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This could get political very quickly, but I watched the Bill Maher show and (whether you like him or not) he made some pretty good arguments against amazon becoming so dominant and the COVID crisis just making it worse. Bezos appears to have no scruples at all. Of course, we are all complicit in it, but can we stop it once we are released into the wild? Should we stop it? How do we get them to improve working conditions and pay fair taxes? Is the High Street worth saving? Should an individual be allowed to accumulate 1,000 billion dollars. Yes, not a billion, which is a lot, but 1000 times that. He could spend a million dollars a day for a million days (2739 years) and would still have interest in his account.

Maher's argument is not totally a bleeding heart liberal one - he cites an online diaper (nappies to us Brits) company who were undercut by amazon, who made losses on those lines to drive them out of business. This is definitely anti-capitalist, unelss you believe it's actually the end-game of capitalism. Either way, not good for us.


"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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Bill Maher can also be seen in this. No joke; it really is the same guy.

 


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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48 minutes ago, tim2 said:

This could get political very quickly, but I watched the Bill Maher show and (whether you like him or not) he made some pretty good arguments against amazon becoming so dominant and the COVID crisis just making it worse. Bezos appears to have no scruples at all. Of course, we are all complicit in it, but can we stop it once we are released into the wild? Should we stop it? How do we get them to improve working conditions and pay fair taxes? Is the High Street worth saving? Should an individual be allowed to accumulate 1,000 billion dollars. Yes, not a billion, which is a lot, but 1000 times that. He could spend a million dollars a day for a million days (2739 years) and would still have interest in his account.

Maher's argument is not totally a bleeding heart liberal one - he cites an online diaper (nappies to us Brits) company who were undercut by amazon, who made losses on those lines to drive them out of business. This is definitely anti-capitalist, unelss you believe it's actually the end-game of capitalism. Either way, not good for us.

Whenever possible, I choose to avoid amazon.

Tax dodging schysters

#payyourdues

Edited by Robin Evans
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It’s interesting to note that P J O’Rourke who was the cool wing of the Republican Party for years was asked what he would write about now. He said that unchecked and unaccountable big business scared him far more than the government.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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26 minutes ago, Robin Evans said:

Whenever possible, I choose to avoid amazon.

Tax dodging schysters

#payyourdues

I completely agree but to be honest I'm guilty as hell of using them, out of habit as much as anything. I forget about the whole tax and working conditions stuff until it hits the news then its long forgot about by the time I need something again. Finding and getting almost everything you want is so easy with minimal searching compared to shopping around and in a few clicks its got with little thought. I actually must make a more conscious effort to avoid them when I can.

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Just now, Damien said:

I completely agree but to be honest I'm guilty as hell of using them, out of habit as much as anything. I forget about the whole tax and working conditions stuff until it hits the news then its long forgot about by the time I need something again. Finding and getting almost everything you want is so easy with minimal searching compared to shopping around and in a few clicks its got with little thought. I actually must make a more conscious effort to avoid them when I can.

I can send you, and anyone else who wants one, a link so that every purchase you make gives my charity (we support people with brain injury) a donation.

It eases the angst a bit.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Just now, gingerjon said:

I can send you, and anyone else who wants one, a link so that every purchase you make gives my charity (we support people with brain injury) a donation.

It eases the angst a bit.

Yep fire away.

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9 minutes ago, Damien said:

Yep fire away.

PM sent


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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About 20 years ago, there was plenty of indignation that Bill Gates had around US$5bn and was the richest in the world. He’d need 200 times that to be there today.

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"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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1 hour ago, ckn said:

About 20 years ago, there was plenty of indignation that Bill Gates had around US$5bn and was the richest in the world. He’d need 200 times that to be there today.

Gates must be slightly baffled that he's the one visible mega-rich person who is demonstrably sharing that wealth out and yet he's now subject to the most hideous abuse and weird conspiracy theories. On the same computers that he helped to popularise. No wonder the others want to hoard their gold, like dragons. I imagine Bezos sleeping in a cave on a bed of money.

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"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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Yes, I use Amazon a lot.

No, I don't like their stance on tax.

Yes, that makes me a hypocrite.

No, I'm not especially proud of it.

Yes, I'll probably carry on using Amazon.

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"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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2 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Yes, I use Amazon a lot.

No, I don't like their stance on tax.

Yes, that makes me a hypocrite.

No, I'm not especially proud of it.

Yes, I'll probably carry on using Amazon.

I'm in the same boat...

Reliable quick delivery, low prices....


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

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I’ve very rarely used amazon. Many products on there aren’t sent to Australia and if the do postage is a killer. 

The Amazon range in Australia is also limited and unattractive.

Our geographical location and huge empty expanses don’t seem to work well for Amazon.

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4 hours ago, Copa said:

I’ve very rarely used amazon. Many products on there aren’t sent to Australia and if the do postage is a killer. 

The Amazon range in Australia is also limited and unattractive.

Our geographical location and huge empty expanses don’t seem to work well for Amazon.

Similar to parts of the USA. Amazon leverages the US postal service for remote delivery but gets a very good deal from their viewpoint, which the USPS has limited ability to change. Predictably Trump blames Amazon for the gradual demise of USPS - he would normally be pro-business but Bezos owns a paper that publishes anti-TRump stories so...

