Critique of this article please!?
In 2009 the Federal Labor Government commissioned a Productivity Commission report into the ‘Regulatory Regime for Books’ specifically focusing on the parallel importation restrictions on books. Effectively, the parallel importation restriction (PIR) is found in the Copyright Act (1968) and prevents Australian bookshops importing cheap books to sell onto the Australian market. To put it simply, the Government is artificially increasing the price of books sold in Australia by having this PIR in place.
The Productivity Commission (PC) found that the PIR on average increases book prices by 35% and also found that on many occasions books were up to 50% dearer as a result. The PC put it unambiguously when they concluded “PIRs place upwards pressure on book prices and that, at times, the price effect is likely to be substantial”. The PC has also said that the price impact for educational books is substantially higher as a result of the PIR. Low-income students are being unfairly peanilised by this Government in not accepting the PC’s recommendations. It’s ludicrous for Australian consumers to be paying up to an extra 50% for books as a direct result of arcane protectionist policies. It begs the question; why has Australia embarked on decades of economic liberalism and free trade yet the Government is forcing people to pay extra for books in the name of protectionism?
When Craig Emerson announced on the 11th of November 2009 he said that the Government will not be repealing the PIR as it will increase competition to an already competition heavy book market. Unfortunately for Dr Emerson, he did not read the report correctly, or at all. The PC report said, “…The actual external benefits dependent on the PIRs…are unlikely to be large”. The PC is saying that PIRs don’t give that much of a benefit to publishers and that the cost to consumers is un-proportionally large. The Government also failed to read the part of the report that says, “The benefits to the local industry are largely paid for by Australian consumers of books through higher prices and restricted access to better value editions of the titles they wish to purchase. There are also costs to other industries”. Why is the Government picking winners in a free market when, if they pick one winner, the losers are directly negatively impacted as a result?
The Government also claims that the PIR on imported books will account for a positive externality created by Australian made books and consumers are willing to pay the extra price for that added benefit. False. The PC concluded, “…PIRs do not target such benefits effectively or efficiently”. Alongside this blast of PIRs they also said “They [PIRs] lessen the imperative for the local book industry to operate at best practice”. The evidence concludes that PIRs are an economically inefficient way to help the local book industry and actually do harm to the Australian economy and unfairly target students.
PIRs are not the only way the Government supports the book sectors, they also do it by financial assistance through grants, literary prizes and tax concessions for registered organisations. There is no rationale whatsoever behind having this PIR in place as it provides little to no benefit for publishers and hits consumers very hard.
The PC’s first recommendation was that “The Government should repeal Australia’s PIRs for books. The repeal should take effect three years after the date that it is announced”. The reason why there would be a three-year lag is for the book industry to adjust to the policy transition. The Government’s official response, “The Government has decided not to change the Australian regulatory regime for books introduced by the previous Labor government”. The Government has commissioned a report, the PC produced a 240 page document outlining the economic reasoning behind why the PIR on books should be repealed and the Government’s response was “no”.
People read stuff for one of two reasons: It’s either interesting or required reading.
People who look for interesting stuff to read, whether essay or not, will give you onl How it’s being pushed through. The fake names of legislation to confuse others, etc.y the first paragraph to make up their mind. So that is all I read.
I did not have a clue of what this was about until reaching the last sentence in para 1 — way too late after reading through the boring history of whatever that you opened with.
Try opening with:
Why is Australia trying to artificiality raise the prices of books? They are sneaking this process through with arcane legislation that is beyond the understanding of the average citizen. Take the PIR as an example (Full name here) … and continue with a description of the underhanded legislation over the years. But don’t just recite facts and dates, etc. Keep it interesting. Emphasize all of the bad parts of each legislation, etc. Confusing names of legislation, pushing legislation through late at night,
“… Government’s response was “no”. add “Of course they said “no.” “Yes” would have been too fair! Editorialize some in your essay. If the newspapers can do it, you can too.