Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC Says Amazon Abuses Market Power, Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To

After returning from space yesterday, Jeff Bezos thanked Amazon customers who made his fortune possible.


Just minutes after returning to the arid desert of Van Horn, Texas, from his first successful trip to space, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thanked the millions of customers and employees who enabled him to grow a business so successful that he became a billionaire and self-funded his trip to space.

But since life here on Earth is plagued by tiresome partisan point-scoring, Bezos' moment of gratitude could not go uncriticized. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) seized on the moment to criticize Amazon labor conditions and allege that Amazon is in some way "abusing their market power to hurt small business"—a bold claim that ignores the value reaped by consumers, and that has become the startlingly accepted consensus among both the mainstream and fringe left.

Ocasio-Cortez is wrong that Amazon—and by extension, Bezos—has profited primarily by abusing its market power or engaging in anti-competitive practices. Bezos is so wealthy because, over the better part of three decades, he built a company that could successfully deliver a wide array of consumer goods to customers in just a few days flat, serving 300 million people annually (with 150 million of those customers deciding Amazon's services are so valuable that they choose to pay for an annual Prime membership). Bezos and other Amazon executives built a company that could survive the dot-com bubble, the subprime mortgage crisis, and a pandemic.

The same people who see monopolies everywhere often misstate how much market share Amazon has, and what alternatives are still available to customers. Amazon has about 40.4 percent e-commerce retail market share. That's a healthy chunk, but consumers have other choices: Walmart's sales comprise 7.1 percent of total U.S. e-commerce retail; Target, Wish, and other big-box retailers also ship directly to consumers. More people choose Amazon over competitors because it has more stuff and its click-to-ship speeds are half that of its competitors.

Of course, customers always have the option of seeking out brick-and-mortar retail equivalents—it's just that many of them choose not to, prioritizing convenience (and, in a pandemic, safety) over the fluorescent glory of in-person big-box shopping. But let's be clear about which businesses are losing money to Amazon. The company generates a lot of money from consumer electronics, which will make up about one-quarter of Amazon's total U.S. sales in 2021, and apparel/accessories, which will make up 16 percent. Those looking to buy consumer electronics would not otherwise frequent "mom-and-pop" stores, but rather big-box incumbents like Best Buy, recently departed Fry's Electronics, and fellow e-commerce hubs Alibaba and Apple.

"Amazon has clearly been a boon for users in terms of the consumer surplus it generates and the antitrust accusations against it are the sorts of things thrown at all the innovative market leading retailers through history," Cato's Ryan Bourne tells Reason.

These sorts of antitrust sentiments have been thrown around not just by far-left politicians like Ocasio-Cortez, but also Biden administration picks like economic adviser Tim Wu and Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan, who "see antitrust as an all-purpose tool for reining in perceived corporate malfeasance and correcting marketplace outcomes they don't like," wrote Elizabeth Nolan Brown in Reason's July issue.

"The idea that consumers choose to use products not because they're useful but because Big Tech companies have somehow tricked or pressured them into it is deeply embedded…in the new antitrust crusade more generally," she writes. "It's a form of consumer false consciousness in which end users don't know what they want (but members of Congress, of course, do)."

Of course, part of Ocasio-Cortez's criticism is fair: Amazon warehouse working conditions are sometimes quite bad, with employees getting so little time for breaks that they cannot use the restroom or take time off-task. Amazon workers have been denied pregnancy accommodations and adequate sick leave, and warehouses have been hit hard by the pandemic. However, her claims that Amazon engages in union-busting are unfounded (warehouse workers in Alabama actually voted against unionization), and the criticisms she leveled at Bezos yesterday have been par for the course for someone who calls Amazon's lower-skilled jobs "scams" while rabblerousing for the cause of wealth redistribution. What's more, Bezos has acknowledged reports about warehouse working conditions and has pledged to make changes.

Over the course of the pandemic, Bezos' net worth has increased by about $70 billion. But despite Ocasio-Cortez's objections, his vast increase in wealth has been the result of making millions of people better off.

NEXT: In Their Own Words, This Is What It's Actually Like for Black and Brown People in Cuba

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329 responses to “AOC Says Amazon Abuses Market Power, Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To

  1. Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To

    I was going to make a joke about Alexa and “customers shop at Amazon because they *think* they want to” and then I got to “(and, in a pandemic, safety)” and it reminded me that private corporations aren’t the only ones responsible for the way their customers think.

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    1. “AOC is a moron, News at… no, sorry. That’s not news.”

      1. I’m no fan of Bezos or Amazon, but AOC condemns anyone who has greater wealth than she does, unless of course they donate to her campaign or are otherwise in a position do hurt her or do her favors. Frankly, she likely would have bitched that he didn’t appreciate his customers if he didn’t show appreciation. I sincerely doubt that Bezos gives two shits what this moron has to say, and he could literally break her political future with a snap of the fingers if he did care.

  2. They also benefitted from the widespread shutdown of small businesses last year.

    1. Which was imposed, in some cases, forcibly by governments.

      (Sits back and watches lefties’ heads explode)

      1. When is AOC being sent to space?

        1. Wonder how long a GoFundMe for AOC’s oneway ticket to space would remain up.

          1. Just as long as necessary.

          2. I predict minutes.

        2. No one listens to AOC. She’s a small yappy dog barking insensibly and getting nothing accomplished.

          Like Amazon is the only corporation out there mistreating employees and paying crappy wages? It’s a business model. One word: Walmart. Now go research the rest AOC – it will give you something else to yap about.

        3. AOC is just pissed that her swag couldn’t fund her a bus trip back to the Bronx:

          1. WFT is that? If not so petty and stupid, this could be Trump class cashing in on political office.

            1. The money can technically only go to her campaign. Difficulty… she pays her fiance a shit ton from campaign dollars.

              1. Ah, the old ‘Nouri’ grift.

            2. You don’t want a “Drink water & Don’t be racist” shirt?

        4. Please, send her to deep space with no chance of return.

          If we give her enough velocity and launch her at the right time/trajectory she can even catch up with and pass by Musk’s Tesla Roadster launched over three years ago so she can flip the “rich guy’s” car off!

          Tell her we’ve identified an entire planet that is completely governed by Socialists — she probably will bite and eagerly board the craft.

    2. Was going to say that.

      Local spread here was very low at brick and mortar, but Amazon warehouses and other large businesses were having lots of outbreaks. Amazon gets to stay open, locals go out of business.

      Also, Amazon is very much the only game in town for some things due to years of operating tax-free. Now that they charge sales taxes, they lobby quietly for laws forcing businesses in other states to charge taxes, which is quite onerous for a small brick and mortar in the midwest to sort out due to all the local sales tax jurisdictions in the states. So, no tax for me so I can be a giant, but now that I have local facilities and have to pay I’m going to make everyone pay.

      Amazon is a beast. I avoid them when I can. But when you close everyone else down, yeah, people “want” to shop there.

      1. You shop where you want, I shop where I want. If you fuck with my choice I will fuck with yours.

      2. Amazon is a beast. I avoid them when I can.

        At this point I pretty much use Amazon just to validate my thoughts on products I was probably already going to buy. I can get Chinese crap cheaply pretty much anywhere (or do without). The quality namebrand stuff Amazon (re)sells, their next-day shipping doesn’t really make any cheaper.

    3. Grocery stores benefit from you being hungry. So, your point?

    4. Millions of small businesses exist *only* by selling product on Amazon’s website.

  3. American “democratic socialists” like AOC and Bernie Sanders always talk tough about billionaires. But you can count on them to obediently support Joe Biden, who in only half a year has created the most billionaire-friendly economy in US history.


    1. Biden has only been in office for 7 months. Since you can’t even do the math for how long he’s been POTUS, your comments are null and void. Look to the former for giving tax breaks out in exchange for ring kissing…

      1. OBL, resident parody-ist

      2. Yes, it’s a parody account. However, he has been in office for 6 months as of July 20th. This shouldn’t be confused with lack of productivity however. First two days in office he produced roughly 60000 layoffs in the private sector by cancelling government contracts, where apparently the word “contract” now has no meaning.

  4. I was looking for a DVD of one of my favorite movies from a few years ago. I looked at Amazon and found both new and used DVDs priced everywhere from $11.99 to $22.50 from several different vendors.


    1. Amazon has new and used DVDs of Porky’s 2? Asking for a friend.

      1. LOL… no. “King of the Gypsies.” Fair movie. GREAT soundtrack (Dave Grisman, Stephan Grappelli, and friends.

    2. Song of the south?

      1. Brer Bear, dat you?

  5. “AOC Says Amazon Abuses Market Power, Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To”

    I mean, people shop at Walmart because they want to as well. Same with drinking Bud Light. Doesn’t mean those parent companies don’t abuse their market power to force other companies into submission or buy up would-be competitors.

    JFC, you’d think an ostensibly libertarian rag would want the free market working. But they’re too blinded by their hatred of AOC to make a cogent argument and stick to principal.

    1. Do you actually have any evidence of abusing market power? Or you just ranting to hear your own voice again?

      AOC certainly has no evidence of actual abuses of market power. She thinks that being big is all the evidence she needs. If she did have real evidence, she’d be handing it over to real prosecutors instead of pandering to her twitter followers.

      1. I think you’re making different, compatible points.
        It’s possible for a company to have an outsized market influence, wield it in anticompetitive ways, and not alienate their customers. As such, “customers shop there because they like it” is not making a case that there is no abuse of market position going on.

