The Risk Of Amazon

Script

The rules that bind government are there in recognition of the fact that where you have a monopoly of power, you have a great capacity for abuse of that power.  In the corruption of the US government, the government has expanded beyond the allowance of the constitution while also letting corporations go unchecked as monopolies that infringe on citizen’s rights.  

Amazon has done quite well at improving the lives of many by improving methodologies of retail.  This focus on progress and innovation has seemingly been a result of the personality of Jeff Bezos.  Amazon's efficiency has led it to have a near monopoly in online retail.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  There are cases where a monopoly is useful for progress.

Lets consider the case of perfect competition.  In perfect competition, because all the companies are competing by selling nearly at cost, no company accrues the capital necessary for further investment.  It is excess capital that allows companies to undertake risky or long term projects.  Monopolies not only provide the capital necessary for long term and risky projects, they also provide a captive audience that is sometimes necessary to successfully deploy innovations.

The US government has treated Amazon favorably because Amazon has continued to innovate.  But, if we look at something like google, the preferential treatment by the US government is less about google driving progress and more about google cooperating and integrating with government.  The huge amount of data google compiles on individuals is a precious resource to governments and advertisers.  Googles main drive is not innovation, but rather, gathering data, applying algorithms to data, and behavior modification.  We can see that last item in google's attempt to sway the 2016 election in favor of Hilary Clinton.  Google maps, which google bought, gmail, their office products, are all avenues of further data collection.  Improvements on their products are mostly made either to allow more collection of data or to ensure they maintain a monopoly.

The danger of Amazon is that it loses its culture of innovation and becomes an anti competitive, anti innovative, and government integrated monopoly.  So often, it is the bureaucratically minded administrators that rise in corporations and return the culture of the corporation back to the default of maintaining a monopoly rather than innovating.

These days, the government integrated monopolies are of an Orwellian nature.  For the oligopoly of social networks, this has resulted in banning, delisting, and censoring people with the wrong ideas.  What if it becomes preventing people with the wrong ideas from selling and buying products online?

The danger of amazon is the same danger that applies to all monopolies - that the monopoly will become exploitive.  It is a general problem in the pattern of order.  The stickiness of evolved states can prevent further evolution.  As entities become  adapted to their environment, they can prevent further evolution.  There are methodologies that prevent this fixation.  The US Constitution attempted to apply some of them.  Term limits for instance.  But, these methodologies were clearly insufficient.  If you understand economics and power dynamics, it is not too difficult to come up with better methodologies to prevent exploitation by cartels in the form of corporations and government.  In future videos, I will go through some methodologies I wrote about in 2012.

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