Let’s say a law is passed that makes it mandatory for everyone to buy my book “As the Matzo Ball Turns.” You can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. for slightly different prices and receive it via different delivery methods but you must buy it nonetheless. What is to stop me from raising the price of the book? What if I raise the price to $250 but you think you are getting it for three dollars because you don’t see the hidden costs (taxes) you are paying when you shell out more to go see a movie, rent a DVD, go bowling, buy a tangerine etc. Now maybe in the goodness of my heart I truly want to keep my price at $18.95 but part of the law states that I can only use Pelosi Publishing to print the book. (But we have to pass the bill first so we know what’s in it.) The costs at this particular publishing house do not allow me to keep my book priced at $18.95 because of the ridiculous charge for the publishing services. Who is going to absorb that cost? Yeah, that’s right, you the dupe. Now let’s also say this mandatory law to buy my book includes any future spinoffs that I write. What incentive do I have to write the next great American novel? Ah, you guessed it, none at all.

Okay, now that this law is in effect we need people to read the book, understand it and familiarize themselves with the pitch line so they can explain it to others and tell everyone in America where and how they can get it. Then we need people to take orders, mail out literature on the new law concerning my book, we need people in payroll, we need accountants to keep track of costs, we need a department (The Department of the Matzo Balls) to make sure the program is running effectively and that people have a place to complain about the bluntness of the humor etc. Then we need boots on the ground enforcing the new law to make sure everyone in America owns a copy of As the Matzo Ball Turns. This same team must use fear and intimidation to coerce people into buying my book because maybe there are just some people out there who could give a rats ass about the inner machinations of Hollywood and the restaurant business and will only buy it if there is a steep fine attached for failing to do so.

Now, let’s also say that As the Matzo Ball Turns becomes an overnight success and everybody wants a copy yesterday. And in the midst of this feeding frenzy there are some who’s very lives may be saved from reading this book. But, demand is too high in relation to the supply. Who gets the book first? Who chooses?

And speaking of political favors, what if I have a creative difference with the law maker responsible for this new law. Now, suddenly he wants someone who will write about his days as a Congressman before and after he got caught sending pictures of his private parts to young girls. He wants someone to capture his story and decides to bring in his cousin Spanky who knows him better than anyone. Soon only Spanky’s books will be purchased because other writers will not be able to entice us to buy their products due to the rising costs we are forced to pay for Spanky’s books.

Isn’t it better for everybody when we chose which books we want to buy and how much we are willing to pay for them? Although in the case of As the Matzo Ball Turns this should be mandatory reading for anyone who dines out in public or has hidden aspirations for a life of fame and fortune in film and television. But I would fight to the death for you to have the right to choose to buy it over being forced to purchase it. That’s what makes me a true American!


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