Overeducated liberal twit Paul Krugman took Amazon to task in his latest column in the New York Times. Here’s the gist of the column:
It’s not just about the money, although that’s important: By putting the squeeze on publishers, Amazon is ultimately hurting authors and readers. But there’s also the question of undue influence.
Specifically, the penalty Amazon is imposing on Hachette books is bad in itself, but there’s also a curious selectivity in the way that penalty has been applied. Last month the Times’s Bits blog documented the case of two Hachette books receiving very different treatment. One is Daniel Schulman’s “Sons of Wichita,” a profile of the Koch brothers; the other is “The Way Forward,” by Paul Ryan, who was Mitt Romney’s running mate and is chairman of the House Budget Committee. Both are listed as eligible for Amazon Prime, and for Mr. Ryan’s book Amazon offers the usual free two-day delivery. What about “Sons of Wichita”? As of Sunday, it “usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.” Uh-huh.
Which brings us back to the key question. Don’t tell me that Amazon is giving consumers what they want, or that it has earned its position. (ed: this is Paul’s way of sticking his fingers in his ears and saying “La la la la” to ignore reality.) What matters is whether it has too much power, and is abusing that power. Well, it does, and it is.
No, Paul, you moron. What matters is that Amazon is giving customers what they want at lower prices. This is the free enterprise, market system at work. You know, they type of system they taught you about in Econ 101. Krugman has it exactly backwards: Amazon are the good guys.
And that’s a spectacularly stupid example. As an extreme leftist liberal, Krugman wouldn’t be caught dead ordering either of those books. As for the disparity in the delivery times? That goes right back to Econ 101: supply and demand. Paul Ryan’s book is in stock, so Amazon can ship it right away. The
chronicle of character assassinations book on the Koch brothers is out of stock, so anyone who orders the book will have to wait for Amazon to get copies from Hatchett, which obviously has problems meeting customer needs (unlike Amazon).
Vox Day has covered this extensively, and as a published author who has experience dealing with both major publishing houses and Amazon, he would know. Amazon isn’t hurting authors, unless you consider getting paid 70% of the sale price for your book instead of the 17.5% that authors used to get from publishers like Hatchett is hurting authors.
Amazon isn’t hurting readers either. Amazon created the Kindle reader and ebooks are cheaper than physical books. And since you can get a free copy of the Kindle reader for your PC or laptop, Amazon has made the dissemination of books and the knowledge they contain more affordable for everyone.
The whole article is a rant against a company that is providing what people want at a lower price. And it’s another reason why you should never listen to people who have a PhD in economics.