Amazon’s World Domination

Amazon's World Domination

Aiden Powers, Writer

Amazon opened its doors 27 years ago as an online retailer of books based out of Washington state. In those 27 years, they have grown from a simple bookstore to now one of the biggest corporations in the world. Not only did the founder, Jeff Bezos, master selling books, but he has mastered selling literally everything. And because of that, Amazon is killing small businesses. No matter how successful Amazon is, our economy needs them to succeed. But with Amazon expanding its market further and further every day, it seems that success for independent retailers is simply not sustainable.  

A decade ago, online orders would take weeks to ship. Amazon revolutionized shipping with Amazon Prime, the subscription that gives users 2 day shipping on almost all products. This was already impressive and flocked in millions of customers. But in 2019 Amazon dropped their shipping to just 1 singular day. They were able to do this by completely cutting off third party shipping. They don’t use UPS or FedEx; instead they have an entire fleet of delivery trucks and airplanes. That is the common theme for Amazon: cut off any third party possible that will make Amazon’s profit margins increase. Of course many would take issue with the argument that Amazon’s growth as an independent company is a bad thing, But let me remind those people that UPS, USPS, and FedEx have been in business for decades. They are associated with labor unions to protect these workers from being taken advantage of. Amazon cuts off these 3rd parties to make a higher profit, but now the delivery workers aren’t protected from the goliath that is Amazon. 

Not only that, but Amazon was originally created to sell other businesses’ products. Amazon was simply the platform that businesses could use to sell their products. But slowly Amazon has begun to create their own products. There are the obvious ones, like Amazon Echo. Echo is a smart speaker that Amazon created that, whether you like it or not, harvests your personal information. And no, it may not be in the creepy way of spying in on conversations or hidden cameras, but by communicating with the speaker and asking questions and making requests, Amazon is able to learn a ton about you. And with that, they can target you by placing certain products on your homepage and placing custom ads on your social media feed. But beyond that, Amazon has created thousands of products that retail for even cheaper than the small businesses because Amazon doesn’t have to cut a chunk of their earnings. They are essentially killing off what made them successful in the first place. Is it possible that eventually Amazon could be a completely independent company? Maybe, maybe not, but either way, it is killing small businesses. Most people don’t mind waiting 1 day for items, and with the rate of Amazon’s growth, it shouldn’t be long before that number gets cut in half again. Here many capitalists would most likely argue that a private company has the right to grow and succeed, but they are overlooking the fact that for every dollar spent online, 50 cents of that is going to Amazon, according to a Bloomberg report. Their closest competitor only makes 6 cents. The facts make it clear that Amazon is not an innocent company growing; it is a monopoly that is overtaking the internet. Furthermore, it is hypocritical to argue that big tech, such as Apple or Google, is too powerful and not Amazon. Amazon also creates technology such as phones and tablets and can edit what you see just as much as the others. If anything, Amazon is harvesting more data than Apple or Google ever could. The combination of tracking shopping history, collecting data through Echo, and storing personal information and photos is a fatal combination.

Even some in-person businesses are already owned by Amazon. Whole Foods is one of the largest grocery stores in the country, and it is now owned by the mega corporation. They also have begun creating their own prime stores, which offer customers an opportunity to shop in a store without even having to pay at a cash register. Cameras track their every move and charge their Prime account. This is another opportunity to harvest user data, and feels rather dystopian.  So not only are they effectively killing off small businesses, but they are also eliminating human jobs to be replaced by technology. 

And the employees that are employed by Amazon? Paid extremely low wages to work disgustingly long hours in terrible conditions. Jeff Bezos, founder and owner of Amazon, is the richest man in the world (as of today; he switches with Elon Musk every couple days depending on fluctuating stock). He isn’t “just” a billionaire; he could become the world’s first trillionaire. That shouldn’t even be a real word. It is impossible to spend a billion dollars in your life. He has so much money that his entire family line probably wouldn’t go through all that money until the world literally ended. And with money comes power, and with power comes political influence. Admittedly, it is not a crime to have wealth earned legally, but there is nothing ethical you can do to earn 100 billion dollars. No labor is worth that much money; nothing in general is worth that much money.

Not only is Jeff Bezos too powerful, but Amazon is, too. And neither have any plan of slowing down. At this rate Amazon will become a monopoly that wipes out every other business on the planet. Dramatic? Maybe. But without small businesses, our economy will crumble. A crumbled economy is a crumbled country. It is clear that Amazon’s only goal as a company is to create the most profit possible even if that means destroying anything that comes across their path.

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