Arcade Fire!!! is offering their new album preordered for 7.99. Bravely, they are releasing the digital with an option to have just plain MP3s. I prefer plain MP3s- the use of them is a big reason I use emusic, I wonder if they are worried about piracy, especially among young people who aren't used to actually paying for entertainment.
I think they are hoping enough people pay for extras like the vinyl to make up for folks who don't think humping your behind to make an album deserves the less than $10 it costs to actually pay for it. At least Arcade Fire is big enough to have licensing deals for commercials to make up the revenue as well
[Here's a perspective on this for the manga market] I admit to being part of the manga after market, as I like used books to catch up to older out of print series, but I realize that I'm not entitled to free manga. Manga is actually extremely labor intensive- story boarding, writing, drawing, translation, the creation of the design of the book. It's amazing that manga is so cheap, when American comics are selling $4 for 30 pages, I'm seeing 8.99 for 200.
I look with suspicion on $1000 bags, especially from large companies. If I'm getting the same cheap labor and cheap materials, but with a flashier name, why shouldn't I just go to a thrift store and get a perfectly fine bag for way cheaper? Heck, if I'm desperate for new, I could just go to etsy and pick up a bag.
Is Louis Vuitton handmade? Well, designer companies are certainly using sweatshops, even in Italy. People blame the Chinese workers, but many are sold a bill of goods- you'll pay off your debt quick! You'll be back and successful before long! The subcontractors all the way down model helps big companies have plausible denialbilty for ripping off labor.