Imagine that as part of the settlement with Microsoft, some of the terms were that Microsoft would get out of the spreadsheet business. But imagine, further, that Microsoft had appealed the decision, and reliable observers thought there was a good chance that the ruling would be reversed in the Supreme Court.

Question: would you start a business to make and sell spreadsheet software?

Answer: no chance. You would be a fool to go up against a 50-50 chance of outright bankruptcy completely out of your own control. No responsible bank would lend you money for such an endeavor. They would tell you: why not wait for a few years to see how it goes in the courts, and then, if the ruling goes against Microsoft, come back and we'll deal?

The preceding is completely hypothetical. I thought it up to help think about the effect of the recent Supreme Court decision on school choice. It's no wonder that 95% or so of the kids choose religious schools - there are many more of them already in the inexpensive education market than there are cheap secular private schools. With the decision, though, I expect more private schools to enter the low-end market. Not because they couldn't make a profit there before, but because they stood to have their entire market killed at the stroke of a pen.

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