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Amazon is Obama's Mistress
Townhall.com ^ | April 23, 2012 | Katie Kieffer

Posted on 04/23/2012 3:59:26 AM PDT by Kaslin

President Obama has a mistress. Her name is Amazon. Whereas former Presidents Kennedy and Clinton rendezvoused with female interns, Obama rendezvous with an e-commerce company.

Amazon currently monopolizes e-book sales, controlling 60 percent of the market. And, like a jealous lover, Obama is suing Amazon’s competitors in order to further strengthen her e-book monopoly. Obama may be faithful to his wife, but he is breaking his vow to the American people to defend the Constitution. He is openly abusing his executive powers and giving preferential treatment to Amazon—hoping to curry favor with consumers and ensure his reelection in November.

Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced on April 11, 2012 that the Department of Justice is suing Apple and five major book publishers on charges that they violated anti-trust laws by conspiring to raise the price of e-books.

Here’s the catch: Apple and the five publishers were not conspiring to artificially raise the price of the e-books. They were merely switching from an outdated “wholesale pricing model” for print books to an “agency model” that is better suited for e-books.

My assessment is that the agency pricing model (spearheaded by the late co-founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs) can help writers and book publishers stay in business in the digital era and thereby gives consumers more choices by allowing new retailers (like Apple) to enter the market and compete with Amazon.

Obama Sues After Jobs’ Death, But Before Election

If Steve Jobs—a lifelong Democrat, beloved by Americans of all stripes—were still alive today, I doubt Obama would dare to publicly distort Jobs’ vision or attack Apple. However, Jobs was a capitalist and therefore his life story and his company pose threats to Obama’s socialist platform.

Obama’s go-to scapegoat is “big oil.” His new scapegoat is “big Apple.” American incomes are not keeping pace with inflation, gas prices are rising and jobs are meager. Obama knows that Americans will blame him for the bad economy unless he quickly convinces them otherwise.

Apple is the world’s most valuable company, beating even Exxon Mobil; Obama likely thinks that he has a chance of winning the votes of American consumers if he can pretend that he is “defending” them from a conspiring corporation with a well-timed, high-profile lawsuit.

This is not the first time that Obama has misrepresented Jobs and Apple to advance his socialist political agenda. As I’ve written, Obama used Jobs and his wife in his 2012 State of the Union Address to curry favor for the Buffett Rule—even though Jobs had advised Obama to reduce regulations while he was alive.

Since Jobs’ death, Obama has used Jobs’ name to promote ideas that Jobs never embraced. Now, Obama is suing Apple and attacking the world’s biggest capitalistic success story so that he can look like a hero in the eyes of consumers and spend four more years flying in Air Force One at a rate of $179,750 per hour.

Amazon’s Undeniable Monopoly

The purpose of anti-trust laws is to promote and maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies, including setting unnatural prices that inhibit free competition. When Apple collaborated with publishers, I contend that it did not violate anti-trust legislation because Apple’s agency-pricing model actually brought more competition and consumer choices into an e-book market that was—and still is—monopolized by Amazon.

Back in 2009, Amazon was a lone shark, controlling 90 percent of the e-book market. Today, even after Apple and others have entered the market, Amazon controls the majority (60 percent) of the e-book market. Barnes and Noble controls 25 percent and Apple commands a scant 15 percent. But Obama is suing Apple for conspiring to undermine Amazon? Maybe someone should file an anti-trust lawsuit against Obama for attacking the free markets and protecting Amazon’s monopoly.

Unlike traditional printed books, you can’t physically hold an e-book in your hands; you must purchase a special “e-reader” or tablet to peruse them. Amazon’s e-reader is called the Kindle. So, when Amazon monopolizes the e-book market, it also guarantees that people will be more likely to purchase its e-reading device.

Consumers, writers and book publishers have been unhappy with Amazon’s monopoly for some time. From a consumer perspective, Amazon’s monopoly lessens technology options. CNET News rates the third-generation iPad tablet as the “best full-featured reading tablet”—functionally superior to even the most advanced versions of the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Amazon Kindle.

