Amazon

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Oldjohnw
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Amazon

Postby Oldjohnw » 20 Feb 2020, 7:26am

Recently I have increasingly been concerned about my effective support of Amazon. My concerns were mainly around the way warehouse staff earn so little and work in such difficult and often even dangerous workplaces. Also, the company's complete disdain for paying proper taxes, despite using taxpayer funded infrastructure, education, healthcare and police. Bezos decides what tax he will pay and makes an offer. He then sounds good by offering £10bn for green things - he has probably avoided more than that in taxes.

I have a niece who has just become head of sustainability in Europe. She earns a telephone number salary at a mere 32. It appears that sustainability to Amazon is how can they continue doing what they are doing but, by a little tinkering, look good but really do nothing.

Then on Monday BBC panorama did a documentary on Alexa. Whilst I have always worried about Alexa and don't and won't have it, to discover Amazon's developing relationship with UK police in Alexa related surveillance doorbells made me seriously troubled. Added to this is the way they deliberately hurt smaller organisations using their marketplace out of business, and their utterly devious way of making people think they need something and selling them things they never knew they wanted.

Yesterday I deleted my Amazon Account.

Am I alone in this concern or am I being paranoid? Of course, I know that every time I go online or use a pi CE of plastic I am surrendering some privacy, but Amazon is taking it to lengths that horrify, especially with their police connection. Ok with a relatively benign government and an independent police force. But we have already witnessed government using the police as an arm of the state (banning XR marches).

PS Panorama alone is worth the TVL! If there was a commercial interest this programme would never have been made.
John

philvantwo
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Joined: 8 Dec 2012, 6:08pm

Re: Amazon

Postby philvantwo » 20 Feb 2020, 8:17am

Started watching it but it's one of those clip quote programmes, had to turn it off after 10 minutes. Never bought a lot from them but the Amazon lockers are handy.
No doubt mick f will download it off YouTube and then watch it on his 43 inch laptop!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

reohn2
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Re: Amazon

Postby reohn2 » 20 Feb 2020, 8:27am

We're in the grip of neoliberalist capitalism what can we expect?
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661-Pete
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Re: Amazon

Postby 661-Pete » 20 Feb 2020, 9:13am

reohn2 wrote:We're in the grip of neoliberalist capitalism what can we expect?
I wish I knew what the words "neoliberal" and "neoliberalist" mean! Perhaps someone will explain them to me? Then I could use the words in my crossword puzzles....

I have a kindle, for my sins. I find it very useful at times (like, when I was in hospital), especially since I don't have a smartphone**. Some of the books on it I downloaded for free (they are classics, out of copyright, downloaded from gutenberg.org. I said "for free" but I've made small donations to gutenberg in recognition). Others, I have to admit, are paid-for, from Amazon. I just can't keep away from them!

And yes I buy a few items off Amazon. I suppose it's a bit like the big supermarkets. You can't find what you want in the small corner shops (if there are any left), so you go to Tesco's. You have no choice...

Oldjohnw wrote:But we have already witnessed government using the police as an arm of the state (banning XR marches).
I wonder: weekend after next I'm planning to join in a local XR event. Will the next post I make on here, after then, be from a police cell*? Watch this space!

"Probably not - they won't allow internet access....

**Apparently mobile phones are now allowed in hospitals. They used not to be.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Amazon

Postby Oldjohnw » 20 Feb 2020, 9:16am

661-Pete wrote:
reohn2 wrote:We're in the grip of neoliberalist capitalism what can we expect?
I wish I knew what the words "neoliberal" and "neoliberalist" mean! Perhaps someone will explain them to me? Then I could use the words in my crossword puzzles....

I have a kindle, for my sins. I find it very useful at times (like, when I was in hospital), especially since I don't have a smartphone**. Some of the books on it I downloaded for free (they are classics, out of copyright, downloaded from gutenberg.org. I said "for free" but I've made small donations to gutenberg in recognition). Others, I have to admit, are paid-for, from Amazon. I just can't keep away from them!

