.

Bye, Bye Borders Bookstore--Hello Possibility

Job loss is an unfortunate thing, but there really is a bright side to the Borders bankruptcy.

Another mega retailer has been brought down by rapid man-made economic climate change, and I couldn’t be happier.

Well, okay, that’s an exaggeration, I could be happier.

I feel bad for the numerous employees of that will be without jobs. I feel very bad about that, actually. It’s really difficult weather for job hunting.

The landscape is over-hunted; the oceans are overfished, and the movie set-style economy that had the whole country overspending and overborrowing has collapsed.

Jobs have migrated to other shores, with better resources and friendlier climates. Jobs are small and nimble things, mammalian when compared to the dinosaur size mega-corporations that eat too much and share too little. 

The jobs left not because we asked too much of employers, like most conservatives will argue, but because we didn’t ask enough. 

We let the mega fauna eat all the resources, while we retreated into fantasies of instant fame and fortune.

Just like a movie set, for most of the nineties and the oughts the country looked decked out, well-lit, and solid, but it was a facade.

We were living on a movie set--all of us--while large scale conglomerates became larger and greedier, outgrowing the avarice of any individual. And that’s the problem. We’re still trying to blame people like Rupert Murdoch, and Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush, when these are just bit players in a much larger drama.

And that drama is very, very old.

It’s the story of the accumulation of advantages. For a while competition is fierce, the playing field almost level. And then someone or something, usually propelled by chance, comes out ahead, and that lead produces greater advantages, and more wins, and greater losses for everyone else.

Pretty soon, the game isn’t a game anymore: it’s a rout. And the winners get greedier and greedier, and the losers have two choices: lose touch with reality and retreat into fantasy, or lose touch with civility and overturn the system.

It’s clear which way the United States is going: hello American Idol, goodbye American Dream.

In ecology there is a word for systems that have exhausted themselves: it’s called a tipping point.

On the other side is an irreversible slide into entropy.

A pretty glum picture I know, but I paint it in order to explain my glee that Borders has passed into extinction.

Mega bookstores are no different than any other mega-corporation. Just because they peddle books doesn’t mean they’re not in it for the money. Maybe if Borders is gone, Barnes & Noble will be next.

And if that happens, then in the compost that gathers afterwards, perhaps small independent sellers will shoot up out of the waste.

Perhaps in the death of these large booksellers, smaller and more nimble sellers will flourish, and bookstores will become various and beautiful again, rather than bloated and flat.

Oliver Yu July 20, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Oh I believe you - It just historically, Use Tax is often targeted at businesses. I never heard of the government in pursuit of normal average Americans as the costs involved are not practical. Besides...who actually pays use tax lol :P?
KC July 20, 2011 at 07:38 PM
In the past, no one, but now that the states need money they are going after every last cent, even if they have to pay a dime for every penny they get back. If I recall, for Amazon, if you did not buy any big ticket items (televisions, appliances, etc.) or over your entire span spent more than like $10k on taxable items, then you should be off the radar. Otherwise you may want to look up accountants for future reference.
Oliver Yu July 20, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Use Tax is honestly the last thing I am worried about the BOE. There are other more lucrative taxes to pursuit - like the sale of cannabis for example.
Kerry July 21, 2011 at 07:23 PM
With a lot less overhead, online retailers can sell cheaper and still make a profit. Of course you cant hold it in your hand. Anyone who checks out what they want a retail store then leaves and buys online is a cheapskate. Is it right to require a local store to collect tax and not require it for an online store? They are both retailers, you aren't buying wholesale. Our local governments depend on sales tax and with the current budget problems our governments are having you should be embarrassed to admit to cheating them out of it. So you use the local stores and the local city provided amenities and don't support them and brag about how smart you are. It is almost criminal if not at least stupid.
Kerry July 22, 2011 at 08:07 AM
Didn't mean that anyone was stupid, sorry.

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