Get ready to pay more: Bush administration wants to legalize price fixing

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    You gotta love the free market and how it benefits the consumer :rolleyes: :

    LA Times

    I can't imagine America's retail stores are any more thrilled about this crackpot idea than consumers are. Some of them don't just discount products, they actually lose money on them (loss-leaders) in order to get you in the store to buy other goods.

    It just makes me weary as to how low the Bush folks can go, what kind of screw-you scheme they'll figure out next. :mad:
     
  2. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    You're right. Aside from how much we have to pay something, we also care about how much more we're going to have to pay, how we're going to be able to find to money to pay more for it, etc.

    Someone educate me. Can any good (on the consumer's end) come from this?
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #4
    No, Apple uses loopholes.. the way they do it, you're not allowed to advertise that you're selling apple products if they're below a certain price or something, so everyone keeps the prices at what apple asks so they can advertise them.
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    So in theory, it's completely different, but in practice it's exactly the same?
     
  6. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #6
    not good for a country which is already drowning in debt...
     
  7. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #7
    Yup. :)
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #8
    So much for your free market. :rolleyes:


    No. Nothing good at all. What's interesting is Swarmlord seems to be enjoying this, even though he claims to be an advocate of the "free market". Looks like he isn't.
     
  9. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #9
    We really can't defend Apple on this one. Look all over the internet, and you'll find the exact same prices for their products. You might see something like $50 off after a (store) rebate. But the retail price remains the same.

    But getting back to the larger issue: I wonder why this story was in the LA Times several days ago and it's not getting much play anywhere else. I haven't seen anything about it on MSNBC or CNN. A search for articles about "price fixing" by date yielded very few relevant results in the first three pages. I did find something at the NYT website. But largely it seems as if the media are complicit in keeping this on the QT.
     
  10. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #10
    This completely undermines the foundation of a free-market economy. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has long abandoned even trying to appear as something other than the political enforcement arm of the conservative platform.

    America has been completely subverted by the corporations. I think most people suspect, or know this. Unfortunately, most seem willing to accept it. As long as they are free from want and fear, they seem willing to buy into anything.

    It is a sorry state of affairs, unless you are one of the ones who do not care.
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #11
    You misunderstand how Apple 'controls' prices.

    Apple set the retail price in the Apple store online at about 2% - 5% above the wholesale price they charge the dealers. Therefore, resellers cannot afford to discount. Consider that Visa and Mastercard and Amex charge the reseller 1.75% - 3% of the total (inluding tax and shipping) and you get a feel for why you don't see discounting.
     
  12. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    #12
    Its interesting. This would hurt the big chains more than anyone because they usually drive the prices further down the most (this is not including online location where a totally different mentality plays into). This move might actually help the small store keeper, who while not being able to compete with Walmart in price can better his service. Yet, if prices are fixed, then hes able to compete with Walmart in price and better his service, win-win. For them. Unsure exactly how it would affect consumers, since while it will definetly reduce the deviation of prices from retailer's sale price. Prices might go down in general if they are making a larger average profit margin per sale. Theorethically that is. But it could go either way. If they make a larger average profit, they could just tuck it away sort of like the exorbant profits Apple makes (until competition is able to undercut them). So its hard to say exactly how it would affect consumers, I would nto be completely certain that it would mean higher average prices. Certainly higher minimum prices, but average prices is a whole different ball game.

    But its interesting how this falls on political lines. Because it doesnt really. I mean anti-business leftists will point that the consumer will be snubbed with higher prices. Yet, the anti-Walmart leftists will point out that Walmart will be hurt greatly and it will be much better for the small retailer. Market Conservatives will say this is a free market and they should be able to do what they want. But the family oriented conservative who believes in the family, will say consumers will hurt so it shouldnt be done. And the small buisness conservative, looking out for those families jobs to large corporations and off-shoring would say this is helpful.

