21 Dec 2013

Matt Yglesias and Josh Barro Admit They Have No Honor

Matt Yglesias 88 Comments

I promise you guys, I was going to let this go. I said my piece about Yglesias’ “go ahead and lie about having a fake kid, it gives you money” post. But then Josh Barro and he had to double down on it, with Yglesias actually referring to the reaction to his original post as “a lot of dim-witted faux-populist moralistic outrage.”

Before jumping into the substance, two disclaimers:

(1) This isn’t a huge deal. I’m much more outraged that Yglesias, Josh Barro, Krugman, and others have no problem stealing people’s money because they earn a lot and so their “marginal utility of income” is low, or that they have no problem with FDR stealing everyone’s gold in 1933 at gunpoint. So when it comes to their psychopathic disregard for social conventions and property rights, those things are much bigger deals to me than this, which is more akin to sneaking a package of Twizzlers from the grocery store into the movie theater.

(2) This Amazon thing is surely bothering me more, because it’s coming from Yglesias than if it had been some random guy.

OK back to the substance: Yglesias is arguing that this isn’t a big deal, because Amazon didn’t take steps to protect themselves from such dishonesty. OK, well I could probably get away with scooping up a waitress’s tip off the table in a diner, is that the diner’s fault for not hiring a security guard? For a better analogy, what if someone who’s not a senior citizen makes a fake idea to pretend to be? Striking closer to home, what if someone figures out a way to trick healthcare.gov into thinking he’s a healthy 25-year-old when setting his premium, when really he’s a 45-year-old with heart trouble? I mean, the Obama Team should’ve designed their website better if somebody can get away with that.

But what’s truly hilarious in all this is that Yglesias refers to it as “sweet vindication” (his actual term!) when Barro asked for clarification and got this from Amazon (I’m quoting Barro):

Anyway, I put a simple question to Amazon: Do you mind if people with only fake children sign up for Amazon Mom? Answer: they don’t. Here’s what Scott Stanzel, Amazon’s Director of Consumer Communications, had to say:

We’re happy to have all Moms and Dads in the program, although parents with imaginary children won’t be able to take full advantage of the great discounts on diapers and other baby products that the program is designed to provide.

You’re in the clear, Tim Duncan Crawford [Yglesias’ fake kid–RPM].

(Perhaps alarmed at having been too sanguine about the fake baby thing, Stanzel reached back out to me this morning to add, “We are using the honor system, and we expect the vast majority of users to be honest.”)

So there you have it, kids: According to Josh Barro and Matt Yglesias, doing something that requires you to be dishonest and violate the honor system–knowing full well if too many people did it, it would frustrate the purpose of the system according to the creators–is perfectly fine. Didn’t Yglesias study philosophy at Harvard? I guess they didn’t cover Kant’s categorical imperative that semester?

Anyway, in contrast to the Conscience of Our Liberals, let’s look at a scene from my all-time favorite movie, Rob Roy:

That’s what I’m talking about. Jessica Lange’s not hooking up with Matt Yglesias or Josh Barro, I’ll tell you that.

UPDATE: David R. Henderson in the comments asks me what I think of Barro saying that he is under no obligation to help Amazon implement a price discrimination strategy. I responded:

If Amazon ships Yglesias fewer units of soap than they charged his credit card for, and they explain, “What’s the big deal? We just lied to get some more money from you. We have no obligation to help consumers implement their cost savings strategies,” I don’t think Yglesias or Barro would congratulate them on their cunning. I mean, Yglesias is probably OK with Amazon overcharging his credit card, since he typed it into their website. Idiot.

(To be clear, I was feigning calling Yglesias an idiot for typing in his credit card, naively assuming Amazon was being truthful when it promised not to rip him off. I wasn’t calling David Henderson an idiot for asking me about Barro.)

88 Responses to “Matt Yglesias and Josh Barro Admit They Have No Honor”

  1. Gamble says:

    Markets and consumerism is based largely on trust. If everybody were like these clowns, there would not be enough government in the world to keep things going.

    Like I said, this world needs more people who were taught a young age to keep their hands to themselves. Humanity depends upon this simple principle. Matt, your parents failed. What are you going to do about it?

    • Tel says:

      Humanity depends upon this simple principle.

