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Tags Amazon.com , Jeff Bezos , tax issues

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Old 5th August 2018, 09:47 AM   #1
Bob001
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What to do about Jeff?

Jeff Bezos is personally worth $150 Billion bucks. This writer contends that that illustrates failures of tax and social policy. Discuss.
Quote:
This is a credit to Bezosís ingenuity and his business acumen. Amazon is a marvel that has changed everything from how we read, to how we shop, to how we structure our neighborhoods, to how our postal system works. But his fortune is also a policy failure, an indictment of a tax and transfer system and a business and regulatory environment designed to supercharging the earnings of and encouraging wealth accumulation among the few. Bezos did not just make his $150 billion. In some ways, we gave it to him, perhaps to the detriment of all of us.
https://www.theatlantic.com/business...llions/566552/
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Old 5th August 2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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As I recall Amazon get substantial tax breaks in Europe by being based in Luxembourg, so that should be fixed.

Capitalism always 'supercharges the earnings of and encouraging wealth accumulation among the few'.
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Old 5th August 2018, 10:43 AM   #3
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Break up Amazon.

Granted don't know what trust laws it's breaking, but it's becoming gigantic.
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Old 5th August 2018, 10:51 AM   #4
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You know why Seattle has 2 of the richest men in the world? No state income tax. The state also rolls over and gives corporations astounding tax breaks on a regular basis. That's why Seattle's in such a state. Bezos is flooding the city with new hires (who have an average 2-year lifespan as Amazon employees) but there's not enough money to keep the infrastructure in good shape, much less expand it to match growth.
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Old 5th August 2018, 11:13 AM   #5
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Successful parasites are those that are, ironically, not too successful: if they leech too much from the host, the host dies, or kills the parasite. It's key to a parasite's survival to limit its take.
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Old 5th August 2018, 01:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
You know why Seattle has 2 of the richest men in the world? No state income tax. The state also rolls over and gives corporations astounding tax breaks on a regular basis. That's why Seattle's in such a state. Bezos is flooding the city with new hires (who have an average 2-year lifespan as Amazon employees) but there's not enough money to keep the infrastructure in good shape, much less expand it to match growth.
Which employees have the two year lifespan? Just curious since Amazon has widely different employee categories.
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Old 5th August 2018, 11:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Which employees have the two year lifespan? Just curious since Amazon has widely different employee categories.
Biennials?
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Old 6th August 2018, 12:43 AM   #8
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Related to the broader issue:
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As I noted recently in The Daily Beast, the kind of capitalism that has been practiced in this country over the last few decades has made socialism look far more appealing, especially to young people. Ask yourself: If youíre 28 like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congressional candidate who describes herself as a democratic socialist, what have you seen during your sentient life?

Youíve seen the United States go from being a country that your parents ó or if youíre 28, more likely your grandparents ó described as a place where life got better for every succeeding generation to a place where for millions of people, quite possibly including you, thatís no longer true.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/o...-thinking.html

Quote:
If you are an upper-middle-class parent, as I am, you must have noticed that the real world isnít playing according to script. Among many young Americans, there is downward mobility. The children arenít achieving what they (and their parents) expected. Even when they have (and many have), the gains could be eroded in the future. The trajectory is not inevitably up. Parents worry about their childrenís fate.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...=.86dbd4972dd1
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Old 6th August 2018, 02:09 AM   #9
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If his company can get to me, next day more often than not, the item I want at a click of a mouse then I couldn't care less about he much he is worth and I cannot see how this reflects upon me?
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Old 6th August 2018, 03:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
If his company can get to me, next day more often than not, the item I want at a click of a mouse then I couldn't care less about he much he is worth and I cannot see how this reflects upon me?
On you ? I agree it doesn't reflect on you.

I do think that governments (international, national and local) need to look at the large businesses they attract and the way in which they attract them. If Seattle (and therefore by extension the taxpayers thereof) are indeed subsidising Jeff Bezos and not getting adequate recompense, then perhaps they need to review that support. For sure, the employer will threaten to move jobs away, but for most businesses large-scale relocation is an expensive, time-consuming and risky process.
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Old 6th August 2018, 04:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
If his company can get to me, next day more often than not, the item I want at a click of a mouse then I couldn't care less about he much he is worth and I cannot see how this reflects upon me?
If they are not paying a fair whack back into the society that they are part of then it means other areas of society are being impoverished. So the local library may have to close because they use their muscle and loopholes in legislation etc. to avoid paying tax that would usually go back in society via government.

