Very few people in the United States trust the mainstream corporate media. This is confirmed by a July survey from the major polling firm Gallup, which found that just 11% of North Americans trust television news, and a mere 16% have confidence in newspapers. It’s quite easy to understand why. The US media apparatus has repeatedly shown itself over decades to be completely unreliable and highly politicized. The corporate media’s treachery has been especially clear in the demonstrably false stories it disseminated to try to justify the US wars on Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. This disgraceful legacy continues today, in the proxy war that Washington is waging on Russia via Ukraine. Fake news echoed by the press has served as a powerful form of US information warfare.
Amazon, the $1.25 trillion company founded and led by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, has announced that it is acquiring One Medical, a private equity-backed primary care provider that generates over half of its revenue from Medicare. While Amazon’s profits from its core consumer retail business are dwindling, in part because of heightened competition from brick-and-mortar retailers that were shut down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporation’s cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, continues to enjoy robust profits thanks in part to generous government contracts. Now Amazon could be attempting to build on that federal largesse by seeking to milk revenue from Medicare, the national health insurance program for seniors and people with disabilities.
Washington — The Washington Post’s glaring conflicts of interest have of late once again been the subject of scrutiny online, thanks to a new article denouncing a supposed attempt to “soak” billionaires in taxes. Written by star columnist Megan McArdle — who previously argued that Walmart’s wages are too high, that there is nothing wrong with Google’s monopoly, and that the Grenfell Fire was a price worth paying for cheaper buildings — the article claimed that Americans have such class envy that the government would “destroy [billionaires’] fortunes so that the rest of us don’t have to look at them.” Notably, the Post chose to illustrate it with a picture of its owner, Jeff Bezos, making it seem as if it was directly defending his power and wealth, something they have been accused of on more than one occasion.
On April 29, 2020, a team of activists with La ColectiVA and ShutDownDC painted a mural on the street in front of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ DC home. The mural read “PROTECT AMAZON WORKERS” in massive letters stretching from curb to curb. The mural action was taken in solidarity with Amazon workers across the country who are being forced to endanger their health during the COVID-19 crisis. Advocates for healthy and safe working conditions in Amazon warehouses participated in an online town hall in which they called on Bezos to provide paid time off for illness, adequately clean warehouses, and end attacks on worker organizing. They were joined by environmental justice and racial justice activists. “Whether it’s harming our environment or enabling ICE and police surveillance, corporations like Amazon are complicit in profiteering from practices that put us all, especially Black and brown communities, at risk...”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Thursday cut benefits for part-time workers at his grocery chain Whole Foods, drawing criticism from the left for a move that could leave thousands of people without health insurance. "Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world," Boston-based activist Jonathan Cohn said on Twitter. "This is disgusting." Business Insider reporter Hayley Peterson broke the story. The decision will affect 1,900 of the business's 95,000 workers—the ones who work part-time, or around 20 hours a week. "We are providing team members with resources to find alternative healthcare coverage options, or to explore full-time, healthcare-eligible positions starting at 30 hours per week," a Whole Foods spokesperson told Peterson.
When Briana Bostic moved to her developing Prince George’s County neighborhood last year, she was told that a shopping center, grocery store, library, and other amenities were going to be a part of the development. “It wasn’t just promises,” Bostic said. “It was a large and developed and involved plan with neighborhood input from thousands of people. It was the exact opposite of the process we see now.” Bostic is referencing a decision at a county council meeting last month to approve zoning changes.
It is human to resist even when our resistance is barely registered by those in power. In her memoir of working in an Amazon warehouse in Leipzig, Germany in 2010, Heike Geissler recalls these lines from Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek: “Anyone alive disrupts.” Speaking to herself or perhaps to the reader — the book is written almost entirely in the second person — she adds, “You ought to prove to your employer that you’re alive.”Geissler imagines various disruptive tactics for doing so. One could hide products to “remove them from the...
“I took a job in an Amazon fulfillment center in Indiana over a few weeks–along with a call center in North Carolina and a McDonald’s in San Francisco–to investigate the experience of low-wage work. I wasn’t prepared for how exhausting working at Amazon would be. It took my body two weeks to adjust to the agony of walking 15 miles a day and doing hundreds of squats. But as the physical stress got more manageable, the mental stress of being held to the productivity standards of a robot became an even bigger problem.
Are you ready to divest from Amazon Prime? How about Whole Foods? If the idea makes you break into a nervous cold sweat, no worries. You don’t need to divest from either. Yet. That’s the idea behind non-profit Threshold’s new campaign, Cancel Prime. The idea is for people to pledge to cancel their Prime accounts and stop shopping at Whole Foods—when there is a critical mass of people who will divest together.
6,000 Amazon Employees, Including A VP And Directors, Are Now Calling On Jeff Bezos To Stop Automating Oil Extraction
On Monday, a group of Amazon employees began circulating an open letter that calls on CEO Jeff Bezos and the board of directors to adopt a companywide plan to address climate change. By Wednesday, over 3,500 Amazoners had signed on. By Friday, that number had surpassed 6,000—meaning a number equivalent to about 1/10th of the company’s entire corporate workforce had publicly added their names. And those names are still rolling in. One of the latest names belongs to Tim Bray, a VP and Distinguished Engineer who, per his LinkedIn profile, is “an AWS geek at Amazon.com.”
Amazon has continued to expand its influence on policy and on government over the past decade. We laud Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world and how he rose to the top by his own bootstraps. Many imagine him as a self-starter, an entrepreneur, a visionary. But the fact remains that Jeff has used his vast wealth to influence policy and laws to favor his business practices. Amazon has pushed others aside in order to procure its vast influence on politics and legislation. Granted, Amazon is not alone in this endeavor. It's no secret that corporations endlessly lobby to get what they want...
After yet another speed-up in a workplace notorious for its lightning pace of work, workers at a Minnesota Amazon warehouse walked off the night shift for three hours. The March 7 walkout at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, was these workers’ second job action in three months. The strikers work in the stow department, shelving items after they have been unloaded from inbound trucks and processed. Once shelved, the merchandise is then compiled into customer orders by pickers.
Cries Of ‘Shame!’ Heard At Arlington County, Va. Hearing As Officials Approve $23M In Incentives For Amazon
"You claim Arlington is a place for all, for immigrants, for equality, [and] clamor for the attention of a company that does the opposite." Anti-Amazon protesters in Arlington County, Virginia were outraged Saturday after the county board dismissed outright their concerns over the corporate giant's decision to build a headquarters in Crystal City—voting unanimously to approve $23 million in tax incentives for the company. The 5-0 vote followed hours of testimony by Amazon representatives, supporters, and opponents of the plan, with critics arguing that the trillion-dollar company has no need for financial incentives and that its presence in Crystal City will negatively impact lower-income residents and public services.
Now that activists in New York City successfully chased Amazon and its “HQ2” plan out of New York City, there is a new challenge: Can the organizers and elected leaders who successfully blocked the kind of economic development they opposed bring about the kind of economic development they want? That was a question that Cheyenna Weber, general coordinator for the Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City, was wrestling with hours after Amazon announced on Thursday that it was canceling a planned complex in Long Island City, Queens that they said would bring 25,000 jobs to the area.
Amazon won’t pay a dime in federal taxes this year—just as it didn’t pay a dime in federal taxes the year before. According to a new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), which examined Amazon’s public filings, the online retailer reported a $129 million federal income tax rebate for 2018—good for a tax rate of negative 1 percent, or 22 percent below the federal corporate income tax rate. Amazon’s profits this year were $11.2 billion versus $5.6 billion in 2017. As of last September, the company was valued at over $1 trillion.