And yes I buy a few items off Amazon. I suppose it's a bit like the big supermarkets. You can't find what you want in the small corner shops (if there are any left), so you go to Tesco's. You have no choice...

Oldjohnw wrote:But we have already witnessed government using the police as an arm of the state (banning XR marches).
I wonder: weekend after next I'm planning to join in a local XR event. Will the next post I make on here, after then, be from a police cell*? Watch this space!

"Probably not - they won't allow internet access....

**Apparently mobile phones are now allowed in hospitals. They used not to be.


I us a kindle and it is brilliant. My main concern was/is the surveillance link up with the police.
John

carpetcleaner
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Re: Amazon

Postby carpetcleaner » 20 Feb 2020, 9:18am

I can't understand why Amazon is so popular. One of the great advantages of online shopping is the ability to get the best price for what you want, and in my experience that price is rarely offered by Amazon.

I don't know why Amazon is usually more expensive, but it obviously isn't because pf the wages and terms and conditions they give to their staff.

Their jobs are so unappealing that they have to advertise on TV to get applicants. That is rare for employers, and the only other recent example I can think of is the government's attempts to tempt enough good graduates into teaching when most of them know better money and easier, less stressful jobs are available to them elsewhere.

Oldjohnw
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Location: Northumberland

Re: Amazon

Postby Oldjohnw » 20 Feb 2020, 9:52am

carpetcleaner wrote:I can't understand why Amazon is so popular. One of the great advantages of online shopping is the ability to get the best price for what you want, and in my experience that price is rarely offered by Amazon.

I don't know why Amazon is usually more expensive, but it obviously isn't because pf the wages and terms and conditions they give to their staff.

Their jobs are so unappealing that they have to advertise on TV to get applicants. That is rare for employers, and the only other recent example I can think of is the government's attempts to tempt enough good graduates into teaching when most of them know better money and easier, less stressful jobs are available to them elsewhere.


Wonderful: we are agreed!
John

Psamathe
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Re: Amazon

Postby Psamathe » 20 Feb 2020, 10:21am

It is our system that has allowed/encouraged the current situation. In many respects you can't blame Amazon for what they have created as it is our system that provides the tax loopholes, encourages large dominant companies, etc. "the city" respects people who create such "empires", etc. They have done what (elements of) our society encourage. If we closed off the tax loopholes then they'd have to pay tax. Our Government has decided not to close those loopholes.

Ian

Psamathe
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Re: Amazon

Postby Psamathe » 20 Feb 2020, 10:22am

I tend to find Amazon cheaper than most other places but often because you can get free delivery on most Amazon stuff and other online outlets charge (which pushes the overall price up).

I don't like buying from Amazon but where it is significantly cheaper or sells or has stock of what I want then I do use them. But e.g. yesterday I needed to buy a new backpack, available on Amazon £2 cheaper than elsewhere but I phoned elsewhere to ask questions and they went and measured the the pack and came back with my answers (whilst on the phone) so I paid the extra few £.

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Amazon

Postby reohn2 » 20 Feb 2020, 10:33am

carpetcleaner wrote:I can't understand why Amazon is so popular. One of the great advantages of online shopping is the ability to get the best price for what you want, and in my experience that price is rarely offered by Amazon.

I don't know why Amazon is usually more expensive, but it obviously isn't because pf the wages and terms and conditions they give to their staff.

Their jobs are so unappealing that they have to advertise on TV to get applicants. That is rare for employers, and the only other recent example I can think of is the government's attempts to tempt enough good graduates into teaching when most of them know better money and easier, less stressful jobs are available to them elsewhere.

And also a none or very little tax paying company,one of the same companies the Tory governments of the past ten years claim they were chasing and made to pay their taxes in the UK but failed miserably.
Another company that pays little or no UK taxes The Carphone Warehouse,the owner of which paid for BoJo's holiday in the Caribbean recently.