        However, you’re right that AOC has not (that I’ve seen) made a compelling argument that they ARE abusing their market position.

        I think it’s more of a case of a natural monopoly forming. Smaller retailers aren’t closing down because of anything Amazon is explicitly doing, but rather because there are efficiencies of scale at play that allow Amazon to offer conveniences that smaller retailers can’t.

      2. Amazon was caught a few years ago using their customer database to help and design the features into products to compete against sellers on Amazon, part of their Amazon Choice program. This database of competitor information was not part of the agreement between vendors and Amazon, but they used the normally trade secret information to benefit their own products against those vendors.

        That type of behavior is in fact anti market. Another big one is Amazon gaining market share through loss leaders to drive put competition.

        Amazon isn’t the free market success story everyone claims. They do a lot of anti market things.

      3. “Do you actually have any evidence of abusing market power?”

        One of the usual signs of market power is that a company no longer feels the need to please their customers, because their customers no longer have viable alternatives.

        An example of this would be Amazon’s practice of mixing together reviews for “similar” products, so that when you look at the reviews for a particular product from a particular seller, many of the reviews will be for a DIFERENT product. You look at reviews for a 2 TB hard drive, some of the reviews will be for 1 TB hard drives, some for 3 TB. You get the idea.

        This would be bad enough if you could sort them out, but unless the review makes a point of specifying the exact product being reviewed, (Many reviewers do this because of this problem.) you have no idea if the review you’re reading is for the product you’re contemplating buying.

        Amazon’s customers positively hate this practice, and routinely complain about it, and Amazon ignores them. To quote the skit from SNL, “But that’s your problem, isn’t it? So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company.”

        Amazon doesn’t have to care, they’re the Amazon, and for many products, you have no realistic alternative. That’s market power.

        1. My favorite is reading reviews of obvious foreign raters for an electronic shittily made when I’m just trying to see if the shirt sizes are true to size. Sellers churning se product page for different products.

          1. I wonder how many of those foreign raters work at ShopRite.

            1. Many of them used to work there.

        2. I can’t really think of anything where Amazon is my only realistic source.

          Most convenient, sure. But only?

          1. “But, strings and Dixie cups exist!”

        3. I buy stuff from all over the place. Brick-and-mortar and online. Amazon doesn’t force me to do anything. Being A-holes to their sellers and disingenuous in the reviews/ratings is a different ball of wax. We are all free to take that into account and not shop (or sell) there.

        4. That practice does seem borderline fraudulent. I’m not sure about this “realistic alternative” standard though. It’s not like Amazon is the only way to get most products; it’s just the most convenient to have everything in one catalog.

          1. I’m saying that whether the company can get away with pissing off its customers IS the measure of whether it has market power. That’s the best way to tell.

            1. Yeah I can see that. I suppose I’m not super worried about that provided the company can’t use political means to suppress competitors. Ultimately pissing off customers will cost them market share. People freak out because they expect the market to correct instantly but it’s always a process.

        5. “Amazon’s practice of mixing together reviews for “similar” products, so that when you look at the reviews for a particular product from a particular seller, many of the reviews will be for a DIFERENT product. You look at reviews for a 2 TB hard drive, some of the reviews will be for 1 TB hard drives, some for 3 TB. You get the idea.”

          I worked at Amazon for 13 years and I worked on this specific problem, and I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to get this right. This is not a “practice” and it’s not from lack of trying; it’s a very difficult data cleansing problem. Remember that the information Amazon gets about 3rd party products *comes from the 3rd party*, and many of them are awful about their data quality… If you’re a little mom and pop shop selling things on Amazon, maybe you’re in another country or don’t speak very good English, you care about getting product on the website so it can sell, and if some of the metadata you enter is cut and pasted from a different entry, oh well. Amazon employs many techniques to try to clean up this data and figure out what the seller is *actually* selling, but the sheer volume of entries means this has to be done in computer software, and it’s just impossible to always get that right.

          I cannot for the life of me imagine why they would purposefully mess this up, or why you would think that they would have an incentive to do so. In fact, the quality of Amazon’s catalog is so much better than places like EBay that it is a huge advantage, but no one, and I mean no one, could get that exactly right.

          1. I’ve seen plenty of websites that don’t have this issue. So I guess there’s something fundamentally fubared about how Amazon organized their site, and now the fubar is built right into the foundation?

    2. There is no longer honor in politics. What you are asking for does not exist.

    3. or principle.

    4. Do you actually care about small independent business owners?

      It seems like the left interchanges “poor people” with “small business owners” as if they’re the same people, when they’re not.

      Like, if small businesses were just fine with all this, would you be ok with Amazon?

      1. But only sometimes.
        At other times, small business owners are lumped in with the hated rich.
        Small business owners appear to be quite versatile.

      2. Well and of course Amazon has been an absolute boon for millions and millions of small businesses run out of garages etc whose only way to sell product is on Amazon.

    5. How does a free market work if you’re always having the government put a stick in the spokes?

      1. Because it would seem to me that a free market that is constantly being fiddled with by government . . . isn’t a free market.

        1. And you never seem to have an explanation on why the people in government are both smart enough to know what interventions to make while also being uncorruptable and not able to be bought off by the businesses you want them to regulate.

    6. Er being better than your competitors and buying them out isn’t abuse of market power. Abusing market power is Eg using your wealth to buy politicians to pass legislation to crush your competition.

  6. It’s 45 miles to Walmart for us. I need something the next day or two it’s just as easy to go on Amazon and order it, easier in fact, than getting in my truck and driving to Wally world. And cheaper too. Amazon is a God sent to rural communities. Need body soap, ear tags for cattle, needles for calving season, castration bands, the latest Jack Campbell novel, a new cast iron frying pan, reloading gear (just not powder, brass and shells) it’s all available and delivered to your door within 72 hrs. We do most of our Christmas and birthday shopping on Amazon (I hate shopping, especially at Christmas). I need a new set of trim tools and a new mirror because I busted mine off the truck going through the gate one winter night? You guessed it, got it on Amazon. And cheaper than if I went through Ford.

    1. P.S. Bezos is definitely a Dr. Evil meme flying into space in a dick shaped rocket and being shaved bald and all. I’ll make fun of him for that and disagree with his politics but I don’t begrudge him spending his hard earned money however he wants too.

      1. So many charities and his ego prevents even a semblance of philanthropy.

        1. Oh well.

        2. It’s his money and he can do what the fuck he wants with it. That’s the problem cunts like AOC has with him; they want it re-distributed in order to achieve “equity” which is the new equality.

          If this was meant as sarcasm, I missed it.

          1. I think for many socialist cunts, equity is just an after-thought. Their real motivation is taking stuff from anyone who has more than is “just”.

        3. You can donate to those charities too.

      2. I don’t begrudge him spending his hard earned money however he wants too.

        Disagree. Spending billions on hookers and blow rather than donating it to a soup kitchen? Kinda jealous, otherwise don’t care. Spending billions flying into space? No grudge, don’t care. Spending billions making devices that make it easier to make purchases at his company? No grudge, don’t much care. Spending billions making devices that “secretly” or “inadvertently” record every conversation within their detection range? Spending billions that makes your information services lie and misinform people (including on the devices you secretly/inadvertantly listen to them on)? Yeah, you’re pretty wilfully defrauding people and violating their rights, fuck that shit.

        1. But people did buy them willingly. He never forced people to buy those devices. And they continue to buy them despite the stories about invasion of privacy.

        2. “Spending billions making devices that “secretly” or “inadvertently” record every conversation within their detection range?”

          I worked at Amazon and worked (somewhat peripherally) on the very first Echo device. I no longer work there and I could give a fuck about being “loyal” or whatever. What you are saying is a mischaracterization of Echo/Alexa devices. I don’t know how this stupid rumor got such legs, but the device *only* listens for “Alexa” and then sends sound for the next few seconds to servers. The device itself is pretty stupid and only has a small amount of software on it, barely enough to parse out “Alexa”. And the servers would not be able to process every sound ever made on any Alexa device, it’s way, way, way too much data. Also, it’s dead simple to monitor the device’s packets to confirm that it’s only sending data after the wake-word. Has there been an occasional anomaly? Sure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said something that wasn’t “Alexa” and it though I said Alexa and misfired because, as I said, it’s a pretty stupid device. I’ve had weird situations where someone on the TV said “Alexa” and my device responded. So do I believe that there have been anomalies where data was sent to Amazon that were not intended? Definitely. But do I believe that they are sending everything said within their hearing to servers but somehow that IP traffic isn’t easily detected? No, I know the programming of the devices. Do I believe that Amazon would have any clue of what to do with the sounds of my dishwasher, the announcers on the soccer game I’m watching, kids yelling out in the driveway, and my wife and I discussing who is picking up the kids from school? Please. It just isn’t easy to pull something meaningful out of random sounds. Shit, the servers can barely pull something meaningful out of the things I specifically ask it (I was curious what it means to say that an animals “lows”: try asking Alexa to explain that. It is impossible to get her to understand what you are asking. But it can someone make sense out of a never ending stream of random noises? My arse.)

          1. ++

      3. He’s always been a Bond villain.

      4. I kinda give him props for the flying cock-et.

      5. I don’t have a problem with his money. I have a problem with his socialist efforts. The guy belongs in prison for that.

