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Old 07-27-2019, 04:08 PM   #61
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It's very easy. Let the market decide. I see no need whatsoever for Government intervention to save retail dinosaurs from extinction. I suspect that there will still be many competitive physical stores which can compete.
I suppose they could break up Amazon since it is becoming a monopoly. Like they did when they broke up Bell Telephone. For those who aren't old enough to remember those days, Bell Telephone provided the phones for the entire US, except for tiny pockets here and there.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:10 PM   #62
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I think it is pretty clear that the impact of technology has been, over a long period of time, to replace a large number of jobs with a smaller number of higher skilled jobs.
Businesses will always do whatever reduces their costs / increases their profits, regardless of the ill effects to society.
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:51 PM   #63
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I suppose they could break up Amazon since it is becoming a monopoly. Like they did when they broke up Bell Telephone. For those who aren't old enough to remember those days, Bell Telephone provided the phones for the entire US, except for tiny pockets here and there.
Of course, the issue was that while Bell Telephone had the monopoly, you could only hook Bell Telephone equipment up and you were required to use Bell Telephone. It was truly a government enforced monopoly. As such, it was under no pressure to innovate. So things like voice mail, touch tone and mobile phones were all sitting in the labs rather than being made available to the general public. Long distance was by the minute and very expensive.

The big difference is Amazon is not a government mandated monopoly. Therefore anyone can compete with them. Where Amazon might get in trouble is using profits from one area to support selling items below cost in order to drive out competitors in one area of business, i.e. the Standard Oil behavior. However, with agency pricing, that's not possible.

My take is that there is nothing to prevent a deep pocket company from building the infrastructure to compete with Amazon, either on ebooks, or any other line of online retail.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:19 PM   #64
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... you could only hook Bell Telephone equipment up ... It was truly a government enforced monopoly.
I don't at that time recall ever hearing anyone say that it was a government enforced monopoly, simply that it was a monopoly and as such stifled competition as well as the other usual problems we get with monopolies.

As for only hooking up Bell Telephone equipment, when I was in high school we had an Ericofone, made by Ericsson Company of Sweden. Later, at work we had modems connected to the phone lines that weren't made by Bell Telephone. The main thing I remember is that when you connected something not made by BT you had to let them know and tell them its Ringer Equivalency.

https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Ericofon_1956_1.jpg
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:43 PM   #65
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Malls. Those were those things that had 15 shoestores, a Spencer's Gifts, and a foodcourt under one roof, right? Can't figure out why they didn't last forever.
Entertainment.
Before the internet they were the place to hang out. Especially for teens.

Most malls had multiplexes in or next to them, along with family restaurants so it was common for folks to window shop before or after movies. Or hit the restaurant after a movie. All that traffic resulted in sales.

The first big blow was cable originals.
Then the internet.
Then smartphones. Big hit there.
Then the "great recession".
Frugality became popular and people learned to do without malls.
(And for a lot of malls, the remaiing teen traffic that had been a nuisance masked by crowds became a problem.)

There's still a lot of B&M shopping going on, even in the surviving malls, but not at the levels the mall operators need to support their rents and debt loads.

Too many malls, too many stores, and much less shopping-as-entertainment.

Their heyday was the 80's.
But y2k they were already hurting.

Check this out:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jH6elLt980g
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:29 PM   #66
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I suppose they could break up Amazon since it is becoming a monopoly. Like they did when they broke up Bell Telephone. For those who aren't old enough to remember those days, Bell Telephone provided the phones for the entire US, except for tiny pockets here and there.
They could...
...if they only looked at online sales.

They won't because internet-only sales is but a small part of Amazon (not even the most important anymore) and onlines sales are a small part of US retail.

Here:

https://techcrunch.com/2009/07/27/co...ts-visualized/

And that was ten years ago.

Today they account for 50% of online but only 5% of total retail.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/13/am...-retail-spend/

Nobody is going to call even 50% a monopoly, much less 5%.
When it comes to total retail sales Wal-Mart ($500B) is much bigger than Amazon 9$300B) yet nobody has gone after them as a "monopoly" and 90% of all retail is B&M, Wal-Mart 's stronghold.

Griping about Amazon over the "piddly" publishing market is losing perspective over the role of publishing in the real world.

Try this:

Total US publishing runs around $27Billion a year. Big, right? (Includes higher education, corporate, k-11, and trade).
Nope.
Total US retail runs $5-6 trillion a year. And growing. By more than the size of the entire publishing industry (5-10x actually) every year. Both past and projected.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/...-retail-sales/

Yeah, Amazon is big at around $300Billion. But Wal-Mart is bigger at $500M and both are barely noticeable in the overall retail picture.

