Amazon, A Dangerous Empire Arriving Daily On Your Doorstep

Joshua Geaughan, News Editor

In 2018, our very own Terrier Times wrote an article about Amazon’s growing demand in the world at large. Well, almost three years later, it seems almost redundant to say that a lot has changed, and through isolation, Amazon has become an empire of necessities.  Amazon’s dominance has not only doubled through the pandemic but its position worldwide has been cemented as a full-blown manufacturing and shipping monopoly. Even though 2020 was a profitable year for online shopping overall, nothing compares in sheer business to Amazon. Amazon never leaves the news and not even just on the commercial front. The CEO went to space just this July. If that doesn’t prove anything about the wealth of Amazon, then I don’t know what to tell you. Amazon’s frequency in news headlines is most often due to controversy. So I’m here to catch you up on our favorite multi-service company. 

The first, and probably most important news, is the labor conditions of the Amazon workers. According to a CNBC report from June 1st, 2021, if you are an Amazon worker you are 80% more likely to be injured on the job. Not to mention the long work hours and small wages workers endure. Over the last few years, more and more about about the company has surfaced, from labor unions to strikes, wages that don’t line up with the work people are doing, and suicides rates of workers because the job becomes too much.  Bezos even went as far as to interfere with the workers’ vote to unionize and threatened to fire unionized workers. He went on to publicly address the poor working conditions for Amazon employees but refused to do anything about it. There are no ways around it, the current conditions of an Amazon worker, from the wages to the high surveillance using technology, are awful. It’s been given testimony that Amazon drivers rarely ever get to leave their trucks, having to use bottles as bathrooms just so we can have the biggest new trend or the “most necessary purchase” without having the inconvenience of leaving the couch. Bezos himself is well aware of all of this. It isn’t some middle management that Bezos doesn’t speak for or a few “bad eggs” in the company. He knows that this is a company-wide problem, but nothing will change. 

On December 11, with months of labor union talks and fights, a tornado blew through Illinois. With Amazon’s ban of all cellphones on the job, the workers in an Amazon factory right in the path of the tornado didn’t know it was coming and couldn’t leave their job posts. Six workers died that day, with the only response from our old friend Bezos being that he was filled with heartbreak and his best wishes were sent to the families of those who were injured. He made no change or attempt to fix the policies that contributed to this tragic event.

On the monetary side of things, putting aside the complete exploitation of their workers, Amazon has never had a better year. Bezos net worth is now 201.7 billion dollars and the company is valued at 1.65 trillion. They continue to get so big in fact, that currently, and always, the governments around the world send lawsuits after lawsuits at the company. Still, because of the necessity that Amazon is to the modern consumer, usually lawsuits come and go without a punishment. Make no mistake, Amazon is a monopoly without a competitor, outshining big brick-and-mortar companies. Currently, I can not even count how many times an antitrust case has been brought against the company and dropped immediately. 

Overall, with the charges against the company being brought up and dropped, the callousness of the corporation and its owner, and the growing control that it has over both us and the government, it is clear to see how much of a negative impact that Amazon has over the whole world. In a little, over three years Amazon has gone from a healthy alternative to physical shopping, to the whole shopping industry.