      Does it really? Subterfuge and cunning have proven successful strategies many times in the past. Maybe if everyone did it our quality of life would be lower, or we would end up at war with each other… but not the first time for either of those things to happen. NGDP would keep going up, so at a macro level everything would be fine.

      FWIW I thought the response that Scott Stanzel sent back sounded like a good natured ribbing. I’m sure Amazon balance out the publicity advantage of the program against the losses to minor fraud and as they say they expect most people to be honest about it. If sufficient people game the program to swing that calculation, Amazon will just find ways to adjust the details and make it more difficult to scam.

      • Tel says:

        If you are going to scam, then why not scam big?


        When he first began looking into Beale’s deceptions last February, “I thought, ‘Oh my God, How could this possibly have happened in this agency?” said EPA Assistant Inspector General Patrick Sullivan, who spearheaded the Beale probe, in an interview with NBC News. “I’ve worked for the government for 35 years. I’ve never seen a situation like this.”

        I’m still wondering how a website can cost a billion dollars, but hey, free soap powder!

      • Major_Freedom says:

        “Does it really? Subterfuge and cunning have proven successful strategies many times in the past.”

        Tel, that only “works” if there are others who “keep their hands to themselves” as a principle. Subterfuge and cunning can’t work if everyone does it as a principle. But, “good” principles such as keeping your hands to yourself, they do work if everyone does it.

  2. Cody S says:

    This is significant stuff: these are the simple realities that form the basis of Bob’s and Matt’s world-views.

    Matt is looking at society through the frame of himself: he sees a world filled with dishonest game-players, pirates and frauds, incapable of useful cooperation or integration as components of a free market.

    Bob does the same, but sees a society comprised of productive, capable and honorable laborers, builders, and private property owners who can make each other wealthy by meeting each other’s needs for profit.

    The really interesting part of this is that neither of them is necessarily wrong.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      “Matt is looking at society through the frame of himself: he sees a world filled with dishonest game-players, pirates and frauds, incapable of useful cooperation or integration as components of a free market.”


  3. MG says:

    Bob, sadly you are wasting your time with “this crowd”, and any example involving honesty and Obamacare is not only not going to work,. As I recall, Obamacare navigators are actually encouraging people to be dishonest. If they have no problem with encouraging stealing from the government imagine how easy it is encouraging stealing from Bezos and his shareholders.

  4. von Pepe says:

    Uh oh, I sneak bottled water into the movie theater.

    Why is Rob Roy your favorite movie?

    • Adam says:

      von Pepe, you’re joking, right? Have you seen it? but really seen it? Not just watching to see if it’s better than Braveheart. This is one heavy-weight movie, albeit not really biographical.
      Also music is fantastic.

  5. von Pepe says:

    Hi Adam, I though Bob liked Superman the most. I have some favorite movies and I will see if Rob Roy cracks the list.

  6. David R. Henderson says:

    I wonder how you deal with this point that Josh makes:
    And while I think price discrimination is a-OK, I don’t think consumers have any obligation to help businesses implement their price discrimination strategies.

    • Ken B says:

      Shouldn’t I in a mutually voluntary exchange abide by any conditions the other party stipulates?

      • jtroll says:

        If it was a discount for white people?

    • Ken B says:

      Hmmmm I think to myself. When David Henderson asks me about some historical fact, as he has, I understand he might use it to frame an argument that we should trust Iran for an article at anti-war dot com. I have no obligation to help advocates implement their advocacy. Plus if David really cared he has the resources to check. And in politics sometimes you need to lie to get best result. Per Barro-Ygelsias I think I can lie to him.

      • Tel says:

        And in politics sometimes you need to lie to get best result.

        Spoken like a true empiricist!

        • Anonymous says:

          Just like Juncker said:”When it becomes serious you have to lie.”

      • Sam Grove says:

        “And in politics sometimes you need to lie to get best result.”

        Sometimes becomes most of the time and eventually nobody believes the lies anymore.

        Nice result.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I don’t think consumers have any obligation to help businesses implement their price discrimination strategies.

      David I’m not viewing this as refraining from helping a business price discriminate, I’m viewing it as lying. As Yglesias himself described it in his original post.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        If Amazon ships Yglesias fewer units of soap than they charged his credit card for, and they explain, “What’s the big deal? We just lied to get some more money from you. We have no obligation to help consumers implement their cost savings strategies,” I don’t think Yglesias or Barro would congratulate them on their cunning. I mean, Yglesias is probably OK with Amazon overcharging his credit card, since he typed it into their website. Idiot.

