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Thread: Amazon no more

  1. #16
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest Powell's. I limit my purchases from Amazon because I, too, dislike their business practices. I haven't read the Guardian's article, but it's long been my understanding that they outsource their warehouse employees so that they don't have to give them benefits. I've heard that their warehouses are not temperature regulated and that people who worked there have been known to pass out in the heat. I don't entirely not use them, because they are still the easiest way to get some older paperbacks that I like, but I do use them infrequently. I wouldn't have minded making some money on their stocks, though, if I'd thought of it at the time.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    I was going to suggest Powell's. I limit my purchases from Amazon because I, too, dislike their business practices. I haven't read the Guardian's article, but it's long been my understanding that they outsource their warehouse employees so that they don't have to give them benefits. I've heard that their warehouses are not temperature regulated and that people who worked there have been known to pass out in the heat. I don't entirely not use them, because they are still the easiest way to get some older paperbacks that I like, but I do use them infrequently. I wouldn't have minded making some money on their stocks, though, if I'd thought of it at the time.
    This touches on another point about the welfare state and how it has become increasingly undermined by the very extreme form of laissez-faire that we have now become accustomed to. Along with this comes the frequent market booms and busts we now have as part of our everyday reality. They seem to get more severe and extreme as time passes. The 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis was the deepest recession since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The last boom has barely had time to get established and already the signs are emerging that a crash may come at any time, only 7 years after the sub-prime.

  3. #18
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    I was going to suggest Powell's. I limit my purchases from Amazon because I, too, dislike their business practices. I haven't read the Guardian's article, but it's long been my understanding that they outsource their warehouse employees so that they don't have to give them benefits. I've heard that their warehouses are not temperature regulated and that people who worked there have been known to pass out in the heat. I don't entirely not use them, because they are still the easiest way to get some older paperbacks that I like, but I do use them infrequently. I wouldn't have minded making some money on their stocks, though, if I'd thought of it at the time.
    It probably wouldn't have mattered much at the time, if you had stock in Amazon... because you would have had to hold on to it through some scary times like the tech-bubble bursting and whatnot. I had stock in Amazon a long time ago, and $10,000 in Apple when it was at about $25/share... but things got twitchy and I lost my nerve and sold at $28/share. I felt like such the clever investor! When I think about it now, if I would have just held on to it and weathered the storms and sold out now... it makes me ill.
    The pitfalls of being impatient.

  4. #19
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Bah! Boom or Bust, Feast or Famine, Good Times or Bad - that's life. It's character building.

    Buy the ticket. Take the ride.*

    and since I'm doing other people's quotes, here's a barnyard truism for the stock market:

    Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered...and Chickens are too scared to cross the road.**

    *Hunter S. Thompson
    **Old Wall Street saying
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  5. #20
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    I don't think we have any option but to take the ride. Where would we get off?

  6. #21
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    In all honesty, that they work their workers like they should be worked to me seems like a boon not a detraction. I am happy to say that Amazon not only maintains a staff where many people want to work there - a competitive job recruiting system - but also works beyond efficiency. if that means getting lazy people to work a full day, so be it.

    We live in a culture that allows for slacking. If people are being paid well though are expected to preform well, so be it. I don't see any of these employees quitting and joining the competition.

  7. #22
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    ^well there you go. And JBI is one of the smartest guys here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    I don't think we have any option but to take the ride. Where would we get off?
    Well, nobody gets outta here alive.

    But no, you don't have to buy the ticket and take the ride. You can sit around in your hermetically sealed world, never take a chance, never lay it on the line, never hang it out there, never take a corner with too much speed bald tires and lousy brakes, never take a chance on love, never throw your hard-earned money at risky equity, but that would be...

    BORING!
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  8. #23
    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    I only recently started to use Amazon.com and have been highly pleased with the service. Barnes and Nobles tends to fail me one out of three tries. If I thought there was a sweatshop environment going on I might hesitate but not in this case. There are workers that can handle the grind and prosper and some that can't. That is their decision or life choice for better or worse. I suspect-being an old timer people have forgotten to a degree the old work ethic of blood, sweat and tears. Just a thought.