My objection to amazon is the very anti-capitalist way they became the size they are, it was done by deliberately losing money therefore no one could actually compete with them. Bill & Ben's Bookshop couldn't go to their bank manager and say "look we will eventually drive everyone else out of business and then make a shed load of money but you have to fund us trading at a loss for 10 years or so".

ETA: Article with figures: https://qz.com/987559/charted-amazon...past-20-years/
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Old 6th August 2018, 05:25 AM   #12
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The answer you're looking for is: Guillotine.
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Old 6th August 2018, 05:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The answer you're looking for is: Guillotine.
Jeff is ready to help:guillotine
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Old 6th August 2018, 06:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
On you ? I agree it doesn't reflect on you.

I do think that governments (international, national and local) need to look at the large businesses they attract and the way in which they attract them. If Seattle (and therefore by extension the taxpayers thereof) are indeed subsidising Jeff Bezos and not getting adequate recompense, then perhaps they need to review that support. For sure, the employer will threaten to move jobs away, but for most businesses large-scale relocation is an expensive, time-consuming and risky process.
I mentioned myself because the quote in the OP questions whether what we've "given" (?) to Bezos might be to our detriment. I've only ever benefited from my, somewhat removed, relationship with him. I don't really understand what the author means by that.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If they are not paying a fair whack back into the society that they are part of then it means other areas of society are being impoverished. So the local library may have to close because they use their muscle and loopholes in legislation etc. to avoid paying tax that would usually go back in society via government.

My objection to amazon is the very anti-capitalist way they became the size they are, it was done by deliberately losing money therefore no one could actually compete with them. Bill & Ben's Bookshop couldn't go to their bank manager and say "look we will eventually drive everyone else out of business and then make a shed load of money but you have to fund us trading at a loss for 10 years or so".

ETA: Article with figures: https://qz.com/987559/charted-amazon...past-20-years/
To be fair, the field was level when Bezos set up his online book store from his garage. We can hardly blame him for wanting to be successful and for the fact that Bill & Ben never capitalised on their (hypothetical) advantage of a High Street presence back in the day.

According to Amazon (I know you'll be aware they've managed to reduce their UK tax bill recently) they;

“...pay all taxes required in the UK and every country where we operate."

I'll assume that to be correct and I'm sure you are not suggesting that they should pay more tax than they actually owe?

As to Mr Bezos himself (which, strictly speaking, is what the thread is about) he seems to me to be very generous philanthropist, even if he did get to it somewhat later in life, so he's giving something back. A rough count puts it at currently around $106,800,000 to good causes.

Quote:
Bezos supports his philanthropic efforts through direct donations, non-profit projects funded by Bezos Expeditions, and other charitable organizations

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Old 6th August 2018, 06:31 AM   #15
caveman1917
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Jeff is ready to help:guillotine
Slightly paraphrasing:
Originally Posted by Marx
The last capitalist we behead shall be the one who sold us the guillotine.
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Old 6th August 2018, 04:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
According to Amazon (I know you'll be aware they've managed to reduce their UK tax bill recently) they;

“...pay all taxes required in the UK and every country where we operate."

I'll assume that to be correct and I'm sure you are not suggesting that they should pay more tax than they actually owe?

Which, although it is technically true, is taken so far out of context as to be effectively a lie.

Amazon.com does not pay taxes in the US, aside from payroll and a few other minor taxes. Bezos does not pay taxes in the US. He and others like him have managed to work loopholes, funded PACs to convince politicians to enact favourable legislation, abused employees, and otherwise worked hard at not paying a single cent they can possibly avoid.

Yes, they pay all the taxes they're "required" to, but they also work very hard to ensure that they're not required to pay much of anything. And Trump's latest tax breaks make that even more true.

Amazon, like WalMart, and many others, also relies heavily on the federal and state governments to fund their employees. They have lobbied hard against minimum wages and engaged in virulent union-busting activities; and as a result, a huge percentage of their employees in the lower ranks depend on government subsidies for their survival -- food benefits, government-provided healthcare, and so on. They not only pay little in taxes, they depend on the taxes of people who make considerably less than they do in order to stay in business at their grossly inflated profit margins and force out competitors.

