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Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:29 AM

 

Amazon is hurting LOTS of people

And by people I mean their employees.

Low Wages And No Stability: How Amazon’s Use of Perma-Temps Is Hurting Workers

snippet.... "Every day at 4:30 a.m., Dwayne Wilson, 25, wakes up to find out whether he’s going to be needed as a forklift driver at the warehouse he works at in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington. Sometimes he gets a call telling him not to come in. Sometimes he goes in to find out that he’s not needed that day. On average, he works just three eight-hour days per week, at $15 per hour.

“Even if I work every day and I have an amazing work ethic,” Wilson says, “I still could be sent home after waiting for so long because they fill the spot.”

The products that Wilson moves are destined for Amazon customers, but Wilson doesn’t work directly for the e-commerce giant. He works for California Cartage, a logistics company that has a contract to unpack shipping containers full of Amazon goods. Wilson says that the majority of the cargo moving through his warehouse is headed straight to Amazon fulfillment facilities.

The national unemployment rate hit 3.8 percent in May, the lowest level since 2000, and companies across the country are complaining about the difficulty of finding workers. Yet Amazon has been able to staff its warehouses with workers who frequently earn little more than the local minimum wage. Many of them are contingent workers like Wilson, who get none of the stability and benefits that often come with working for one of the country’s largest companies."

MORE



Things in this country MUST change. Walmart, Amazon, et al....millions of people in this country afford the basics, nearly 50% can't and corporations like those aforementioned are a very big part of the problem. Wages haven't just remained stagnant, they've fallen due to the high cost of health insurance, food & housing.

It's time to end corporate welfare and give unions the strength they need once again!

66 replies, 8186 views

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Arrow 66 replies Author Time Post
Reply Amazon is hurting LOTS of people (Original post)
SkyDancer Sep 2018 OP
Demsrule86 Sep 2018 #1
mucifer Sep 2018 #3
atreides1 Sep 2018 #33
SkyDancer Sep 2018 #5
still_one Sep 2018 #9
SkyDancer Sep 2018 #10
ehrnst Sep 2018 #24
Perseus Sep 2018 #34
fescuerescue Sep 2018 #64
Eliot Rosewater Sep 2018 #52
mucifer Sep 2018 #2
SkyDancer Sep 2018 #6
NCTraveler Sep 2018 #4
marybourg Sep 2018 #32
SkyDancer Sep 2018 #7
Kurt V. Sep 2018 #23
ehrnst Sep 2018 #25
SixString Sep 2018 #45
Bengus81 Sep 2018 #8
still_one Sep 2018 #11
Coventina Sep 2018 #12
QC Sep 2018 #14
dembotoz Sep 2018 #13
Name removed Sep 2018 #15
Coventina Sep 2018 #16
Maeve Sep 2018 #18
bluestarone Sep 2018 #19
Name removed Sep 2018 #20
AllyCat Sep 2018 #22
Post removed Sep 2018 #28
jcgoldie Sep 2018 #29
Name removed Sep 2018 #30
Nitram Sep 2018 #17
hueymahl Sep 2018 #21
LAS14 Sep 2018 #39
Merlot Sep 2018 #43
orangecrush Sep 2018 #26
Perseus Sep 2018 #37
ehrnst Sep 2018 #27
JCanete Sep 2018 #49
ehrnst Sep 2018 #50
JCanete Sep 2018 #51
ehrnst Sep 2018 #57
JCanete Sep 2018 #59
ehrnst Sep 2018 #61
JCanete Sep 2018 #62
ehrnst Sep 2018 #63
Eliot Rosewater Sep 2018 #53
JCanete Sep 2018 #54
Eliot Rosewater Sep 2018 #56
brewens Sep 2018 #31
PatrickforO Sep 2018 #35
Perseus Sep 2018 #40
PatrickforO Sep 2018 #65
KY_EnviroGuy Sep 2018 #48
dlk Sep 2018 #36
LAS14 Sep 2018 #38
Astraea Sep 2018 #41
lark Sep 2018 #42
JCMach1 Sep 2018 #44
Moostache Sep 2018 #46
KY_EnviroGuy Sep 2018 #55
JCMach1 Sep 2018 #66
Hoyt Sep 2018 #47
David__77 Sep 2018 #58
B2G Sep 2018 #60

Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:35 AM

1. No point in blaming Amazon...we have no worker protection anymore. Starbucks here

pays $9.00 an hour. They offer insurance technically but since everyone is kept part time no on can afford it.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:37 AM

3. Bezos does not have to be that evil. He's one of the wealthiest people in the world.

That sort of greed is WAY off the charts.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:16 AM

33. Sure he does...it's how he competes with Trump!!!

His love of money far out weighs his concern for his employees! And even though Amazon may do some charitable work...Bezos should be taking care of his employees and at least providing them with a livable wage and access to health benefits!!!