  9. #24
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Aye there's rub ^, As I said it's a personal decision. I think they could be efficient without being exploitative and bullying. I decided to stop using them when I heard them defend the policy of sacking managers who become pregnant. Not good enough.

    It goes a bit further than work ethic, they exploit me as a tax payer too, using the infrastructure of the UK for profit but refusing to contribute to it by avoiding UK taxes, and by paying minimum legal wage - which is topped up by the government from tax revenues (that's a subsidy isn't it). By doing this they put competitors (who do contribute to the "common weal") out of business. Where is their work ethic? What's the difference between welfare handouts, and tax breaks and subsidies for big buisineses ?
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 08-31-2015 at 04:04 AM.
    ay up

  10. #25
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I have never owned Amazon stock nor considered it since it doesn't pay a dividend. Expecting a market crash I don't even own stocks at the moment. It is part of my "cash is trash until the crash" investing philosophy.

    Here's an investor's perspective by Gary Bourgeault comparing Amazon to Wal-Mart: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3325...e-amazon-beast

    I don't know if Wal-Mart is any better than Amazon from the perspective of the warehouse worker. Wal-Mart at least has positive earnings per share and pays a dividend. I wouldn't mind having shares in Wal-Mart (after the crash), but I prefer Amazon's ebooks.

  11. #26
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    It's the "exploitative and bullying" part that does it for me. And it's not just Amazon. It's becoming increasingly common to outsource laborers so that companies can minimize their resources and have more for the stockholders. I read one article about a young man who was working in plant where because of carelessness a box weighing about a ton fell on him on his first day there. I don't mind if they work hard; that isn't my concern. But I do think all people who work should be treated fairly and in a humane manner. I doubt that's going to happen unless business is regulated. It hasn't' been my experience that a free and unfettered market works very well; people, unless checked, will do exactly what they want, not what is best or humane or fair or good.

    As it happens I do shop heavily at Walmart. I would like to cut back, but most grocery stores are too expensive for me, which makes me sad. I do shop at a local grocery store for any produce I get, as the produce at most Walmart's if often inedible, I find. But that's another one. I mean, jeez, how much more profit do those owner's need to make?

    Not to mention that all of our clothing is made with exploitative labor practices, in the US anyway. The only exception to that is athletic wear made for colleges and universities.

    In fact I googled "exploitative labor practices," and of course labor is rife with them. Coca cola immediately popped up, as did child labor proactices around the world, and the palm oil industry.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  12. #27
    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    Excellent points made above and I actually agree with you guys about the work conditions. However when it comes to wanting CERTAIN books I'm discovering they have what others can't or won't get. My personal favorite supplier simply doesn't make enough of a profit on certain things to make it worth his while to get them even though I have told him I don't mind paying a small mark-up. I tend to be a little hard hearted about work backgrounds due to 21 years in the Air Force being at the beck and call of a capricious lot and then 23 years as a AAA calltaker/dispatcher where while it was nice being useful and productive and actually making a small difference in the lives of a paying customer base it did get old getting called a liar/SOB at least once a shift by a disgruntled customer or even a tow company. So for me Amazon if I could physically keep up sounds like my kind of place.

  13. #28
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    Well, I use them occasionally also, mtpspur, but I am trying not to turn a completely blind eye to the sordidness of their business practices.

    And then there's this, because it does affect all of us:

    http://www.salon.com/2015/07/06/no_o...pay_the_price/
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  14. #29
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qimissung View Post
    Coca cola immediately popped up
    Coca Cola and Pepsi are companies that puzzle me. People still drink this stuff? I guess you could put cigarette companies right up there as well.

  15. #30
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Here's a link to an article in Harpers last year. Similar to the Guardian bit, Mick, but focuses on roving bands of seniors in caravans working at Amazon sort centers as temps during the holidays.

    https://shar.es/1vG3xC

    I still drink the occasional Coke, Y/N, and having traveled to many places where the water supply is questionable, a can of Coke can be a very good thing. You can get one basically anywhere on the planet, and it will never give you Montezuma's Revenge.

    By the way, growth stocks ain't for everybody. They can be a wild ride, but if you wait until Amazon pays a dividend their grown phase will more than likely be over and done with. Dividend-paying stocks lately have been like owning bonds - certainly a necessary core holding.
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

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