And publishing? It's maybe 5% of Amazon's gross and even less of it's profits, which mostly comes from AWS.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/all-of...omes-from-aws/

Amazon typically invests its profits into growing the company instead of reporting it as taxable income but AWS is producing more they can spend. About $5B a year in income out of around $20B in sales. In a couple more years AWS will be bigger than all US publishing. And they might not even be tops in cloud computing. A toss-up between them and Azure, profit wise.

Amazon plays in a whole different league.
Their numbers don't mean what the publishing media makes them out to be.
They're big and they're profitable but they need to be big to play with the big boys.

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-27-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:27 AM   #67
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Today they account for 50% of online but only 5% of total retail.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/13/am...-retail-spend/

Nobody is going to call even 50% a monopoly, much less 5%.
When it comes to total retail sales Wal-Mart ($500B) is much bigger than Amazon 9$300B) yet nobody has gone after them as a "monopoly" and 90% of all retail is B&M, Wal-Mart 's stronghold.
So two retailers account for about 15% of total retail?
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:58 AM   #68
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So two retailers account for about 15% of total retail?
Just about.
A bit more if you add Target.
Not bad, really.

The "retail apocalypse" has really cut down the other big retailers like Sears, Penney's, Macy, etc. It's pretty distributed, compared to other sectors where the top players can add up to over 50%.
( In Cars, the top three alone are about 40%.)
http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2018/02...uary-2018-ytd/

Over-expansion and over-reliance on malls is the real cause of the die off in B&M.

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-29-2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:34 AM   #69
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I don't at that time recall ever hearing anyone say that it was a government enforced monopoly, simply that it was a monopoly and as such stifled competition as well as the other usual problems we get with monopolies.

As for only hooking up Bell Telephone equipment, when I was in high school we had an Ericofone, made by Ericsson Company of Sweden. Later, at work we had modems connected to the phone lines that weren't made by Bell Telephone. The main thing I remember is that when you connected something not made by BT you had to let them know and tell them its Ringer Equivalency.

https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Ericofon_1956_1.jpg
It was a government regulated monopoly. The power company and gas company worked pretty much the same way at that time. There might have been some small mom and pop telephone companies around in rural locations, but there was only one set of wires into each residents. For something like 95% of the country, it was the Bell Systems.

I worked for BellSouth for about 13 years. The regulated part of the company was Southern Bell. Each state had it's own regulation body, so rules were different from state to state. In general, prior to the 1982 breakup, if you wanted to hook non Bell equipment up to the Bell network, you had to get it certified by Bell, then pay a monthly fee.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:12 PM   #70
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There might have been some small mom and pop telephone companies around in rural locations, but there was only one set of wires into each residents.
My grandmother had one of the mom and pop ones; I can't remember the name now. It was horrible and everyone hated it. But the funny thing is that the company reinvented itself and is now Verizon, one of the better phone companies.
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Old 07-28-2019, 01:57 PM   #71
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From slashdot :
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Amazon "destroyed the retail industry across the United States" and that it's appropriate for the attorney general to investigate the company alongside other tech giants in the sweeping antitrust review that the Justice Department announced yesterday. "There's no question they've limited competition,"

So...
Some munchkin dude is out to get the wicked witch of the west?
What the Munichin doesn't get is that there are a lot of people selling things through Amazon and that's how they make their living or selling on Amazon supplements their physical store.
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Old 07-28-2019, 03:14 PM   #72
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My grandmother had one of the mom and pop ones; I can't remember the name now. It was horrible and everyone hated it. But the funny thing is that the company reinvented itself and is now Verizon, one of the better phone companies.
I had lived in a city/county where when I called someone across the street, the call was a long distance/toll call. Huge shock when the PacBell bill came in.
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Old 07-28-2019, 03:16 PM   #73
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What the Munichin doesn't get is that there are a lot of people selling things through Amazon and that's how they make their living or selling on Amazon supplements their physical store.
And some even act as sellers when they are really rerouting the order; e.g. I had bought a set of ceramic lined pans from "Amazon" & was surprised when the package arrived, it was packaged & redirected to me from Walmart.
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Old 07-28-2019, 03:55 PM   #74
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And some even act as sellers when they are really rerouting the order; e.g. I had bought a set of ceramic lined pans from "Amazon" & was surprised when the package arrived, it was packaged & redirected to me from Walmart.
Yep - third party sellers list things on Amazon that are sold by walmart. The listing price is more than walmart is selling the item for. Then they order it from walmart and have it direct shipped to you (probably for free)
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Old 07-28-2019, 03:57 PM   #75
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I think it is pretty clear that the impact of technology has been, over a long period of time, to replace a large number of jobs with a smaller number of higher skilled jobs.
Well...except all the skilled jobs that are replaced by automation into unskilled jobs. Used to be that "making" took a craftsman. With the advent of the assembly line and other automation, making turned into low skilled factory work.

Then automation went on to start replacing those low skiled jobs that were created by automation in the first place.

Creative destruction. We can only hope it keeps being balanced out by job innovation. Just because it always has, doesn't mean it always will.
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