Brats With Blue Checks Remind Us of Amazon, Facebook and Twitter’s Genius

Must read

This is the second-biggest home price correction of the post-WWII era—it’s also a fairly mild correction

On one hand that 2.5% drop in U.S. home prices marks the second-biggest home price correction of the post–World War...

ChatGPT just created a new tool to catch students trying to cheat using ChatGPT

The maker of ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool that can help teachers detect...

The professor who wrote the book on digital surveillance says that Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover means our political stability, health and sanity come down...

Elon Musk has been in the news for years, but nothing compares to the splash he made in 2022 when he bought Twitter. A...

UPDATE: Acquittal of Pro-Life Activist Sparks Questions Regarding FACE Act Relevance

Last year the nation was rocked when the leaked Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe v. Wade hit...

By John Tamny for RealClearMarkets

There’s a perhaps apocryphal anecdote that’s been spreading around for years that Target, based on the buying habits of its female customers, often knows before they do if they’re pregnant. Which is wonderful.

It’s a sign that Target is working feverishly to know its customers, and to have in stock what its customers want when they want it. And often before they want it. Please stop and think about this.

RELATED: Needy Democrats Feel Jilted by Elon Musk

And in thinking about it, consider the anecdotes that emerged from the old Soviet Union. At restaurants the menus were immaterial, as were orders placed by customers. Dinner was whatever inedible food item that the restaurant had in the kitchen, and that they chose to put in front of you.

Peter Osnos was Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post back in the 1970s, and was notably fashionable. During the Moscow years he and his wife cut each other’s hair so awful were the alleged hairdressers.

In The Russians, Soviet-era New York Times Moscow bureau chief Hedrick Smith remarked that while Americans complained endlessly about lines for gasoline in the 1970s (logically born of price controls), in the Soviet Union there were lines for everything, and everything was substandard on the very slim assumption that anything was available.

Such is life in a country bereft of a profit motive. Put another way, if profits are illegal what’s the point of learning about one’s customers?

This is all worth keeping in mind as an intensely spoiled pundit class beats up Big Tech for essentially making its users “the product.” Supposedly there’s something sinister about this profit motive. It’s become especially noisy since Elon Musk had the temerity to suggest that “Blue Check” users of Twitter should pay for the designation.

Support Conservative Voices!

Sign up to receive the latest political news, insight, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox.

By subscribing, you agree to receive emails from ThePoliticalInsider.com and that you’ve read and agree to our privacy policy and to our terms and conditions. You further agree that the use of reCAPTCHA is subject to the Google Privacy and Terms of Use.

In response whiny pundits essentially claimed Twitter should be paying them for making Twitter such a popular destination, or that Musk’s officious ways should cause people to get off of social media altogether. They’re bluffing. Kind of like the celebrities who claim in every election cycle that they’ll leave the U.S. if so-and-so wins. 

As evidenced by the deep in thought, famous, or both attaining the checks in the first place, Twitter is very valuable to its most prominent users. While access to the site is free such that users are the “product,” stop and think how valuable a prominent Twitter presence is to those who are either important, or just think they are.

RELATED: Tables Turned? Elon Musk’s Twitter Slapped Biden With a ‘Fact-Check’ About Corporate Taxes

Some monetize the latter through the publication of books, some through payment for pageviews of their opinion pieces, some through promotion of a new movie or television show, and some through handsome pay that springs from side or full-time work as “influencers.” If anything, Musk should be charging the brats with the blue checks quite a bit more. As their usage indicates, they get much more than $8/month out of Twitter.

All the designated give up is better knowledge of themselves so that – yes – Twitter can direct advertisers to those most likely to be interested in whatever they’re selling.

Facebook should be viewed similarly, along with its subsidiary in Instagram. Users are exposed to more and more of what they want in return for revealing more of themselves to Facebook and Instagram. And the “products” feel violated? Or used? Oh please, they doth protest way too much as anyone who has spent time on either Facebook or Instagram knows very well.

Lest we forget, the users of both sites frequent both given an unquenchable desire to tell thousands – and millions – all about themselves. Yet Facebook, or Meta is the enemy for snooping? And what of the myriad businesses that have been launched free of marketing costs thanks to these two essential sites?

Here’s a bet: if Facebook and Instagram ever charge for usage they won’t see visits fall much at all. The social media giants are a bargain

What about Amazon? Supposedly it “listens” to us through Alexa, and no doubt learns enormous amounts about us from what we buy and don’t buy on Amazon itself. Yet some are bothered. Why? Would Amazon shoppers prefer reduced access to goods and services in concert with slower delivery? The question answers itself.

RELATED: If Budget Deficits Caused Inflation, There Would Be No Budget Deficits

It all speaks yet again to just how spoiled Americans have become, and realistically how clueless they are to what life would be like absent the profit motivated. Amazon is spying on us not because it’s in cahoots with the federal government, but precisely because it’s not. And since it’s not, it’s endlessly searching for ways to understand us so that it can first meet our needs, and even better, anticipate what we might need.

Call out for Alexa if you’re wondering about the meaning of the previous sentence.

In a sense all the whining is a sign of progress. If Americans are this spoiled, life must be pretty grand. And that’s a good thing. Still, it’s difficult to not occasionally yearn for the entitled to have a taste of the past so that they’ll cease being so offended by our wondrous present. In the past, so many suffered under governments that didn’t care to learn about them.

Not so ironically those who desired worthy goods and services were reduced to risking their freedom and lives by transacting with black marketeers who actually did care to learn about them, and their needs.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, Vice President at FreedomWorks, a senior fellow at the Market Institute, and a senior economic adviser to Applied Finance Advisors (www.appliedfinance.com). His latest book, The Money Confusion: How Illiteracy About Currencies and Inflation Sets the Stage For the Crypto Revolution, releases today. 

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.

More articles

Latest article

This is the second-biggest home price correction of the post-WWII era—it’s also a fairly mild correction

On one hand that 2.5% drop in U.S. home prices marks the second-biggest home price correction of the post–World War...

ChatGPT just created a new tool to catch students trying to cheat using ChatGPT

The maker of ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool that can help teachers detect...

The professor who wrote the book on digital surveillance says that Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover means our political stability, health and sanity come down...

Elon Musk has been in the news for years, but nothing compares to the splash he made in 2022 when he bought Twitter. A...

UPDATE: Acquittal of Pro-Life Activist Sparks Questions Regarding FACE Act Relevance

Last year the nation was rocked when the leaked Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe v. Wade hit...

Maxine Waters Goes After Manchin and Sinema – Suggests They Don’t Care About Police Reform

Representative Maxine Waters took a shot at two Democrat Senators — Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin — suggesting...