They've used these practices and government subsidies to destroy local businesses and smaller corporations.

Quote:
As to Mr Bezos himself (which, strictly speaking, is what the thread is about) he seems to me to be very generous philanthropist, even if he did get to it somewhat later in life, so he's giving something back. A rough count puts it at currently around $106,800,000 to good causes.

No, he's not. He's very very good at PR, and knows the value of publicly-visible charitable contributions both for his image, and his tax write-offs. I can guarantee that if he wasn't getting tax breaks from them, he wouldn't be giving very much to these causes.

If he was a true philanthropist, he'd be paying all of his employees a living wage and not working them to death with insane amounts of mandatory overtime.
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Old 6th August 2018, 05:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
Capitalism always 'supercharges the earnings of and encouraging wealth accumulation among the few'.
Capitalism remunerates individuals in proportion to their societal contribution, yet state-funded propaganda centers brainwash our children into wanting to become teachers rather than businessmen.
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Old 6th August 2018, 06:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The answer you're looking for is: Guillotine.
How come you're so anxious to kill people?
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Old 6th August 2018, 08:36 PM   #19
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Feel free to string him up, Seattle!! My A Prime packages take three daze to get here!!
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Old 6th August 2018, 09:05 PM   #20
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Some endeavours that humanity are beginning to engage in - space flight, for example - pretty much require that they be funded privately by hyper-wealthy people. There's little or no interest by most governments in pursuing new technologies in space flight.

You could say that one benefit of rampant capitalism is that it creates people who can fund the more expensive human endeavours.
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Old 6th August 2018, 10:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Some endeavours that humanity are beginning to engage in - space flight, for example - pretty much require that they be funded privately by hyper-wealthy people. There's little or no interest by most governments in pursuing new technologies in space flight.
I'd think NASA's budget over the last half century or so would dwarf the money spent by billionaires for the forseeable future, and they have far more interesting basic research projects than anything at SpaceX.

Quote:
You could say that one benefit of rampant capitalism is that it creates people who can fund the more expensive human endeavours.
Sure, but is that an improvement over state-funding? They both seem like happy accidents--if the right dick-measuring contest comes along, we might get some useful or interesting results, but the conversion rates are horrible. Being a status monkey is expensive. I mean, exactly how much did Elon Musk pay for Grimes?
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:04 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Which, although it is technically true, is taken so far out of context as to be effectively a lie.

Amazon.com does not pay taxes in the US, aside from payroll and a few other minor taxes. Bezos does not pay taxes in the US. He and others like him have managed to work loopholes, funded PACs to convince politicians to enact favourable legislation, abused employees, and otherwise worked hard at not paying a single cent they can possibly avoid.

Yes, they pay all the taxes they're "required" to, but they also work very hard to ensure that they're not required to pay much of anything. And Trump's latest tax breaks make that even more true.

Amazon, like WalMart, and many others, also relies heavily on the federal and state governments to fund their employees. They have lobbied hard against minimum wages and engaged in virulent union-busting activities; and as a result, a huge percentage of their employees in the lower ranks depend on government subsidies for their survival -- food benefits, government-provided healthcare, and so on. They not only pay little in taxes, they depend on the taxes of people who make considerably less than they do in order to stay in business at their grossly inflated profit margins and force out competitors.

They've used these practices and government subsidies to destroy local businesses and smaller corporations.
Then the issue is systemic, and dare I say borderline corrupt, and that is where your criticism should be directed. It would be poor businessman that didn't take advantage of every break available.

This despot now employs nearly 600,000 people worldwide and that's a bad thing? The average pay for an Amazon warehouse worker in the UK is £8.28 per hour against the national minimum wage of £7.28, so he's paying more than he needs to which seems to fly in the face of your reported rampant avoidance and lobbying techniques he employs to reduce his outgoings. By the way I believe every word you wrote.