    2. I don’t like shopping at Walmart, but there are times when it’s necessary and even convenient. Sometimes you need something that afternoon, or it’s just a much better deal, or any number of other reasons that might make it preferable to my norm.

      Amazon has just about anything I can get at all of the retail stores in my area, plus a whole bunch of things I can’t find there because they aren’t carried anywhere.

      The stupid aftermarket headlights that keep going out on my Mazda (previous owner install) are a special order product at Napa / AutoZone / etc, so they take an extra week or two and cost 4x as much as getting them on Amazon, for instance.

      1. We buy groceries in Williston, so we go to Walmart and Tractor Supply and Menard’s when we get groceries. In between paydays it’s generally Amazon. But if I really need a tool or something I go to the local hardware store and pay three to four times the price I’d pay at Amazon.

        1. But if I really need a tool or something I go to the local hardware store and pay three to four times the price I’d pay at Amazon.

          As I said above, if I need a cheap Chinese-made piece of crap, Harbor Freight usually has me covered cheaper and faster than Amazon. If I need a quality, name brand tool local harware and big box usually have me covered at the same price as Amazon and I don’t have to wait a day.

          Minadin makes a decent point; the only time I typically turn to Amazon is when I’m stuck fixing cheap Chinese crap that I’m using as a crutch until I can buy something more quality/name brand.

          1. The nearest big box store is 45 miles away.

    3. I used to be in the same predicament: anything over excepting a tank of gas or a candy bar was twenty-five miles away.

      I find Amazon just as useful today — for comparing products, prices, and reviews, and, most often, after researching such products, I go to the local hardware store and find the one I want. And, nine-times-out-of-ten, it’s the same price. Once in a while it’s actually cheaper.

      1. I find Amazon just as useful today — for comparing products, prices, and reviews, and, most often, after researching such products, I go to the local hardware store and find the one I want. And, nine-times-out-of-ten, it’s the same price. Once in a while it’s actually cheaper.

        Yup. I can rely on Amazon to help determine whether I’m going to get screwed using cheap crap or whether I need to buy name brand. Even then, it’s not really rely on Amazon as much as rely on 250 reviews of “You like our product! It work you good!” to inform my decision.

        1. “;Even then, it’s not really rely on Amazon as much as rely on 250 reviews of “You like our product! It work you good!” to inform my decision.”‘

          I tend to reject those reviews which say things like “I love it” or “Sucks.” And there are some reviews which seem to be posted by competitors offering the same product — I ignore those, too. Just like I tend to ignore magazine and other reviews of a product for which they get paid to run an advertisement. One must still rely on common sense.

          But there are some worthwhile reviews on Amazon. I know that because I have seen them and posted some myself.

    4. Curious. Is Amazon mostly postal delivery for rural or do they have the contracted drivers?

      1. UPS and USPS. Sometimes Fedex.

        1. So some of the cost is a cost transfer for their good rates from USPS. So a slight cost shift to taxpayers. Not begrudging you. Was just curious.

          Personally rarely use Amazon as I have enough fresh produce from various markets and a lot of their products are cheap knock off of quality under Walmart.

          I do spend a bit extra on things like Butcher Box though. But their meat is just delicious.

          1. “So some of the cost is a cost tr.ansfer for their good rates from USPS. So a slight cost shift to taxpayers.”

            Good afternoon, Jesse:
            The USPS has a special agreement, and special rates, for Amazon. It is entirely possible that delivering Amazon orders is one time the USPS might actually make a profit,

      2. We get Amazon delivery on Sunday by USPS.

  7. AOC is a troll.

    Don’t feed the troll.

    1. Like Tony and her sock, Raspberry-ass dinners.

      1. You mean Shitlunches?

  8. The only thing that Amazon has done has taken “catalog shopping” to a logical conclusion. (In case you were wondering, the first sales catalog was published and distributed in 1498, in Vienna.)

    Some people thought that Sears, with its death-grip on catalog sales, might eventually own the world. Hell, they sold everything from shoes to houses. Didn’t quite work that way.
    And, someday, Amazon, too, will be a distant memory. Just not today.

    1. When we perfect replicators we won’t need any of it.

      1. I was thinking the exact same thing lol

      2. Will a replicator be able to replicate a replicator?

        1. They never answered that question in the series or movies so I can’t give an answer and remain canon (maybe in one of the books I haven’t read?).

        2. Therein liesthe real question.

          1. In the show they never quite explained why some things had to be mines for or grown while others could be replicated.

            1. ++

            2. At various points in the Voyager series, they ration replicated meals, implying that replicators use some scarce resource that cannot itself be replicated. It also seems likely that the scarcity of that unknown resource makes at least some things that could be replicated more efficient to be mined or grown.

              In at least one episode, they gave away a replicator yet suffered no notable shortages afterward, suggesting that yes you can replicate a replicator (or enough component parts to build one).

              1. My understanding was power was the factor limiting replicator use in Voyager, e.g. they had limited dilithium crystals and needed those to power the warp reactor for the 75 year voyage as opposed to running the replicators and pulling into the nearest startstation to refuel.

                1. It’s also why they cruised at warp 1.2 instead of maximum warp.

    2. At the start Sears was perfectly positioned to take control of the internet and become bigger than what Amazon is now.

      It took some incredible mismanagement for Sears to fuck up the opportunities that the internet afforded.

      1. They ignored the internet completely as did JC Pennies. Evolve or die.

        1. The eventually had a web portal, but it sucked, and was too late anyway. And they pretty much destroyed Lands End.

      2. I remember reading an article many years ago when Walmart was beginning to build stores in larger towns – they started first just in smaller towns, and Sears was still the nation’s largest retailer by far. The article suggested that “maybe, many years from now, Walmart might displace Sears as the country’s largest retailer”. Ha. They blew by Sears much quicker than many predicted. Walmart is still the largest retailer – right? Amazon is way ahead for online sales, but Walmart is growing their online sales at an impressive rate – and they have deep pockets.

    3. Some people thought that Sears, with its death-grip on catalog sales, might eventually own the world. Hell, they sold everything from shoes to houses. Didn’t quite work that way.

      Sears was one of those companies that really missed the boat and should have bought out Amazon in its early days for its retail software suite alone. The whole point of Bezos setting that up was so he could market it to other online retail vendors, but it ended up that Amazon became an online version of Walmart/department stores/the local shopping mall. Sears could have easily leveraged that into their own existing warehouse logistics operation, weathered the dot-com bust and transitioned out of brick-and-mortar 15 years ago, and would probably still be a viable company today had they done so.

      Amazon itself didn’t really stabilize until AWS was developed, but Sears was already an established company anyway, and wouldn’t have had to worry about covering its losses with fresh stock infusions because they already had a legacy reputation with consumers.

      1. Sears owned Prodigy, at one point–the first consumer ISP. They failed to upgrade from 16 bit graphics, as I recall, because why would anybody want to see anything on the internet in more than 16 bit? Prodigy was because Sears owned H&R Block–and they wanted a way for consumers to send in their tax returns from home. They had the consumer internet under their control, and all they could see was a way to deal with the IRS.

        They could have been AOL. They could have been Amazon. They started selling FTD flowers online! But noooOOOooo.

        The last hurrah for Sears with me was Craftsman. Before they started making all their tools in China, Craftsman was a legit quality brand. Whenever your knuckles were sure to get ripped apart if your wrench broke or slipped, you’d look to see if it was a Craftsman and proceed. They built that brand on their lifetime guarantee for broken tools. If it ever broke, Sears would replace it for free.

        Once they moved their production to China, the quality control fell through the floor. They kept their guarantee in place, but the reason they’d give a replacement for free was because they were so cheap to manufacture, they could afford to give you four or five for the same price. The would break all the time. It was like they were suddenly made out of chrome plated plastic. Thanks for the bloody knuckles, Sears!

        1. “The last hurrah for Sears with me was Craftsman.”

          Likewise here. I used to do nearly all my automotive work myself, including rebuilding a couple of engines. Craftsman were great tools… until they weren’t.

          1. Yeah RIP craftsman’s craftsmanship.

            1. +

        2. Sears would have failed at anything they did. I worked for Sears corporate at one time. They didn’t have the vision or operational excellence to adapt to a changing world. Here’s a small example of how incompetent they were. The lobby of the executive floor in the Sears Tower used to post every day the closing share price of Sears stock and what they believed to be their two main competitors. Not the change in price over some period, just the price. Management thought that the absolute value of share prices was relevant.

          1. The shareholders should have sued the living fuck out of everyone involved in the Brennan, Martinez and especially Lacy regimes.

        3. Anything the Chinese make is either utter shit or stolen from someone else. They haven’t made anything original or transformative since the days of gunpowder.

          That’s probably the one saving grace when the next war with them breaks out, because they won’t be able to keep anything operating with their shitty slave-tier manufacturing.

          1. They can make good stuff. It’s just that when you’re the product on the market with the lowest cost, you don’t generally need to make your products better than everyone else’s to win.

          2. will the shittiness of their tools come into play before or after the nuclear exchange?

        4. K-mart came out with their Benchtop tools. They were what Craftsman used to be. Then K-mart bought Sears and got rid of Benchtop for Craftsman.

        5. Prodigy predated the public availability of the Internet by a decade. It was accessed by dialing into a local phone number (usually Telenet or Tymenet) using 1200 bps modems. I was doing that around 1986. Their hook was the service did not have a per-minute charge, but it is also true there was very little to do.

