Here are a few items concerning the various ghastlinesses of the EU.
First, a briefing paper from the Instituto Bruno Leoni, by Alberto Mingardi and Paolo Zanetto, about the Microsoft versus EU case. Pdf only, alas, but worth a look.
Microsoft stands accused by the EU of daring to supply an operating system that is too good and does too much and has been ordered by the EU to cripple it and to tell all its rivals how it does everything. Microsoft wants to call its crippled version of Windows “Crippled Windows” and the EU says it can’t so there and has fined Microsoft Z zillion euros. To add lunacy to lunacy, the EU is now saying that when a multinational corporation wants to innovate, it must convince the EU that its innovation is a good idea. Never mind about convincing mere people. First, Mario bloody Monti and all his rapacious and power-mad cronies and successors have to be persuaded. So now, guess what, the EU is taking a swipe at the iPod. Microsoft said “the iPod is innovative – go investigate that”. So the EU duly started an investigation into the iPod! No need for it. No reason. Not necessary. What’s wrong with 78s? Hire a gypsy violinist.
I embroidered somewhat there, but only somewhat. The picture that Mingardi and Zanetto draw of the EU is not pretty. Expressions like “shake down” and “sting” are hard to avoid when pondering the behaviour of the EU towards Microsoft.
I would not normally have made myself read right through this piece, because it is too depressing. But I have been told to review it for here, where Mingardi adds some further comment on the case. Apparently Crippled Windows does not work as well as uncrippled Windows. Extraordinary.
And here are a couple of EU-related pieces in today’s Telegraph.
Patrick Minford writes about the costs of EU anti-dumping rules. His title says it all: The EU’s manufacturing policies are costing us a fortune. He is finishing a book. Thanks to Tim Worstall for that link.
And here is a news report about the EU’s efforts to protect the government of Cuba from its dissidents. Do not provoke Fidel, says Louis Michel, the EU “development commissioner”.
The EU would do better to concentrate on developing itself. I live in hope that the influence of the recent Eastern European additions to the EU, of countries where they take economic development seriously and seem to have quite a solid grip on what does and does not promote it, will improve the EU. But reports like those above make such optimism hard to cling to.