As I recall on aspect of the cheap printing was the pulp book. Publisher would print and ship paper backs to stores en masse knowing that most would not sell. Those that did not would simply be returned, maybe with the cover torn off, and pulped back into paper that could be reused to make the next book. Could these book have been the equivalent of the reject rack, and selling the to army was simply a way to at least cover costs? I don't see that these books were specifically printed for the military. OTOH, if they were printed specifically for the military, it has no impact on today's economics. Many industries will sell large quantities of product at cost simply so they can stay afloat and pay the bills, knowing that profit will come in the future.
I believe what really ignited the post war reading boom was the newly educated population, created through the GI Bill, the brief existence of the housewife, whose appliances gave her much less to do and much more free time, and the willingness of publisher to print just about anything, knowing that they could charge enough so the many failures would be covered by the few successes.
What might be applicable from this story to the modern day is that publishers still have to pay for printing presses. No matter how cheap it may be to print books, if the books are not selling, and the printing press costs are fixed, then fewer books are paying for the overhead. E-Books may not need the printing press, but the printing press is still part of the fixed costs.
In the US we cannot afford to lower taxes on cars. We are already in trouble because of very low gas tax and an increase in fuel efficiency over the past 20 years. In fact we really need to change the way we tax cars so that cars pay a small fee for each mile driven adjusted for the weight of the car, instead of a gas tax. So for instance a person driving 10,000 miles a year in their Tesla would pay $100 extra registration fee, while a Highlander might have to cough up $150 for the same. We have no money to fix our roads, and will have to get it somehow.
A more real compromise here is to accept that this is advertisement and not take it at face value. While electric vehicles may be the winner in the consumer market, especially the second car consumer market, it is probably not the best choice for fleet vehicles. Something like fuel cells or the like will be a better choice. Proffesional fleet staff can handle the refueling that might a challenge for the consumer. The range is more reasonable, in the 200 mile range, and refueling is quicker.
Some people seem to be only concerned with living forever in relatively good condition, or keeping a young person alive even if the quality of life is dismal. They will give up whatever privacy, dignity, or wealth to accomplish this task. We have had some success. The average lifespan is increasing, and more importantly more people are healthy at older age. I am sure that artificial organs will play a huge part of this. I am sure that people will cut whatever deal to make it happen. I am sure that when their heart gets hacked they will sue, just like all those boys who grow breasts, even though it is common sense that selling drugs to kids, or allowing remote access to a heart, is not the wisest thing to do.
Here is what scares me. We do not seem to be doing much to keep the brain healthy into very old age. I have seen active, intellectually stimulated, well read, educated people fall into senility even though they have kept their mind active and engaged. It seems there is a limit to how long a brain can be very healthy. Do we want to be 125 years old and not be able to accomplish basic tasks? Do we want a world where a huge percentage of the adult population cannot care for themselves.
So we can say that DNA evidence is part of a chain that can lead to guilt, and if we assume the known suspects represent the total population of possible suspects, then if the DNA exonerates all other suspects, then there is a case to be made for guilt, but that is a lot of caveats. As we have seen in many cases, obvious suspects are ignored because the authorities jump to quick conclusions. As said, DNA is good for exonerating people, not convicts them.
The problem we have in the US is that firms are given a great deal of leeway to insure that they can charge as high as price as the market will bear, but labor is severely restricted in doing the same. For instance firms are free to form collectives that lobby congress and produce promotional campaigns, even to the point of forcing companies to pay for such promotions, but unions have to bill lobbying efforts separate and members can opt out. Likewise firms are allowed to use some pretty significant tools to prevent labor from organizing, though firms are free to do the same with few restrictions.
What needs to be left to local authorities, even down to the teacher, is the choice of how to teach material and a limited buffet of what to teach. What needs to be done on a interstate level is developing the methods of how that learning is going to be assessed. If there was a more consistent, maybe crowdsource, assessment then teachers would probably more understand what they are supposed to teach. Outside of history of the local area, there is little reason to have significant differences in content. What we can have is local differences in content that is emphasized.
The biggest hurdle to this, and the biggest damage the NCLB did, was the need to rank teachers and students. Current testing is not objective based mastery, but rather ranking. This requires an extremely expensive test, with passing levels set arbitratily after the test is given, often to maximize the success of preferred groups of students, rather than based on the objective performance of the student to show mastery of a benchmark number of standards. Therefore instead of measuring that a student has learned the material, and that a teacher has facilitated such learning, we merely have a continuum that is independent of learning, only indicating the ability to fill in bubbles effectively.
This is where the current reforms are still failing. Leaving the punitive ranking system behind and rather focusing on learning. Common Core is a step away from this, which is why no one likes it. Parents like to know their kid is better than others. Administrators like to be able to rank teachers on arbitrary statistically invalid scales.
I had some sympathy for Tesla and their fights with states even if I though that they should invest in states first to show some good will. Now they just seem like another evil company trying to make money by empty state coffers rather than making and selling a good product.