Grossly inflated profit margins? Are you serious? I looked at the first product that came up on Amazons groceries page (it was for Andrex toilet roll), they are selling it at £0.41p per roll with next day delivery for prime members. One of their largest competitors, Asdas (the UK version of Walmart) sell it at £0.39p per roll. That 5.1% increase doesn't look much like a "grossly inflated profit margin" I looked at car tyres (UK version of tires) and found a bog standard tyre on sale at £51.34 delivered to my home at the click of a button next day as a prime member. Elsewhere online this tyre was best priced at £45.90 with free delivery within 2-4 days (more if you wanted it next day). That's a "grossly inflated profit margin" of 11% for a better level of service with no minimum order (which may have been the case with the other site but I didn't know because I didn't check out). Undoubtedly there will be cases that do represent an inflated profit margin and there may even be others that are "grossly" inflated but I'll bet you it would even out over the entire product range. They have to be competitive or provide a service better than the rest and that is clearly what they are, very successfully, doing.

What is wrong with that?


Quote:
No, he's not. He's very very good at PR, and knows the value of publicly-visible charitable contributions both for his image, and his tax write-offs. I can guarantee that if he wasn't getting tax breaks from them, he wouldn't be giving very much to these causes.

If he was a true philanthropist, he'd be paying all of his employees a living wage and not working them to death with insane amounts of mandatory overtime.
In the UK, as I've already proven, he is paying people above the minimum rate.

The man has given nearly $107m to various charities, not to mention his plans to benefit the following good causes: health care, education, workplace rights, and environmentalism and you cannot find it within yourself to acknowledge this as in any way an act of generosity and use it to denigrate him? You are in no position to "guarantee" what his motivation is.

I get it that this is a big corporation and I can clearly see where your personal politics lie and by dint of this feel that we may just have to agree to differ.
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Old 7th August 2018, 08:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
This despot now employs nearly 600,000 people worldwide and that's a bad thing? The average pay for an Amazon warehouse worker in the UK is £8.28 per hour against the national minimum wage of £7.28, so he's paying more than he needs to which seems to fly in the face of your reported rampant avoidance and lobbying techniques he employs to reduce his outgoings. By the way I believe every word you wrote.
(...)
In the UK, as I've already proven, he is paying people above the minimum rate.

Amazon is far from alone in this, but they are definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution.

You are in the UK, and the UK has better worker protection laws, and more resistance to corporate lobbying, from what I understand. However, that is definitely not the case in the US where the bulk of his employees are, or in some other countries where he has bases.

Yes, he pays above minimum wage in the US as well, but in the US, minimum wage is a joke, and it's effectively impossible to live on it without substantial outside assistance. It's a well-below-poverty-line wage. Even double minimum wage is difficult to survive on even at the best of times in much of the US, particularly around Amazon's office and warehouse bases, where their presence has driven up local prices and greatly increased competition for housing and jobs.

Quote:
The man has given nearly $107m to various charities,

Wow, really? A whole $107 million? For a man worth over $140 billion, that amounts to little more than a rounding error on his yearly income statement. His net worth rose $40 billion last year. That's over $109 million per day. His contributions are less than he makes in a single day. Pardon me if I don't bow down and kiss his feet because he can afford to throw away a bit less than one day's pay on PR and tax writeoffs. I wish I could afford to spend a full day's pay on charitable contributions.

Meanwhile many of his warehouse and other low-level employees are living in cars because they cannot afford housing on what they're being paid, depend on government handouts in order to eat, have minimal healthcare benefits, work mandatory 50+ hour weeks regularly (60+ during holiday seasons), and are afraid to take government-mandated breaks because in doing so they risk failing to meet insanely stringent productivity requirements and thereby risk termination.

Again, as noted, the US government is subsidizing a huge percentage of his employees, at the same time he's effectively not paying taxes into the system that subsidizes them. His company is receiving corporate welfare at a time when they are hugely profitable and paying practically nothing in taxes.

I worked at Amazon twice, for a combined total of about seven and a half years. I would not go back. In most non-executive and non-developer positions, Amazon sets the bottom boundary of the pay scale for equivalent jobs. I make 50% more doing an equivalent job at a much smaller employer than I made there.

At $107 million per day, he could have afforded to pay each of his roughly 600,000 workers an additional $22 a day. Above and beyond what they make now. That's more than I ever made working for Amazon, and I was definitely not at the bottom of the food chain. Of course, that means he wouldn't have gotten the additional $40 billion last year, and would only be worth $100 billion today. The poor guy.

UK workers have it better, good for them, but that doesn't excuse what's happening to US and other workers.

