Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Problem the Left Sees With Amazon

They hate better productivity and the lower prices it brings.

Steve Coll writes in a review of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon:

Jeff Bezos’s conceit is that Amazon is merely an instrument of an inevitable digital disruption in the book industry, that the company is clearing away the rust and cobwebs created by inefficient analog-era “gatekeepers”—i.e., editors, diverse small publishers, independent bookstores, and the writers this system has long supported....

Toward the end of his account, Stone asks the essential question: “Will antitrust authorities eventually come to scrutinize Amazon and its market power?”...there are reasons to be wary about who will prevail in such a contest, if it ever takes place. As Stone notes, “Amazon is a masterly navigator of the law.” And crucially, as in so many other fields of economic policy, antitrust law has been reshaped in recent decades by the spread of free-market fundamentalism. Judges and legislators have reinterpreted antitrust law to emphasize above all the promotion of low prices for consumers, which Amazon delivers, rather than the interests of producers—whether these are authors, book publishers, or mom-and-pop grocery stores—that are threatened by giants.
For the record, I can't think of anything more beneficial to small publishers than the publishing capabilities offered by Amazon. Indeed, through Amazon's CreateSpace publishing platform, an individual can quite easily become his own publisher with little in the way of publishing costs. It is truly a spectacular advance.

Further, if at any point the book gains some sales traction, Amazon will use its powerful distribution platform to bring such a book to the attention of even more readers. Amazon is about selling books and other things. There is nothing Amazon wants to do more of than sell more and more books, as cheaply as possible. What is really to hate? Amazon is providing a spectacular service to consumers and providing authors with alternatives to the traditional book publisher gatekeepers.

And note well the use of the term " free-market fundamentalism" in Coll's review. It subtly implies that advocacy of free markets is somehow more religion than scientific-based advocacy. BS. Free market advocacy is about bringing more efficient methods to the markets. It should not go unnoticed that the anti-Amazon review of an anti-Amazon book in the New York Review of Books  includes a link to Amazon by NYRB for those who want to quickly, easily and cheaply buy the book. In other words, in the end, the Amazon haters have exposed themselves and their complete hypocricy.



  1. We need an analogous term to apply to these statist SOBs, like "fundamentalist advocates of third party violence". That's kinda wordy and probably beyond the scope of their limited abstract thinking skills so it could be reduced to plain ol' "fundamentalist advocates of violence"

    1. "Protectionism by the politically well-connected class".

  2. In other words, in the end, the Amazon haters have exposed themselves and their complete hypocrisy.

    Have you ever met a leftist who wasn't obsessively protective of his/her home, papers, car and body?

  3. There are so many books and other things from minuscule sellers that finally have a market due to Amazon, Ebay, et. al.

  4. Saying there is nothing to hate about Amazon and then pointing at their bookstore is the same as hating on Capitalism and pointing at cronyism.

    Amazon is a tool of the state. Most notably, they are lobbying Congress very hard to force sales taxes to be collected regardless of shipping destination. This obviously works to their favor to prevent a company from doing to them what they did to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, which they are now at risk of being weak to since they are building warehouses in every state and want to offer same-day delivery. Obviously, especially on large ticket item and large quantity of items orders, the same-day delivery model isn't so great when consumers can save $10-20 in a typical order and wait one day.

    They are already seeing sales decline in states that they are required to charge sales tax, so how well is it really going to work when they take on substantial additional expense of same-day delivery infrastructure? The better path to take is a non-market strategy. Of course, you can still get a good deal on a book, so why all the whining about their contribution to yet another loss of liberty?

  5. " In other words, in the end, the Amazon haters have exposed themselves and their complete hypocricy."

    When has hypocrisy stopped liberals and other statists before? If anything the bastards just get louder and more obnoxious