        • Robert Fellner says:

          Loves it!

          And this is precisely why I asked them to charge me for the extra product they mistakenly sent me. I certainly would expect them to reimburse me if they overcharged or sent me less product than promised.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          This reminds me of our discussion on the penchant among progressive circles to attack “capitalists” who are racist and refuse to sell to, or hire, certain people because of their race, but they don’t attack consumers who refuse to buy from certain sellers based on their race.

          Yglesias believes it is OK to lie to and defraud “capitalists”, but it wouldn’t be OK for “capitalists” to lie to and defraud consumers.

          Notice a pattern?

          • Art Thomas says:

            Very good point. Looking beyond the immediate results.

            A nearby Montessori school, I’m told, does not allow “Happy Hanukkah” or “Merry Christmas” to be publicly displayed on school property; only “Happy Holidays” is allowed. They don’t want to offend those who don’t celebrate Christmas, ignorantly forgetting that they are now offending children, staff who would like to write these forbidden words on a poster or chalkboard.

            • Tel says:

              They are offending Atheists by having a holiday at all. The very concept of holiday is un-Atheist. I demand the opportunity to work all the time dammit!

              • Ken B says:

                Actually I object to work days more than holidays. I’d take Eid, Diwali, and Yom Kippur if I could.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              I don’t see any problem with “offending” non-owners by requiring them to refrain from writing certain words or saying certain phrases while on the owner’s land.

      • jtroll says:

        David I’m not viewing this as refraining from helping a business price discriminate, I’m viewing it as lying.

        Which is convenient for you.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          In other words it’s inconvenient for you, right?

      • Ken B says:


    • Matt M. (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

      Also, if these guys TRULY believe it is their duty to frustrate efforts to price discrimination, couldn’t you just as easily argue that they SHOULDN’T take discounts, even ones they ARE entitled to.

      I used to commonly refuse military discounts out of principle, feeling that I was already overpaid and did not deserve any special treatment from merchants as a thanks for my “service.” Not trying to put myself over or anything here, but I guess what I really should have done was continued to collect my military discounts, and also lied about being a student and taken student discounts as well, right?

  7. Yancey Ward says:

    The real question is this- why would anyone ever believe anything Yglesias says or writes?

  8. Ivan Jankovic says:

    “This isn’t a huge deal. I’m much more outraged that Yglesias, Josh Barro, Krugman, and others have…. no problem with FDR stealing everyone’s gold in 1933 at gunpoint.”

    Hm…. ” the others” here seem to include Milton Friedman, George Stigler, David Henderson, George Selgin, Larry White, Steve Horwitz, Tyler Cowen and many other glorious “free market” types…So, you are spending so much time on a relatively minor point whereas 90% or your “allies” deserve rebuke much more.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      And I bet you applaud Walter Block for (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) calling Friedman a commie, right? Or (as I suspect) do you roll your eyes at what a nutjob purist Block is?

      • Bob Murphy says:

        But sure I’ll call your bluff Ivan. If David says he thought it was a good idea for FDR to give a 10-year prison sentence to someone who didn’t hand over his honestly acquired gold to the authorities, then I’ll say I am surprised.

        • David R. Henderson says:

          Thanks, Bob. You don’t need to be surprised. When, at the tender age of 18, I read that FDR had confiscated people’s gold, I was outraged. I have never changed my view on this.
          BTW, I’ve never seen Milton in print arguing that the confiscation was justified either. And I would be extremely surprised if I found out that George, Larry, or Steve favored it.

          • Lawrence H. White says:

            For the record, I do not favor and have in fact many times denounced FDR’s confiscation of gold. In lectures I show my students a picture of the turn-in-your-gold decree that hung in post offices, to convince students that such an outrage really happened.

          • Bob Murphy says:

            Thanks for chiming in, David and Larry. I suspect what happened though is that Ivan equated “taking the dollar off the gold standard” with “giving people 10 year prison sentences for not handing over their gold.” Conflating those two things (if that’s what indeed happened) is pretty interesting in itself.

    • George Selgin says:

      I’d just like to say that everything Ivan Jankovik says about me is perfectly correct. I also push blind people off the subway platform, steal lollipops from small children, and put slugs in tip jars.

