Open Notes

Amazon: A Necessary Evil or Just Evil

"If Amazon previously had us addicted to its services as convenience, it now has us reliant on them as necessity" via NYT

We’ve all been ordering more online because, well, we haven’t been able to go out. But now that some of the restrictions are lifting, I’ve started to reimagine my relationship with Mr. Bezos. When it was time to order my stack of stay-at-home books, I chose Powell’s Bookstore instead of Amazon. I wanted to support an indie. I didn’t want to throw any more money Jeff’s way. I figure he has enough already.

When I wanted to do some stress baking (the kind of baking you do when you are trying to stay calm under trying conditions), I couldn’t find flour at the supermarket. The shelves were empty because everyone was stress baking. So I sought out and found small mills in Arizona and Pennsylvania and bought flour from them. The quality of pizza has improved around here significantly, as has the granola.

The Amazon Reflex, the medical condition that forces you to reach for an iPad and begin ordering, was not as strong in me as it was before the pandemic. I was seeing a way forward, away from the business that wanted to dominate all life on Earth.

Amazon hired an additional 100,000 workers around the beginning of the pandemic. People are desperate for work so that was good. Working for the company can be bad, though. Amazon has fought against unionization. Conditions are unsafe in its warehouses and shipping facilities, with workers being forced come to work sick and being denied adequate protective gear. Then again, company has raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour. It pays pretty good benefits, including paying tuition costs for some of its workers.

World domination comes at a price, I guess. I’m not sure I’m willing to pay it any more. I like indies.