No fan of Amazon … or John Stossel

Val Stadick

Minot

Perhaps this isn’t the best way to begin a letter to the editor but “John Stossel Is an Idiot!”

His recent column titled “‘Stingy’ Jeff Bezos” stated that Jeff Bezos, who is looking for ideas for some philanthropy (aka he needs a tax break) should not feel compelled to give because Mr. Stossel feels that Bezos has already done enough in our world by employing more than 300,000 people.

Let’s look at the big picture: Not only is it predicted that Amazon is set to have a greater effect on USA manufacturing jobs than China and has eliminated far more jobs than it has created – but Amazon has also driven down wages and working conditions and has spread its low-road labor model to other sectors.

According to the Institute for Self Reliance Nov. 2016 report Amazon’s net job impact in the US was (as of December 2015) an additional 145,800 jobs – but while they were adding jobs more than 294,500 jobs were lost at brick-and-mortar stores. This is a net loss at the end of 2015 of 148,774 jobs. It is also noted that Amazon’s average pay is well below the average of local business and other chain stores that hire within your community. I imagine that with the continual increase of amazon shoppers those number of job losses are even greater. Just look at your own community to see who suffers – the employees at Sears, the employees at the local supermarkets once amazon monopolizes that market and basically any retailer who has to cut wages to keep the doors open. Cutting wages often means cutting staff. Cutting staff often translates into higher numbers of people on public assistance. Who pays for this? We do.

Amazon is also constantly and continually working toward eliminating any type of human contact in their business model. They have drones to deliver packages (there goes some local postal jobs). They are creating automated robots to pack and ship merchandise from warehouse to customer (there goes their own warehouse jobs). In fact, their business model is geared toward eliminating all jobs, returning as little to local economies as possible and supplying cheap crap quickly to the people who will soon not even be able to afford the cheap crap because, (MY GOD!) Amazon just eliminated their jobs.

Oh yes, and those lousy roads you drive on and cuts in our children’s schools and lack of adequate police officers is also tied to the lack of a strong local business economy. Empty store fronts mean less impact on the community–less taxes and less money being moved local and remaining local in our community.

Yes, Mr. Stossel, Mr. Bezos should not feel compelled to give back anything to our society – after all, says Stossel, “he made all his money honestly”. Let’s dig a little deeper on that notion as I encourage everyone to read (google) the Institute for Self Reliance’s report called “Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities.”

Most the people who are creating jobs and making their money honestly are closing up shop on the Main Street’s of this world – and Bezos is not one of them. Perhaps he should be helping those families whose businesses he destroyed because there are going to be a lot of hungry people out there losing their mortgages. Yeah, Stossel, Bezos and Amazon have done quite enough!

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