Amazon, Please Don’t Come Here!

 

Cities all across America are  fighting for the dubious ‘opportunity of being home to Amazon’s second headquarters and the incentives they are offering are ludicrous, especially since many Amazon workers are paid wages so low, they must seek public assistance. So, another Amazon headquarters, employing 50,000 poor working schmucks will soon come to an area near you. I just hope it’s not near me.

Amazon narrows list of cities for new headquarters to 20

The e-commerce giant received 238 proposals from cities in North America, many with lofty tax incentives and unique offers directed at CEO Jeff Bezos.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, an executive with Amazon Public Policy, said in a statement.

How much money can you make working at Amazon?

Amazon Salaries
Job Title Amazon Salary
Fulfillment Associate $12.46/hr
Warehouse Associate $12.60/hr
Amazon Warehouse Worker $12.52/hr
Process Assistant $15.45/hr

And in Jeff Bezo’s own words,

“We pay very low cash compensation relative to most companies,” Bezos told Fortune in 2012.

Now, this proudly coming from a man who is reported to be the richest man in the world with a net worth of $105.1 billion while hundreds of Amazon workers in Ohio qualify for food stamps, not to mention that Amazon receives significant state and local subsidies which in translation equals to “our tax dollars.” It is quite apparent that Jeff Bezos would have a problem receiving “very low cash compensation” because if that were not the case, his net worth would not be $105.1 billion. So, while cities and states are subsidizing Amazon with tax incentives and other unique offers, Jeff Bezos is making out like a fat cat while our tax dollars are doing double time to pay for his employee’s food stamps and to pay for those “lofty tax incentives and unique offers” that cities throw at Amazon just to remain in their city and state where impoverished workers, after having finished their shift, must then line up at the welfare office to fill out forms for food stamps. Seriously???! And no one is finding one problem whatsoever with any of this? Unbelievable! It is quite obvious that no one is finding a problem with this since cities and states are bending over backwards to provide as much assistance as Jeff Bezos needs in order to bring the very same to their locale all the while exclaiming over how thankful they would be to subsidize Jeff Bezos’ employees and his corporation to the tune of millions of tax dollars.

Since people, worldwide, refuse to get up off their ass and do their own shopping, this is what we have come to. This is why retail stores are shuttering their doors, left and right and malls are turning into greenhouses, complete with trees and birds. And once again, workers get the shaft while a multi-billionaire sits somewhere with a smile on his face while stating that his company “pays workers very low cash compensation relative to most companies.” He could not have been speaking of Wal-Mart because everyone should already be well-acquainted with the fact that the Waltons became ‘mad scientists’ who came up with the formula for low cash compensation for employees as their employees are also lining up at their local welfare offices applying for food stamps and any other public assistance they can get while our tax dollars, once again, are being used to pay to Wal-Mart, “lofty tax incentives and unique offers.”

Why do we not even blink at corporate welfare, but will rain down fire and brimstone on any ‘human’ who walks through the doors of local welfare offices because their income is so low, it qualifies them for welfare? What is wrong with us when we can have no problem with our elected officials throwing our tax dollars at the Jeff Bezos and Waltons of this world, knowing full well that they are already taking advantage of every tax loophole they can?

And just how well did that online shopping work out for you this past holiday season? Did those pants you ordered, fit? How about those shoes? Everything you ordered was the right size and fit, was it not? Or did you finally have to get up off your ass to find a shipping company to ship that online order of yours back to Amazon? Or did your order from Amazon come with a box and return postage already stamped on it for just in case that shirt was too big or too small?

I don’t know about any of you, but I will be damned sorry to see all retail stores shuttered because unlike most of you, it would seem, I like to try my shoes on for fit and then walk out the door with them knowing that there will be no need to ship them back to where they came from. I like to walk in a store and come out with my items.

We will sell our souls if whatever we are buying with it will keep us on our lazy ass to keep us from doing a damn thing. Fast food drive-through windows, online shopping and now, we can order entire meals online. Skip the grocery store, Blue Apron to the rescue, Omaha Steaks to the rescue. Convenience or laziness? I guess it depends on the viewpoint and before I get bombed out for this, I do understand that women are having to do it all and this, some will suggest, is convenience for the working woman and to that I will say, “Women, regardless of whether you work or not, that man in the house, if he has two working hands, arms and legs, get him to take some of the chores and responsibilities off your hands.”

