Illinois Governor Launching Program to Reimport Windows

Despite opposition from Microsoft, Illinois will soon become the nation's first government to help residents buy cheaper software not only from India but from Russia and Malaysia as well.

Microsoft has forcefully objected to efforts to formalize software purchases from India and elsewhere, saying it cannot vouch for the quality of its software once it leaves the country. In addition, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, if everyone purchased the low cost version of Windows, they would not be able to pay their huge R&D costs.

"We have taken every possible step we could think of to convince Microsoft, the Congress, and anyone and everyone who will listen, that people across Illinois, and across our country, deserve access to safe and lower cost software," Blagojevich said in a statement. "The federal government has failed to act. So it's time that we do."

Blagojevich went on to claim that the lower-cost reimported version of Windows would only be resold to schools, the poor, and the elderly. "If the "Indians can get Windows on the cheap":http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/12/03/microsoft_cutprice/, why shouldn't needy Americans?"

Apologies to "WaPo":http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6376-2004Aug16.html

Disclaimer: I don't give a crap about the drug reimportation issue either way. I just thought a parody would be funny.

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Don't go around giving these

Don't go around giving these guys ideas. They will take you up on it. :cool:

I thought that was pretty funny.

Makes sense to me. Why

Makes sense to me. Why should Microsoft be able to free-ride on government importation restrictions just so it can gain the benefits of price discrimination? Same goes for drug companies.

I must be losing it. I

I must be losing it. I thought this was serious at first.

Drug reimportation is not really a good idea. As it is, countries like Canada and most of Europe make the drug companies sell to them at artificially low prices, so these countries are basically free-riding on the US consumers who end up paying higher prices because of it. This originally made me think "hey great, this'll just force the drug companies to stop selling to other countries at such stupid prices and force Canada et al to take off the price controls" ... but then I realized that the drug companies probably do not actually have that kind of bargaining power. You basically have two likely outcomes:

1) Drug companies stop selling outside the US. Some will probably not be able to generate enough profit to stay afloat in this case, and those that do survive will be charging much higher prices than before. Less drugs for everybody, and also I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that this ends up fuelling calls for increased health socialism.

2) Drug companies keep selling to other countries and then start getting squeezed at both ends due to ever-increasing reimporation. Some will not survive this crunch, and those that do will not be making that much of a profit. The industry becomes even less profitable and less drugs get made as a result.

So either way, I can only see reimportation as leading to bad results as long as canada and Europe continue to distort the market.