Is Amazon the #1 Threat To Jobs?

The conventional wisdom is that outsourcing to places like China is the biggest threat to American jobs.

And while that's definitely true, there's a new threat on the horizon.

As it expands out from its online bookstore roots, Amazon has approached virtual monopoly status - and regular retailers are paying the price.

JC Penney, for example, will soon close 138 stores nationwide.

Get used to used to headlines like "J.C. Penney Is Closing These 138 Stores This Spring".

According to some experts, Amazon could end up killing more than 2 million jobs over the next few years - more than China ever has.

So - can Amazon be stopped?

Comments

Rasa's picture
Rasa 7 years 12 weeks ago
#1

It's time for a guaranteed minimum income, free education, and then let the robots do what they want.

js121's picture
js121 7 years 12 weeks ago
#2

Boycott Amazon! I've never used it and will not Made in China was the corporate desire to get a market share (amongst other things). G-7 did that to us a long time ago and while a small % of Chinese are consumers now...check Mexico's position. It failed...NAFTA failed and it failed Americans, too. We needed to be on top of the Koch's Birch agenda decades ago. Now, with the help of Investigative Journalists/Reporters & Thom Hartmann...you, too....it's getting noticed again. John Birch Society did not get busted up...it was allowed to grow into an organization which is larger than the republican Party itself. Let's stop the nonsense of "it's legal"...it's legal b/c THEY made the laws. Coup our own Gov't to get our Gov't back, if need be....where's the leadership with backbone to take back Democracy? Amazon is just another symptom of Corporate Fascism.

k. allen's picture
k. allen 7 years 12 weeks ago
#3

I'm definitely ok with fundamental life support, including health in the whole living world ... education, never ending in the school of life, no matter where we are, or who ....

... robots ...?

I would want to know who does the programming.

The new rallying point for 'Choice' in the coming era?

Old Kel's picture
Old Kel 7 years 12 weeks ago
#4

Bicentennial Man?...just bonk 'em on the head and they get real.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 12 weeks ago
#5

What happened to United States antitrust law?

Scratching of head and wondering!

Simply just implement the Law

(unless some burk has revoked it)

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 12 weeks ago
#6

k.allen - damned good point!

k. allen's picture
k. allen 7 years 12 weeks ago
#7

Thank you, Hephaestus. Just popped up out of nowhere ...

Must've gotten bonked.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 7 years 12 weeks ago
#8

k.allen - the hour has cometh but not the man

Yet!

Legend 7 years 12 weeks ago
#9

When you buy something from Amazon or any other online retailer you also have a shipping company involved. Jobs are there just like being waited on in a department store. I live 10 miles from the closest store and the ones that I use most are 12 miles away. I order a lot on the internet. The times are changing.

JimmyLee's picture
JimmyLee 7 years 12 weeks ago
#10

First off, many of these stores are not well run and haven't been run well for years. JCPenney, for example, had some executive who quit APPLE to run their stores and he did a horrible job and Penney's lost a lot of money. The quality of leaders of these companies center around them making tons of money with a lot of perks! i dont think they really care how the stores do except for the goodies they reap.These stores such as Penney's have to be able to change as society and the market changes which some are trying to do now but for some, it's too late! Oh yes, it was nice when stores gave personal service but they cut their own throats when they hired less employees and it made the shoppers search for some help; I always felt service was important!!!!!

Secondly, many Americans don't seem to care if companies like Amazon hog the highways, so to speak, and push other cars over to the side of the road as they plow through. Amazon does not automatically always have the best prices and deals. I believe in supporting local if possible. And that brings me to my final point and that is many common things that I used to buy in local stores are not availiabe unless I go to Amazon to shop. So, "buy local" loses money as they don't have what I need. Sometimes its not the cost- its the availabilty. Personally I don't buy much from Amazon- only when I cannot find it locally and when other stores on line don't have it. It's a dog eat dog world out there when it comes to merchandising.

Scotty11 7 years 12 weeks ago
#11

Interesting to note that the 'Amazon Model' started as 'lowest prices on the internet'.

It's changed.

Savy retailers that use Amazon as one (of many) selling platform(s) often raise their prices by as much as 20% over their own home site to offset the high fees charged. Others use Amazon to sell items that are temporarily out of stock/print and charge huge mark ups for what stock they have remaining. (I've seen $40 books advertised for $1000 and $100 hand tools at over $300).

Thus, buyer be ware, there are often better prices and service on smaller sites.

Scotty

mwalkerco's picture
mwalkerco 7 years 12 weeks ago
#12

Sears (Kmart) announced​ an impending shut down early today. Some of this roots to WalMart and other category killers and a huge blame can be laid on the online shopping universe. I do have to say that retailers have to start adapting, just like newspaper, gas stations and telephone companies are doing. The times they are a changin...