Publishers were also unhappy with Amazon’s “wholesale pricing model” because it cannibalized their print businesses. As Jobs explained to his biographer, Walter Isaacson: “Amazon screwed it up. It paid the wholesale price for some books, but started selling them below cost at $9.99. The publishers hated that—they thought it would trash their ability to sell hardcover books at $28. So before Apple even got to the scene, some booksellers were starting to withhold books from Amazon. So we told the publishers, ‘We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you [publishers] want anyway.’ But we also asked for a guarantee [per a most favored nation clause] that if anybody else is selling the books cheaper than we are, then we can sell them at the lower price too. So they [publishers] went to Amazon and said, “You’re going to sign an agency contract or we’re not going to give you the books.’”

Jobs further explains: “We were not the first people in the books business. Given the situation that existed [Amazon’s 90 percent monopoly], what was best for us was to do this akido move and end up with the agency model.”

Jobs’ Vision Was to Save Journalism and Media, Not Profit

Jobs saw an opportunity to provide consumers with more choices. He knew he could turn a profit by competing with Amazon—but money was not his goal. Jobs’ main goal was to save high-quality print media from going extinct in the modern digital era where fewer consumers will pay for printed newspapers and books because they can get so much information and entertainment for free online.

I think Jobs intuitively understood that if major publishers can’t afford to pay writers and journalists, consumers suffer. I think Jobs understood that without media watchdogs, free speech deteriorates and the government is no longer accountable to the people.

For example, Jobs considered the New York Times to be one of the finest newspapers in America and he wanted to save its journalism for future generations. Isaccson writes: “Jobs was particularly interested in striking a deal with the New York Times, which he felt was a great newspaper in danger of declining because it had not figured out how to charge for digital content. ‘One of my personal projects this year, I’ve decided, is to try to help—whether they want it or not—the Times,’ he told me in early 2010. ‘I think it’s important to the country for them to figure it out.’”

Jobs also had great success working with Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corp., which owns conservative-leaning media giants like the Wall Street Journal and the Fox News Channel. So, I believe that Jobs’ over-arching vision in implementing the agency model was to preserve all high-caliber media.

Sleeping with Amazon Hurts Consumers

When Obama attacks Apple and favors Amazon, he hurts the U.S. economy and American consumers. For example, in the days following Obama’s announcement of the anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, the Nasdaq composite index took a substantial plunge. Since Apple is the world’s most valuable company, it comprises 12 percent of the Nasdaq. So, Obama is hurting the U.S. economy for his own political gain.

Competition always creates more options for consumers. When publishers can stay profitable and new retailers can enter the e-book market, there are more quality options for readers. And when retailers like Apple can enter the market, they will innovate and offer alternative e-reading devices like the iPad so that Americans have more high-tech options for reading e-books than buying an Amazon Kindle.

Mr. President, please stop favoring your mistress Amazon. She already monopolizes the e-book market and consumers deserve high-quality choices.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: 2012; amazon; bhofascism; democrats; obama

1 posted on 04/23/2012 3:59:29 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

More likely to have a mister than a mistress, I think.


2 posted on 04/23/2012 4:07:33 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Kaslin

Clinton sued Microsoft. Just a game they like to play.


3 posted on 04/23/2012 4:14:19 AM PDT by I_be_tc
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To: Kaslin

There are some very good points here but I do applaud Amazon and their efforts and ability to get self-published books out to the public and the authors do get a substantial portion of the profits from each sale. I have read a number of these books and am quite impressed by the ideas and average to excellent quality of the writing.

These are people who would probably never have been published under the previously normal methods for an author to get published. So for that I do give Amazon applause.


4 posted on 04/23/2012 4:36:51 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: Kaslin

Amazon shows Bill Ayers wrote dreams of my father. Check it out before it’s taken down.
https://www.google.com/search?q=bill+ayers&btnG=Search+Books&tbm=bks&tbo=1


5 posted on 04/23/2012 4:49:49 AM PDT by Walmartian (An update is available for this tagline. Click here to download.)
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To: Kaslin
“Amazon screwed it up. It paid the wholesale price for some books, but started selling them below cost at $9.99. The publishers hated that—they thought it would trash their ability to sell hardcover books at $28.