          They were competing primarily with CompuServe, which was the online service owned by H&R Block. CompServe had been the gathering point where most companies (especially computer electronics) that provided online customer support. It was very expensive. The most disgusting thing was that CompuServe was eventually acquired by America Online, who positioned it as a beginning service for people who were not smart enough to use AOL.

          Prodigy was eventually partially acquired by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, went Public and then was acquired by SBC (former Southern Bell) which then rolled it into Yahoo! Dialup internet that became AT&T’s dialup internet service after AT&T’s breakup was reconsolidated

          I operated a web site called from about 1999 to 2004 that helped people find a dialup internet provider within their local calling area.

      2. “Sears could have easily leveraged that into their own existing warehouse logistics operation, weathered the dot-com bust and transitioned out of brick-and-mortar 15 years ago, and would probably still be a viable company today had they done so.”


  9. Amazon uses and abuses anticompetitive regulations to fight off competitors. Let’s not pretend Amazon maintains its dominance through fair play and impartial market forces.

    1. “Let’s not pretend Amazon maintains its dominance through fair play and impartial market forces.”

      Amazon does that on some things, but AOC doesn’t maintain her dominance through fair play and impartial market forces at all.

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t agreeing with AOC. They’re both big government parasites.

        1. Amazon sends delivers raspberries to my house for less.

          AOC just spends my money, raises my taxes, and whines.

          1. So you can have raspberry…dinners?

            1. Golf clap.

            2. Isn’t that Tony code for his boyfriend’s hemorrhoids?

  10. When I go to buy raspberries from my local supermarket, they’re at best about a day away from being moldy if they aren’t moldy already. Whatever it is Amazon is doing to get them from the bush to my door fresh, they’re doing it right. And they charge less for them than my local supermarket, too.

    Oh, and Amazon is actually competition for Google search. It used to be that people would go to Google to search for just about everything they wanted to buy–and that was feeding Google’s advertising revenue. Nowadays, lots of people just go straight to Amazon and search there.

    Amazon has done so much to make my quality of life better and save me money. AOC hasn’t done anything to make my life better–and she wants me to pay more in taxes. She hates us for caring about ourselves, too. She’s all about forced sacrifice. Fuck AOC. AOC sucks.

    1. You want your raspberry dinner and want to eat it too.

    2. You buy raspberries? I’m picking them off bushes I walk to off my road.

    3. Maybe Amazon dips them in chlorine dioxide solution.

      I make my own ClO2 solution too, but haven’t had use for it lately.

    4. hooray Amazon and less-than-legal labor!

    5. I’ve never bought anything from Amazon, and have made a point of not doing so ever since Bezos bought the WaPo, which has gone from mostly left wing to FAR left wing under his ownership.

      I also stopped shopping at Whole Foods after Bezos bought it, and I refuse to give money to any business owned by a left wingers, especially left wing billionaires.

      While AOC is disgraceful, I agree with some of her criticisms of Amazon. It would be helpful to know how many and which products sold by Amazon are manufactured by Uyghers, who have been abused and enslaved by Chinese Communists.

  11. When you see a Democrat complaining about a business, you can be sure that there’s a Union campaign contribution involved.

    1. In NYC? Noooooooo….

  12. I though Twitter was supposed to censor misinformation from Miss Information.

  13. A lot of small businesses sell on Amazon and reach a wider audience than if they sold only out of local brick and mortar stores. Also, there is a whole new industry of small businesses created by Amazon, they pack millions of products for Amazon.

    1. Exactly. One of my favorite businesses in a small custom leather shop located in Florida (I am a fan of their knife sheathes.) I am on the opposite coast. And, without Amazon, I would probably never have known it existed.

      1. Do they do gun holsters? I’m looking for a holster for my Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum. It doesn’t quite fit in the holster for my Uberti Cinnamon .45 colt one though the ammunition fits in the belt loops.

        1. Uncle Mike’s makes something it will fall out of.

          1. I know that from experience. Almost lost it on a backpacking trip thanks to Uncle Mike.

        2. The internet has provided me with an incredible gallery of supplies for all things gun related, including the guns themselves.

          Amazon generally sucks in this regard, and most of their weapons gear is Chunk [Chinese junk]; but otherwise I have a whole host of places to go and prices and quality to compare.

          I just don’t often darken the doors of bricks and mortars.

          1. I got a good RCBD hand priming tool but I sp critically searched RCBS.

        3. No. I wish they did. I am still looking for the perfect holster for my .45 Ruger Blackhawk.

    2. My mom’s bookstore is entirely on Amazon now. She lowered overhead and raised sales and reaches customers globally.

      Amazon can also warehouse (some of) her products and do the shipping and packing for her – it’s a service she uses called FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). And if you’re buying from a 3rd party seller on Amazon, and your item is eligible for Prime and 2-day shipping, you’re probably using FBA too.

      1. Back in the seventies and eighties, I was in the music retail businesses. One thing I learned is that for many smaller music stores, particularly the specialty stores, anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of their profits were derived from catalog sales.

        1. Which reminds me I still owe Columbia house for that Everclear CD they sent me in 1997.

          1. +

      2. You can do that with Alibris, too.

        And if you’re a wealthy communist (is there any other kind), you can get an early printing of Das Kapital for $2600.

        Sorry, capitalists. A first edition of The Wealth of Nations will run you $235K. Supply and demand, you know.

        1. Yeah. I found a book written by a former professor of mine on Amazon (It was actually her thesis re-packaged.) But for $275, I took a pass.

      3. I tried to convince my mom to sell some of her books on Amazon. She complained that it was too hard and Amazon took too big of a cut. I don’t really know how it works so I didn’t know what to say. What is your mom’s experience like selling on Amazon?

        1. Well, in my mom’s case, she isn’t selling her own books, but other used books she buys at places like garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, library sales, etc. She is typically looking for a book with a high sales rank so it turns over fairly quickly, and a retail price over $15-20, but never under $10.

          That’s her break-even point for a book she picks up for $1, once you figure in her cost to pack it off to Amazon, their take on the sale, and whatever fees they include for their warehousing and shipping and handling when they send it to the buyer. Books that sell for $10 and under she will typically sell on Ebay and ship from home.

          When she’s scouting for books, she uses a fancy barcode scanner that can look up a book on multiple platforms and tell you everything you want to know about it. When I occasionally help her out, I use an app (free) on my smartphone that basically does the same thing, but just for Amazon.

  14. I love Amazon. Buy stuff there every other day.

    I could care less what some idiot says about them.

    1. NASA used to explore the Moon. Now it makes up fake data with which to pretend temperatures are increasing and that only totalitarian controls can save “us” from that hobgoblin. Jeff could run a privatized NASA just fine with technical input from JPL and Los Alamos and a mechanical boost from a Pantex version of Project Orion. In Austin many signed a petition to replace the utility monopoly with the Henry E. Butts competitive grocery chain.

  15. Bezos is crony capitalist and among the vanguards of the woke movement. What praise should we heap upon a man who uses his muscle to support regulations on his competitors and intimidate attempts to put ones on his own company?

    While he makes Buzz lightyear impressions and removes products from Amazon in the name of social activism, he remains silent as people are dying in Cuba and small businesses are driven out of existence. If the rumors of his warehouse working conditions are true, then the benefits of his brand of ecommerce was built on human misery. And judging by the noticeable increase in defective products (crushed soda cans, melted chocolate, game case that arrive without a disc) I can only imagine Amazon fulfillment centers are basically a giant tetris factory with declining quality inspection.

    The left obviously hates any organism with wealth. I enjoy them tearing apart Bezos, even if it’s for wrong reasons.

    1. “…he remains silent as people are dying in Cuba”

      I didn’t know he had warehouses there too.

      1. CM ignoring all the thousands of small businesses that survive by selling on Amazon also.

        1. XM is a woke rightie. He’s way past the whole principles part, now firmly into “pwn the libs” territory.

          1. when he howled “stop the steal!” , few knew he was referring to his mind

          2. It’s “unprincipled” to note that Amazon is a crony capitalist? Sure.

          3. Well Jeffy, at this point, what else are we to do with you woke leftists? You won’t ever stop. So we have to stop you.

    2. “The left obviously hates any organism with wealth.”

      Except for anyone who built that wealth through communism/socialism (cf. the Castros, Maduro).

  16. Chicken and egg question:
    Do prime members sign up for the video, and then buy because the shipping is included, or sign up for the free shipping and watch video because it is included?

    1. I’m going with Video first.

      1. That was my experience.

    2. When I signed up for Prime, they didn’t even *have* Video yet.

      And now I feel old again. 😉

      1. Nah, you’re a “first adopter,” the coolest of the cool.

  17. AOC: Ye Gods, what a cunt.

  18. I missed my opportunity… I’ve always wanted to take a picture next to a giant penis… and a rocketship!

  19. The basic principles would be thus:

    The threat from private monopoly power exists no matter how much you may like the service the monopoly is providing. If it makes competition impossible, it breaks capitalism.

    If something is so great as a monopoly that it needs to be a monopoly, then it needs to be a thing we have democratic control over.

