I’m a simple man. Obvious contradictions confuse me. As I considered the current state of independent writing, especially through the largest marketplace, Amazon, there appeared to be a disconnect between how many make their living and their political leanings.
Growing up in a world where entitlement programs, safety nets and heavy government regulation are the norm, many of us have trouble understanding what its like to experience true freedom and open markets. It’s difficult, in an over-politicized world, where party leanings are often more important than family, to look at economic and life issues through an objective lens.
I try. I don’t belong to any political party. Every politician has to earn my vote. I consider myself a free thinker.
What I’ve learned over the years are so few people in this world match their deeds with their words. They promote ideas without acting on them. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always admired Ed Begley, Jr. He’s been an environmentalist since before it was cool. He drove an electric car back when it looked like a golf cart with four doors. He composted when it was difficult. He lived what he preached. Even if I don’t agree with all of his stances, I admire the hell out of him for leading by example.
Writers should try to do the same, shouldn’t we?
Amazon is like America, or what America used to be. It is a free market economy with very little regulation that allows those that work hard and make a good product to make a living. It is literally a land of opportunity. Writers are free to manage their costs, production, inventory, unfettered or limited by Amazon’s market landscape. They offer no safety nets for your failure.
Writers thrive because Amazon doesn’t punish success or try to level incomes. They offer incentives if you get involved with certain programs, but don’t play favorites to an unfair level.
Indy success hinges on a low-regulation, high-freedom, free market economy… the Libertarian model. If such open capitalism has created an over abundance of opportunity on Amazon, why would it not do the same everywhere else, like it did in America’s past? Yet, so many writers support politicians and parties that, if their policies were enacted by Amazon, would kill their income.
The disconnect. It intrigues me. I’ll use broad stroke assumptions to make a point. For example…
If Bernie Sanders’ socialist model were applied to Amazon, they would take 70% of each writer’s income and redistribute it equally across their landscape to other writers who aren’t as productive.
Those writers who support that, raise your hand.
If Hillary Clinton’s model were applied, Amazon would make special incentives for people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, adjust for income inequality, require authors that reach a level of success to offer healthcare for their virtual assistants, and require some people to write books in opposition to their faith.
If Donald Trump’s model were applied, Amazon would institute prohibitive tariffs on authors residing outside the U.S., allow lobbying for better terms and regulations that favor successful writers at the expense of new ones, attack those who disagree with you or don’t like your products, and promote questionable training courses that don’t deliver on their promises.
Sound better or worse?
These examples are a bit extreme, of course. But it doesn’t change the simple reality that the majority of writers succeed on Amazon because it is an open, lightly regulated market place where your success or failure is completely in your hands.
That’s why I’m confounded by those who profit from such an environment, yet support politicians who propose the opposite?
Indy authors, the truth is you’re actually a Libertarian, even if you don’t know it yet.