When I say to people, “Jeff Bezos is taking over the world,” I’m met with one of two responses more often than not. One is a laugh as if that’s a ludicrous statment. The other is the deer-in-the-headlight look. There is no other explanation for the voracious appetite possessed by Bezos, a souless creature who never has enough. This isn’t just about his everyday greed. Let’s forget the fact that the median salary of an Amazon employee is just over $34,000 a year. My rent for 2019 will clock in at just over $20,000. Who’s kidding who about providing a living wage?
Yes, Amazon did increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour, which Senator Sanders took immediate credit for as everyone celebrated the benevolence of Mr. Moneybags. Of course, they left out the fine print where he cut his employees’ stock options and bonus programs to more than make up for the little blip in his bank account. In fact, Amazon employees are complaining that they are now making less than what they were before the minimum wage increase.
If that isn’t enough, two years after acquiring Whole Foods Market (also known as Whole Paycheck Market), he’s managed to add to his bottom line by cutting the hours of 2,000 part-time workers, which gives him the opportunity to also eliminate their health care benefits.
So, let’s dispense with the notion that Mr. Moneybags gives a damn about his employees, the people who work under pretty hideous conditions to make him a billonaire. He doesn’t. I cringe when I speak about this entity and people remark that, hey, he’s just chasing the “American Dream.” What American dream is that? The American dream of gluttony and greed?
Bezos is living the American Dream while creating the American Nightmare.
Jeff Bezos is now more than the guy I affectionately call The Online Antichrist; he’s much more than that. My appetite for purchasing anything from Amazon ended the day Bezos signed a contract with the government to the tune of $600 million to store information (in perpetuity) gained from the government’s surveillance on its own citizens. That officially made Bezos, and Amazon, anarm of the surveillance state and an enemy of the people. Bezos’ surveillance empire has grown since then.
Amazon Rekognition, its facial recognition software, is already in use by law enforcement agencies across the nation, and it has drawn the ire of more than just the ACLU. AI researchers have called for Amazon to stop selling its ‘flawed’ technology to government agencies, citing a high rate of inaccuracy. Even Lefty Wilbury (aka, Roy Orbison, dead since December 6, 1988, unless he’s having cocktails with Anthony Bourdain somewhere), was recently spotted on Capitol Hill using Rekognition technology. To be fair, Amazon isn’t the only one with this technology; both Google and Microsoft have their versions. However, Amazon is the only purveyor of surveillance technology writing legislation for presentation to our elected scum. No doubt Amazon’s version of the legislation will ensure that there’s no real regulation over its endeavors. Yet, in spite of the negative reaction to Rekognition, Amazing has forged ahead.
Alexa, Dot, Echo, and Key are not the names of some hippie’s children; they are Bezos’ ‘children.’ These insidious devices have wormed their way into our everyday lives. Amazon Key allows delivery people keyless access to your home so that packages can be brought inside! What a great idea! We have become so enamored with anything that makes our way-too-fast lives easier and have become so casually accepting of surveillance that we barely flinch. We simply have too much to do to fret over civil rights and privacy of any kind. Amazon had other plans up its sleeve as well.
People need to understand that purchasing such products gives Amazon unfettered access to your everyday lives. All of it. Somewhere down the line, not only are Amazon employees accessing it, but so are local authorities. It is literally building a surveillance network for local police with its Ring Doorbell and, in many cases, they are using your tax dollars to do it. Motherboard has recently obtained documents that show that Amazon has incentivized public officials to not only promote its products, but to sell its Ring doorbell to citizens at discount.
In June of this year, Amazon received a patent for an “unmanned aerial vehicle,” which is the technical term for a drone. Of course, the patent also covers Amazon’s supposedly ‘secondary’ use of the drone which is “selling surveillance as a service.” Amazon argued successfully that a drone eliminates the limitations of stationary cameras. Yes, unmanned package delivery is the next step for Amazon. However, make no mistake about it. It is also the next step in assisting the corporate state in controlling and directing its citizens.
Any purchases you make from Amazon, or any of its affiliates, is money that helps grow the surveillance state, paving the way for your own oppression.