    This may or may not sound like unicorn farts in the modern economy, but someone needs to explain why they’re wrong. Preferably without nonsense hand waving like “private monopolies are inherently unstable in nature.” If a private monopoly exists, capitalism isn’t working as you guys promise. It depends on competition for the whole thing to make any sense, does it not? Otherwise it’s some guy printing his own money and the rest of us having no say in the matter.

    The problem specifically with Amazon isn’t that it overcharges for products (yet), but that it underpays for labor. Labor is a thing subject to market competition as well, and we figured out a long time ago that it was well within a democratic society’s purview to limit the misery in private workforces.

    I am totally in favor of an increasingly automated rapid-delivery marketplace such as Amazon invented. It’s a great thing, and I don’t want to see it dismantled by legislation that only focuses on worker and consumer rights at the expense of technological advancement.

    But it’s already using public infrastructure! It uses our roads and our postal service that we pay for with taxes, among all the other more abstract trappings of civilization. If we want this convenience, we should be prepared to pay for it. Nothing is free.

    1. but that it underpays for labor.

      When the robots unionize, that will change.

      1. As long as the robots are like Bender everything will be fine.

    2. If something is so great as a monopoly that it needs to be a monopoly, then it needs to be a thing we have democratic control over.

      Government control over private business. I seem to recall a political system based on that.

      And Amazon isn’t a monopoly.

      1. Government control over private business is literally every political system ever invented.

        You are right in that no monopoly is ever strictly a monopoly, but can have monopoly-like features, which we have a right to pay attention to.

        The only thing going on in antitrust actions is protecting the integrity of capitalism.

        1. “The only thing going on in antitrust actions is protecting the integrity of capitalism.


        2. We have one right now with the goal of censoring speech not approved by the White House.

          1. Guess you shouldn’t have spent the best years of your life cheerleading for unrestricted capitalism, huh?

            1. I have spent all of the years of my life cheerleading socialism. Haven’t accomplished anything other than living off of the hard work of the productive people I despise and dragging the collective down. So there have been no best years. AOC’s tweets are the high water mark.

            2. How is that unrestricted capitalism? Your reply doesn’t even make sense.

              1. But I think it makes perfect sense that people whose entire political worldview is about letting private companies do whatever the hell they think is in their best interest suddenly discovering a love of the joys of socialism the minute Twitter decides it’s in its best interest to ban Donald Trump from its property.

                This makes perfect sense to me because, well, see my all of my commentary over the years.

                1. Quicker to just say your a fat lazy idiot who doesn’t want to work.

                  1. True on all counts except the fat part.

                    1. I suspect you burn off a lot of calories getting spit roasted at your local bathhouse.

                2. File under shit that has never happened.

                3. All your comments over the years make clear that you are inconsistent, and biased. So sure

            3. Guess you shouldn’t spend your time making it clear that you’re an imbecilic lefty shit with no concept whereof you post.

      2. I wonder if Tony knows that he could get a really great high from huffing the fumes made by spraying chlorinated brake cleaner and lighting it on fire?

        1. I hear it’s great if you mix it with bleach.

    3. Customers determine wages and nobody is forced to work at Amazon. Nobody is forced to buy from them either.

      1. I’m a longtime Amazon customer and I don’t have the first clue how much Amazon workers make.

        1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

        2. You claimed that their labor was underpaid.

        3. So if Amazon is part of the problem. You are helping to fund the problem. You are part of the problem.

          1. I don’t blame individuals for problems caused by the actions or inactions of legislatures. I don’t really see the point of blame much at all. Free will, even in a colloquial sense, is largely illusory.

            1. That’s the problem you don’t blame individuals for the individual decisions, instead you punish the group for individuals’ choices. It’s the entire problem of progressivism. Libertarians believe in individual choice and living with those consequences and not punishing others for the choice of a few or single individual.

              1. I definitely don’t believe in punishment.

                You (and other conservatives) struggle to see the world outside of the frame of “good guy vs. bad guy.” It’s all about agents and teams. That’s why you can’t talk about systemic racism. You always see it as a personal insult to your character, even though the entire point is that it’s not about individual character but systems. It’s right there in the name.

                So I don’t believe in punishment because that, like your whole attitude, is based on a tribal mindset that simply doesn’t serve humans in the modern world. You punish people because you want them to feel pain that will motivate them to change their behavior. But housing millions of people in cages doesn’t motivate that in the same way, because they are no longer part of any community where shame plays that kind of role. Just for example.

                I don’t have a single strongly-held policy belief that has anything to do with punishment.

                1. But you dont believe taking someone’s hard earned income is punishment. It is just a gift taken by force.

                  1. Sitting on a portfolio of capital isn’t hard and it isn’t earning.

                    1. Yes it is earning. Fuck you don’t even understand simple economics. Better to keep quiet and have others think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

                    2. To earn is to acquire something according to some moral assessment of fairness. Typically it means you worked for it.

                      Yes, “earn” is also used when a capital investment grows with interest, but if all “earn” means is to get more money, then I can “earn” all the wealth I need by robbing banks.

                    3. Earning is getting more money by investing your energy and money
                      Fuck you’re an imbecile.

                    4. Yet Tony is in many ways typical of leftist thinking. Another reason why they have to go.

                2. Breaking up a company is a punishment to the company and it’s employees. Gun control is punishment to lawful gun owners. Socialism is punishing everyone for the actions of a few. And there is no more height of a lack of self awareness than to accuse conservatives of thinking in good vs evil. It is the entire cause de jour for the progressive movement.

                  1. I can see this is devolving into an annoying dispute over semantics. If you like, laws against murder “punish” would-be murderers. Okay, so? If you’re doing something socially undesirable, society stops you from doing that thing. It’s called law. Do you want to do away with all laws and taxes?

                    1. Allowed that punish a group for the misbehavior of a single individual. Punish the murderers not lawful gun owners. Punish the cheaters not all businesses through blanket regulations.

                    2. A law not allowed.

                    3. “Do you want to do away with all laws and taxes?”

                      Is that an option??? I’m in!

                    4. I want to do away with all leftists.

                3. That’s why you can’t talk about systemic racism. You always see it as a personal insult to your character,

                  No, I see it as circular thinking.

            2. Yet you are blaming actions or inactions of legislature.

            3. People who blame all their failures in life on others generally take your view.

              1. Everyone does that. The difference between conservatards like you and progressives like me is I punch up and you punch down.

                1. Lol. Who am I punching down on?

                  You’ve never punched down in your life. Aren’t you always bragging youre winning the culture war?

                  I expect people to ne held to their own actions and individuals. You want to harm those more successful than you to amend your failures. That’s not punching up or down, it is basic force.

                  1. It’s psychobabble justifying a failed ideology.

                    1. Which describes your side to the Tee. Imbecilic psychobabble like your nonsense the other day about the amygdala of conservatives.

    4. “…If it makes competition impossible, it breaks capitalism…”

      Which, it seems, has happened exactly once: Alcoa.
      And when the FTC broke it up, the cost a aluminum went up.
      Fuck off and die, shitstain.

    5. “The threat from private monopoly power exists no matter how much you may like the service the monopoly is providing. If it makes competition impossible, it breaks capitalism.”

      You are forgetting the one, really huge monopoly which we have very little control over — the bureaucracy which spends trillions and trillions of dollars they don’t have on things that most people don’t want. And, unlike private businesses, I can’t not shop there.

      1. No I’m not. I did not claim, nor does anyone claim, that monopoly is always bad.

        If there’s going to be a monopoly, and sometimes there should be, it should be controlled by the people so that it does not control them. That’s all.

        1. There’s a word for the people controlling companies and it isn’t capitalism.

          1. I know, you think it’s more freedom if companies are under autocratic control of CEOs rather than democratic control of the people whose communities they feed from.

            1. Youre almost to open communism. Who decides which businesses are worth it in your world? Who allocates the division of labor in your world?

              Youre an authoritarian. Thank God youre a fat lazy one.

            2. Yes I believe in capitalism be and socialism and communism always leads to tyranny. And I believe in freedom.

              1. Nobody ever said capitalism required autocratic corporations.

                1. But capitalism requires all businesses and corporations to be privately own d dipshit and joy controlled by the government

                  1. Not controlled by the government.

                    1. not ‘joy controlled by the government’ works well also

        2. I actually think that a actual monopoly is bad, or at least will soon become “bad.” Amazon is not, by any reasonable definition, a monopoly. They claim something over 40% of the e-commerce market. GM once claimed 54% of the automotive industry. They were also not a monopoly — and they proved it by nearly going broke a couple of times, which they should have been permitted to do. Of course the government bailed them out.. because power-brokers actually like monopolies — it gives them more control.

          1. Reply intended for Tony….

            1. Don’t respond to Tony. Maybe it will go away. We can dream, at least.

          2. Your actual problem seems to be with what you call power-brokers, then.

            I agree that the actual problem is too much power concentrated in too few hands. That’s the same problem whether we’re talking about government or private capital. People are too stupid to be given too much power. It’s the central idea informing the modern democratic world. I’m glad we agree.

            1. The customers are ultimately the power brokers. Which you don’t understand.

              1. +

            2. Tony:

              Nothing is more “democratic” than a free-market. The government screws it up with corporatism, favoritism, grants, special taxes, as well as tax-breaks, regulations on what people can buy (ie: foie gras or organic milk lacking added vitamins), as well as other “punishments” (or rewards) for organizations, manufacturers or governments of which they do or don’t approve.