Bezos and Trump have more in common then they care to admit, both hold people in contempt, both have no real concern for those who work for them, both make Scrooge, before his epiphany, look like he loved mankind!


Too often people like Bezos and the Waltons, forget that they reached their apex on the backs of others...and once at the top, will always look down on those at the bottom!!!

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:41 AM

5. We need a massive union revitilization in this country

 

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Response to SkyDancer (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:01 AM

9. Well they f**ked that up when they voted for Reagan over Jimmy Carter which started the systematic

dismantling of unions

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Response to still_one (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:07 AM

10. Truth!

 

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Response to SkyDancer (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:58 AM

24. What do you propose will do that? (nt)

 

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:17 AM

34. Besides that, Amazon prices are not better than anyone else

 

Amazon used to be a place where you could buy and save, I have found many items that are much cheaper at Wal-Mart and some other online places, one item was $20.00 cheaper at Wal-Mart than what Amazon was offering at "discount".

I do believe that reigns must be imposed on Amazon, they serve no real purpose anymore, not when you can't save when buying from them.

It is very sad what the USA has become, and I am not blaming it on Amazon, but if you were to take a road trip, drove from North Carolina to Philadelphia, fell sleep in the car while in NC, woke up when you reached Philadelphia, you would not know if you are still in NC because the same plazas, the same malls, the same stores and all located very similarly will be found anywhere you go.

Cities have no personality of their own anymore, any mall you go to has the same chain stores, the same products, the same decorations, etc. It is very sad because we, the consumers, not only accept it but we demand it.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #34)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 02:44 PM

64. No real purpose?

It's my goto place to find just about anything. I can find it and buy just about anything before I can even get an account setup on most other places.

I get what you are saying about saving on prices. But Id rather pay a little more and not have to make a trip. This saves the environment as the items are placed on the next UPS truck which will pass by my house anyway.

I suppose I could drive to Walmart. But Walmart is supposed to be evil too.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:14 PM

52. Oh and it is gonna get FAR FAR Worse and VERY soon, the people want it to.

They voted for someone who will reduce minimum wage to $2 an hour, he said he would.

America became so full of hate for minorities and women that they voted to literally kill themselves.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:35 AM

2. You should give credit to the source of the OP. It's "In These Times" Thanks good article

People don't always want to click on links but do want to know the source.

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Response to mucifer (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:42 AM

6. I linked to it

 

and they can mouse over

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:39 AM

4. This argument is crap and plays into Trumps hands.

 

The problem isn’t Amazon in any way whatsoever. The problem completely lies with our elected representatives.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:13 AM

32. Which means us.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 08:49 AM

7. And for those who say

 

"This plays into Trump's hands"

Our elected officials aren't signing people's paychecks last time I checked. Amazon & Walmart certainly are the problem. They could pay people wages which people can live on and provide them health care, THEY CHOOSE NOT TO!

Walmart and Amazon are both very well known for union busting.

Time Magazine -- "How Amazon Crushed the Union Movement"

Think Progress -- "Here’s Walmart’s Internal Guide To Fighting Unions And Monitoring Workers"

Please stop defending these shitty corporations who are well documented for being assholes to employees.

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Response to SkyDancer (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:52 AM

23. +1

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Response to SkyDancer (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:58 AM

25. Who is saying "This plays into Trump's hands" ?

 

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #25)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:49 AM

45. Post #4

"4. This argument is crap and plays into Trumps hands.


The problem isn’t Amazon in any way whatsoever. The problem completely lies with our elected representatives."

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:01 AM

8. Great way to do it Bezos,pit workers AGAINST workers..........

Keep several on the hook for the same job and let them fight it out for a race to the bottom. You could live here in Wichita on $15 per hour, (have to be full time job) how the hell does anyone do it in LA?

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:08 AM

11. First of all it depends on the job the employee does at Amazon. A software engineer is not going to

make the same wages as someone who prepares items to ship out of their warehouse

Here is what Glass Door reports on Amazon:

https://www.glassdoor.com/Hourly-Pay/Amazon-Hourly-Pay-E6036.htm


How does that compare to the rest of the market?

