
    February 17th, 2013 at 17:08 | #2

    I guess the people who should feel most ripped off are the farmers who sold their land to the Obeids for a song. But coal mining generally seems to be a corrupting business.

  3. Stephenroger
    February 17th, 2013 at 20:45 | #3

    Obeid came from the streets of Beirut. What about the wealthy so called businessmen without whom this deal could never be made? What excuse is there for their greed? Meanwhile all the attention is on Obeid and they walk. Shades of AWB where Downer and Vaile were sheltered from the consequences of their negligence. Some things never change!

  4. David C
    February 23rd, 2013 at 15:23 | #4

    In actual fact the land was purchased from an associate of the Packer family and it was the winning of the mining exploration license that was allegedly corrupt. I imagine that like in Queensland the state controls who can mine a mineral resource and not the land owner.

  5. Jim Rose
    February 24th, 2013 at 16:43 | #5

    On john’s remark “Intellectual property is a terrible idea, and we should be glad it’s being undermined”, David Levine made a great case against patents in the 2013 issue of JEP.

    Going great guns until he discussed pharmaceuticals: weak in explaining how a drug company would get back a $1b investment in a new wonder drug.

    Levein’s good point was before pharmaceutical patents were introduced in Italy in 1978, that country accounted for 8% of new pharmaceutical discoveries worldwide. After this introduction of patents, that percentage dropped to practically zero. Somewhat similar falling pattern when the Swiss introduced drug patents.

    Levine was very good on how strong patent laws can hold up R&D of others.

    Disclosure of trade secrets is not a rationale for patents. Lawyers advise R&D clients to never look at patent applications because it can be used as evidence that of copying. Better way to avoid treble damages is to never look at the patents of others to get ideas.

    A good short version of Levine’s case is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-k-levine/save-the-whales-abolish-p_b_286929.html he argues well.

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