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Analyzing Amazon’s Actions

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Analyzing Amazon’s Actions


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BACKGROUND

Amazon’s recently exposed questionable practices have once again put them in public crosshairs. Their actions regarding the treatment of employees, overall corporate practices, and the effects of those actions have reignited the debate on whether their actions are justified or not. Their actions have included reports of warehouse workers walking to 10 miles a day as they rush to fulfill work quotas, the new HQ2 forcing cities to give Amazon massive tax breaks and other extreme benefits to court the corporate giant, and having an anti-union video leaked.
These events have shifted public opinion to the point where there doesn’t seem to be a debate over Amazon’s actions. However, the prevalence of Amazon in people’s lives due to the convenience of its services have put into question whether Amazon and other large companies can—and should—change.

Blame the Game

The issue with trying to change Amazon is that the system that it resides in promotes exponential growth. Amazon didn’t become the world’s first trillion-dollar company by simply sticking to selling books. Via a mix of buying out certain companies and entering dying industries, Amazon was able to grow to its current size. Amazon may be starting to look like a monopoly, but it got there in a fashion that fits the economic system it thrives in. And is this monopoly that bad?
Amazon has obvious benefits. They bring in thousands of jobs to whatever city they reside in, which speaks volumes about the benefits of letting Amazon (and other large companies) exist in the way they do. They may push out jobs, but they also bring them in.
The recent HQ2 announcement will bring in millions of dollars to both Queens and Arlington. Sure, a couple small businesses may get priced out, but it’s a necessary evil when it comes to increasing employment and bringing in revenue to a city.
Big companies like Amazon can seem downright diabolical, but demanding they change can negate the numerous positive side effects of their existence.
Demanding change is near impossible because within our society, if a company does not act with a certain level of ambition, then it will be overshadowed by more successful companies who do.
Asking companies to change just won’t help. If anything has to change, then it would have to be the system as a whole, and that is another issue so big and complex that it would never truly get solved.

Blame the Player

Even if Amazon risks being outperformed by another company and lowering profits while raising costs, it needs to change along with other corporate giants out there. It doesn’t matter that questionable actions are legal; legality does not determine morality.
Workers in Amazon warehouses face hyper-intense quotas to the point that some urinate in bottles so they don’t lose more time going to the bathroom. A CNBC article goes even deeper into the inner working of Amazon warehouses. Warehouse workers recently lost guaranteed company stock (which is currently valued at around $1,630 a share) and monthly bonuses based on work attendance and performance. Forbes goes into how white-collar workers at Amazon face intense turnover rates thanks to both suicides and quitting because of the stress that the job causes. This mistreatment of workers in the name of higher profits is a misplacement of values.
Profits and worker happiness are part of the cutthroat landscape Amazon resides in, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change. If Amazon increased work quality at the cost of profits, it would both wipe away many criticisms of the company and still result in extremely large profits. With those profits Amazon could deliver on the promise of actually bringing in more money to cities it resides in.
Amazon’s headquarters are designed to meet every want of its workers; Amazon is essentially bringing its own city with it. If it removed those amenities and had employees go out and contribute more to the local economy, its arrival would be beneficial to cities like Queens and Arlington.
These changes aren’t just specific to Amazon. Any large company that partakes in shoddy practices can change. It comes at the cost of profits and not only is it more moral but it helps both workers and cities.

OVERALL

While the Patriot Press Staff believes that the actions of companies like Amazon are egregious, a vast majority of the problem lies in the economy. It regrettably rewards companies who are willing to do whatever it takes to raise profits.
The actions of companies will always be determined by the relationship between consumers and materialism, and if true change is desired, then it starts with that relationship. Yes, companies should at least make an effort to better themselves and their culture, but it’s going to take more than a few corporations to change.

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Analyzing Amazon’s Actions