Amazon also is the employer of those who work at Whole Foods, Drivers, and other capacities

According to glass door they also cover certain benefits such as health insurance and retirement savings.

What I would like to see is DUer's who either actually work for Amazon or personally know someone who does, and hear what they say


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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:09 AM

12. The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Just because Jeff Bezos raises Trump's ire does not make him a good person.

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Response to Coventina (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:11 AM

14. +1

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:11 AM

13. to those who babble there is no class warfare....

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:21 AM

16. Okaaaaaayyy. Welcome to DU.

Enjoy your stay......

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Response to Name removed (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:28 AM

18. Not an odd practice nor a good business practice

8 hours times3 times $15 =$360 per week. Since he doesn't know when he can work, a second job is likewise difficult to maintain. And blaming him for his "work ethic" when the employer is the one setting the rules...
There are a lot of good economics books in the library.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:36 AM

19. Bet your not here long!!!!!!!!!

You got to be on the wrong forum!

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Response to bluestarone (Reply #19)


Response to Name removed (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:51 AM

22. Actually, Bezos and other CEOs are guaranteed a crap ton of money at worker expense

Upward shift of not only wealth, but necessities.

Guess you loved GWB’s “uniquely American” comment to the woman working 3 jobs. Is she working hard enough in your opinion?

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #22)


Response to Name removed (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:02 AM

29. Making $15/hr for 24 hours a week "allows us to work with a sense of autonomy"?

What a bunch of hogwash. It is in fact "too shabby."

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Response to jcgoldie (Reply #29)


Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:27 AM

17. Just like Wal-Mart.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:49 AM

21. How exactly is this Amazon's fault? He does not work for Amazon

Sounds like California Cartage is the bad actor here.

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Response to hueymahl (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:22 AM

39. Amazon is to California Cartage as Nike is to 3rd world sweat shops. nt

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Response to hueymahl (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:33 AM

43. Amazon hired Californa Cartage.

Amazon knows EXACTLY what they are getting.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:59 AM

26. Trump hates Amazon with a passion.



Prime time.

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Response to orangecrush (Reply #26)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:20 AM

37. Its not because of Amazon it is because of the Washington Post

 

but the man-child finds it easier to go against Amazon.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 09:59 AM

27. Maybe people can stop selling their merchandise on Amazon.

 

That would certainly get their attention, wouldn't it?

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:05 PM

49. Nobody can do that and survive right now. That's the problem. And what are your other options?

 

Listing your products with companies that are good to their employees? The going rate/benefits..etc. has a lot to do with what has been legally sanctioned by our government. It becomes the level companies compensate their workers at as they compete with other companies like Amazon. They only tend to do better if they need to compete for the best employees. There's precious little need of that in a hirers market.

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Response to JCanete (Reply #49)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:06 PM

50. I think that many of those who sell on Amazon could "survive" just fine

 

not selling there.

Especially millionaire long-time career politicians who decry other millionaires for making money associating with those that he deems part of the oligharcy.

One author pleaded with their readers to not buy his book on Amazon but instead at independent booksellers or directly from the publisher - and that author doesn't have two houses and a guaranteed alternate income other than book sales.

https://www.cnet.com/news/author-pleads-please-dont-buy-my-new-novel-on-amazon-q-a/


Author Jaime Clarke's new novel "Vernon Downs" will be available on Amazon in April of next year, but fans and new readers who heed the author's plea can get a copy this December. His only request: Buy "Vernon Downs" straight from the publisher and not from Amazon.

In a Web site aptly named pleasedontbuymybookonamazon.com, Clarke lays out his call to support independent publishing and push back against the aggressive cost-cutting tactics of Amazon that, he says, are great for consumers but detrimental to the livelihood of independent publishing.

...............................................

"Vernon Downs" is published by Roundabout Press, from which readers can preorder the book online. Any royalties on sales received from preordering the book now from Roundabout will go directly to the publisher, Clarke said. In addition, anyone who buys the book from Roundabout can get it shipped to them in December. Amazon can't start selling the book until next April, according to Clark, after "Vernon Downs" has gone through the publishing process to get an official bar code.


https://www.cnet.com/news/author-pleads-please-dont-buy-my-new-novel-on-amazon-q-a/

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #50)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:12 PM

51. Well that's silly. It is also, as I"ve explained to you, a platform that has ubiquitous reach,

 

and again, other platforms aren't better in terms of their treatment of workers. It is not a reasonable suggestion that what book-sellers should do instead is what, hawk their books door to door? Create their own website that nobody will know about and distribution process?

