December 9, 2003

The Illogical Anti-Free-and-Open-Source-Software Movement

Chuck Talk writes "There seems to be a whole new wave of people who are aiming to promote greed through protectionist arguments in the high-tech field. They argue that free software will destroy American jobs and send them overseas. They argue that America cannot compete with free software. They argue that we will all lose our jobs if the free and open-source software movements are allowed to continue. Well, they are wrong, and I will elaborate on why I believe they are wrong, and why you should understand that free and open-source software is actually good for our economy.

The first argument that is being made is one of xenophobia. It is an appeal to the crass idea that we must mistrust foreigners never mind the fact that almost every American within this country is a foreigner at some point with perhaps the exception of the native Americans (though they may have crossed over from Asia, we are simply not sure).

The argument is supposed to go something like this:

1) Workers from foreign countries are stealing your jobs
2) They are willing to work for less than you do
3) They are not competing fairly
4) They seek to destroy our economy
5) They are your enemy

The simple fact is that it is not the foreign worker who is to blame, but rather the multinational corporation that has sent the jobs overseas. Even the large-scale proprietary proponents of closed-source models are sending jobs overseas. They are going to continue to do so, as long as it suits them. That fact is conveniently swept under the
when it comes to acknowledging who is actually outsourcing jobs overseas.



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