I love Slashdot and Slashdotters. But in this case I'm kind of taken back by the responses.
Being married to an Author and knowing many, many authors, I can point out a few things:
Most authors, beyond the "super big names" struggle to make even a moderate living off of their books. When these folks try out a new system like the Amazon plan, and they find the are making less, we're not talking about folks who used to make 3 million, now only making 2.5 million. We're talking about someone who might be making for example 30k per yea,r making so much less that they are forced to cease writing as a vocation.. It's directly impactful, and the impact is not tied to quality of the book. Rather, the impact is books with catchy titles and sales pitches getting more downloads and making more money, regardless of quality. "hey, it's free, I'll click that since there's no downside to me for doing so." This leads to other books making less of the allotted bucket of funds. When spending money on books, folks tend to check reviews, read the sample download or use various criteria to filter down their selection to what they enjoy reading. So better books get rewarded. With the new plan, shotgun approaches become the norm.
Lets try it another way. Say tomorrow, there was one major store through which the majority of all software (personal, business, etc.) and all IT services (Ops, support, admin, etc, each treated as a service ticket item) were offered and the owners of that store decided "Forget what people pay today for software and services, we'll sell them anything and everything for $10 a month and just divvy up profits as we see fit, And we'll do it without reporting to anyone how the process works or what actual counts occurred, we'll just send them a check."
How would you feel about that when it was your app that you worked for a year and you usually make about $50k per year. But now when another app AngryBirds sells 30 million copies, your get a check for $5 for the month for your app despite people still downloading downloading it because statistically it's insignificant?
Or how about your IT job that you now get paid 1$ per service ticket because a billion other service tickets get processed as well? Did you enjoy working all day for $20?
While it's easy to assume that anything cheaper is better, remember to take into account that the cheaper may be coming at the actual workers pocket. I'd expected to see Slashdotters more upset at the middleman holding the actual workers over a barrel.