And in Sanders case and others, the point isn't even necessarily to make the moolah. If you want to actually get your message out to the public then the public needs to see your message. You have to use the infrastructure available to you to do that.

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Response to JCanete (Reply #51)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:33 PM

57. What's silly is trying to defend one politician for doing something that one would

 

call corrupt or hippocrytical in that politicans rivals, for "using the infrastructure available" to you to "get the message out" to people who need to see it.

It's also silly to try to pretend that I am saying that people should or shouldn't sell on Amazon (or Walmart) or that it's corrupt or hippocrytical of Sanders to do so after criticizing employement practices there.

I just pointed it out the fact, then observed the very reactive, defensive and angry posts in response. I was never angry, nor accused Sanders of anything. I simply said that he doesn't tolerate such things in political rivals.

Granted I did point out his quick reversal after starting on his criticism of the use of campaign consultants once he was reminded that some of his own campaign consultants were sitting right there. That was a definite example of him having one standard for himself, and another all other candidates.)

That said, I'm not familiar with anyone else who is selling on Amazon at the same time they are calling out labor practices other than Tucker Carlson.


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Response to ehrnst (Reply #57)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:38 PM

59. Are you kidding? I wouldn't call using a platform corrupt. That makes no sense. He's not

 

getting some sweetheart deal with Amazon. He is using their services and they are taking a cut. That is nothing like what you are trying to describe, and frankly, Amazon takes a hefty cut. It has a all of the leverage, and it costs the company very little to market a product.

You are going to have to show me a comparable case, because I"m not buying it.

Also, how on earth is it better to not call out institutions when you are "benefitting" from them? That makes you look less corrupt in some way?


edited out the swearing at the beginning...sorry. first pass posted in a hurry.

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Response to JCanete (Reply #59)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:55 PM

61. I'm not making a case for or against using Amazon, or any platform.

 

You are.

And you're getting yourself into a lather over it.

Think about that.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #61)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:57 PM

62. you are making a case that there's some contradiction of behavior here...I'd like to see an example.

 

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Response to JCanete (Reply #62)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 02:17 PM

63. When did I make that case?

 

Despite what you seem to desperately want to believe, I was simply making the case that different standards are applied to Sanders than other politicians, by himself and his fans. Your reactions to facts as aspersions says as much about what associations you are making with Sanders selling on Amazon, as they are supporting the case I'm making.

Again - that's something that you should think about.

And I gave the example of his remarks about campaign consultants as an example of him doing that.

Is that clearer?

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:16 PM

53. Corporations by charter have to maximize profits regardless of the overall impact on

the surroundings, for the most part.

Bezos and others have to be FORCED to do the right thing as long as we keep the corporate model. Pointing out one corp or person like this is problematic and indeed does play into rump's narrative.

Which is why you have liberals, Democratic politicians like Al Franken, Schumer, etc., people who are dedicated to regulating them to some extent so that everybody isnt poor.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #53)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:27 PM

54. I agree with much of what you said, but no, pointing out one company as an example versus as a

 


lone target(which is what Trump is doing), is not a bad thing. These companies and companies like them aren't simply bound by rules that they must maximize profits, their forebears had those laws instituted so that no rogue CEO's would do the right thing over making the shareholders big short term profits.


Sanders isn't talking about simply regulating Amazon is he. He presented a proposal that impacts all companies with similar pay models, which included Walmart, McDonalds, etc. The biggest offenders on the block should be held up to public scrutiny, because again, they aren't simply beholden, they continue to shape our legal system.

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Response to JCanete (Reply #54)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:31 PM

56. Sanders? sigh

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:11 AM

31. I worked for a beer distributor for years. Sometime around 1990 our assistant manager

decided to go to hiring truck loaders from a temp agency. I knew where he, or the big boss got the idea. I had just seen the same episode of 20/20 they must have seen, saying that was a growing trend. They weren't exactly saying it was a positive thing though, but these assholes thought it made sense.

So now the new hires I got were temps. Before, we usually got guys I was familiar with and had some reason to think would be good. I was fair to the temps, but it wasn't a good situation. They no longer really had that much hope of impressing anyone and sticking around to move up.

What really pissed me off is that the guys that made that decision were union men! I'm still pro union, but some of those guys made me wonder why.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:17 AM

35. How many on this thread, I wonder, are members of Amazon Prime?

I am, and it is something I would not want to do without.