If USPS were to stop delivering for Amazon they may cut off large parts of the US for free delivery and focus on the cities, where it's way easier for a guy in his own car to make multiple deliveries per hour while peeing into a bottle so he's not late.


"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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9 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Yes, I use Amazon a lot.

No, I don't like their stance on tax.

Yes, that makes me a hypocrite.

No, I'm not especially proud of it.

Yes, I'll probably carry on using Amazon.

Yeah I'm the same. I probably spend £100+ a month on books but I try and get them all through Amazon's marketplace second-hand which at least eases my conscience somewhat. 

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On 26/05/2020 at 18:26, tim2 said:

How do we get them to improve working conditions and pay fair taxes?

I know half a dozen Amazon employees in Cambridge, all on six figure salaries, plus shares, retention bonuses etc. All software engineers - working on Alexa, Prime Video, delivery drones etc. The inside of their office is the nicest one in the city - better than Apple, Microsft, Google etc. We just need to make and enforce laws on warehouse work, delivery drivers etc.

I think the UK government has done a decent job on changing the rules on taxing them in the last couple of years. They might not pay much corporation tax, but they do end up paying quite a lot in indirect taxes. It really needs the OECD to get together to properly fix the issues, which looks less likely these days.

Suspect the endgame is Amazon eventually gets split up into different businesses. Amazon Web Services is an enormous cloud computing company - no reason why it has to be under the same umbrella as the part of Amazon that sells from warehouses to the public, or the part that sells audio books or the part that distributes tv shows etc etc. 

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18 hours ago, JonM said:

I know half a dozen Amazon employees in Cambridge, all on six figure salaries, plus shares, retention bonuses etc. All software engineers - working on Alexa, Prime Video, delivery drones etc. The inside of their office is the nicest one in the city - better than Apple, Microsft, Google etc. We just need to make and enforce laws on warehouse work, delivery drivers etc.

I think the UK government has done a decent job on changing the rules on taxing them in the last couple of years. They might not pay much corporation tax, but they do end up paying quite a lot in indirect taxes. It really needs the OECD to get together to properly fix the issues, which looks less likely these days.

Suspect the endgame is Amazon eventually gets split up into different businesses. Amazon Web Services is an enormous cloud computing company - no reason why it has to be under the same umbrella as the part of Amazon that sells from warehouses to the public, or the part that sells audio books or the part that distributes tv shows etc etc. 

There is a large element of supply and demand in that though and its comparing apples and pears. Software Engineers, developers and I.T staff are generally in high demand and companies offer a lot of perks, and salary, to attract the right staff. Its a different world to unskilled work.

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15 minutes ago, Damien said:

There is a large element of supply and demand in that though and its comparing apples and pears. Software Engineers, developers and I.T staff are generally in high demand and companies offer a lot of perks, and salary, to attract the right staff. Its a different world to unskilled work.

I guess supply and demand is everything in the job market. I was talking to my kids about this last night. I know a 21-year old who's about to start work at Amazon on approx £70k with shares, bonus, retention/loyalty payments etc. that kick in over following years, having just finished a Computer Science degree. I know another 21-year old who delivers for Amazon, and he reckons he's on about £13 per hour, which seems OK to me (and which he seems pretty happy with). 

The wage part seems pretty easy to fix to me - you can bump up minimum wage. Suspect that hurts the care sector long before it affects Amazon though. The warehouse working conditions seems easy to regulate - there's only a few big central places to be policed. I imagine the likes of Sports Direct are worse than Amazon. The drivers speeding/ ignoring traffic rules/not taking breaks probably requires that everyone working for delivery companies has to have a black box installed and somebody independent is doing random checks. All it takes is the political will to do it. 

The US has anti-trust legislation specifically to stop the kind of under-cutting/ loss-leader stuff that tim2 talked about - and it has the power to impose massive fines and to break up overly dominant companies. I suspect they, or the EU, are way more likely to do something about Amazon's dominance than the UK government is. The US has been investigating Amazon under antitrust laws in several markets for about a year now (and Apple, Google & Facebook).

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Please don't laugh but I've used Amazon to get food stuff for the first time,  after using it for CDs and DVDs for years. Good old fashioned blancmange! You can't get it anywhere now, so I ordered a box of twelve strawberry sachets.  Arrived promptly,  well packaged,  now to make home made trifle.  De ' smegging' licous. 

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2 minutes ago, HawkMan said:

Please don't laugh but I've used Amazon to get food stuff for the first time,  after using it for CDs and DVDs for years. Good old fashioned blancmange! You can't get it anywhere now, so I ordered a box of twelve strawberry sachets.  Arrived promptly,  well packaged,  now to make home made trifle.  De ' smegging' licous. 

Thats a blast from the past. I never realised blancmange was spelt like that, you learn something new every day!

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1 hour ago, HawkMan said:

Please don't laugh but I've used Amazon to get food stuff for the first time,  after using it for CDs and DVDs for years. Good old fashioned blancmange! You can't get it anywhere now, so I ordered a box of twelve strawberry sachets.  Arrived promptly,  well packaged,  now to make home made trifle.  De ' smegging' licous. 

I have done food orders from Amazon. But it is usually stuff that the supermarkets don't stock, so mainly one-off orders for individual items every now and then, rather than a regular shop. I have an order for green coffee beans on the way right now.

Exiled Yorkshire folk should be aware you can buy Henderson's Relish from Amazon.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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