As for Amazondotcom, I have never ordered a damn thing from that company and I never will even if that company manages to shut down every single mall or retail store that’s left. I guess I will then be arrested for indecent exposure because I will not be buying shit and that’s a good thing!

Lastly, so-called ‘humans’ are too stupid for words since they will joyfully enrich one man to the point where he is the richest man in the world while at the same time, impoverishing those who work for him because fellow humans are too damn lazy to physically shop when an app on a smartphone can do it for them. Are you ‘humans’ too damn dense to see where this is heading? Sadly, I already know the answer.

Is This The New Employment Sign?

Part-time jobs=reduced purchasing power. To the corporate bigheads: Are you getting it?
Part-time jobs=reduced purchasing power.
To the corporate bigheads: Are you getting it?

I read an article earlier today stating that Wal-mart and other stores are recording lackluster sales. Is anyone really surprised when the only hiring signs are for ‘part-time’ positions with no benefits? We are told that the national unemployment rate stands at 7.4%. I say to that, “bullshit!” When determining who is ’employed’ the government includes part-time workers and also temp agency workers. Part-time jobs and temporary jobs are NOT gainful employment. Those types of jobs would barely keep a roof over a squirrel’s head. But to make the national unemployment figures look good, let’s count them anyway.

It seems to be a fact, full-time jobs with benefits that pay a living wage are fast becoming a thing of the past as so many Americans are employed in a limited capacity and then when statistics show that people are even cutting back at the so-called ‘low end’ stores, we wonder about it? Really? Part-time jobs and temporary jobs do not instill an awful lot of confidence in people when they look at their take home pay and what the bills amount to and figure out that there is no way to stretch their poverty wages to cover even the basic necessities. The sad truth is that things are only going to get worse. The times when people could walk into a company and literally start to work that day earning a decent salary, are gone. The steel mills have shuttered their doors. Those great jobs in manufacturing are gone and unfortunately, it is not as if we can re-open those old buildings and rev up our manufacturing base. We are hard pressed to find anything ‘American made’ anymore. That is the problem. When we got excited over how cheaply we could purchase junk made in sweat shops overseas, we did not realize that we were digging ourselves into a jobless hole from which we cannot escape. Unfair trade agreements also played a part in the annihilation of good paying full-time jobs.

And now the reality is that part-time, temporary, low wage jobs are the new norm. Unfortunately, it is not just fast food companies that are guilty of this. Many grocery store chains and retail chains are also guilty. Hell…everywhere you look, there are the same signs posted. “Help Wanted, Part-time!” It is too bad that decades ago, we did not see the clear signs of what led to the ‘signs’ we see today. I certainly hope that no one is expecting an epiphany from the corporate executives that the reason why people are not lining up with unlimited purchasing power is due to their unmitigated greed which in turn is causing ‘lackluster’ sales. Trickle down never did work, but it just might be that the inability to spend will eventually cause a ‘trickle up effect because when ‘consumers’ can’t ‘consume’, just what did the corporate executives at Wal-Mart and other companies think would happen? Exactly what is happening, a reduction in consuming which could eventually adversely impact the corporate bottom line.

America, Poetically Speaking

no negroesAmerica-indian perspective
We want to build a nation on this here land.
No, that was not a question, it was a demand!

What’s that you say? You refuse to comply?
If that’s your answer, then you must die!

Kill the buffalo, destroy their food,
that’ll teach em. Now they’re screwed.

Damn! Not enough laborers, what do we do?
We’ll cross the ocean and enslave a few.

England, we don’t want taxation without representation.
We’re now Americans and this is our nation.

Lincoln, you can’t dictate to us.
We’re keeping our slaves, now enough of your fuss.

The Civil War is over and the slaves are free.
Yeah, let them think that, they’ll soon see.

You don’t like Jim Crow?
Then head back to Africa, or it’s to prison you go!

“What about the Statue of Liberty,?” you say?
To hell with that, only certain people get to stay!

No, the Indians didn’t demand green cards
and now many of them are in graveyards.

You think you’re going to get ahead?
Not if your skin is black, brown or red.

Capitalism is the name of our game.
We take what we want and we have no shame.

You have no health insurance? That’s your affair.
You think we’re concerned? You think we care?

We’re millionaires, billionaires, we don’t give a damn!
You’ve worked your eight hours, here’s 3 dollars, now scram!

Don’t think your vote will make a difference.
Politicians in office are just for appearance.

