Thursday, July 19, 2012

When Writing and Politics Meet

Perhaps my least favorite US senator is Charles Schumer (D, NY). I believe he is an unethical person, mainly because he doesn't consider what would be ethical when he makes decisions. He was in the House of Representatives when Clinton was impeached, and was in the Senate when Clinton was tried. Thus he voted as both prosecutor and judge. Or, perhaps you could look at it as he judged the case in the "lower court" and had moved on to the "appeals court" when it reached there. He should have recused himself. But no, as a freshman senator he was quite vocal during the Senate trial.

Schumer has just shown the people of New York who he represents in his article in the Wall Street Journal (link may expire) in the matter of the Department of Justice's bringing collusion charges against Apple and five of the Big Six publishers. Schumer says the DOJ should drop the collusion lawsuit. A good summary of the article and the idiotic points it includes can be found at The Passive Voice. The Big Six, most owned by multi-national corporations, are all headquartered in New York.

So Schumer thinks more about the corporations in his state, corporations that got together with Apple to RAISE the price consumers pay for e-books, than he does for the million of citizens in his state who might buy e-books, and those nationwide who might buy e-books. Here is an example of his twisted logic.

The e-books marketplace provides a perfect example of the challenges traditional industries face in adapting to the Internet economy. Amazon took an early lead in e-book sales, capturing 90% of the retail market. Because of its large product catalog, Amazon could afford to sell e-books below cost.

Amazon took an early lead in e-book sales, not because of its catalog but because it created the market because it was the first to produce an affordable and practical e-reading device. They sold only a handful of e-books—the best sellers—below cost as loss leaders; all others were sold at a profit. The readers benefited from Amazon doing what it felt it needed to to create a market for e-books. Schumer, or whatever junior staffer he had write the article for him, should really study an issue before running on at the pen about it.

Congratulations Chucky Schumer. You have shown yourself once again to be an idiot. Next time learn a little about the industry you criticize before you take up paper and pixels with words even a college freshman would recognize as nonsense.

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