Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Attorneys General to Blockbuster: Some people are stupid, pay us money.

So goes the "settlement" between 47 state attorneys general and Blockbuster. Blockbuster agrees to pay $630,000 and to rebate restocking fees and sales if customers claim they were confused.

I don't like these kinds of shakedowns. Blockbuster's settlement will be paid to the state treasuries even though the states themselves did not incur any economic damages. The shareholders of Blockbuster are forced to cede some of their well-deserved profit because some people can't read. Moreover, some states have smarter people than others (remember the smart state-stupid state comparison of vote totals earlier this year?). Does this mean that some states deserve more of the settlement than other states?

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