This is where the fallacy of "Free markets" rears its ugly head. Is the big super market really providing BETTER service? Is LOWER prices REALLY BETTER?
Since i've matured i've rather come a long way in turning from a consume everything at the lowest cost and he who dies witg the most toys wins.
I'm more of a "he who dies with the most toys still still dies" and i'll add "taking down a few more people with him all because he wanted something that would support so few"
1. How is it a free market if Amazon can strong arm prices?
2. How is it a free market if amazon has enough bully power to offer free shipping?
3. How is it a free market if volume is the only way you can compete?
To answer those questions.
1. If amazon's prices are lower and volume is high - in a free market everyone would be able to reap the benefits of that fruit by lower prices. But that doesn't happen. Amazon squeezes suppliers, squeezes shippers and locks in its "Value" by strangling competition OUT through volume when in a free market that volume should help EVERYONE to compete "Freely" and "fairly" - volume should increase supply, fill in demand and lower prices for wholesale for all - but it doesn't.
If you ask me the EU/FRENCH laws "inflict" (for lack of better word) free market by taking away the leverage an uncontrollable giant such as amazon can inflict on FREE PEOPLE under the guise of "value"
2. If amazon can get free shipping why shouldn't everyone else - i don't mean it as "Right of passage" but if the prices from #1 were fair and the market was free then amazon's pricing would be something competitors could offer to bring value to the consumers if that is what "value" means
3. ties in #1 and #2. If FREE market is entirely FREE MARKET then the market as a whole would be enjoying the self-sustaining, business building, consumer support, job support, whole-sale supporting - society supporting & conscious markets. BUT THEY DON'T. Volume is dirty word for MONOPOLY in many ways.
I'm not saying its impossible for a mom and pop to get volume, to sell themselves into the privies that the corporate giants receive.
But to me it seems France knows what a free market is and Americans have a misconception that life is about consuming at all costs rather than buying what is fair.
A hard days work for a hard days pay lost its meaning in America a LONG TIME AGO if you ask me.
Now its work all day for that pay and hope you can buy what you want at the lowest cost and forget about living, thats un-important as long as it appears i get the best bang for my dwindling buck.
Blame it on the government as many people like to say. I can't blame anything about our "free economy" on antyhing but our blook lust appetite for cheap crap.
I do understand that free markets in general work, but the market needs to be free for it to be a free market. Laws don't stop freedom, they pronounce freedom - spell it out. To many "fairness" is more freedom than "Consumption" and that is where i come from at this point of my life.
[edited by: ByronM at 6:32 pm (utc) on Jan. 16, 2008]