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The Gilder Friday Letter v.96.0

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    =================================== from Gilder Publishing THE FRIDAY LETTER e-mailed weekly, for friends and subscribers ... Issue 96.0/February 28, 2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2003
      from Gilder Publishing
      e-mailed weekly, for friends and subscribers
      | http://www.gilder.com/ |

      Issue 96.0/February 28, 2003

      * The Week/Let Them Eat Fiber
      * Friday Feature/Charlatans and Cranks
      * Friday Bonus/ Biosensors Are Not Bioshields
      * Poll Question/
      * Readings
      * Subscribe / Unsubscribe

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      THE WEEK/Let Them Eat Fiber
      To the annals of arrogant irresponsibility-along with "Let them eat cake,"
      "Saw off California and float it out to sea," and "depends how you define
      sex"-can now be added a new shining example of suicidal insouciance.
      Perpetrator of the new "What me worry" madness is the Federal
      Communications Commission, which under the leadership of Michael Powell and
      his one-time prot�g� Kevin Martin, are inharmoniously fiddling away amid
      the smoldering cinders of the communications sector.

      Although the ostensible explanations are hard to hear through the hiss of
      the Washington rumor mill, detectable themes include: "Give telecom to the
      states"..."Let them eat fiber"...and "Saw off broadband and float it to
      Asia." Indeed, the largest effect of the fiddling is to surrender U.S.
      leadership in communications technology to beleaguered South Korea and to
      China, supposedly still a developing country.

      Powell commendably promised "fast and furious" deregulatory changes. But
      last week he said reforms should be phased in over another two years.
      Meanwhile, Martin's bright idea is that the industry submit to the mercies
      of 50 state public utilities commissions. As the FCC split the broadband
      baby in two and minced it in with the bathwater in an incredibly muddled
      decision last week, everybody seems to believe that telecom disputes are
      special interest pettifoggery between long-distance and local rather than
      the expression of huge changes in the industry that make all such
      categories irrelevant.

      In an era when it costs no more to call across the continent than to call
      across the street, a states-rights pricing system is an egregious
      absurdity. Improving potential cost effectiveness at a rate of some six-
      fold every year, telecom can no longer prosper in a political tug-of-law
      among fractious state commissions plus scores of fee-chasing mayors, and a
      menagerie of anti-trust beadles and regulatory vandals in the Federal

      An alert Supreme Court--will simply ban all federal efforts to assign
      telecom regulation to the states as an obvious and extreme violation of the
      commerce clause, since telecom is the most interstate industry there is.
      The only locality in telecom is now the "light cone" of points reachable at
      the speed of light.

      Read George Gilder's entire reaction to last week's FCC decision at
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      Friday Feature/Charlatans and Cranks
      One of the president's most talented economic advisers, Glenn Hubbard, has
      resigned as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. The White House
      has apparently chosen Harvard economist Gregory Mankiw as his successor.

      This is a pivotal position in the White House. It is imperative that
      President Bush put a strong and persuasive advocate of supply-side economic
      policies in this top job - someone to help sell the financial benefits of
      the current tax-cut plan and pursue even bolder pro-growth policies down
      the road.

      Professor Mankiw is not that man. I say this never having met or spoken to
      Mankiw. I say this as someone who has read his writings. The Bush
      administration should too.

      I would refer the White House to the third edition of his book
      Macroeconomics. In that book, Mankiw refers to Ronald Reagan's supply-side
      advisers as "charlatans and cranks."

      For several years Mankiw has indoctrinated young economists with
      wrongheaded thinking about supply-side economics. And the statements are
      now a matter of public record that will no doubt come back to haunt Mankiw
      if he gets the job of selling President Bush's supply-side policies.

      Mankiw was also an informed adviser to presidential candidate John McCain
      in the 2000 election. McCain attacked Bush's economic and tax-cut agenda.
      This, too, does not inspire confidence in Mankiw.

      The good news is there are a multitude of brilliant supply-side academics
      who would be superb chief economists at the White House. I am thinking of
      talented people like Brian Wesbury of Chicago, Richard Vedder of Ohio
      University, and David Malpass of Bear Stearns.

      Mankiw is right about one thing. The economics profession is filled with
      charlatans and cranks. Let us hope that Mr. Mankiw is not one of them.

      Stephen Moore cautions us to think twice about Gregory Mankiw becoming the
      next chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. Be sure to read the
      entire article at http://www.nationalreview.com/moore/moore022803b.asp
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      Friday Bonus/Biosensors Are Not Bioshields
      Treatments for bioweapons are diametrically different for the needs of a
      soldier stationed on the battlefield and an ordinary office worker. The key
      for Pentagon planners is to keep their troops on the battlefield in peak
      performance. That means protecting them from succumbing to a biological
      agent in the first place, mostly with preventative vaccines. The Pentagon
      can't risk troops being sick, even if it was only for a few days, say,
      until antibiotics or antiviral drugs took effect.

      By comparison, civilians are less likely to face biological agents, and so
      vaccinating them for the full spectrum of bioweapons isn't practical, or
      even necessary. But ordinary Americans still need countermeasures.

      In the face of a domestic attack, doctors might not be as concerned that
      civilians could fall ill to bioagents, so long as they had the tools to
      completely cure everyone. So, what civilians need are effective treatments
      that can be stocked on hospital shelves, and used to treat sick patients
      and mitigate the effects of an attack. The problem is that most of the
      research in bioweapons countermeasures has traditionally focused on the
      needs of the Pentagon. So, treatments have been given short shrift in favor
      of vaccines.

      Dr. Scott Gottlieb informs us of the need for bioweapon antidotes as well
      as vaccines. Read the entire article at http://www.washtimes.com/op-
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      Gilder.com Poll: Mike Tyson's Tattoo
      Too much: 68%
      Not enough: 20%
      Just right: 12%
      Up Next: Planning to upgrade your mobile phone this year?
      Let us know at http://www.gilder.com/
      Intel's New--Slower--Chip

      Qualcomm Brews Up JV with China Unicom

      AOL Offering Music Catalog for Downloads

      HP: Profits Strong, Sales Lag

      Cisco's Power Grab: Wireless LANs

      EMC Bid Reportedly Sets Pace for Legato

      Mobile Browser Battle

      Internet Traffic Redux

      Enterprise 101

      IT Leaders Learn How to Get More Out of Their Geeks

      Enterprise Instant Messaging Takes Center Stage at Conference

      Convergence Products Require Mix of Technologies

      FCC Tests Reception for Lifting Ownership Limits

      The Diversity Divide

      Info tech market predictions for Europe, Asia, US

      Price Cut for Starbucks WiFi

      The Private Capital Survival Guide

      Dream Unmet 50 Years After DNA Milestone

      An Inventor of the Transistor Has His Moment

      Ratings Agency Says It Erred in Measuring Web Site Use

      Firing Leaflets and Electrons, U.S. Wages Information War

      Twilight of the CD? Not if It Can Be Reinvented

      E.P.A. Approves Altered Corn
      John Hammill (jhammill@...)
      Sandy Fleischmann (sfleischmann@...)

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