It's pathetic to see how these multi-billionaires like Bezos and the Waltons and Zuckerberg and Page and Brin and so on can abuse their workers, keeping them effectively indentured servants, take huge amounts of wealth out of the economy and hoard it, demand that governments they're not funding pay to support their workers rather than provide a living wage themselves, live in insane luxury compared to nearly all of their employees, and then watch how people will dance around and praise them for letting fall a few crumbs from their table.

Quote:
not to mention his plans to benefit the following good causes: health care, education, workplace rights, and environmentalism and you cannot find it within yourself to acknowledge this as in any way an act of generosity and use it to denigrate him? You are in no position to "guarantee" what his motivation is.

If he has "plans" to "benefit" those causes, then why does he rely on the US government to provide those benefits for so many of his employees, instead of providing them himself? Why does he take so much money out of the economy and refuse to pay taxes that could be used to support those causes?

Generosity would be making sure his employees are well-paid, healthy, and not overworked to the point where they have little to no personal life. Generosity would be setting the bar for remuneration and benefits and corporate culture higher than his peers, and well above the poverty line and into comfortable middle-class. Generosity is not spreading a pittance around in an obvious PR move, to benefit himself with the tax write-off. It's profoundly depressing that too many people don't get that, that they're happy to kiss the feet of robber-barons who drop a few pennies in their overstuffed pockets.

Quote:
I get it that this is a big corporation and I can clearly see where your personal politics lie and by dint of this feel that we may just have to agree to differ.

Don't apply for the million yet, you have no clue what my personal politics are.

And the problem is, this wasn't always the case. For the couple of decades before the post-war period, the US had the highest prosperity, one of the fastest growing economies, and even the working class had one of the highest overall standards of living in the world (unless you were black, but that's a different issue). Home ownership was at its peak, and unemployment was low. We also had some of the highest tax rates in our history. It's only relatively recently that we've begun sliding back into this sort of quasi-feudalism, where wealth is remaining concentrated in the hand of a tiny percent of the population.

We're in a state right now where the overall economy is growing, but the amount of wealth in the hands of the bottom 99% of the population is shrinking. For the first time since the Great Depression, the current generation is less well off, less financially secure, than their parents. Personal wealth is dropping, the middle class is rapidly shrinking, and the divide between the haves and have-nots is growing wider at an alarming rate. Millions of gainfully employed people cannot afford basic healthcare, cannot afford to pay rent and buy food in the same month, cannot afford post-grammar-school education or vocational training.

Unless something changes, this country is looking at a serious socio-economic crisis looming on the horizon, and megacorporations, multi-billionaires like Bezos, their bought-and-paid-for politicians, and the people who are too ignorant and short-sighted to call them on their practices and vote for better worker protections, are the cause of that crisis.
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Old 7th August 2018, 08:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
How come you're so anxious to kill people?
Edited by kmortis:  removed previously moderated content


Why is Jeff Bezos so anxious to kill people? And that's just the tip of the iceberg, keeping his workers in poverty leads to many more deaths outside the workplace itself.

And here we see again clearly the pathetic pseudo-humanitarian concern displayed by liberals and other defenders of capitalism. Kill workers by the hundreds of thousands? Not a peep from the libs. Suggest applying some good old guillotine justice to the individuals responsible[*] for it? Watch the libs fall all over themselves in suddenly-found humanitarian concerns.

And that gets us into the core of liberal-capitalist ethics, the worth of a human life is proportional to how wealthy a person is. Which makes one wonder why liberals think that they'd get anything other than laughter in response to their fake "humanitarian" concerns about human life.

* Jeff Bezos has stolen more than $150 billion from his workers, leaving them impoverished en masse. I'm not going to bother doing the math, but I'm sure calculating this with poverty-related death rates it comes down to hundreds, if not more, deaths of workers directly caused by Jeff Bezos. The man is literally a mass murderer.
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Old 7th August 2018, 08:49 AM   #25
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According to glass door the employees are pretty happy.
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Old 7th August 2018, 10:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by eeyore1954 View Post
According to glass door the employees are pretty happy.

