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The New Gilded Age Gets the Quality of Writing and Argumentation it Deserves

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This is a thing that was actually published in a major publication:

This is a piece written, presumably, for adults:

There was a time local libraries offered the local community lots of services in exchange for their tax money. They would bring books, magazines, and journals to the masses through a borrowing system. Residents could borrow any book they wanted, read it, and return it for someone else to read.

Thanks, chief! I had no idea what libraries were before this.

Then it goes on like this:

Libraries slowly began to service the local community more. Libraries introduced video rentals and free internet access. The modern local library still provides these services, but they don’t have the same value they used to. The reasons why are obvious.

One such reason is the rise of “third places” such as Starbucks. They provide residents with a comfortable place to read, surf the web, meet their friends and associates, and enjoy a great drink. This is why some people have started using their loyalty card at Starbucks more than they use their library card.

On top of this, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have replaced video rentals. They provide TV and movie content to the masses at an affordable rate. Actual video rental services like Blockbuster have gone completely out of business.

Then there’s the rise of digital technology. Technology has turned physical books into collector’s items, effectively eliminating the need for library borrowing services.

“The are businesses that will sell you services, some related to what libraries provide and some not, which means libraries are obsolete. Also, I think e-books will replace physical books completely because I fell into a coma after reading a single press release in 2007.”

Of course, there’s Amazon Books to consider. Amazon have created their own online library that has made it easy for the masses to access both physical and digital copies of books. Amazon Books is a chain of bookstores that does what Amazon originally intended to do; replace the local bookstore. It improves on the bookstore model by adding online searches and coffee shops. Amazon Go basically combines a library with a Starbucks.

Nobody ever though to make coffee or online searches available in bookstore before the geniuses of Amazon! Admittedly, the quality of writing and thinking in this op-ed is pretty compelling evidence that this guy has never set foot in a bookstore before. Also, he still doesn’t seem to be understand the crucial fact that libraries make stuff available for free.

But, really, it gets to the point right off the top, and then reiterates it:

Amazon should open their own bookstores in all local communities. They can replace local libraries and save taxpayers lots of money, while enhancing the value of their stock.

At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries. The move would save taxpayers money and enhance the stockholder value of Amazon all in one fell swoop.

We should replace libraries with bookstores because it will make Jeff Bezos richer. Well, I’m convinced! (Leaving aside the fact that unless the idea is to subsidize them it almost certainly would significantly reduce the value of Amazon’s shares.)

This is so bad I wonder if Fred Hiatt has hired him yet.

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