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Why You Should Not Use Amazon To Buy Holiday Gifts

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Image: Robert Scoble via Flickr

Amazon robots sprayed bear repellent on human workers last week, the perfect symbol of what all-assimilating retail greed-Borg Amazon has become in 2018. There are a ton of reasons why you should not shop on Amazon for your holiday gifts, and punishing companies who hospitalize dozens of minimum-wage workers in robot malfunctions is just one of the many reasons why you should boycott Amazon this Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Boxing Day shopping season.

Image: USICEGov via Flickr

AMAZON IS SELLING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY TO ICE

Amazon is actively expanding the incarceration of people of color, as CNBC reports they’re selling facial recognition technologies to police departments and ICE. The Freedom of Information Act emails are right here to prove it, since Amazon never admitted building this until someone caught them.

Amazon calls this technology Rekognition, a “facial recognition cloud service for developers” a description that could only sound only more detestable if it had the word “Bitcoin” in it. It’s currently used by law enforcement to make mugshot databases, a scary thing considering facial recognition’s terrible track record with nonwhite faces. CNBC discovered that Amazon attempted to sell this technology to ICE, though it is unclear if ICE actually purchased access to the tool.

Amazon’s excuse for whatever evil this unleashes is that Rekognition is “only a platform,” so the company is not responsible for what outside developers do with it. But as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us, that means the technology will be accessed by my more hostile governments, malicious hackers, and incels in their parents’ basements than we ever realize.

Image: thisisbossi via Flickr

AMAZON IS A GHOULISH SWEATSHOP

Amazon is a notoriously horrible place to work, and people literally die trying to meet strict expectations that billionaire CEO Jeff Bezos demands of low-paid warehouse contractors.

How horribly Triangle Shirtwaist Factory-like are the conditions at Amazon warehouses? A recent Newsweek exposé showed that workers were urinating in trash cans and forced to work injured to meet their insane quotas.

Amazon just increased their minimum wage to $15, a misleading public relations move whose so-called additional wage increases were offset by the elimination of bonuses and stock grants that left many workers making less.

IMage: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

AMAZON IS DESTROYING SMALL BUSINESSES

Ninety percent of small businesses say that “Amazon is having a negative impact on their revenue,” according to a study by the nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Amazon’s network of third-party online sales help avoid state and local taxes in the company’s elaborate system of tax avoidance strategies that hurts local communities by denying them tax revenue.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history, in large part by remaking retail for the income inequality era. Shopping on Amazon only reinforces workers peeing in ware bottles so billionaires can get richer, and that’s a societal shift we should avoid like it was bear repellent.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.