Recently, cities around the country have been bidding/begging for Amazon to be the site of the company’s next headquarters. If you listen to the capitalists and their politicians and media, this will be a boom to the local economy. Some absurdities go as far as saying it’s “Akin to winning the lottery”. However, it’s these same people telling us how “the U.S. economy is looking healthy…..especially on the jobs front”. So, it’s like a rich person winning the lottery? Ah! Yes, that’s what it is, just another win for capitalists.
Let’s talk about it…Amazon & the Bigger Picture
Capitalism is a class divided society where wealth for some classes like the capitalists – depends on the exploitation and domination of the international working class and the petit bourgeoisie (commonly called “the middle class”). Capitalism requires ever-increasing profits, realized by lower production costs – development of technology, reducing the workforce, deregulation, and cutting wages.
Workers sell their labor power to capitalists who profit off the goods workers make, paying them less than the actual value of their labor. This exploitation of workers means the accumulation of wealth and private property for capitalists. It is at the point of production where all the wealth we see around us is produced. It is also at this point that the antagonistic interests of the two classes are formed. Capitalism requires this arrangement in order to function.
When we’re told that something is good for the economy, we always have to ask ourselves exactly who actually benefits. We’re are all forced into this economy. So, This is by no means to shame customers who buy from them, but rather to illustrate how connected we all are and how our class interests intersect across borders and ethnicities.
Amazon is one of many multi-billion dollar corporations based on this foundational relationship of exploitation. Multi-billionaire CEO, Jeff Bezos, buys up companies left and right. It should be noted that he makes more money in one minute than most people do in one year!
In the 3rd quarter of 2017, Amazon made over $45 Billion in revenue!. Meanwhile, its warehouse employee wages average out to $12 and change per hour.
With his land ownings and investments in social media, food, clothing, the media, +biotech holdings, Jeff Bezos and Amazon are part of a growing monopolistic empire off the labor of severely underpaid employees .Short breaks, long shift hours (11 – 12 hours) and constant pressure to increase productivity are some of the methods Amazon uses to dominate employees and squeeze maximum productivity from them.
The company faced a class action wage theft lawsuit for cheating Amazon Prime Now drivers out of wages and overtime, effectively making their earnings go below the minimum wage. Their truck drivers (as well as truck drivers and construction workers around the country), face a different form of domination than warehouse workers by being independent contractors.
Employees at Amazon warehouses also sued the company for forcing them to undergo long security screenings at work without paying them for the time! Capitalists want you to trust them, they don’t trust you. The employees lost both lawsuits.
Note: Amazon also managed to earn itself a lawsuit from an ex manager.