  9. Ivan Jankovic says:

    Bob, a guy was imprisoned a couple of years ago for trying to emit a certain amount of gold dollars. And his property was confiscated. Did any “libertarian”, especially of the “respectable” brand, protest? You don’t have to go as far back as 1933. As far as I can tell, everyone among the people I mentioned supports going off gold standard in 1933. If that is the case they have to support nationalization of gold, because that’s a part and parcel of the policy in question. Without confiscating gold, the policy of going off the gold standard would have been impossible, or very difficult to implement. So, none has to say “I support putting people in jail for refusing to hand over their gold”; simply saying “I support policy of going off gold standard” amounts to the same thing.

    As for Friedman, I don’t know what is your take on him (you rarely comment) but I know what is the take of Krugman, De Long, and other similar thinkers: it is a complete adulation accompanied by the regret what kind of gold-bug austerian crackpotery is now ruling the conservative economics, instead of Friedman’s sophisticated appreciation of the government’s constructive role in monetary policy, . And they are praising and quoting Friedman’s monetary “policy solutions” , especially his advocacy of quantitative easing in Japan, far and wide and club with it everyone who dares to criticize his disciple helicopter Ben. It’s not the point that Friedman is a ‘commie’, but that his monetary theory is the same or worse than that of the people whom you castigate as immoral.

    • David R. Henderson says:

      Actually, Ivan, it was quite straightforward to go off the gold standard and not confiscate gold. Those are two distinctly different policies. I believe that the Canadian government did not confiscate gold when Canada went off the gold standard.

    • Lawrence H. White says:

      If you’re talking about Bernard von Not Haus (whose standard Liberty Dollar piece was silver, not gold), I have publicly protested his prosecution, including twice at Cato monetary conferences. As has Richard Timberlake, whom I consider a respectable libertarian. I don’t know where you get the idea that I support the decision to devalue and confiscate gold in 1933.

  10. joe says:

    Guess they can join Peter Schiff and Ron Paul who refuse to admit they made a bad call when they predicted a dollar collapse/hyperinflation 5 years ago.

    • Jim PM says:

      Good, good……let the butthurt flow through you.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      This comment reminds me of that Gary North book.

  11. yogi says:

    Every retail company has pretty high customer acquisition costs. Amazon’s run at nearly 10%. They can afford to give a high discount to “Moms” simply because these moms (fake or otherwise) will reliably buy everything from Amazon instead of ebay or driving down to the nearest Walmart ! They also have a thriving ads business that knows what you buy and uses it to drive ROI for partners from whom they make money for placing those ads.

  12. Jim PM says:

    I for one am shocked, (SHOCKED!), that this Yglesias is a scumbag.

  13. Call Me a Dim-Witted Faux-Populist Moralist says:

    […] I applaud, loudly, Bob Murphy’s condemnation of some ethical precepts advocated by Matt Yglesi…. […]

    • Daniel Kuehn says:

      Don, of course, takes the opportunity to make this about political ideology.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        It is precisely ideology (which has political implications) that motivates Yglesias to lie and cheat. Indeed, it is ideology that motivates us all. Ideology is a set of ideas. These ideas guide our actions.

        • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

          Indeed. The notion that “political ideology” does not influence one’s everyday actions and behavior is absurd. Everything we do is a consequence of our own personal philosophies, and politics is a huge part of that.

          There’s a reason that most of us aren’t particularly surprised that Yglesias does this, but we probably *would* be surprised if Tom Woods announced he was doing it…

          • Ken B says:

            “The personal is political” you mean?

            Because that’s a completely totalitarian thought. Is your slip showing, Rothbardians?

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Not all personal political thought is totalitarian.

      • Ken B says:

        MY’s justification is pretty clearly political DK:you can lie to corporations.

      • Ken B says:

        Incidentally Daniel this is a Kontradiction-scale misreading of Boudreaux, who is making a point about values and virtue. Progressive, the only remotely political word you could be reacting to, is in scare quotes for a reason: to identify it as a self applied label. Boudreaux is not implying that anyone who supports activist redistribution is like Yglesias, or he wouldn’t use scare quotes.
        He is referring to a self congratulatory mindset and its holders, not a political philosophy.