              We were very happy to take a $4500 tax credit on a new hybrid. That is my reward for making a lot of money and paying a lot of taxes. How “democratic” is that? I certainly didn’t NEED the tax break.

              1. Democratic implies an equal say for all participants. Does that sound like capitalism to you?

                1. Yes because anyone can start a business and succeed or Gail without the government picking winners and losers.

                  1. That’s how capitalism is supposed to work. When the government has to give permission and controls all aspects of business while allowing them to remain nominally privately owned that is actually fascism not capitalism. We’re much closer to gas ism because of your I’ll than we are to true capitalism.

                    1. All 300 million people cannot be entrepreneurs. It wouldn’t even work in principle, and you know that.

                      Since most people in any capitalist system will be spending most of their days under some boss’s whip, then it’s perfectly OK and just and required for those people to act on the only power they have–democratic power over government–to organize that system as they see fit.

                      No economic system exists in nature. If you claim that one does, you are trying to give your arbitrary preferences extra credit they didn’t earn. We can make the world however we want to make it. That’s the beauty of being human.

                    2. And once again you root for fascism. Not faux fascism but the actual thing.

          3. thank God for that foreign competition!

      2. Amazon is not remotely a “monopoly”, unless you define their “industry” so remotely like “Amazon has a monopoly on companies named ‘Amazon'”. They aren’t even a monopoly *on their own website*: more than half of what is sold on their website is sold by companies *other* than Amazon.

        More to the point: only 4% of retail sales are made on Amazon’s website. Hardly a “monopoly”.

    6. Tony, that just fundamentally violates private property rights. You want to nationalize companies that are “too big”? What constitutes “too big”? And how could you possibly think that a President Trump would be a better businessman than Jeff Bezos when it comes to deciding how to run Amazon?

      If a private monopoly exists, capitalism isn’t working as you guys promise.

      Capitalism doesn’t promise that monopolies go away immediately and instantaneously. Capitalism does promise that competitive forces, over time, will destroy monopolies because monopolies either (a) use their monopoly power to screw people over, creating a market opportunity for competitors, or (b) use their monopoly power to buy up all the competitors, creating a different kind of market opportunity for the competitors while eventually making the monopoly broke.

    7. If something is so great as a monopoly that it needs to be a monopoly, then it needs to be a thing we have democratic control over.

      It is “democratic control” over markets that creates monopolies in the first place.

      In a free market, Amazon wouldn’t exist in its current form.

      The problem specifically with Amazon isn’t that it overcharges for products (yet), but that it underpays for labor.

      You’re welcome to do what I do, which is not work for Amazon.

    8. “it underpays for labor.”

      They paid me ridiculous amounts for 13 years and now I’m retired on their “underpayment”, but thanks for your concern!

    9. The only actual monopolies I can think of were granted by government — cable TV, electric and water utilities, phone service (back in the day), etc. They feature high prices and poor service.

      A company dominating its target market is not a monopoly at all. They dominate by providing better service or better products or better prices. If they try to change that later, someone else can undercut them or outperform them and they’re finished (see Circuit City, Sears, Blockbuster, etc.)

    10. $15 an hour minimum wage at Amazon -and for full-time positions, health insurance from day one. I know there’s some truth to the reports of not enough time for proper bathroom breaks and I hope Amazon managers are making appropriate changes to fix that issue. For those fulfillment center workers starting at $15 an hour, I don’t know about their opportunities to advance, get promoted, etc. – but it seems Amazon had no trouble hiring 500,000 willing new employees in the last year. Amazon has a big chunk of online retail sales, but their far from being a monopoly. Brick and mortar retail isn’t going away entirely – and Walmart will continue to be a formidable competitor for that – and they’re growing their online sales pretty significantly.

  20. Oh well. I can get castration supplies without having to drive 45 miles to buy them and cheaper. On a totally unrelated topic do you want to come and visit my ranch?

    1. Meant as a reply to Tony.

    2. The only way you have to worry about me passing on my genes is if I slip and fall in an incredibly improbable way.

      1. We wish your mom had gotten an abortion; the world would be a better place.

        1. When he was born, not only did the doctor slap him but each of the nurses got in a few shots too.

      2. So no one has managed to plant the seed of life in your shitbox yet?

  21. Who gives a rats ass what that feckless cunt thinks or says. She’s clearly either deliberately being obtuse or she’s just that fucking clueless. Everything out of her mouth is either a lie or something that someone else wrote for her. I realize there are dumbass prog left assholes who think she and the other democrap socialists are all that. But honestly giving her any airtime here is a waste. Yeah yeah I know what is really going on but still have some editorial sense. You can refute collectivists here all you want but leave that lying sack of shit off the table.

  22. “It’s a form of consumer false consciousness in which end users don’t know what they want (but members of Congress, of course, do).”

    That’s the problem with any government-led initiative. Regardless of the letter next to their name, most elected officials believe they know better than you.

  23. I know whenever I sit down at the computer, one of Jeff’s armed thugs is at my elbow, telling me to key-up Amazon, or the dog gets it in the ear!

  24. BTW does Ebay still exist? Asking for a friend.

    1. 🙂 Yeah. I buy stuff there that I can’t find on Amazon.

    2. How about Alibaba?

  25. I disagree with AOC on this. Amazon pays decent wages in comparison to other small and large businesses and they help keep prices low which is just as important. And if you’re from places like Louisiana you’re especially thankful for a well run business. Not to mention that Amazon just bought a huge run down eyesore property in Baton Rouge and they’re turning into something nice and providing higher paying jobs which pressures other businesses to raise wages to compete for the labor. Amazon is a good thing in my opinion.

    1. “…Amazon pays decent wages in comparison to other small and large businesses…”

      Which is none of YOUR business, lefty shit.

  26. Do you think an extra-woke person like AOC can stand by and let people do what they want, like buying from Amazon.

    Speaking of standing, AOC knows that in every “just” society people stand in many lines to get things, and Amazon also prevents her from enforcing that.

    1. Ocasio is a Chinese copy of Lolita Lebrón, the Puerto Rican communist who on March 1, 1954 had guts enough to retaliate with live ammo against Congressional failure to create more communist dictatorships. Nabokov’s “Lolita” was published a year and a half later, and was as big a hit as “The President’s Daughter”–about Warren Harding’s illegitimate daughter–was in 1930. Atlas Shrugged is now out in Spanish and Portuguese, and only the vidiot illiterati cling to communism anymore.

      1. What? Have you finally completely lost it?

  27. Amazon is great. I use their services all the time.

    Amazon is an object lesson for those who think that using government muscle against Big Tech is a good idea. People flocked to Amazon because they offered products and services that people want. They had a large part in taking down companies formerly thought unshakable, like Sears, because they out-innovated and out-competed them, due to what the customers wanted. They’ve also taken down many small businesses as well.
    People shop at Amazon because that is where they prefer to shop. Government trying to break up Amazon as a purported monopoly will only make everything worse. Customers will not get the products and services that they had come to expect, and the government will be exerting yet more control in the market.

    The same is true of Facebook, Twitter, and Big Tech generally. Why do Facebook and Twitter create curated user experiences? Because that is what the customers want. If they wanted something else, they would go elsewhere. If customers wanted pure free speech, where Nazis and trolls could interrupt and derail every conversation, then they would have rejected Facebook’s and Twitter’s curation by voting with their feet. But they don’t. They want an experience where so-called ‘hate speech’ is kept to a minimum. You can argue all you want that Facebook shouldn’t ban so-called ‘hate speech’, just like you can argue all you want that Amazon shouldn’t shove small businesses out of their way and drive them out of business. But ultimately it comes down to what the customers want. And the customers have spoken.

    Amazon is not a monopoly, they enjoy tons of competition still. Many small businesses still prosper, just in smaller niches. Likewise Facebook is not a monopoly, there are alternatives like Parler and MeWe where customers can enjoy their niche experiences of ‘purer’ free speech. Attempts by government to alter all of this will only make it all worse.

    1. They are calling anyone conservative on facebook a Nazi and claim they are using hate speech. It’s ludicrous that you support the far left this way. No wonder you get your ass fucked every time you post here.

      1. They are calling anyone conservative on facebook a Nazi

        Who are “they”? Facebook management? Not true. Many of the biggest conservative names are on Facebook, like Ben Shapiro.

        and claim they are using hate speech.

        Again not true.

        It’s ludicrous that you support the far left this way.

        If by “support the far left” you mean “support the idea that property owners should decide what does and does not go on their property”, then I suppose, although it’s weird hearing you think that that is a “far left” idea.

        1. “support the idea that property owners should decide what does and does not go on their property”

          Let us know when it’s ok for the baker to not bake a cake.

      2. You know what would be a better idea? Having the government dictate the content of speech on Facebook! Just like, having the government dictate the content of Amazon’s marketplace! Wouldn’t that just be *dreamy*? Right? Right?

        1. Considering you’ve admitted you sympathize with the left, I’d doubt you have to much guilt over that happening.

          1. sympathize with the left

            And by “sympathsize with the left”, you mean “don’t regard the left as evil cartoon villains and monsters”. Guilty as charged.

            1. More like embrace nearly all of their dogma, endlessly defend them, and reflexively attack conservatives.

          2. And *no*, it would not be better for government to be dictating content of speech on Facebook, or to be dictating the content of the marketplace on Amazon, in case anyone else missed my obvious sarcasm.

