MEMO TO DESPERATE CITY PLANNERS: WHEN IT COMES TO AMAZON, BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU HOPE FOR.

The mania over where Amazon will locate its new mega distribution facility is in high gear and has been sparking audacious acts.
One anxious – but hopeful! – Arizona city delivered a huge fifteen-foot-tall cactus to Seattle in the hopes that such a stunt would bring notice of its existence to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
Wiser might be to conduct some due diligence as to just what kind of dubious empire Mr. Bezos has created. This Huff Post piece delves into the inner-Amazon and will be an eye-opener to some. Jim

“One of the wealthiest men in the world is thinking of ways to give back. But he’s still taking from the very people who helped him build his fortune…

“But as Bezos, whose worth now exceeds $80 billion, loosens his pockets, it’s important to put his charitable giving — and the philanthropy of the super-rich — into perspective: Many people worked hard for Bezos to help make him so rich, and he has a record of treating them poorly…

“Amazon’s history of dodging taxes, its mistreatment of workers, and its ruthlessness toward even the smallest competitors have been well documented. It put ambulances outside distribution centers rather than install adequate air conditioning. It broke up a union organizing effort by closing the call center and dismissing everyone who worked there. The New York Times documented its punishing work environment in a front-page exposé. The company’s actions, as Forbes put it, hark back to an earlier time when workers were treated as ‘replaceable cogs in the machine’…

“No wonder Bezos would prefer to turn people’s attention toward philanthropy. It’s nothing new. The Rockefeller family perfected the strategy more than a century ago…

“But as with other multi-billionaires, Bezos should remember that his vast wealth came in part from labor, and he should do more to share that wealth with workers. As the owner of an institution that’s critical to democracy, he should go out of his way to set a tone of progressive stewardship toward employees in all his businesses.

Instead, Bezos has shown that he views his employees as parts in a high-tech machine, that income inequality is someone else’s problem, and that modern corporations owe little more to their employees than a paycheck.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jeff-bezos-workers_us_59a7220fe4b07e81d354e6e3