  14. Daniel Kuehn says:

    Barro’s right that he’s under no obligation to help a price discrimination strategy. But that misses the point. The obligation is not to lie or cheat. If he can exploit a price discrimination strategy in a way a store doesn’t intend without lying or cheating, more power to him. But that’s a different question.

    • jtroll says:

      But why should he be put in the position of being discriminated against? I wouldn’t lie for this discount, but it doesn’t make it right.

      • Ken B says:

        You do not understand what price discrimination is.

        • jtroll says:

          Your comment contains no substance.

          • Ken B says:

            Let’s talk about frogs.
            Jtroll: turtles have 4 legs.

            Price discrimination is not remotely racial discrimination. You are simply confused about what we,re talking about.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              jtroll sees the word “discrimination”, and in his limited memory banks, his search index recalls bigotry and racism.

              Let the troll program be. Don’t double click it. Malware.

            • jtroll says:

              If you price discriminate based on race, it’s not racial discrimination?

              But you’re trying to say I think all price discrimination is based on race?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                If a seller give seniors discounts, is that not ageism?

                If Yoshi the sushi guy sells sushi in the middle of the Antarctic for 50 times the price as in the middle of downtown Kobe, is that not “regionism”?

                Dude, price discrimination is not anywhere in the same galaxy as racial or religious discrimination.

              • Ken B says:

                The point is he does not know what price discrimination MEANS. He thinks charging blacks a diiferent price on account of race is PRICE discrimination.

              • jtroll says:

                The point is Ken does not know what price discrimination MEANS. He thinks charging mothers a diiferent price on account of having children is PRICE discrimination.

  15. Sam Grove says:

    Evidently, Yglesias does not value his own credibility. Certainly his stance makes it more difficult to give him any.

    • Tel says:

      Wait a moment. We cannot say that he does not value his own credibility at all. We only know that he values it less than a box of soap powder.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        That was the funniest thing you’ve ever written here, Tel.

      • MingoV says:

        This is my first time here, so I cannot judge whether it’s your funniest comment. But, it is excellent

  16. Philippe says:


    you appear to have missed a bit from the end of Yglesias’ article:

    “December 18 Update: Stanzel [Amazon’s director of consumer communication] emailed me to draw attention to additional remarks he sent to Josh Barro after the publication of Barro’s original piece—”We are using the honor system, and we expect the vast majority of users to be honest.” He did not, however, say that my Amazon Mom account is going to be canceled.”


    So Amazon know about Yglesias’ Fake Baby, and apparently they don’t really care.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Philippe, I didn’t miss anything. This was the premise of my whole post. Amazon is saying, “Yeah if you want to do it, it’s OK, but we’re relying on the honor system and assuming most people will be honest.” I guess I will add you to the list (now 3 people) of people who think that means it’s perfectly fine.

      • Philippe says:

        If they cared they would cancel his Amazon Mom account.

        Clearly they do not care.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Just like I wish everyone would leave comments like yours, Philippe. Otherwise I would delete yours.

          • Philippe says:

            Amazon Mom Terms and Conditions:

            “We may in our discretion change these Terms or any aspect of Amazon Mom membership (including the discount amounts and the eligibility criteria), without notice to you. If any change is found invalid, void, or for any reason unenforceable, that change is severable and does not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining changes or conditions. YOUR CONTINUED MEMBERSHIP AFTER WE CHANGE THESE TERMS CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE CHANGES. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO ANY CHANGES, YOU MUST CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP.”

            • Ken B says:

              Phillippe, did you just quote a section explicictly stating MY is responsible for meeting the conditions to argue he is free to ignore the conditions?

              • Philippe says:

                Ken B,

                no. Amazon’s T&Cs say that unless you cancel your membership you agree to whatever changes they might make to the terms of your membership. Failure to cancel membership = you agree.

              • Ken B says:

                Exactly. Compliance is your responsibility. How that bolsters any of your claims is a mystery.

              • Philippe says:

                the only claim I’ve made is that they don’t care.

                Yglesias tells them his baby is fake and they don’t cancel his membership. Failure to cancel membership = you agree to terms of membership, according to Amazon Mom T&Cs.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Phillipe, an absence of an explicit “please don’t do that” is not always a consent.

