|An All Too common Sight All Across America|
An example of this surfaced a while back when it was reported that Amazon would be allowed a two year trial in New York state to ship food to customers and be paid with their EBT cards. This would in effect hammer Amazon's competitors that were not allowed to do the same. While nobody seemed to care this translates into grocery stores willing to locate in poorer areas losing business to a company unwilling to locate in these less desirable markets. This is a rather self-defeating in that it rewards those unwilling to commit to making the community better and damages the brick and mortar stores that will. Not only do these stores pay local real estate taxes and provide jobs for those in the community they also are forced to deal with a huge number of shoplifters.
|As A Taxpayer I Find This Not Acceptable!|
|Fred's valuable tip was a "Hallmark moment"|
On another note, when things get tough that is when you find out who your friends are. I remember the eyes of the nation turned towards Florida when Hurricane Irma was bearing down with category 5 winds and companies like Walmart and Target queued up to give back to the communities that supported their stores. In one heartwarming commercial, we saw Walmart paints a picture of America coming together supporting those who saw their lives washed away by Hurricane Harvey just days before. Meanwhile, Amazon.com increased prices on basic supplies ahead of the hurricane’s landfall in Florida. The fact Amazon jumped the cost of water drew the most ire. Kate Taylor of Business Insider reports, customers took to Twitter to share screenshots of water from various brands — for example, Aquafina and Nestlé — priced roughly between $20 and $25 per case. Usually, the same cases of water sell for between $4 and $8. The bottom line is Amazon gouged customers for about 500 to 625 percent.
Over the years Amazon has employed an "engulf and devour" strategy that takes no prisoners. It even crushes merchants working on its platform by stealing their product ideas and undercutting them on prices. This is done by giving their own Amazon-branded products premium real estate on their website. Amazon has also been stepping up efforts to recruit Chinese suppliers and manufacturers directly which cuts small American merchants out of the picture. As these new Chinese players have entered the picture "an explosion" of counterfeit products and fake reviews have hit the site. This is an issue prominent in Chinese e-commerce. With US shoppers estimated to spend $317 billion on Amazon this year or about 52.4% of all online sales. profits have increased for seven quarters in a row Amazon has become a formidable force.
I ask all consumers to see Amazon for what it is, a self-promoting hype machine. This company is far from transparent and while politicians fall over themselves to be in its shadow it is not our friend. Because of its massive advertising budget and other ties to Amazon, we find the media often seems to be in bed with Amazon and fall all over themselves to portray the company as both the flavor of the day and the future of commerce. This means you seldom hear anything bad about the retail behemoth that has the power to turn most news articles about Amazon into nothing more than free advertising that is spun to place the company in a flattering light.
Current tax laws at the local, state and federal level have changed little over the decades and lag far behind how business is conducted in our modern age. This feeds directly into creating an unfair advantage for Amazon which has used them as a foundation to fuel its growth. Still, even more troubling is how the company has created an environment that draws in other sellers of goods then in a predatory manner undercut their ability to compete. When you add these actions with Amazons growing influence in Washington due to its strong relationship and contracts with the CIA and deep state and its CEO's ability to drive public opinion through the Washington Post we have every reason for grave concern. Remember the proverbial saying 'power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely'.
I strongly urge people to consider what kind of community and society they want in the coming years before jumping on the Amazon bandwagon. Amazon excels in creating illusions that fail to hold up under scrutiny. For all the praise many people and politicians heap upon small business they are often quick to cut the very throat of the creator of much of our wealth and jobs. India recently tightened the noose on E-retailers and America should too. America also needs to investigate ways to level the playing field and protect brick and mortar retailers that provide jobs and are so important to the fabric of communities. Since Washington has become tangled up in its own feet and unable to get anything done it is time we the people take action, that is why I again state, "Amazon is bad for America" I urge you to boycott anything Amazon.
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Footnote; This is the first part of a three-part series. Part two will explore how Amazon exploits businesses that sell on its marketing platform and part three will delve into the Jeff Bezos "empire" and why antitrust laws and other ideas should be looked into to halt its advance.