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Re: A moral question

  • Subject: Re: A moral question
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 10:40:39 -0500

Hi Glen,
       In the real world, ethics and morality are always in the game. Smart
business people, however ethics-challenged they may be personally, realize
that their prey still harbors such (to them) foolish concepts. Even though
to them life is dog-eat-dog and get-what-you-can, it is only the dumber
examples of the type who think they can behave that way openly in the larger
       Have a look at Ebay, which is sort of an open working model of
business/customer relations. Treat your customers badly and watch as they
record one bad public "feedback" comment after another about you. Sure, you
can sink to the level of a fly-by-night con artist and keep changing your
name. You could skim along under the radar that way for quite a while, but
you'd always be looking over your shoulder as you wait to be thrown out
permanently. If you operated that way, you'd never make the money the honest
sellers do in the long run, and your days would be numbered from the start.
Honest business people that treat their customers well grow as prosperous as
their trade will allow. By doing business this way, the door is always open
to more expansion and word-of-mouth from their previous sales helps them get
more customers.
       The real business world works in much the same way. Thee are a
limited number of people in a particular market, and word travels fast. A
good seller gets good word-of-mouth, and a bad one gets bad word-of-mouth.
If you have a nursery and you take from the hybridizers and do not give them
a fair share for what is either their find or their invention, then the word
quickly spreads that you're a greedy dishonest seller to be avoided at all
costs. No, there is no reasonable protection under the current laws, like
there is for photographs or written materials. This makes for a Wild West
atmosphere, where the policing is left up to the community. Word spreads
fast, though, and I've heard numerous examples of perfidy from certain
growers. I would be a fool to let them get near anything of mine, so I will
make sure they do not lay hands on it if I think it would be marketable.
Other hybridizers will feel the same way, and in time dishonest sellers will
see their business decline.
       The dishonest seller will parade around complaining about
"conspiracies" and to some extent they will be right. We hybridizers can and
do discuss what nurseries can be trusted to hold to their agreements, and
which ones are endlessly trying to exploit us. It is a conspiracy really,
one to keep the unethical from profiteering at our expense. The dishonest
seller preys on the community, and they are not truly part of that
community. Like a wolf that preys on sheep, they do not need the sheep if
there is another herd they can prey on somewhere else. They'll just move on
to the next prey when the sheep start to recognize them. These are the dumb
ones, though. They'll survive from day to day, but they'll never do as well
as the sheep farmers do because the farmers are part of the community. They
provide food, shelter, and protection for the sheep in return for the
renewable resource of the wool. The difference is a symbiotic relationship
rather than a parasitic one.
      Most of us will consider a symbiotic business relationship, but none
of us need parasitic ones. American society is based upon symbiotic business
relationships. That's why the seller and the purchaser both say "Thank You"
after completing a transaction. Is it morality and ethics to avoid dealing
with parasites? Or is it just common sense? If you are considering a
purchase on Ebay from a seller with much negative feedback, do you decide
not to because he is unethical, or because you think you are being preyed
                                               ........Bill Meyer

>                                 A Moral Question
> It's still too cold to work outside and I have been having a moral debate
> with myself for months about an issue I would like to bring up. I'd like
> see what the collective wisdom might be.
>  I have always thought that the hybridizer of hostas made little money on
> all of the effort that he/she put in the the process. I think that the
> TC-ing of so many hostas has added another dimension to that problem.
> Selling OS for two or three years is no longer a really viable auction. A
> lot of plants  (those without patents) cab be TC ed without permission or
> offering the original hybridizer a red cent. I am sure that there is an
> argument about Capitalistic Darwinism out there when I say that.  OK..let
> me assume that this reality is already understood if not forgiven. At
> on this issue, it might be nice if there was a gentlemen's agreement that
> unauthorized TC of recent hostas on the market would be given a 3 or 4
> period where the hybridizer and  TC agent might be allowed to make their
> profit on time and materials. Then after this period , the plant would be
> open to all. A bit like the time of a copywrite on a book may last (only I
> think that might be decades and can be renewed). Of course such
> without the tooth of the law behind them are not exactly enforceable.
> So I have been wondering what would happen if a hybridizer and a TC agent
> worked out a deal  whereby THE hybridizer  would sanction the use of a
> vendors buying these plants would all have these labels for each of these
> plants. I am not talking about the AHS creating such an label, but the
> hybridizer him/herself. There is no force of law there, but there might be
> a moral consideration which could make some  difference. There might be
> another advantage too. Perhaps this connection between the TC agent and
> hybridizer might be more of a guarantee that those TCs bearing this label
> would be much closer to the originator's stock which was used to produce
> the TC.  I am still convinced that much of the TC world is selling plants
> that are not exactly twins of the original.
> Just an idea on wintry March day.
> "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.""Even a lie is a psychic
> fact." -Carl Jung, psychiatrist (1875-1961)
> Glen Williams
> 20 Dewey St.
> Springfield , Vermont
> 05156
> Tel: 802-885-2839
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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