Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Of Amazon We Should Be Afraid, Very Afraid!

Amazon is a monster that with the help of our government exploits America and continues to engulf and devour its competitors. Of Amazon, we should be afraid, very afraid! Amazon is a job-killing exploiter. The fact is that many of the options Bezos employs to expand Amazon are available to him only because of the many areas his various companies engage in, this is the crux of growing antitrust talk. Jeff Bezos did not purchase the Washington Post in 2013 because he expected newspapers to make a lucrative resurgence. He purchased the long-trusted U.S. newspaper for the power it would ensure him in Washington and because it could be wielded as a propaganda mouthpiece to extend his ability to both shape and control public opinion. 

The ownership of the Post dovetails with Amazon's role working with the CIA. The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. This includes both President Trump and Bernie Sanders, both are on the record for having criticized Amazon. This is also part of the reason the USPS continues to be allowed to grant Amazon special treatment by delivering its packages on Sunday and even on major holidays, the USPS has sold out the rest of American businesses for a few dollars in revenue. Ironically, the thing many people on both the far-right and far-left can agree upon is Amazon is not our friend.

The company has over the last year been forced to undertake a massive public relations campaign and increase its advertising to offset growing consumer anger. CEO Jeff Bezos is gifted with the ability to re-frame an issue and this can be seen in its effort to paint a positive image of Amazon as a good neighbor and job creator. Ripping apart this illusion is the sad truth that when Amazon creates a job one or more are lost in another part of the economy. As for being a "good neighbor," an article recently appeared on Viable Opposition detailing how Amazon exploited and price gouged customers during the bulk of the lock-down.

An All Too common Sight All Across America

Hopefully on Amazon's Prime Day shopping event  consumers will just say no to the company that weasels its way into our lives. It is difficult to quantify all the damage Amazon has done to America as it has burrowed its way into the fabric of society. This company has exploited communities by continually telling consumers it is the answer to a "better America" while it feeds at the government teat. Only after it has wrecked communities leaving many Americans jobless and retail stores sitting as giant empty shells might short-sighted consumers finally see the airs of their way. Amazon is bad for America - it is that simple!

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 is going to hammer Amazon's competitors located in these areas. 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.

Small Business Has Continued To Fall

Amazon is not the answer to creating a better America and is a company I simply cannot embrace. I strongly urge people to consider what kind of community and society they want in the future before jumping on the Amazon bandwagon. While in the past many politicians fell over themselves to be in its shadow that trend is stalling. Because of its massive advertising budget and other ties to Amazon, we find the media often seems to be in bed with Amazon and portrays 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 in these stories put before us that are in effect free advertising. These so-called news articles are often spun to place Amazon in the most flattering light. 

Over the years Amazon has employed a 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. 

Killing Jobs, Small Business, And Communities

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. The sale of goods over the internet has a great deal of merit, but how it is carried out can have a profound effect on society. Only as local stores continue to close, our children cannot find jobs, and property values begin to wither it will become apparent we have made a deal with the devil. Amazon excels in creating illusions that fail to hold up under scrutiny. Its vision of drone delivery is an example of the kind of pop it can garner with its news blips. Because of its influence, you can count on the media to turn any news about Amazon turned into a promotional ad.  

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 undercuts their ability to compete. When you add these actions to Amazon's growing influence in Washington due to its strong relationship with the CIA and deep state with 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. In short, this is why Amazon has become a threat to our democracy and capitalism in America.

Fred's valuable tip was a "Hallmark moment"

People often claim to expound old-time values such as cherishing personal relationships with the people in their neighborhoods that they do business with. Still, it seems some consumers become almost giddy at the thought of receiving a package from an online seller mistaking it for a gift. The truth is these packages are not free. Even if they are paying the same price such goods come with a hidden cost levied against their community. That cost is lost jobs, local sales, and a lower tax base. This is why if prices are anywhere near the same it is wise to "do the right thing" and support your local merchants.   

 People should consider what kind of community and society they want in the coming years before jumping on the Amazon bandwagon. For all the praise many people and politicians heap upon small business they are often quick to cut the throat and turn their backs to those that create much of our wealth and jobs. India recently made an effort to tighten the noose on E-retailers and we should too. America also needs to investigate ways to level the playing field and protect the brick and mortar retailers that provide jobs and are so important to the fabric of communities. Washington has become tangled up in its own feet that it is unable to get anything done, so it is time we the people take action, that is why I urge you to "boycott" anything Amazon.


Footnote To read the important Viable Opposition piece about Amazon's price gouging go to; http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2020/10/amazon-and-price-gouging-during-covid.html


  1. I too despise Amazon, and dislike it's market making power. And it certainly abuses it's sellers as you mentioned by literally stealing the market from them. That's why I refuse to sell on Amazon, and only sell on Ebay (which has it's own issues, but is a better marketplace for sellers).

    Amazon should be broken up. They should NOT have been allowed to buy Whole Foods, or be in the grocery business. They should be barred by law from using the USPS, unless they pay market, or even above market rates. Their online cloud division should be spun out as a separate company. There is too much conflict of interest currently.

    And yet, I will say, shopping on Amazon is wonderful. They have perfected the art of EASY shopping. It's easy to checkout, you don't have to remember stuff, since they do it for you. An extremely large marketplace is a big advantage. I try to buy on Ebay or another site if I can. But sometimes, there is little choice.

  2. UK digital tax has resulted in Amazon charging other sellers for the costs involved while not paying itself ! (Financial Times report gives details ).

  3. I'm not an Amazon cheerleader but in all fairness Amazon is not the problem. Amazon is just a progressive model of the Big Box system. It started with Home Depot and Walmart and it progressed from there. Then we saw Big Box retailers such as Target, Kmart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Walgreens, CVS, Payless Shoes, Office Depot, Office Max and others appear.

    They collectively put the squeeze on local businesses and local jobs. Amazon just took that idea and transformed it into an online presence.

    This is something I hope Bruce Wilds could write and article about in the future because Amazon didn't start this trend, they just took it somewhere no one expected such as Steve Jobs at Apple who brought about the iPod and iPhone.

    The brilliance of Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos are having a vision to take an existing idea and transforming it into a "game changer".

  4. Rob, thanks for the comment. Where I disagree is much of Amazon's success flows from our government backing and subsidizing it. Bezos did not go "big-time" until the CIA and USPS started backing the company which put other companies at a great disadvantage. Yes, the online thing was a new way of distributing goods that opened new markets but this is a horse of a different color.

  5. Amazon wants to be the Company Store on the new Virtual Plantation.