David M. Brown's Blog

January 31, 2012

The evil that men do when they buy and sell like buyers and sellers do

Filed under: Economics,Ethics,Psychology,Society and culture — davidmbrowndotcom @ 7:57 pm

An NYT reader accuses B&N of “evil behavior” toward small book shops, an indictment others seem to accept; but after making this broad accusation of evil does not condescend to say in what the evil consists. Does it have something to do with providing books and other products that customers have wanted to buy? Did not the smaller shops also commit this evil of the selling of the books? Unless the reader is suggesting that it is evil per se to sell stuff, it sounds like he simply dislikes B&N, or perhaps all chain bookstores, or perhaps all chain stores to which customers have responded with their willing patronage and which have therefore achieved commercial success.

But if Barnes and Noble has been evil for selling books and for causing the downfall of those bookshops which it has out-competed, are not all the many customers who conspired in this process also evil? These customers knew darn well that they were buying books from one place and not from another place. They wickedly followed their very own preferences in the matter. Oh, they knew what they were doing. Going to Store A instead of to Store B. They KNEW!!


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