              For example, sometimes my neighbor lets their dog pee and poop on my grass. I don’t make a big deal of it, because I’d rather not risk us becoming antagonistic neighbors (which is pretty bad). But my lack of saying “Stop doing that” doesn’t mean he isn’t being a dickwad for doing it, nor does it mean he isn’t violating common standards of neighborly decency.

              • Philippe says:

                problem is you’re talking about dogs pooping on your grass for some reason, and I’m talking about something else.

              • Ken B says:

                It’s a rare day MF doesn’t think of dogs pooping, but hey, as long as you don’t startle the horses ….

              • Major_Freedom says:


                I guess abstract reasoning isn’t one of your strong suits.

              • Ben B says:

                I’ll help you out Phillipe. It is Christmas, you know.

                All that we can infer from this is that Amazon believes the costs of weeding out “dickwads” is greater then the benefits of weeding out “dickwads”. This doesn’t mean that Amazon is “ok” with “dickwads”.

                Sorry for all the “dickwads”, Bob; both the use of the word and those individuals who may be one.

              • Ken B says:

                Plus consider this kerfuffle from Amazon’s viewpoint.

                “Hey Jeff, we have this guy lying to get cheap soap, but he has a lot of readers. We could make hay, get publicitly, and toss in a comment about the honor system or get pissy. As a marketing genius, which makes sense to you, a chance to look good and get free attention, or not?”

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Philippe is a statist. His worldview consists of the notion that if an anti-capitalist activity is not met with violence, then it is open season.

              • Philippe says:

                no, MF, I think that’s just your own diseased brain talking.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Yes, it must be diseased, after all, I’m not in full support of fraud like you are.

  17. Major_Freedom says:

    Roddis and DK, if you’re around:


    This post is makes me think about Greenwald in a disturbing way.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Long story short:

      Edward Snowden gave Glenn Greenwald 50,000 classified documents detailing government spying, and other unconstitutional behavior.

      Snowden is put on a wanted list, and is now in asylum in Russia to escape the US government from prosecution (imagine saying that 50 years ago!)

      Greenwald is immune from prosecution.

      PayPal and eBay founder/owner Pierre Omidyar, who went along with the financial boycott of Wikileaks, is implicated in these documents, and would stand to lose billions of dollars if PayPal/eBay’s real activity were exposed. So what does he do? He offers Greenwald $250 million on a joint business venture of news outlets, and these news outlets will be the exclusive provider of the documents. Only 1% of the documents have been released thus far. I doubt the documents implicating Omidyar will be released.

      Greenwald has done a lot of good things, exposing corrupt behavior in government and connected corporations. But the above events are troubling.

  18. The General says:

    On the one hand, I question the mechanics of the program. Is it a “thank you” like veterans discounts, charity like senior discounts, or demographic collection and marketing?

    If Amazon’s strategy is to lower costs by improving turns, and they don’t really care who participates, then it doesn’t really matter if you have a kid or not. Whether you buy diapers or shaving cream doesn’t matter to Amazon. So long as the sales are consistent, they can better plan their inventory and extend a discount to the purchaser. If that’s the case, then Amazon Mom is a marketing strategy for a cost-saving program that really applies to everyone. The purpose of the exclusive marketing, I imagine, is that mom’s spend most of the families disposable income, and you can generate more revenue by creating a program that ostensibly only applies to moms that if you were to market to the general population. In other words, the extra sales you make by making moms feel appreciated outweighs the sales you lose by failing to market to dads and singles.

    If that’s the case, I can understand why Yglesias wouldn’t feel bad about making up a fake child. Why should fathers get discounts on shaving cream and not him, when Amazon (and the other dads) benefit just as much from Yglesias sale as a sale from a mother or father of 3. The only reason, then, that Amazon asks about kids is to collect demographic info and cater promotions to the customer.

    As an example, the website Zulily sells various products at a great price. Their tag line is “Daily deals for moms, babies, and kids.” As a man, should I refrain from signing up and buying their products because the website “isn’t for me”? Or should I assume that their tag line is just marketing, and they don’t really care.

    However, as is evidenced by Barro, all he had to do was pick up the phone and ASK Amazon. “Hey, Amazon, I wanted to participate in subscribe and save in order to take monthly deliveries of Barbosol, but I don’t have a kid, do you have any programs for singles like me? If not, can I use Amazon mom? If so, how should I navigate past the kid info thing? Can I skip it, or should I just make something up?”

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