Purchase Satisfaction With Virtually No Effort

Categories: Business

Imagine explaining to someone from 100 years ago that with just one click an air conditioner, high heels, diapers, and gummy worms could all be shipped to your door and arrive in just two days time. I’m sure once they wrapped their head around the technicalities, they would assume that obtaining luxuries on a whim would only be afforded to the top 1%. However, for just $119 a year, in a click, consumers can get near-instant gratification from purchasing with little to no effort.

According to data on CNN, worldwide, there are more than 100 million subscribers to Amazon Prime, and analysts have predicted that number will double before 2028.

With more options than ever before at an extremely low price, Amazon’s dominance isn’t surprising. However, although Amazon’s efforts are extremely gratifying for customers, its business practices aren’t conducive to America in the long run. Although the public has been acutely aware of Amazon’s controversies, Time Magazine recently reported that ramifications have felt substantial enough for both left and right wing politicians to have voiced their disapproval.

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Through tax evasion, poor treatment of employees, and its growing monopoly, continuing to support Bezos and Amazon without lingering guilt will only grow more difficult.

First of all, in order to inform the public on Amazon’s shady business practices, one must look closer into founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. According to Time Magazine, Jeff Bezos makes $230,000 a minute and that number is continuing to increase. With a $121 billion net worth, Bezos is the richest man in the world.

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This wealth, however, is not being distributed in a lucrative way-and we as Americans are well on our way to disastrous side effects. Though Bezos started Amazon as an online bookstore, it has metastasized and grown into much more than originally intended. Vox reported that Amazon owns stock and has corporate ties to almost all sectors of the private market. Jeff Bezos even owns the Washington Post and therefore has direct influence over the media. Like CNN business stated in October 2018, “It’s Amazon’s world and we are just living in it”.

I believe under capitalism, Bezos has become a heavily connected Oligarch of the United States as he takes down businesses and slowly but surely monopolizes business across all industries. Because Amazon isn’t paying income tax, they’re disrupting the flow of the U.S. economy. To put it simply, average Americans pay taxes, and that money is spent on food stamps and social support for the less fortunate. Vox claims that when Amazon does not pay its employees a livable wage, a large percentage of workers are reliant on government support to survive. Meanwhile, Amazon profits and has gained excessive wealth because of that cheap labor. Jeff Bezos uses a private account in a tax haven, and in 2017 paid no money in income tax, according to Microsoft and Tech News. Because of this, average Americans are making up the $150 billion difference.

As Amazon’s power over the U.S. economy grows, the Wall Street Journal argues that the government continues to be “too soft on giant corporations” and I am inclined to believe them. The government has given a billion dollars in tax cuts to a corporation that contributes no taxes to the United States. Even Donald Trump has criticized Amazon for benefiting from tax subsidies. We need to have stricter anti-trust laws if we want any of this to change. But it’s unlikely due to the power money yields in politics. Amazon continues to thrive due to the taxpayers of America, but none of this money is trickling down. Instead of paying his workers a livable wage, Business Insider reports that Bezos continues to use his extravagant wealth to invest in space travel, without any regard for the growing income inequality in America. By hoarding his wealth, evading taxes, and manipulating his power so that the people in charge turn a blind eye to these atrocities, middle class and poverty-stricken citizens alike suffer.

Amazon workers are affected directly by these suspect business practices as well. After multiples reports, strikes, and politicians speaking out, the public is becoming aware of the unethical ways Amazon is treating their estimated 566,000 employees. Bernie Sanders put things in perspective when he wrote, “I want to ask you to clear your mind for a moment and count to 10. In those 10 seconds, Jeff Bezos, the owner and founder of Amazon, made more money than the median employee of Amazon makes in an entire year. An entire year. Think about that.” Workers cannot survive on their less-than-minimum wage salaries, but their working conditions are just as alarming. With hundreds of reports listed on CNN of grueling hours, unpaid work, withholdment of the restroom (resulting in urination in cans), lack of air conditioning, and lack of time to eat, Amazon clearly needs reform.

In the UK alone, there were 600 instances when an ambulance was called to their warehouse in three years, where workers claimed they were treated like “robots” according to Time Magazine. However, there have been positive changes in the last year. Bernie Sanders passed the Stop BEZOS Act in the Senate in September 2018. It forces large corporations like Amazon to pay for their workers’ food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid. Vox explained that “the goal of this is to force large corporations to pay their employees a living wage and curb about $150 billion in taxpayer dollars that fund these programs.” However, in retaliation, Bezos cut bonuses, stocks, and other benefits and some workers have recently shared that they are being paid less overall in the aftermath of the BEZOS act passing.

Amazon is abusing their warehouse workers to produce items as quickly as possible in order to keep consumers satisfied. Retailers can’t compete with Amazon as they continue to sell things cheaper and more efficiently. Vox adds that they“squeeze suppliers” and will continue to run more shops out of business as Amazon expands to become a one-stop shop for all consumer needs. With growing fear that Amazon is monopolizing the U.S. economy and contributing nothing in return due to weak anti-trust laws, I believe if the government does not start regulating big corporations like Amazon, the U.S. economy is in danger of collapse.

Jeff Bezos has proven to run his business in unethical ways, but to me, the mere act of holding onto all of his money in this world that is fraught with this much inequality and injustice makes him an objectively horrible person. No amount of hard work Bezos and the rest of the 1% have done can justify them hoarding all that wealth when their employees are working full-time jobs and can’t afford to feed their families. Julia, a writer included in Vox’s article succinctly said, “We’ve all become so accustomed to getting whatever we want, whenever we want, at little to no cost. But when anything is that cheap, there’s always someone paying for it.” Though Amazon is perfectly designed to accommodate our modern, fast-paced lives, I urge you to think before you click.

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Purchase Satisfaction With Virtually No Effort. (2022, Jan 08). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/purchase-satisfaction-with-virtually-no-effort-essay

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