More fundamentally, though, we should recognize that Amazon puts those retailers out of business because it offers a product that consumers prefer. I frequently choose to buy online rather than spend time and effort driving to my local shopping mall. If enough Americans agree with me, the stores in those shopping malls will have to adapt or lose business. That is the “creative destruction” at the heart of free-market capitalism.
And, ultimately, we are all better off because of it. We get newer, cheaper, and better products. How many of us wish that technology had stopped in 1900, or 1950, or 2010?
In the end, we are even likely to get more jobs. George Mason economist Donald Boudreaux points out that last January alone more than 1.8 million Americans lost their jobs. Of course, over that same period, more than 3.3 million quit, and 5.6 million new jobs were created. That is typical for the American economy.