I usually don’t like to see bookstores going out of business, but in this case, even the most inveterate book-lover has to make an exception and see the black humor in the situation:
San Francisco specialty bookshop Borderlands Books is going out of business. The store will close its doors no later than March 31, 2015, but may close earlier, depending on how quickly the inventory can be sold. Owner Alan Beatts explains:
The recent change in San Francisco minimum wage law will prevent the store from being financially viable no later than July of 2018 (at which point our payroll will have increased by roughly 39%). It is quite possible that the store would lack viability before that date, as wages will increase incrementally between now and then. Rather than wait, we have chosen to close now to allow us to get the most value from the businesses. Though all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle, the minimum wage law passed in San Francisco makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to run a viable business when retail pricing is set by publishers and our main competitors are companies such as Amazon.com.
Leftists never seem to think through even the most obvious consequences of the policies they support. What percentage of the people who will be upset over the closing of their local bookstore do you suppose support both a) central banking and b) the increase in the minimum wage law in San Francisco?
The effects of ebooks, the concomitant growth of independent publishing, and the declining power of the gatekeepers to dictate what books readers are permitted to buy is going to continue to take down bookstores and publishers alike. Some of these losses will be a pity. Others are to be celebrated. But whether we like the changes or not, they are coming.