EDIT,for the record I don't use Amazon,a thoroughly discreditable company.
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fullupandslowingdown
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Re: Amazon

Postby fullupandslowingdown » 20 Feb 2020, 10:38am

It has certainly been my experience that the employers that have permanent or almost weekly adverts for new staff are almost always paying at or near minimum wage, using agencies to put some legal distance between themselves and disgruntled workers, usually have varying demand for staff so want the ability to hire and fire as needed rather than give long term stability, have poor working conditions and unfair practices such as making staff undergo searches after clocking out despite having to queue for 15 minutes or so to do so, not providing anywhere near enough lockers etc so workers have to leave their stuff laying around subject to the same thievery that is implied by having a mandatory frisk policy, variable hours to suit the business not the worker, etc etc etc. Amazon aren't the only big employer doing this either, they just seem to get the biggest brick bats, possibly because they are the biggest company in the UK doing it whilst not paying much tax.

Exactly. At the end of the day, we keep voting with our wallets to condone these companies. If enough people were seriously bothered then not buying through amazon et al would soon see changes. But we're lemons, no er turkeys, ah lemmings (got there eventually) we know that if we support a system that abuses us, that we will end up abused by that system, but if today we want to save a few pence, or have a slightly different choice of colour, then we pay the man and comfort ourselves that our little bit didn't make any difference and it's only the once. We'll shop in the local high street tomorrow when it's more convenient.

Except by tomorrow the local high street will consist only of closed businesses under water because of the climate change we've created by buying cheap tat from China and then throwing it away in a few months.

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661-Pete
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Re: Amazon

Postby 661-Pete » 20 Feb 2020, 10:40am

carpetcleaner wrote:I can't understand why Amazon is so popular.
I can! Often enough Amazon is the only online source for a particular item. Unless, of course, Google (which is not owned by A.) is in some sort of stitch-up with them...

Their jobs are so unappealing that they have to advertise on TV to get applicants. That is rare for employers....
It'll become a lot more common once the Tories' immigration clampdown comes into being...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

reohn2
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Re: Amazon

Postby reohn2 » 20 Feb 2020, 10:41am

661-Pete wrote:I wish I knew what the words "neoliberal" and "neoliberalist" mean! Perhaps someone will explain them to me? ..........

Capitalism without restriction,a system where business runs the show and government has little influence on it,where profit is the prime motivation for anything.The USA is a prime example of a neoliberalist economy.
But I feel sure you knew that already :wink:
Last edited by reohn2 on 20 Feb 2020, 10:44am, edited 1 time in total.
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PH
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Re: Amazon

Postby PH » 20 Feb 2020, 10:42am

Dislike Amazon, like my Kindle, life's like that.
IMO the most ethical thing you can do is to consume less, when you move away from the whole buy, buy, buy culture, price becomes less important even for those on a modest income. I've bought a few things from Amazon when it was the best option, but when all things are considered it usually isn't.

carpetcleaner
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Re: Amazon

Postby carpetcleaner » 20 Feb 2020, 12:10pm

pete75 wrote:
carpetcleaner wrote:I can't understand why Amazon is so popular. One of the great advantages of online shopping is the ability to get the best price for what you want, and in my experience that price is rarely offered by Amazon.



carpetcleaner wrote:I wonder just how much these Remainers really care about low paid workers and workers rights, and if they are simply worried about their own living costs rising as cheap labour becomes harder for employers to find.


Seems to me it's you who's very keen to get the lowest prices.

The flaw in your argument is that Brexiters on average have lower incomes than remainers. If prices do go up as a result it's they who will suffer the most.


I don't pay more for something if I can find it cheaper elsewhere without too much effort. Do you?

Why people shop with Amazon, pay more, and help to support its well publicised employment practices is a mystery to me. No wonder Mr Bezos is so rich.