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 7 years 12 weeks ago
#13

A. Everyone is to blame!! Amazon for not paying taxes > If you don't own a building you still pay rent for a virtual one online. The brick and mortar stores are also at fault. Idiot managers only carry mainstream items. If you want something like a raincoat, good luck finding one.

B. When all the stores have closed. Try putting on a pair of shoes you like or a shirt. It's not going to work is it?? Think of how many thousand items you saw, and tried on, and put back on that shelf.. That car you like? Are you going to fit comfortably in it? Does it drive the way you want it to? You'll never know by looking at it on the Web.. You decide how good the future is going to be by the way you purchase things.

haddyr's picture
haddyr 7 years 12 weeks ago
#14

I view Amazon differently. Having owned a small publishing firm since the 1980s, I see Amazon as a positive element to retailing. In the good old days, small bookstores treated publishers and customers with great respect. Most of these were displaced by chain stores that served neither serious readers nor publishers well. The chains ordered one copy per store, and if that copy didn't happen to sell in 90 days, back it would be sent, coffee stains and cookie crumbs included, at the publisher's expense, along with an order for a clean copy.

For those true booklovers who hate to see the abuse of books, it has been rather refreshing to see the chains replaced by Amazon, whose retail practices are at least honest and forthright: give the customer as much information as possible to make a wise choice and offer as wide a range a possible. For book purchases (or book sales)--Amazon's original mission--I have absolutely no complaints. I fully believe that at least the same number of jobs are involved with the sale of my books by Amazon as by a major chain, from delivery services to warehouse personnel to Amazon's other employees.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 7 years 12 weeks ago
#15

No, I believe it's too late. Since the 1980s, we have evolved into a corporate state. As galling as the realization is, we no longer have any power whatsoever over US corporations. They are international entities today, not dependent on US consumers or workers. Because the US has been on a downhill slide since the 1980s, US consumers, while useful, simply aren't as important anymore. Boycotts by US consumers barely make a dent, and corporations know that such boycotts are very limited and short-term. US consumers are not motivated by causes, but by costs and availability.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 7 years 12 weeks ago
#16

Anti-trust laws were, shall we say, amended, starting with Reagan's deregulation mania.

RFord's picture
RFord 7 years 12 weeks ago
#17

I suppose that's what's called progress. I doubt anything will happen to slow online shopping. It's not just Amazon, there are many other online stores, Where people can get a lower price, that's where they'll shop weather it's at a foreign car dealership or Walmart, where they can get a lower price. People are basically selfish and generally not patriotic when it comes to shopping. Robots and automation are replacing workers too, and that's worldwide. The question is, what are the displaced workers going to do? This is not new. Tractors that disk, plow, plant, fertilize, spray for bugs and blight, and harvest replaced a lot of farm workers. People will have to find other things to do. If all jobs were automated there would be no-one with money to buy what the machines are producing and it may come to something like the crash of 1929 only much worse and worldwide. However there are many jobs that can't be totally automated and someone will have to setup and repair and maintain the machines. I believe it will all work out.

Legend 7 years 12 weeks ago
#18

Sears was the original Amazon with the Sears Catalog. It just did not see the computer as a way of shopping like Amazon did.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 7 years 12 weeks ago
#19

I've never thought of Amazon as a job killer. It's a good research tool for evaluating products I'm considering buying locally. Every thing you buy on line is manufactured, warehoused, shipped, received, warehoused, advertised, sold, and shipped again. But, if I can hold something in my hand before I buy it, that store will get my business. Amazon is my backup.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 7 years 12 weeks ago
#20

Amazon is to brick and mortar as Walmart was to locally owned grocery, department, and hardware stores. As Bezos scoops up the market his model will dramatically raise prices. The enormous amount of landfill waste the packaging creates is a whole other topic.

Backwoods MT's picture
Backwoods MT 7 years 12 weeks ago
#21

I live in a very rural area, and Amazon has been a godsend. In my mind, Amazon consists of some very large warehouses and a UPS driver. I know the UPS driver, and he is well paid with good benefits. JC Penney on the other hand, consists of acres of blacktop parking, huge mall buildings contributing to urban sprawl and poorly paid employees with few if any benefits. I like Amazon's reviews and their easy return policy.

Is Amazon so much different than Sears and the other catalog stores of 100 years ago, when they were the only real source of goods for rural America?

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 7 years 12 weeks ago
#22

I'm with Rasa and DHBranski (above).

Ou812's picture
Ou812 7 years 12 weeks ago
#23

Online shopping is probably the only reason the US Postal Office still works full time. A note to the washed up lefties, "It's not the 60's anymore".

k. allen's picture
k. allen 7 years 12 weeks ago
#24

..., and ... the time always is now ....

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