    So while Bush makes it a polarizing issue, its really not a Red/Blue issue like Abortion where people will stand on party lines.

    I would like to see a case study of this by some economists on a small frame (such as one state or a couple cities). It would be interesting to note, if the average price per product goes up. Also if the average spending per family increases. Its hard to tell exactly. I would like to also get some analysis from an economist on what this would do exactly.
     
  13. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #13
    Quite an interesting post. Definitely made me think differently about the issue. I always appreciate people who take the time to think, especially since I don't always do so myself.
     
  14. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    #14
    Unless you look at Amazon, where Mac Pros have come with $150-200 rebates for quite some time now.

    There are quite a number of ways of getting around the minimum advertised price.
     
  15. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #15
    I don't see how this would effect Walmart what so ever. Walmart already tells their suppliers what they're going to pay for their products. If companies could set the price on their products, Walmart would just tell them where to set their retail price too.
     
  16. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #16
    I'm bumping this because Swarmlord never answered lee. How can one be for the free market, like you say you are, then turn around and support something like this?
     
  17. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #17
    I didn't say I endorsed it. I agreed with the earlier poster that it was essentially the same. I didn't even say anything about free markets. Maybe he was free associating or something. Sometimes people get the wrong impression that this is some kind of question and answer exam rather than a running commentary forum. I can agree with someone's observation without agreeing to the underlying subject.
     
  18. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #18
    Agreed- I was having fun at your expense. :) But now that we're back on the subject, you couldn't possibly think this is a good thing, right?
     
  19. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #19
    No. I'm not a fan of price fixing, manipulation, etc. at all no matter what the administration or the reasoning behind it.
     
  20. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    What is with this obsessive need you have to make everyone agree with you? Can't anyone have their own views and opinions without you stuffing yours down their throats?

    Now who's having fun at whose expense?

    :p
     
  21. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    Wow- I wasn't. But having known swarmlord and his views as long as I have, I couldn't see how he could be for price-fixing.

    Chill out baby- take a xanax. :)

    EDIT- haha! just saw your white type. :)
     
  22. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    Sorry, had to do it. :D
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    We've already had this discussion in the "Apple price fixing" thread, but just for the record, "minimum advertised price" (MAP) is not "price fixing." If the Supreme Court overturns the "Dr Miles rule" then we're in for real price fixing, of the kind we haven't seen since the days of "fair trade" laws.
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #24
    To expand on what IJ said, it is actually different. Not too happy with the whole MAP thing, but it's not too far off of retail price, and people gotta make a buck. Just like it's not illegal to have a majority or even a monopoly. Where things get sticky is when that advantage is abused. Or in this case, when corporations (like, say, the oil companies) get together to inflate prices so there's little or no competition. So Apple can charge a premium, just as MS can charge specific amounts for their software (OEM, education, and bulk being separate just as they are with Apple). Just as IBM, HP, or Little Debbie can. Walmart dropping prices so low no one can compete, then jacking them up when they become the only game in town enters that shaky ground. MS telling PC makers they can't bundle other companies software or they can't sell Windows is illegally using their monopoly. A group of companies getting together to raise prices artificially while paying their distributors almost nothing is just bad for everybody.

    It gets a lot more technical than that, but that's the gist. There's a reason this became illegal. And the fact they want to repeal it is just further proof they care more about business and money than they do people. Especially the lower class who would really be hurt by this, but keeps voting for them because they're all about Christian values. :rolleyes:
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    With MAP, the retailer is only prohibited from advertising the product for a price lower than the one set by the manufacturer -- they are not prohibited from actually selling it for a lower price. Some of us are old enough to remember "fair trade." One item that was "fair traded" was G.E. light bulbs. No matter where you shopped, they were sold for exactly the same price. Retailers didn't bother to advertise fair trade items. There wasn't any point.

    The good news I guess is if the Supreme Court overturns the Dr Miles rule that Congress could reinstate it legislatively. That would be an interesting fight.
     

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