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Books Government

Swiss Voters Reject Book Price Controls 129

New submitter hinterwaeldler writes "In 2007 Switzerland abandoned book price control (which requires publishers to fix prices for their books and forbids any dealer to sell at another price), reducing prices by 30% to 50% for online buyers. The brick & mortar book stores lobbied the parliament into creating a bill to reinstate the price fixing, against which a referendum was taken by liberals and the Pirate Party, forcing a popular vote. On March 11, after an intense debate, Swiss voters decided against book price control (German-language original) with a majority of 56%."
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Swiss Voters Reject Book Price Controls

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  • by willpb ( 1168125 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:46AM (#39339417)
    It would be nice to have a functioning democracy. I just wish we could have a referendum on protectionism here in the U.S.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @11:53AM (#39339493)

    To be fair, there can be things that a society feels are more important than low prices. For instance, perhaps a subsidy is needed to provide incentive for the small Swiss market, which doesn't even have a common language. If the Swiss people thought that they needed more literature than the free market could support, then it is reasonable to subsidize it. As another example, I happen to support some kind of incentive for over-production of food, because I'd much rather over-pay than run out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:41PM (#39340961)

    Shakespeare wasn't exactly high society in his day, maybe you are the one who needs perspective. Meaningful literature is what society considers important over time - LotR's depictions of various creatures have become fairly standard in fantasy yet at the time of Tolkien's death the Silmarillion was somewhat rushed to get it out while there was still a market for it.

    A fair amount of Baen's stuff does make one think about the rights and duties one has to society, the Honor Harrington series for instance compares many different forms of government and discusses ways to ensure the society remains true to its founding beliefs. It examines polygamy in a modern society, the risks stemming from a perpetual underclass, etc. Tom Krautman pretty much beats you over the head with the ills of "transnational progressives." Eric Flint's Ring of Fire/1632 universe heavily examines the effects of grand politics on the average person.

    Most SciFi races are archetypes that allow us to examine social behavior. In Star Trek you have the Ferengi as the 80's "Greed is Good" view of capitalism, the Klingons the embodiment of an honor bound society, the Romulans as the paranoid closed society, the Borg as the end result of utilitarianism, Cardasians as racial supremacists, Dominion as a caste based society ruled by a formerly abused underclass.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin