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Re: A moral question

 Good Lord.  Where to start.

First, I want to thank Glen for opening up a topic that I knew from the
start Bill Meyer could not resist.  I was waiting for the reply that I
knew would show up soon, chock full of Bill's theories of how the hosta
world and the business world should work.  I only wish that Glen had
started the ball rolling sooner, as it definitely collides with March
Madness, and it's hard to take Bill seriously when there's basketball to
be watched.

Ok - that's as far as I got before the final game of the ACC tourney. 
It's all over now and the fearsome turtles have taken it all.  They came
from 12 points down to beat the hated Duke Blue Devils 95-87 in overtime.
Now it's on the NCAA, hopefully to surprise a few more people.  I realize
fully that none of you care, but for me, life is good.  Maryland won the
ACC championship and I've got a ridiculous Bill Meyer post to deal with.


Well Bill, I've been looking at your recent posts and I honestly don't
know how to respond.  Did you read that stuff about the wolves and sheep
before you hit the send button? 

If I went line by line and pointed out all of the nonsense, I would be
here all night.  I know you can take a bit of good-natured ribbing, but
your latest posts are so silly that I'm afraid you might take offense if
I go too far.

But I like this sentence so much that I can't let it go:

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

No offense Bill, but that is total drivel.  Based on your concepts, I
cannot think of a single nursery that doesn't fall into your category of
greedy dishonest sellers.  I have apparently been one for 25 years and
word is quickly spreading.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your
telling me, cause nobody else has mentioned it.

And I have read and re-read the last two paragraphs and the only comment
I could come up with is "what in the hell is he talking about?" What
dishonest sellers are complaining about conspiracies? I guess I'm a
greedy dishonest grower and I didn't even know there was a conspiracy. I
truly hope that you are not really going to withhold new plants from the
market, cause there's already a shortage.  If the list of new hostas
available each year drops below two to three hundred, it's really going
to start causing some pain. My biggest fear is that you guys are out
there teaching me a lesson and I'm not even aware of it. Who is
exploiting you? Who is growing a Bill Meyer plant "dishonestly"? I know
we can't name names here, but tell me which plants are involved and maybe
I can figure it out.

I would hate for everyone to think I have no sympathy for the
hybridizers.  I have introduced plants that others are growing, and
unless we had a prior agreement, nobody is paying me a cent.  And I grow
other hostas that I did not introduce and unless there is an agreement, I
don't pay the hybridizer. And I would bet that Bill has grown plenty of
hostas from other hybridizers without a thought as to whether they were
compensated.  We all know that no royalties are paid on most of the
hostas we grow.  And we all know that any money paid to the hybridizer
would just be passed on to the buyer, so maybe anyone who grows one of my
plants and didn't get it from me should just send me a quarter.  I think
your ideas are utterly bogus, but I'm just greedy and dishonest enough to
pretend I think you're right if there's any money in it for me.

Keep em coming Bill, I love your dry sense of humor.  You might want to
use some of those smiley faces.  I'll bet a lot of people out there think
you're serious. :-)

As always, all my love,

Bill Meyer wrote:

  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
    Tel: 802-885-2839
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