Which employees? For many of its miserable warehouse jobs, Amazon contracts with independent labor suppliers. Its workers aren't actually Amazon employees. And even higher up the food chain, it takes a peculiar personality to survive.
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/t...lace.html?_r=0
http://fortune.com/2015/08/17/amazon...times-workers/
http://gawker.com/amazon-is-a-time-t...yee-1569841307
http://gawker.com/inside-amazons-biz...ure-1570412337
http://gawker.com/amazon-insiders-te...gly-1570866439
http://gawker.com/working-at-amazon-...nce-1573522379
https://www.motherjones.com/politics...ehouses-labor/
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Old 7th August 2018, 10:55 AM   #27
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From Identity politics to class Warfare, keep making those same mistakes
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Old 7th August 2018, 11:10 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
From Identity politics to class Warfare, keep making those same mistakes

Class Warfare (n): When the deplorable lower classes forget their place and start arguing with their betters to keep a larger share of what they produce. Such rudeness is to be discouraged at all costs, as it's ever so unseemly.
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Old 7th August 2018, 11:35 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by eeyore1954 View Post
According to glass door the employees are pretty happy.
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
There are over 26,000 reviews on Amazon from employees that average out to 3.8 on a 1-4 scale. 86% approve of the CEO. 74% would recommend working at Amazon to a friend.

Your response? 7 articles about employee dissatisfaction.

7... versus 26,000.

There could be a job where you get a bag of diamonds an hour to sit in a recliner and receive oral sex from a supermodel and 7 people out 26,000 are going complain about it.
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Old 7th August 2018, 11:44 AM   #30
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Has anybody quoted just exactly what percent of Amazon's gross goes into Jeff's pocket? I'll wager less than 1%. Go ahead, split that up among the 600,000 downtrodden employees. umm, one ice cream cone per summer perhaps?
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Old 7th August 2018, 11:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Has anybody quoted just exactly what percent of Amazon's gross goes into Jeff's pocket? I'll wager less than 1%. Go ahead, split that up among the 600,000 downtrodden employees. umm, one ice cream cone per summer perhaps?
He receives a salary of 81,840 a year. Most of his wealth comes from Amazon stock, of which he is the largest shareholder with 78.89 million (out of 500 million) shares.
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Old 7th August 2018, 12:51 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Has anybody quoted just exactly what percent of Amazon's gross goes into Jeff's pocket? I'll wager less than 1%. Go ahead, split that up among the 600,000 downtrodden employees. umm, one ice cream cone per summer perhaps?
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
He receives a salary of 81,840 a year. Most of his wealth comes from Amazon stock, of which he is the largest shareholder with 78.89 million (out of 500 million) shares.

Exactly.

Looking exclusively at salary is a bit disingenuous, since for executives, a good deal of their compensation comes in the form of non-salary remuneration. They keep their salaries low for tax and accounting purposes, and receive a whole lot more in the form of stock grants and similar capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate than income, if they're taxed at all (tax shelters can eliminate most or all taxes for those with enough money to utilize them). They often also have substantial expense accounts in lieu of higher salaries, which are often not taxed, depending on the type of account.
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Exactly.

Looking exclusively at salary is a bit disingenuous, since for executives, a good deal of their compensation comes in the form of non-salary remuneration. They keep their salaries low for tax and accounting purposes, and receive a whole lot more in the form of stock grants and similar capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate than income, if they're taxed at all (tax shelters can eliminate most or all taxes for those with enough money to utilize them). They often also have substantial expense accounts in lieu of higher salaries, which are often not taxed, depending on the type of account.
Okayfine. How much does he net? What percentagre of the preferred shares does he hold, times the net profits of Amazon, divide by 600,000 downtrodden employees, = how many ice cream cones per man per year?

Or, for every million dollars Jeff gets, each employee is "downtrodden" by $1.66. Per year. 100 Million per year? That would be $166 of downtroddenness, if Jeff worked for free. He built it, he owns it, they have jobs.

Yup, Guillotine the Bourgeois Pig !
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:23 PM   #34
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I'm not trying to argue that there aren't legit complaints that can be leveled against Amazon and/or Jeff Bezos.

I'm just arguing against (or not even against just... in the context of)

1. Let's be honest in a world of Enrons and Worldcoms and companies that have huge profit margins, massive income disparages, shady business practices, and have caused full on economic crises.. at least Amazon does something. At least it produces something. At least it's had an effect on the technology world and personal lives. At least there's innovation and drive and passion in there somewhere. At least we've got Kindles out of it. Now I get this is light Whataboutism so I'm not leaning on this too hard but all thing's being equal I'm always supporter of the Lewis Black suggested rule of "If you have a company and you can't describe, in one sentence, what... it... does... then it's illegal."

