A line from the Hacker Manifesto, written by The Mentor in 1983. The full line goes "..for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons..."

The basic premise behind this is a comparisson to war-profiteers during the two Great Wars -- they would steal supplies from milatry convoys and then sell what they stole *back* to the military units at an inflated price.

The coralary here is to telephone and long-distance companies. According to investigations of AT&T done by the FTC in 1996, the cost per minute of long-distance service including equipment and labour was about 2.2 cents. At the time, AT&T was charging over 5 times that -- 12 cents per minute. Granted, this doesn't meet the true definition of 'profiteer', but it sure comes close.