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Re: pricing

I'm a little puzzled by some of the attitudes expressed in this thread
about pricing. Those who make a profession of binding, as opposed to those
of us who, like Peter, moonlight, seem to feel that they alone have a right
to bind for profit. Part-timers and moonlighters immorally steal their
business through low rates.

I cannot see any decent moral argument to be made for these conclusions. In
the first place, there is no reason to suppose that anyone has a right to
clients. Put in reverse, it is false that all in need of binding services
are morally obligated to take their business to only full-time
professionals who charge top dollar. Moreover, we generally think that
informed and consenting adults are free to enter into whatever
(non-harmful) contracts they wish. Just because one is an amateur or
part-timer does not abrogate this right to form contracts.

Indeed, it seems to me that if anything is immoral here, it is the
suggestion that we binders collude to fix prices at a high level. Consider
if oil companies all got together and agreed to double the retail price of
crude oil. And why not? They all deserve decent salaries, etc. etc. The
consumer public would go ballistic at this. No bookbinder, professional or
otherwise, has an ethical expectation of any sort of income or salary at


Steven D. Hales
Assistant Professor                     email: hales@xxxxxxxxxx
Department of Philosophy                phone: (717) 389-4229
Bloomsburg University                   fax: (717) 389-2094
Bloomsburg, PA 17815

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