A while back I read an article on Mishs Global Economic Analysis blog about France doing something pretty strange. They wanted to make books more expensive. They didn’t come out and word it that way of course; they said they were trying to protect their culture of reading.
I found this argument to be preposterous, yet at the same time I wasn’t surprised, knowing the type of information people have when it comes to this field. This is why it came as no shock to see a very similar situation here in Quebec, with the government wanting to make books more expensive. There are some benefits to certain individuals, but it’s important to consider the costs as well, and what it means to our freedoms and overall prosperity.
In France, it was about stopping online retailers like amazon from being allowed to offer free shipping in order to protect the local bookstores, while in Quebec it’s about not allowing stores to offer too big a discount on new books.
Its price controls. When price controls are in place, they are never good; whether it’s to make things cheaper for consumers or more expensive to serve suppliers. Read the rest of this entry »