VOIP Over the Atlantic

I just made my first Voice Over Internet Protocol phone call over the Lufthansa WiFi system while flying over the Atlantic (the map shows us just south of the tip of Greenland). Modern science+technology+capitalism is sooooo cool.

2 Responses to “VOIP Over the Atlantic”

  1. Lufthansa, Boeing/Airbus, and the Internet as examples of capitalism? Maybe, but not the type of small government capitalism you advocate.

  2. Tom G. Palmer

    If the only thing that one could point to as “capitalism” were embedded in a pure system of laissez faire, then we wouldn’t have many examples. Indeed, with such an approach, we wouldn’t have examples of anything. The internet was commercialized and made widely useful by private firms. Boeing sells jets on the market for profit, but also receives revenues from purchases from the American government (http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?prod=45591&session=dae.21669826.1152155971.RKyBQ8Oa9dUAAFZPcLI&modele=jdc_1 ). (Airbus is substantially state owned and subsidized; see http://www.cei.org/gencon/004,04679.cfm ). Lufthansa operates in a market but was once state-owned (http://www.lufthansa-financials.de/servlet/PB/menu/1016690_l2/index.html ) and has received various subsidies from the German government (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990CE1D7153BF932A25756C0A963958260 ).

    To limit the term “capitalism” or even “free-market” to only those instances in which the state never acted in any way other than to define and defend property rights is to define the terms in such a way that they could never denote anything in the world. For-profit firms utilizing science-based technology to make money by offering cool new services (like making calls over the internet while flying across the Atlantic) to freely choosing passengers sounds like science+technology+capitalism to me. And it’s certainly cool.