BUT

This.

So the question to all of us is how much convenience we are willing give up for the sake of fellow workers?

One last thought: What if we made it so that corporations doing any business in the American market had to change their corporate charters to expand the fiduciary responsibility of their officers beyond just increasing earnings for shareholders? What if we expanded these corporate charters to include worker and consumer welfare and the environment?

Because right now, the CEO of Amazon is doing his proper job - he crushed unions to keep labor costs down, and runs the warehouses hot to save utility costs. Why? Because his ONLY job as a corporate officer is to increase shareholder earnings. That's it.

We should try and get the expansion of fiduciary responsibility in corporate charters on our platform. Elizabeth Warren has begun talking about this, too. It's a good idea, because if a hundred, or a thousand, or ten thousand people from here boycott Amazon, they won't change. Wal-Mart has been boycotted for years now, and they are still doing great. For shareholders. For workers, not so much.

And, how many on this thread, I wonder, drink coffee? I do. What about that? Does the coffee I'm drinking come from a place where they use brutal child labor practices?

See...this is why I hate capitalism. Not hard work. Not entrepreneurship. Not progress. But capitalism. To put profits above all else is the root of most all the evils we preach against. The very earth itself is in danger due to the profit motive. Sure, the market has spoken about solar and wind power, but big oil is still paying 'scientist' hacks to write papers casting doubt that the greenhouse effect is real. They are blaming cow farts, you know, when they should be blaming the beef industry for leveling all those rain forests.

Anyway, good post. But we have to think this through if we're going to effect any real change, don't we?

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #35)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:25 AM

40. I tried prime for one year

 

We don't order enough from Amazon to justify the cost, because yes, it gets to your house faster but if you don't order enough it costs more than to pay the usual $3.99 for shipping.

Also, Amazon prices are not any lower than anyone else, not anymore, so I felt I was paying the same as the next person who did not buy at Amazon but I had the added cost of prime.

If you only ordered 10 items in one year then you are paying $10.00 for shipping with prime, you have to triple that number to come even, and go higher on your orders to make it work and as I said, with the higher prices Amazon offers nowadays there are no savings.

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Response to Perseus (Reply #40)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 07:00 PM

65. Well...we order at least the cost of the yearly membership each month.

Plus we watch a lot of Amazon movies which come under the Prime membership.

So we do alright.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #35)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:00 PM

48. K&R. And, "what if we expanded these corporate charters to include" ....

a requirement to care about and participate in the communities they serve?

Small corporations used to do that, before M&A gobbled them all up. That divorce from community, from caring about worker well-being, and from caring about the health of our local and federal governments is slowly destroying all that is precious to us.

That, and our rampant consumerist culture.

Good post, Patrick....

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:18 AM

36. Meanwhile, Bezos Vacuums Up All of the Money

Money he couldn’t possibly spend in ten lifetimes. He doesn’t seem at all interested in using any of his tremendous wealth to make the world a better place. Instead, he’s amassing wealth just to have it.lit, no matter whom it harms. This is a pathology.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:20 AM

38. Yes! "It's time to end corporate welfare and give unions the strength they need once again!" nt

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:26 AM

41. time to eat the rich

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:29 AM

42. Amazon opened a shop here a few years ago.

All permanent staff and pay starts at $13/hr. which is high for this low tax low wage state.

Oh yea, we are also Prime members. We order often, usually at least 1x per week so shipping costs are less and we save money from driving all over our far flung town for goods and get the great guarantee. Now, we comparison shop and if there's a significant difference, we go with the cheaper vendor. For example - my 2 geriatric cats have to have specialty food, which is really expensive. We found Chewy was cheaper by about $2 dollars/per case and we use a case a week, so now we get the food from them.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 10:40 AM

44. It's the whole damn low wage economy

Don't just blame Amazon, it's virtually ALL retail off and online.

And yes, it pisses me off I make less money now than when I graduated college in 1989.

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Response to JCMach1 (Reply #44)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:23 AM

46. We're all whistling past the graveyard here to an extent....

The coming age of automation - in industries previously untouched by it - is going to make people long for the days of the $13-15 an hour PT gig with Amazon.

Paralegals, lawyers, advertising copywriters, OTR truckers, and many more are industries that 10 years from now will not exist in anything approaching their current structure or prominence. As more and more manual tasks are replaced by machines and learning robots and drones and self-driving vehicles, fewer and fewer jobs without technical specialities will exist. Service industry jobs are already on the line with self-check out and ordering kiosks at Wal-Mart and McDonald's are just another step at replacing those damn pesky employees and pumping up those sweet, sweet profit margins for the corporate overlords.

