Brave New World

Sick of the “Microsoft Tax”? Disgusted by Apple? Don’t worry, RMS comes to rescue!

Stallman is not completely opposed to making money from Software, there is a loophole. So, what would software development be like in the ideal FOSS future?

The Microsoft Tax is dead, long live the Software Tax! Quote from the GNU manifesto:


All sorts of development can be funded with a Software Tax:

Suppose everyone who buys a computer has to pay x percent of the price as a software tax. The government gives this to an agency like the NSF to spend on software development.

But if the computer buyer makes a donation to software development himself, he can take a credit against the tax. He can donate to the project of his own choosing—often, chosen because he hopes to use the results when it is done. He can take a credit for any amount of donation up to the total tax he had to pay.

The total tax rate could be decided by a vote of the payers of the tax, weighted according to the amount they will be taxed on.

The consequences:

The computer-using community supports software development.
This community decides what level of support is needed.
Users who care which projects their share is spent on can choose this for themselves.

Great, huh? He mentions the NSF (National Science Foundation), well, this is how the NSF is formed:

NSF leadership has two major components: a director who oversees NSF staff and management responsible for program creation and administration, merit review, planning, budget and day-to-day operations; and a 24-member National Science Board (NSB) of eminent individuals that meets six times a year to establish the overall policies of the foundation. The director and all Board members serve six year terms. Each of them, as well as the NSF deputy director, is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. At present, NSF has a total workforce of about 1,700 at its Arlington, VA, headquarters, including approximately 1,200 career employees, 150 scientists from research institutions on temporary duty, 200 contract workers and the staff of the NSB office and the Office of the Inspector General.

Looks complicated. I made a graphic how this Software Tax future would look like:

Posted Image

Yeah, way better than a today’s software industry, right?


One response to “Brave New World

  1. This is by far the most retarded idea I heard in long time. The best thing for Stallman would be is to move to North Korea. His ideas would rocket him to top gov. positions and provide him fertile ground for testing. Cant wait for the products, they would be game changers for sure!

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