Friday, July 27, 2012

Purple Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

Happy Opening Day of the Olympics, everybody, and here's hoping for more pre-game infotainment from Mr. Gaffe-o-Matic Mitt. There is much to be disconcerted about today, so let's get right down to it.

The New York Times and Amazon, both winners in the Scrooge Sweepstakes for screwing over their employees, have teamed up in a great publicity stunt. Via an ostentatious front-page spread on the Times homepage, Billionaire Jeff Bezos has just donated a tiny fraction of his Amazonian fortune to the marriage equality initiative in Washington State. As reader Kat points out, liberal commenters at the Times are in ecstasy, and already have their wallets opened wide in gratitude because a Republican plutocrat has embraced gay rights. So what if he treats his wage slaves so abysmally that ambulances have to be on standby to rush them to the hospital when they collapse from heat exhaustion at his distribution centers? All, apparently, is now forgiven.

Trumpets and violins I hear in the distance.... Omitted from the article, but exactly coinciding with its trumpeting of the Bezos philanthropy, The Times is offering readers a $15 Amazon gift card for every friend they can get to subscribe to The Experience. (h/t Nan). Spend often, and spend liberally! Play some Jimi Hendrix, and forget all about the sweating peons packaging your goodies. Hold your breath wondering if Times employees will now see their salaries and pension benefits restored.

Go Beyond Your Measly Little World

Well.... Are You????
I Am, My Corporate Person Friends
"Since corporations are now people, I'd like to marry Amazon" (comment from a Times reader)


Denis Neville said...

The story behind the Bezoses’ donation is heartwarming. The ecstatic frenzy of many apparently has blinded them to the fact that Amazon’s business practices are horrendous.

Seattle Times series on Amazon’s aggressive business practices and lack of philanthropy:

Part 1: Behind the smile in Seattle
Part 2: A hammer on the publishers
Part 3: Pushing back on sales taxes
Part 4: Worked over in the warehouse

Amazon is the Walmart of the online world.

Walmart heiress Alice Walton’s $1.4 billion art gallery, Crystal Bridges Museum for American Art, in the middle of nowhere, was built with an expectation of similar ecstasies. She endowed the museum so that admission is free! A great gift to the little people, who have been exploited by low pay, shitty health benefits, and terrible working condtions.

Juan De Lara, “The Walmart model and the human cost of our low-price goods. The supply chain for big-box retailers was supposed to create millions of middle-class jobs, not this vicious cycle of exploitation.”

Paul Harris, “How workers toil at Walmart's US suppliers,”

Kat said...

Thanks for the links Denis.
Refer a friend and get a 15 dollar Amazon gift card! Tacky. I'm tired of our relentless shill culture. Must every relationship be monetized?