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December 10, 2019

10 Things that happen when we click Buy on Amazon.

I’m no Amazon fan. I’m a fan of supporting local shops, for vibrant downtowns and fun, cheering communities.

I’m no Amazon fan. I’d prefer to support middle-class jobs than Bezos. While that may seem simplistic, Amazon has gutted the publishing/book industry and counterfeited many other once-profitable products. They push their employees to the brink, and beyond, all the while rubbing their hands together gleefully at the prospect of further automation.

And there’s a better way.

Support eco, mindful, independent businesses. We’ve gathered a bunch here. Or support your local moms n’pops or artists you find on etsy, a company that offsets all its shipping and at least tries to be good for our world.

Here’s a list of reasons I’ve compiled, with sources, for why to skip the buy button on Amazon, and what to do instead (see the last line):

  1. We’re cluttering our streets with polluting, idling, bike and car-blocking trucks.
  2. We’re shuttering mom n’pops, silencing fun downtowns (and putting middle-class jobs out to pasture). We’re sometimes buying (sometimes fake) things on impulse, that we may not need, instead of supporting authors or craft (more on that below) that genuinely fulfills and improves our lives.
  3. We’re filling climate change-gassing container ships.
  4. We’re making the very, very, very rich, richer.
  5. We’re feeding into Big Brother back door surveillance and Big Data. Echo, Echo, Alexa. Ring, Ring.
  6. We’re 1) outsourcing jobs…to b) places with lax environmental regulations, polluting our world and killing our oceans.
  7. We’re creating tons of plastic packaging. Maybe they’ll improve in the near future?
  8. We’re pushing Amazon workers to the brink, and beyond. And of course Bezos plans to get rid of all of ’em.
  9. We’re paying for Amazon twice, via tax incentives. Then, we’re paying a third time in food stamps and benefits for workers who can’t afford to live on their pay, and get sick or hurt on the job.
  10. We’re getting conned: we’re paying less, often, saving us money in the short-term–but because vendors/creators/artists get less, and local businesses get nothing or less, we’e gutting jobs (as discussed) and hurting our middle class, ultimately making it harder to afford anything. It’s the long-con—what liberals used to rail against about Wal-Mart, only on a much more ambitious scale (see Cheap Words, below).

Instead, shop local. Shop green. Shop small. Shop craft. Shop less. Shop fun. Shop community.

Amazon is coming for your money, in everything you ever want to do. And it’s eating away at quality and craft and the incomes of those who bring you the products you didn’t know you wanted.

More:

Cheap Words, in The New YorkerRead it here in its entirety—it’s riveting.

What’s another effect, wholesome or otherwise, of shopping on Amazon vs. shopping locally or directly from an indie business?

 

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Waylon Lewis  |  2.1k Followers