We are steaming head long into another cataclysmic upheaval of the world order...just as Britain at the turn of the 20th century was a dead empire standing, so too is the USA at the turn of the 21st century. Just as WWI begat WWII and birthed the remainder of the 20th century, so too are we now seeing a similar echo building in the the 21st century.

The difference now is that nuclear weapons already exist and have been deployed in combat usage previously, so there is no precedent to set or break. I expect full-scale exchanges between India and Pakistan with nearly 500,000,000 dead. Similar exchanges on the Korean peninsula accompanied by massive conventional war on the border there, adding untold millions more to the tally. I fully expect in the next 10 years that Israel will use nuclear weapons against Iran, ensuring a healing of the Sunni-Shiite schism and a unified Islam vs. Judaism holy war. The Divided States of America will have at it again against itself as well...only this time there won't be a reunification of the union, it will result in a nearly Balkanized North America and still more warfare and suffering.

And this is all very likely WITHOUT considering climate change and its impacts as well.

Humanity will finish the 21st century with far fewer people than entered the century and it is going to be horrific...

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Response to Moostache (Reply #46)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:28 PM

55. K&R for more truth than we can deal with.

I'm prone to agree with your cataclysmic scenarios, although I suspect climate change-driven mass migration may be the straw that breaks the camel's back. That, and worsening economic inequality and uncontrolled population growth to accelerate the process.

It was easy for this country boy to see even back in the late 60s that globalization would drive wages and prices toward equalization world-wide. That light-bulb event occurred when K-Marts started opening (well before WalMart) and I saw Chinese and Japanese products that were way too cheap. So, my simple brain said: "so the Chinese are working for 50-cents a day, while my friends are working for $5/hour. That means that as wages equalize, our standard of living will have to come way down".

It has taken longer than I thought for that simple notion to come to be, but it is slowly happening here and in other Western economies. The big boys at the top of the food chain will keep it glued together to prevent a total collapse for as long as they can, laughing all the way to the bank. But as you said, sooner or later it will all come crashing down.

....... .........

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Response to Moostache (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 7, 2018, 10:40 AM

66. I am a College Professor, should be a good job, right?

I worked overseas for a top university for a decade... teaching and doing Administration.

I came back here for personal reasons... divorce, re-marriage, aging parents and I walked into a shite show. 70-80% of all college classes are taught by people who are not full-time. Because of my experience, I can easily get PT Adjunct gigs... However, it has been impossible since 2012 ro find a FT position. Keep in-mind the longer I go without being FT the worse my CV looks for potential hiring Comm.'s.

Adjuncts, when you add the hours expended, make around what a FT job working with McDonald's would make. Consequently I work 2 jobs. Professor and Security. I guard empty buildings for $12 an hour.

It has also been almost impossible to find FT in the private sector as well. I am 50yo with an extensive resume. At this point, I am thinking of majorly dumbing down my resume to at least get to the point of an interview.

I can barely make a living given rent and the cost of living here in America currently. Re-training is not an option because I did Ph.D. work. I am maxxed out on Student Loans which still haunt my nightmares.

Ending my rant there, but that's my current situation... and yes, it sucks...

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 11:38 AM

47. I doubt this is going to change as along as people will work on contingency.

 

Heck, when I had my first job with the A&P grocery store in mid 60s, we had to race to the store after school because the first ones there were more likely to get chosen to work that evening. Quit that job pretty quickly for this and similar reasons.

Back to the OP -- Personally, I think we are better off taxing businesses sufficiently to provide universal health coverage and other safety net protections like unemployment coverage. We could try to outlaw/restrict contingency employment, but I think it would hurt workers who might not have much choice for alternative work.

There are lots of professionals who pretty much work on contingency too, waiting for a client to call or walk through the door.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:36 PM

58. Employee Free Choice Act and a significant increase in taxation is a good start.

Taxes should be imposed/increased on certain financial transactions and on corporate and high income earners to fund health, welfare and education initiatives. And unions should be further empowered legally to organize workers and have a say in workplace and corporate governance. Having workers in a position of power would be good for the society.

Of course, this requires electing progressives, within the framework of the Democratic Party.

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Response to SkyDancer (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 12:48 PM

60. Why is this Amazon's fault rather than his employer's?

 

They're the ones who negotiated and enforce the contract with Amazon.

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