If all your links are of the bad type, then yeah, it will probably hurt you.
So it looks like you can kill your competitors then. Especially for new sites and business starting out with out many links initially.
As soon as you see a new site / competitor, link build for them in all the wrong places, before they know it, they will have far more bad links than good.
But if you're a well established site
Well that's all well and good for those established companies, so much for entrepreneurship and helping new businesses, especially considering the current economic climate!
I really feel sorry for all those companies that don't even know what SEO is and just have reasonable rankings simply because of their market place, be it niche, specialised or just not much competition, if someone new with a bit of SEO savvy comes alone, this poor ole, oblivous company is going to see their visitors dry up and the rankings diminish and won't have a clue why!
I like your thinking Randy
, if that happens and Yahoo is taken over by Bing, that really will only leave G! left, I'm sure G! won't mind if that happens!
Though I'm even more cinical than most, I think that half the time the SE's make stuff up , just to cause a stir and a buzz or reitterate their brand awareness. Plus what would these SEO newletter staff write about if there weren't any soundbites to quote!
Like you say Jill pinch of salt, but if it isn't phoey, then it's more like salt in wound!