I guess the ebook creates at least two pricing dilemmas; what to price it at when the hardcover edition is released and what to price it when the mass market paperback is released.

Since I've bought mostly ebooks for publications where the hardcover, mass market paperback and ebook are all available, it puzzles me to see an ebook at $12.99 and the mass market paperback at around $8.00.

And it seems the ebook for most fairly successful books sells at $12.99 from Amazon.

6 posted on 04/23/2012 5:00:22 AM PDT by Will88
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To: Kaslin

This article is obviously written by someone that blindly loves Apple. So many distortions. The Kindle App is available for any Apple product. Plus, backlit devices do not equate with e-ink, hence the qualifier “full featured”.


7 posted on 04/23/2012 5:04:11 AM PDT by Codeflier (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama - 4 democrat presidents in a row and counting...)
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To: Travis McGee; Jeff Head

thoughts/opinions ???


8 posted on 04/23/2012 5:31:49 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: Walmartian

That takes us to a google search. Which entry should I look at?


9 posted on 04/23/2012 5:33:27 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Breitbart)
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To: FReepers
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10 posted on 04/23/2012 5:38:23 AM PDT by deoetdoctrinae (Gun-free zones are playgrounds for felons)
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To: Gilbo_3

I suppose his wife could be classified as an “Amazon”...


11 posted on 04/23/2012 5:38:27 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Gilbo_3; Will88; The Working Man
I may be Amazon's biggest fan. Not only did Amazon smash the gates to publication wide open, they offer a 70% royalty on their Kindle books for U.S. sales. (Compared to 7 to 10% from conventional publishers.) I've been selling printed books for a decade (75% via Amazon Advantage) and Kindle ebooks for one year, and already my ebook income has far outrun my printed book income.

My 560 page/250K word novels retail for $20 in "trade paperback" (8.5" X 5.5") format. At first I set my Kindle price at $9.99, figuring half of printed price was about right. But since then I've dropped my price to $6.99 and seen my income go way up. I think folks are just hesitant to buy a novel, even a big, long novel, by a no-name author. $6.99 seems to make it easier for folks to click "BUY."

Amazon Kindle also allows authors to put their titles into a free promotion category for 5 days out of 90. I did this with my first novel back on March 1 ("Operation #EFAD"). This resulted in 35K free D/Ls, and another explosion in paid sales for all of my books. I also reduced the permanent price of EFAD to $4.99, to encourage readers to test the waters of the Enemies Trilogy.

I hope Jeff Bezos becomes a gazillionaire: he has opened the doors for "nobodies" like me.



12 posted on 04/23/2012 5:46:23 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Will88
Since I've bought mostly ebooks for publications where the hardcover, mass market paperback and ebook are all available, it puzzles me to see an ebook at $12.99 and the mass market paperback at around $8.00.

Baen Books has a better model for their science fiction books. The ebook version is available the same day as the hardcover coming out, for $6. I therefore get the ebook, and later am generally in the mood to get the paperback when it comes out. Total net revenue to Baen and the author is probably the same as if I bought the hardcover.

13 posted on 04/23/2012 5:55:49 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Travis McGee
Baen has a very interesting model which might be even better for little-known authors. For most of their books, when you click on one, it brings you to a web page from where you can start reading the first few chapters. If, by the end of the free sample, you find yourself hooked, you order the book to read the rest.
14 posted on 04/23/2012 6:03:25 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: Travis McGee

“Thank You” Matt, this thread needed an authors perspective...glad to hear sales are up, and having just finished the Reconquista, thanks also for the epilogue...8^}


15 posted on 04/23/2012 6:05:36 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: MrB

wookie and Amazon are NOT the same creature...the wimmin of Amazonian fame are more like Wonder Woman than queen mooooooooooshale...