            1. I will say one thing for Trump and his supporters. They may be wrong on the issue but they didn’t want to ban speech they wanted to ban the platforms from banning speech, which while wrong is a hell of a lot less evil than Biden trying to force Facebook to ban speech he doesn’t like. Sometimes the lesser of two evils is the choice you have to live with. And I vot d for Jo, who had her own problems, but was the lesser of three evils in my book.

              1. I just want to get rid of the people who want to enslave/kill me. Which is really just self defense.

    2. People flocked to Amazon because they offered products and services that people want.

      People flock to Amazon because we don’t have any choice. And I wish that were because Amazon’s service is superior, but unfortunately it isn’t. It’s largely because the US regulatory environment has created a winner-take-all situation on the Internet.

      1. They only make up 40% of the market ergo their is 60% of the market that is an alternative to Amazon. Simple math and logic dictates here.

        1. And 60% of Amazon’s products are offered by private sellers or contracted small businesses, ergo when you buy from Amazon you are actually buying most likely from private sellers and or small businesses.

          1. I. This issue Jeffy is right.

            1. I don’t hate Amazon. I hate Bezos. Just get rid of Bezos, and everyone like him

          2. And 60% of Amazon’s products are offered by private sellers or contracted small businesses, ergo when you buy from Amazon you are actually buying most likely from private sellers and or small businesses.

            Yes, and under Amazon’s rules, they can’t actually offer their products cheaper anywhere else, even if their costs are lower.

            Look, I’m not blaming Amazon. I’m not calling for regulation.

            But the simple fact is that I don’t order from Amazon because I want to shop with them, it’s because the alternatives are costlier and more cumbersome. And that’s not because Amazon has a superior product, it’s because government regulations have created a winner-take-all situation in e-commerce.

        2. That’s as absurd as saying that because my electrical utility only makes up 40% of my utility bills, the remaining 60% of utility providers are an alternative to my electrical utility.

      2. I guess all the things I bought online this month NOT on Amazon are a figment of my imagination? Also, does not beat out,,,, etc. that provide online shopping and same-day curbside pickup! We live where going to town is a 30-minute trip one (we’re out in the boonies), so we use Amazon A LOT, but for large items (things like a 16′ extension ladder) or groceries we can’t beat online shopping a free curbside pickup. We just coordinate the orders and make one trip to town, and use Amazon and other online retailers (Amazon doesn’t have everything we need!) to avoid other trips into town.

        1. Same here but out round trip is 80 minutes.

      3. yeah, their service is so bad you don’t get your stuff until the next day, and they waive the shipping charges a lot of the time.

    3. Chemjeff in nutshell

      “If customers flock to some service, then the company deserves no scrutiny and oversight”

      Sure, let’s just not touch Amazon as they mistreat their workers and ban products that offend their woke sensibilities.

      Amazon will likely kill more businesses than they will save. And they engage in anti competitive behavior. There’s a reason why communities all over the world either oppose or are wary of Amazon moving in. “Gee, why don’t businesses there just move their operation to Amazon” Hopefully, I don’t have to explain that.

      Chemjeff is the kind of obtuse libertarian who would just reflexively say “that’s private business and there are competitions” if Walmart stopped selling to republicans or black people. He will trade an oligarchy for an intrusive government, and ignore every plausible and harmful threat posed by the former in the name of ideological purity.

      Big tech or ecommerce giants censoring and filtering out products or content with impunity do not serve liberty or society in the long run. If Amazon and movie studios delisted or banned Phantom Menace for “cultural insensitivity” a lot of people would be outraged or concerned – not because they love the film, but because they realize the wider implication of things big companies (who effectively control supply and licensing) can do. The Chemjeff bursts in singing “they’re private companies”

      Why do libertarians decry crony capitalists but pretend as if free markets principles are at play? You recognize that Amazon wants to bankrupt competition, but in the same breath say “they’re not a monopoly, there are competition?” I would sign up for a social media site that privileges free speech all over else. If Apple, Amazon, could based services, etc deplatform them, they’ll die. Maybe the government should give them funding and huge tax breaks? Oh no, that’s picking and choosing winners.

      Are we supposed to be the “resistance”? What the fuck are you resisting? Chemjeff is probably white, and he’s here in arguing for policies that would decimate the most vulnerable population. It’s astonishing. He really hates the republican party, accuses anyone who speaks even slightly in favor of them as being sellouts, while lecturing us to swallow every potentially destructive policy in the name of ideological purity.

      When cops don’t do their jobs and schools don’t open, it’s not white people who will be hurt the most. Remember that. Wokeness is a HUGE problem that may very well turn the fate of the nation. Sacrificing liberty to fight is a concern, but that should freeze us into inaction.

  28. This woman’s staff opens an online merch store and then – this is someone with a under-graduate degree in economics mind you – says that that’s not capitalism.

    1. Economics degrees are frequently worthless anymore. At many colleges, like AOC’s, it’s just Marxist indoctrination, with little real economic theory taught.

  29. Yuo think Amazon abuses their market power? Wait until Russia finishes their natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. And Biden’s all right with it.

    1. I know, right? Maybe Biden should go to war with Russia over the pipeline, just like Hillary Clinton wanted to go to war with Russia over Syria. Wouldn’t that be better?

      1. Maybe Biden should go to war with Russia over the pipeline

        The correct response to Nordstream 2 is to kick Germany out of NATO and withdraw from Germany completely; it simply makes no sense for the US to guarantee the defense of a country that deliberately assumes such risks.

        1. The correct response to our good friends in NATO is to have an intervention in which member nations are told that their generous social policies are only possible because the US taxpayer pays for them to divert their defense budget dollars to social welfare; that they would have NO government policies, if the US taxpayer weren’t maintaining their very existence.

          They should be told to pick a side, either the people picking up the tab or the people who oppose us and pose a threat to their best interests.

          Then we should withdraw from NATO.

          The US should leave the UN (and all its tentacled organizations) under the same terms but without bothering with the intervention.

          1. Well, yes, leaving NATO and the UN would be an even better response.

    2. Russian pipeline: GREAT.
      American pipeline: EVIL.

      1. It’s ok for antagonistic states to benefit from petroleum extraction. But not America.

  30. AOC, like most of her comments, are devoid of and/ or ignore facts. Third party vendors represent the majority of sales revenue and even higher number of transactions. The majority of third party vendors have 1 to 5 employees. It’s amazing how supposedly intelligent people have no concept of the business enterprises they criticize. The AOC’s of the Twitter world don’t understand that franchise model business have individual small business owners at each location. There is a difference between a company owned chain and a franchise. They have no concept of the difference between an independent contractor and an employee. Commission sales jobs. Amazon is a marketing, sales and logistics platform.

  31. O/T: Oh good heavens.

    55% of Trump voters think the 1/6 riot was “defending freedom”.
    51% think it was “patriotism”.

    So if THEY think it was “defending freedom”, what were they defending it against that day? Congress? Mike Pence? They were the supposed enemies of freedom that day?

    1. So if THEY think it was “defending freedom”, what were they defending it against that day?

      Sloppy, faulty voting procedures.

    2. Yeah, I’m sure CBS News poll is accurate, and was conducted with no bias or agenda.

  32. AOC Says Amazon Abuses Market Power, Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To

    I don’t want to shop at Amazon, but there is no real alternative given that Amazon has largely monopolized the market.

    1. Plenty of alternatives. Amazon is only 40% of the market that means 60% is made up of alternatives, such as Walmart and Target on line or eBay. Amazon is just more convenient, although Walmart is almost as good but slower to deliver.

      1. Hell I buy most of my calving supplies on line and have a huge selection to choose from including Big R, North 40, TSC, etc but 9/10 times it’s easier and faster to buy from Amazon. Some specialty products like branding irons I buy from ValleyVet or Big R because they customize my order and build my brand specifically for me. Vaccines I can get from Big R, ValleyVet or TSC, generally get from Big R as they tend to have the best price and selection. I’ve bought fencing supplies from Big R, TSC and Amazon, generally based on price.
        We buy personal bathroom products from Walmart, as they tend to have the best prices. I can’t think of a single item I’ve bought from Amazon that I couldn’t get elsewhere on line. Amazon is just generally easier and sometimes cheaper.

        1. And if that is the case with speciality items it’s even more so for generic items. For food how many different options are there now? I can think of three or four without even trying.

          1. I have to admit some admiration for someone willing to take the time to point out that steaming piles of lefty shit are, indeed, steaming piles of lefty shit.
            But in the *hopes* of what?
            We have the self-proclaimed “libertarian” brandy(asshole) who did everything he could to make make sure no one voted for Trump and claims (even now) that there was no difference. Given his infantile focus on ‘daddy’ issues, he still hopes that some of us accept his idiocy.
            Given that level of assholerly, I wish you well.

      2. “Amazon is only 40% of the market” You are far understanding the case: online retail is only 10% of all retail in the US, so Amazon is only 4% of the retail market… Practically a monopoly!!

        1. Yeah. This. But specific to on line Amazon is 40% of the market and probably topped out as Walmart, Target etc Al continue to grow especially with their same-day curbside pick up. I keep trying to get my wife to do curbside pickup for our groceries, we end up spending less because of fewer impulse buying. And I hate shopping so that is an added bonus.

    2. “I don’t want to shop at Amazon, but there is no real alternative given that Amazon has largely monopolized the market.”