We’re a select group and we rule this planet.
Our will is strong and forged in granite.

Bow down to us and if you do not,
we’ll crush you with everything we’ve got!

Never forget, we’re the world’s police.
But do you really think what we want is world peace?

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

When Will We Stop Demonizing The Poor?

So, what is the poor to do? Find a box and locate a spot underneath a bridge?
So, what is the poor to do? Find a box and locate a spot underneath a bridge?

Why do we constantly point fingers and whine because people have to use food stamps? Why do we denigrate those who work jobs that pay no living wage and are without benefits? Why are we insensitive to the plight of those who are less fortunate than we are? For those of you who have no problem putting food in abundance on the table or paying the price at the pump without blinking, don’t get me wrong. I do not hold a grudge against people who are well-heeled. What I have a problem with is the fact that those who don’t have it so good but are trying as best they can, still get shamed by those who are the haves. We should not be shaming people because of their circumstances. We should be wondering why we’re the richest country on the planet and yet we have people who cannot keep a roof over their head despite working two jobs. We should be wondering why we have no problem with corporate welfare, but have a problem with our tax dollars going to feed hungry children. Walmart, for example, rakes in billions in profits each year and yet the majority of their rank and file workers have to rely on government funded medical programs(Medicaid). Why is the Federal Government ok with this? Oh, that’s right! It’s ONLY our money!

A 2004 study by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce estimated that just one Walmart store with 200 “associates” costs taxpayers over $420,000 per year in government assistance to the poor.

Walmart and other low-wage employers are poster children for free market hypocrisy, claiming that the “market” dictates they pay poverty wages while shifting some of their labor costs onto the taxpayer.

Paying a fair wage would only result in a price hike of around 1 percent for Walmart shoppers. The researchers note that the increase would be “well below Walmart’s estimated savings to consumers,” – in other words, the big-box retailer could continue to offer “low prices” without impoverishing their workers.
source:alternet.org

Other examples of low wage employers following Walmart’s lead are Kmart, Target, Kohls, McDonalds, Burger King and the list goes on and on. And we have the nerve to wonder why there are so many working poor while corporations are perceived as the good guys. America, we have a serious problem. And to solve it, look in the mirror!

Let’s take a look at the poverty rates.
According to wikipedia.org: The poverty rate for American Indians is 39%.
According to ASPE.hhs.gov: 46.2 million people were living in poverty in 2011.
16.1 million children were living in poverty in 2011.
20.4 million people lived in deep poverty.

The poverty rate for African-American children was 37.4% in 2011.
The poverty rate for Hispanic children was 34.1% in 2011.
The poverty rate for non-Hispanic white children was 12.5% in 2011.

What that says about us as humans is that we’ve lost the definition of the word, ‘human’. I’ll look it up for you.

Definition of human:hu·man

/ˈ(h)yo͞omən/

Adjective

A human being, esp. a person as distinguished from an animal or (in science fiction) an alien.Of, relating to, or characteristic of people or human beings.

Noun

Did you read that? Being ‘human’ is what separates us from the lower forms of ‘animal’ life since some see us as just an intelligent ‘animal’. Sometimes, I have to wonder about our ‘intelligence’. It does not take an awful lot of intelligence to note that if a large population of a country is living in abject poverty, it does not bode well for an economy that is based on consumer spending if millions of potential consumers have not the means to consume. What do you think will happen? It’s not obvious? We can bury our head in the sand and pretend all day and all night that the rich are keeping this ship afloat. Newsflash, that isn’t true because the rich are the leeches(corporate tax breaks, too big to fail and propped up by our money while their CEOs gave themselves hefty bonuses for running the companies into the ground). Not to mention deregulation and monopolies are also what is sinking this ship. It is not food stamp recipients, regardless of the propaganda that’s been shoved down our throat. And since many live by the mantra, ‘the poor cannot hire’, again, newsflash, the rich are not hiring either. They’re demanding that their remaining employees work until they drop and the Federal Government is hell bent on making things worse by attempting to pass laws that would put the retirement age at 70 in order to be able to collect full SSA benefits. And yes, I’ve heard that ‘we’re living longer’. Well..tell that to the Indians and Black people because it doesn’t seem apt to apply it to them.

So, in essence, the corporations are working their existing employees into the ground while the Federal Government is making it harder to collect benefits that these same workers have paid into the system their entire working life. Take a look at the unemployment figures for January. Up 7.9% from 7.8%. So, who is hiring?