What Is It With The French Ruling Classes And Bad Economics?
ONE of the things that grates, now that we have to share this EU system of government with them, is the way in which the French ruling classes seem not to have the first clue about economics:
In a rare alliance, France’s ruling Socialist Party and the opposition UMP Party approved a new bill banning the company and other online retailers from shipping discounted books for free. It comes in the form of an amendment to a 32-year-old law that sets the value of new books at fixed prices.
Yes, we used to have retail price maintenance too and for a lot more than just books. However, when people woke up and finally got a clue they realised just what a bad idea it was. For it’s just fine for the manufacturers but it’s really pretty shitty for the consumers. And the point and aim of this whole game is to be nice to the consumers. As Adam Smith pointed out 238 years ago:
Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.
The point is that we want the consumer, that’s you and me, the man in the street, to get the best deal possible. And as to those who are doing the producing, whether they can make a profit or not, whether they’re protected from competition, well as Adam Smith didn’t put it but I will: fuck ‘em. We don’t run around protecting the profit margins of the car companies, we don’t protect the profits of the electricity companies, we shouldn’t be trying to protect the profits of the booksellers. And, more to hte point, nor should the French. For the end result is only that the French consumer gets shafted.