16 posted on 04/23/2012 6:16:14 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: PapaBear3625

Here is a specific book I bought from Amazon (Kindle version) almost a year ago. Looks like they’ve raised the Kindle price a dollar and the paperback price about three dollars. Sellers will probably continue to tweak these pricing relationships between hardcover, ebook and paperback.

http://www.amazon.com/New-York-The-Novel-ebook/dp/B002PMVY3I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335187515&sr=8-1

But however they price it, there is probably little production costs involved with ebooks since the preparation to print a hardcover book is all on computer, so the digitized manuscript is already there for the ebook.


17 posted on 04/23/2012 6:31:18 AM PDT by Will88
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To: PapaBear3625

I did something similar on my own website, that is, I put huge excerpts from the novels there.

http://www.enemiesforeignanddomestic.com/excerpts.htm


18 posted on 04/23/2012 6:53:28 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee
"Thanks, Scott!
Enemies Foreign And Domestic (The Enemies Trilogy) will be auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle via Amazon Whispernet. You can go to your Kindle to start reading."


Good advertising and excellent marketing. Looking forward to re-syncing my Kindle tonight.
19 posted on 04/23/2012 12:21:31 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: Kaslin
Unlike traditional printed books, you can’t physically hold an e-book in your hands; you must purchase a special “e-reader” or tablet to peruse them. Amazon’s e-reader is called the Kindle. So, when Amazon monopolizes the e-book market, it also guarantees that people will be more likely to purchase its e-reading device.

This is not true - I can read Amazon Kindle books on my iPad and Android tablets. Amazon makes apps for both of them, plus Amazon has a reader for desktop computers and laptops. Amazon is trying to make its ebooks available everywhere.

But I agree with a lot of the other parts of the article - let the free market work.
20 posted on 04/23/2012 1:42:44 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: Gilbo_3

Yeah, poor devil Basilio Ramos. He didn’t have an easy last couple of days. Hell on earth.


21 posted on 04/23/2012 3:55:53 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: SJSAMPLE

I should have put my books on Kindle years ago. I was missing a lot of synergistic effects. Many more readers is better short and long term for sales. A lower price point for purchase leads to more initial sales. It took me until 2011-12 to figure this out. Even the 35K free D/Ls I totally do not see as missed sales, but rather many more new readers. It helps that I have a “back list” of titles. This would not work so well for a first-time author.


22 posted on 04/23/2012 4:07:49 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: onedoug

ping


23 posted on 04/23/2012 4:27:18 PM PDT by windcliff
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To: onedoug

ping


24 posted on 04/23/2012 4:27:20 PM PDT by windcliff
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To: Travis McGee

I’m a big Amazon fan too.....they give great service and sell EVERYTHING.


25 posted on 04/23/2012 4:29:35 PM PDT by Churchillspirit (9/11/2001. NEVER FORGET.)
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To: Churchillspirit

I know, they really do. I’m all the time buying used books on Amazon Marketplace. The books are sitting in little mom and pop indy bookstores all over the USA. Amazon links buyer to seller with just a few clicks, UPS/FedEx drops it off.


26 posted on 04/23/2012 4:58:36 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Codeflier

For example, Jobs considered the New York Times to be one of the finest newspapers in America and he wanted to save its journalism for future generations...One of my personal projects this year, I’ve decided, is to try to help—whether they want it or not—the Times,’ he told me in early 2010. ‘I think it’s important to the country for them to figure it out.’”


This article has let out enough of the truth about Jobs. It is liberalism. It is not unusual for a techtard to be socially and political inept. He had cancer and rather than letting cancer docs try to save his life he went with “alternative medicine.” After he made that deadly decision, he said in an interview, he regreted it.


27 posted on 04/23/2012 4:59:47 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Travis McGee

You are correct.
I’ve bought very few books from Amazon because they’re priced at nearly the same point as the physical book. For that, I get only a digital copy that I cannot give away to a friend or a library.

I’ve bought twenty or so $.99, $3.99, etc. books from their daily specials because they make more sense and hit me at a price point I don’t really have to think about.


28 posted on 04/23/2012 6:55:45 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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