      You’re full of shit.
      ‘Nuff said to anyone with an a IQ sufficient to warm a room

      1. July.22.2021 at 12:36 am
        Flag Comment Mute User

        “I don’t want to shop at Amazon, but there is no real alternative given that Amazon has largely monopolized the market.”

        You’re full of shit.
        ‘Nuff said to anyone with an a IQ sufficient to warm a room

    3. Perhaps one of the stupidest statements I’ll see this week.

      1. Take any one of your own posts and you’ll see something much, much more stupid.

  33. Ain’t threaded comments wonny!

  34. Oh, and NOTB2?
    Stuff your idiocy up your ass; your head needs company.

  35. People shop on Amazon because they want to do so. Fact. Amazon uses its market power to undersell competitors which is why people want to shop there. People who sell on Amazon are often in competition with Amazon’s own products and the company manipulates the prices to attract customers to the detriment of the independent sellers on its website. This is the same policy followed by Walmart when it came to a new town. People went there because it was cheaper and when the town center stores died because they couldn’t compete, Walmart was free to charge whatever it wanted.

    1. Except Walmart didn’t raise prices. People forget that part about remaining a monopoly – you can’t raise prices without opening up a crack for competition again.

      1. And there’s a Target a quarter mile down the road from WalMart and it’s always packed, too, with people who don’t want to shop at WalMart.

    2. “People who sell on Amazon are often in competition with Amazon’s own products and the company manipulates the prices to attract customers to the detriment of the independent sellers on its website. ”

      The retarded thing about this “logic” is that Amazon makes more money on 3rd party sales than on their own sales… If it was purely about profit margins, they wouldn’t sell *anything* on their own and would just be a platform, like EBay. IOW: they would prefer for independent sellers to “win” so that Amazon wouldn’t have to be in the low-margin business of being a retailer. So your logic is complete upside down.

    3. One of the details I remember reading is that to stay visible on Amazon, your price must be at or below the price of the product on other online selling services. Oh the inhumanity!

      Another huge reason for their success is the ability for buyers to read reviews and comments of other people who bought the product. While you can’t touch the product before buying it, you have a pretty good idea of knowing what you’re getting. On most products, they offer a seamless free return if it turns out there’s an issue.

  36. “abuse of Power” — lmao… That’s pretty rich coming from a self-proclaimed Nazi-Supporting politician that legislates Gov-Gun forces *against* the very People’s Supreme Law over her.

    Lefty-Projection 101.

  37. Thanks AOC. Now go home and get your fucking shine box.

    1. When AOC was younger, I’m guessing AOC got by doing something very different on her knees. And I don’t it involved a shine box. Although I’m sure there was some polishing going on.

  38. Amazon has about 40% of the online market but new competition every day and less than Walmart’s 9% of the retail market, hardly monopoly power. If their abuse is providing products more conveniently and cheaply than ever before possible and is forcing other retailers to do the same I must be a masochist.

  39. Covid19 has been very good for Bezos and Amazon. Profits doubled during the lockdown. I suspect people found shopping online more convenient than heading for stores which may have required customers to wear masks and sanitize their hands.

  40. Bezos created a company that employs more than 800,000 people. He doesn’t pay a single employee a dime less than $15 an hour. Amazon takes more than 2.5 million individual businesses to market. Amazon employs more people than the entire population of Boston, where the minimum wage is only 13.50 in Liz Warren’s home state of Massachusetts. Amazon also employs more people than the entire population of Bernie Sanders home state of Vermont – which has a minimum wage of only 11.75 an hour. Yet liberals like AOC, Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders whine that Bezos doesn’t pay enough in taxes or that he’s greedy? Bezos does more good for more people everyday than every democrat combined.

    1. Bezos created a company that employs more than 800,000 people. He doesn’t pay a single employee a dime less than $15 an hour. Amazon takes more than 2.5 million individual businesses to market.

      You could say the same thing about the East German, Cuban, or Venezuelan government. Sorry, but this one-sided accounting doesn’t work.

      Bezos does more good for more people everyday than every democrat combined.

      Bezos is in bed with the Democrats. He’s corrupting our government for his own financial gain, flooding the country with propaganda, and lobbying for competition-killing legislation.

      This whole thing is a charade: the Democrats and Bezos are corrupt socialists and crony capitalists in bed with each other.

      But a lot of libertarians are so stupid that they actually think they are defending free markets and capitalism when they speak out in support of Bezos against AOC.

  41. AOC says selling a T-shirt on her campaign website with her logo on it for $58 is not capitalism, so…

    1. I should make some counterfeit merch and undercut her. Then give some of the profits to conservative/libertarian causes. That would be fun, and since she doesn’t see any of this as capitalism, and doesn’t believe in private property, she should be cool with all that, right?

  42. AOC opens her mouth and proves again just how stupid she is.

  43. I work at an Amazon Fullfillment Center and I absolutely LOVE working there! I am an almost 50 years old female and I do “grunt” work as a Stower that many complain about. I make VERY good money, get vision and dental and health pay as a part-timer (try finding that in other part-time jobs) When I was full-time, I also got full health benefits which are the best. AOC knows not what she speaks of. There are many, many of us who enjoy working for Amazon. There are SO many opportunities for advancement, raises and extra pay. It is labor intensive.. but that is right up my alley. I enjoy if more than any of the desk jobs I’ve had.. including teaching school. I get ample and long enough breaks (30 mins 2x a day…which is standard), and can go to the bathroom whenever I need. We get treated VERY well at our location. MOST people get fired for not showing up…not because of a little bit of “time off task” Companies have to have productivity goals and standards. This isn’t a job for people who feel they should be paid for sitting on their butts doing nothing, playing on their phones, or all day hanging out with friends. You DO get a work out…but hey, that is good for you! People are jealous of his money because they didn’t think of his ideas first. I’ve never worked for a poor businessman…have you? If you did, likely the business didn’t last long.

    1. Maybe she would know Amazon better if she hadn’t chased them out of her district.

    2. Unfortunately, no one is going to include your very typical experience in a hit-piece book against Amazon because it doesn’t fit the narrative… 🙁 I also worked at Amazon, albeit in software, and it was fine, not really any different than any other tech company I worked at. None of what I hear people get all upset about rings with any truth to my own experience and observations.

  44. The fact that Bezos has money to blow is one of the key advantages of a (relatively) free market economy vs. the more socialist/planned economy AOC and her ilk advocate for.

    In a free market economy, wealth ends up in the hands of people who are good at creating wealth by providing people what they want and are will to pay for, all while minimizing the costs to the entrepreneur (and to society as a whole). Bezos doesn’t make money if he consumes too many resources to provide what people what at the price they are willing to pay. Capitalism is naturally superior at conservation of resources.

    In a socialist economy intent on delivering equality (or worse, equity), wealth ends up in the hands of those who are good at making empty promises and delivering voting blocs. They have no incentive to use less or keep prices low or deliver what peoples’ revealed preferences indicate they really want. It’s all about promising things to people, taking from the productive, delivering some of what you promised, then blaming the rich for the shortfall.

    Over time the capitalist economy creates far greater wealth (for everyone), because the wealth ends up with those who are better at creating more of it.

    1. The idea that you have a free-market-Bezos on the one hand and socialist Democrats on the other is ludicrous. Bezos has been supporting the Democratic party up the wazoo. They may not see exactly eye to eye on everything, but they are in bed with one another.

  45. To buy a Chinese communist switch for about $12 I rode the bus for half an hour, marched 4 blocks, ditto in reverse and the damn thing quit working after a couple of months. Taiwanese D-Links last roughly a decade, cost $30, and ship to the People’s State of Brazil for $90–with the 100% import tariff and postage already included at my gate. Taiwan’s lady Prez wears a helmet and bulletproof vest and scares the radioactive crap out of the communist dictatorship. Seldom have I ever paid so cheerfully! Bezos should run NASA.

  46. If Amazon is an anti-competitive business, then Simone Biles is an anti-competitive gymnast.

  47. Online merchandise is only one part of the Amazon empire. Those with long memories will remember Amazon was created as an online bookseller, so you could buy obscure books that your local bookstore was not going to carry. Also, the employees at bookstores who thought it was a good idea to hide Rush Limbaugh’s books in the recipe section wrere encouraging the move to online book selling. Amazon’s best seller list is much more timely and accurate than the New York Times. Amazon did not bury books from the list because they didn’t like the political content or count books as “sold” when they were shipped to retailers only when the book was actually sold.

    Because of the heavy demand for computer resources Amazon created Amazon web services, still one of the largest Cloud computimg services available to businesses and governments. Donald Trump so much hated Bezos that he directed a military contract to Microsoft. Biden just reversed that and the military will use AWS. Bezos owns the Washington Post but not within Amazon (I think)

    Amazon video produces original programming and makes most videos available online. Does AOC want blockbuster back? Is Netflix a monopoly?

    Bezos also acquired whole foods and integrated it into Amazon, including delivery from your local Whole Foods and offering discounts to Amazon Prime members.

    If anyone believes Amazon is making obscene profits the company is publicly traded as AMZN. If you are not living paycheck to paycheck, you can invest in the company too!

  48. One of AOC’s purposes in life is to demonstrate that an economics degree from whatever school let her coast through as long as that sweet student loan money kept coming in isn’t worth shit.


  49. AOC said something stupid!? Weird

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