Amazon.com is not a Monopoly

A monopoly raises prices and provides mediocre service in a market with no competition. Amazon is fighting for sales, profits, and market share. It is competing against Walmart, Alibaba, and hundreds of e-commerce sites that specialize/focus on particular market segments, such as CB radios for off-road vehicles operates by small business owners.

Business Wire:

Amazon is offering a sneak peek of its plans for Black Friday and, with deals across 30 categories, there is something for everyone this holiday. Now through Black Friday, customers will find deals on items including toys, electronics, fashion, beauty, kitchen, sporting goods, and more, in addition to Amazon Devices and products from small businesses and entrepreneurs, at amazon.com/blackfriday. Customers can expect to find incredible deals across a wide selection of top holiday products throughout the duration of the “Turkey 5” – those five popular shopping days starting at midnight PT on Thanksgiving and continuing through Cyber Monday. Black Friday will feature more than 30 Deals of the Day and thousands of Lightning Deals. Customers will find new deals every day, all season long.

Discover all of the great Amazon Black Friday deals at amazon.com/blackfriday or shop anytime, anywhere with the Amazon App (to download, visit amazon.com/mobileapps from your mobile browser). Customers shopping with the Amazon App can also set Watch a Deal alerts to ensure they never miss out on a hot holiday product, and even use AR view, a new augmented reality feature, to view thousands of items in their space before they buy. Voice Shoppers can shop select Black Friday deals, starting as early as 5pm PT, Wednesday, Nov. 22 – just ask Alexa.

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President Trump Nails Middle Class with Ethanol Costs

How do higher ethanol costs hit the middle class, the people President Trump supposedly seeks to protect from The Swamp?

The Trump administration acquiesced to the ethanol lobby in a recent decision on the costly Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), says the Wall Street Journal. Under a Bush-era 2007 law, the mandated amount of biofuels in your gas tank is increasing, which puts upward pressure on gas and food prices and likely harms the environment.

Yes! Quadfecta! Higher prices for gasoline and food, likely harms the environment, and provides only two-thirds the energy content of regular gas.

Kicker! The hidden games of the bureaucracy: ‘The RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard] is also a bureaucratic nightmare, and has spawned a complex credit-trading system, which investor Carl Icahn said is a “$15 billion market full of manipulation, speculation and fraud.”’

Here.

 

Conservatives pose new threat to free markets and tech economy

Steven Greenhut:

Guess which far-out-there leftist made the following statements: “Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell.” He also argued that “no corporation should be too big to fail — or to nail” and called for the government to “regulate Google and all of Silicon Valley into submission.”

This was a trick question. It wasn’t a leftist Democrat who called for nailing businesses. It was conservative writer Kurt Schlichter, in an August column on the conservative Townhall website. Since then, other conservatives have touted that idea and that column. For instance, Mark Pulliam, writing on the “pro-Trumpism” American Greatness site, called for the kind of “trust busting” that went on during the Progressive Era.

Yes, this anti-market strain has existed for many years. I encountered it in the 1990’s  and its here again now. This type of conservative has a different value set than market-oriented conservatives. They want to punish firms that lean too far left, but they have do not care or have not thought through the ramifications as what Greenhut suggests in his piece.

Matt Ridley on the Empirical evidence that free markets make people nicer

Matt Ridley writing in the UK Times:

. . . This would not have surprised Montesquieu, who spoke of “sweet commerce”, or Voltaire, who marvelled at the friendly collaboration of “the Jew, the Mahometan and the Christian” on the floor of the London stock exchange, or Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Richard Cobden, the radical champions of free trade in the early years of the industrial revolution.

Cobden said: “Free trade is God’s diplomacy and there is no other certain way of uniting people in the bonds of peace.” He was right. Recent studies have confirmed that commerce is the main cause of peace.

Conclusion:

The Conservatives cannot compete with Labour by offering pale imitations of its patronising paternalism. They should offer the young something more revolutionary, liberating, egalitarian, disruptive, co-operative and democratic than stale statism. It’s called freedom.

Here.

 

 

America’s regulation burden, in 5 charts

James Pethokoukis quotes the Trump Council of Economic Advisers:

Excessive regulation is a tax on the economy, costing the U.S. an average of 0.8 percent of GDP growth per year since 1980. This taxation by regulation has increased sharply in recent years, with approximately 500 new economically significant regulations created over the last eight years alone. Through a thorough review of the literature, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) finds that deregulation will stimulate U.S. GDP growth.

Now we’re getting to the heart of the slow growth matter. Pethokoukis compiles five charts to make his point. Here.

Bill Maher Lashes Out At Democrats For Over-Regulation: “It Makes People Hate Us, It Makes Me Hate Us”

Yes! HBO Real Time host Bill Maher arguing for freedom to make choices in our lives.

“Until then all this will accomplish is to feed into the Republican message that Democrats don’t want to help people they just want to micromanage their lives,” Maher said. “It makes people hate us. It makes me hate us. And it prompts kickback.”

You bet your a$$ it prompts kickback, at least from me.

“I don’t want to let the right-wing own freedom,” Maher said. “People want to drain the swamp, not ban Big Gulps. Yes, I understand, you have a thousand good ideas for how I should live my life, check my privilege and sort my recycling. I will get to that. But first we need to get some Democrats elected and that’s hard when the movement to childproof the world has made Republicans the party of freedom and Democrats the party of poopers.”

With you on this, Bill. Here. I’d love to see more competition between the political parties over more freedom.