I guess I just get less of an icky vibe off of a company/CEO making billions actually making cool and interesting services/products than venture capitalist and vague huge conglomerates that seem to be just as damaging but don't offset it by... doing anything.

2. Bezos, Jobs, Gates, Musk, Zuckerburg and etc... I do wonder since they guys to be public faces of their companies and stay in the news (as in you're not going recognize Greg Penner or Darren Woods if you saw them in the street or know who they are without Googling them) it just makes it easier to... demonize them.

3. On the same page... there is a little of the distrust of the techie, new money, GenX and onward types in some of this. If Bezos had made his fortune in oil or energy conglomeration and wore a suit and set in a boardroom and wasn't on TV all the time but all the numbers were the same...
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:39 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
How come you're so anxious to kill people?
It's an old Marxist custom....
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:40 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Why is Jeff Bezos so anxious to kill people? And that's just the tip of the iceberg, keeping his workers in poverty leads to many more deaths outside the workplace itself.

And here we see again clearly the pathetic pseudo-humanitarian concern displayed by liberals and other defenders of capitalism. Kill workers by the hundreds of thousands? Not a peep from the libs. Suggest applying some good old guillotine justice to the individuals responsible[*] for it? Watch the libs fall all over themselves in suddenly-found humanitarian concerns.

And that gets us into the core of liberal-capitalist ethics, the worth of a human life is proportional to how wealthy a person is. Which makes one wonder why liberals think that they'd get anything other than laughter in response to their fake "humanitarian" concerns about human life.

* Jeff Bezos has stolen more than $150 billion from his workers, leaving them impoverished en masse. I'm not going to bother doing the math, but I'm sure calculating this with poverty-related death rates it comes down to hundreds, if not more, deaths of workers directly caused by Jeff Bezos. The man is literally a mass murderer.
You actually buy into that "Surplus Value" crap???
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:40 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Okayfine. How much does he net? What percentagre of the preferred shares does he hold, times the net profits of Amazon, divide by 600,000 downtrodden employees, = how many ice cream cones per man per year?

That was already addressed: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...0#post12386630
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Amazon is far from alone in this, but they are definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution.

You are in the UK, and the UK has better worker protection laws, and more resistance to corporate lobbying, from what I understand. However, that is definitely not the case in the US where the bulk of his employees are, or in some other countries where he has bases.

Yes, he pays above minimum wage in the US as well, but in the US, minimum wage is a joke, and it's effectively impossible to live on it without substantial outside assistance. It's a well-below-poverty-line wage. Even double minimum wage is difficult to survive on even at the best of times in much of the US, particularly around Amazon's office and warehouse bases, where their presence has driven up local prices and greatly increased competition for housing and jobs.




Wow, really? A whole $107 million? For a man worth over $140 billion, that amounts to little more than a rounding error on his yearly income statement. His net worth rose $40 billion last year. That's over $109 million per day. His contributions are less than he makes in a single day. Pardon me if I don't bow down and kiss his feet because he can afford to throw away a bit less than one day's pay on PR and tax writeoffs. I wish I could afford to spend a full day's pay on charitable contributions.

Meanwhile many of his warehouse and other low-level employees are living in cars because they cannot afford housing on what they're being paid, depend on government handouts in order to eat, have minimal healthcare benefits, work mandatory 50+ hour weeks regularly (60+ during holiday seasons), and are afraid to take government-mandated breaks because in doing so they risk failing to meet insanely stringent productivity requirements and thereby risk termination.

Again, as noted, the US government is subsidizing a huge percentage of his employees, at the same time he's effectively not paying taxes into the system that subsidizes them. His company is receiving corporate welfare at a time when they are hugely profitable and paying practically nothing in taxes.

I worked at Amazon twice, for a combined total of about seven and a half years. I would not go back. In most non-executive and non-developer positions, Amazon sets the bottom boundary of the pay scale for equivalent jobs. I make 50% more doing an equivalent job at a much smaller employer than I made there.

At $107 million per day, he could have afforded to pay each of his roughly 600,000 workers an additional $22 a day. Above and beyond what they make now. That's more than I ever made working for Amazon, and I was definitely not at the bottom of the food chain. Of course, that means he wouldn't have gotten the additional $40 billion last year, and would only be worth $100 billion today. The poor guy.

UK workers have it better, good for them, but that doesn't excuse what's happening to US and other workers.

It's pathetic to see how these multi-billionaires like Bezos and the Waltons and Zuckerberg and Page and Brin and so on can abuse their workers, keeping them effectively indentured servants, take huge amounts of wealth out of the economy and hoard it, demand that governments they're not funding pay to support their workers rather than provide a living wage themselves, live in insane luxury compared to nearly all of their employees, and then watch how people will dance around and praise them for letting fall a few crumbs from their table.




If he has "plans" to "benefit" those causes, then why does he rely on the US government to provide those benefits for so many of his employees, instead of providing them himself? Why does he take so much money out of the economy and refuse to pay taxes that could be used to support those causes?

Generosity would be making sure his employees are well-paid, healthy, and not overworked to the point where they have little to no personal life. Generosity would be setting the bar for remuneration and benefits and corporate culture higher than his peers, and well above the poverty line and into comfortable middle-class. Generosity is not spreading a pittance around in an obvious PR move, to benefit himself with the tax write-off. It's profoundly depressing that too many people don't get that, that they're happy to kiss the feet of robber-barons who drop a few pennies in their overstuffed pockets.




Don't apply for the million yet, you have no clue what my personal politics are.

And the problem is, this wasn't always the case. For the couple of decades before the post-war period, the US had the highest prosperity, one of the fastest growing economies, and even the working class had one of the highest overall standards of living in the world (unless you were black, but that's a different issue). Home ownership was at its peak, and unemployment was low. We also had some of the highest tax rates in our history. It's only relatively recently that we've begun sliding back into this sort of quasi-feudalism, where wealth is remaining concentrated in the hand of a tiny percent of the population.

We're in a state right now where the overall economy is growing, but the amount of wealth in the hands of the bottom 99% of the population is shrinking. For the first time since the Great Depression, the current generation is less well off, less financially secure, than their parents. Personal wealth is dropping, the middle class is rapidly shrinking, and the divide between the haves and have-nots is growing wider at an alarming rate. Millions of gainfully employed people cannot afford basic healthcare, cannot afford to pay rent and buy food in the same month, cannot afford post-grammar-school education or vocational training.

Unless something changes, this country is looking at a serious socio-economic crisis looming on the horizon, and megacorporations, multi-billionaires like Bezos, their bought-and-paid-for politicians, and the people who are too ignorant and short-sighted to call them on their practices and vote for better worker protections, are the cause of that crisis.
SO what is the answer?
"Workers COntrol the Means of Production" has been tried, and did not work out very well....

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Old 7th August 2018, 01:47 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
"Workers Control the Means of Production" has been tried, and did not work out very well....
What's the difference between Nazism and Communism?

You can talk about Nazism without anyone arguing it's never been given a fair shot and needs to be tried again.
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:48 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'm not trying to argue that there aren't legit complaints that can be leveled against Amazon and/or Jeff Bezos.

I'm just arguing against (or not even against just... in the context of)

1. Let's be honest in a world of Enrons and Worldcoms and companies that have huge profit margins, massive income disparages, shady business practices, and have caused full on economic crises.. at least Amazon does something. At least it produces something. At least it's had an effect on the technology world and personal lives. At least there's innovation and drive and passion in there somewhere. At least we've got Kindles out of it. Now I get this is light Whataboutism so I'm not leaning on this too hard but all thing's being equal I'm always supporter of the Lewis Black suggested rule of "If you have a company and you can't describe, in one sentence, what... it... does... then it's illegal."

I guess I just get less of an icky vibe off of a company/CEO making billions actually making cool and interesting services/products than venture capitalist and vague huge conglomerates that seem to be just as damaging but don't offset it by... doing anything.

2. Bezos, Jobs, Gates, Musk, Zuckerburg and etc... I do wonder since they guys to be public faces of their companies and stay in the news (as in you're not going recognize Greg Penner or Darren Woods if you saw them in the street or know who they are without Googling them) it just makes it easier to... demonize them.

3. On the same page... there is a little of the distrust of the techie, new money, GenX and onward types in some of this. If Bezos had made his fortune in oil or energy conglomeration and wore a suit and set in a boardroom and wasn't on TV all the time but all the numbers were the same...
I am not saying Bezos is a saint,but I am getting a definent feeling of hatred toward anybody who is successful in this thread.
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