Amazon is great for consumers — but is it great for America?

Jonathan and Michele Rhudy recently moved their Richmond, Va., consulting business into new digs and bought all new stuff — office supplies, furniture and even a coffee maker.

There was no question in their minds where all of those items, plus paper clips, reams of paper and every last doodad, would come from: Amazon.

Jonathan said he discovered the magic of Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce giant almost a decade ago while he and his wife, both busy running their small business, were raising their three kids and were always running out of diapers.

“I quickly realized how, being a family of five, we didn’t have time to go to the store,” he told The Post this week.

The Rhudys’ buying habits mimic those of millions of Americans, and that surely makes Bezos very happy — not to mention immensely wealthy.

Bezos, who has grown his humble, money-losing online book shop in 1995 into one of the most powerful economic engines on earth — selling everything from airplane parts to zebra-print dresses — saw his net worth grow alongside his company. This week, he became the world’s second-richest person, worth $76 billion.

Amazon, which is also in the movie-producing business — it won an Oscar for its “Manchester by the Sea” — is now the fourth-most-valuable company in the United States and employs 341,400 full- and part-time employees.

Amazon will add another 100,000 full-time jobs over the next 18 months, Bezos proudly announced this year.

The new jobs are great, but a closer inspection shows Amazon may simply be adding back jobs it helped kill off.

For example, Amazon played a large role in eliminating more than 50,000 jobs in recent years from just three companies — Staples, Office Depot and Best Buy, public filings show.

In addition to capturing 50 cents of every dollar spent online, Amazon, according to a report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit research organization, is used for half the online shopping searches undertaken by US consumers.

Jeff BezosGetty Images

In other words, Bezos knows what you want to buy before you buy it.

With such control over retail sales, jobs, ad dollars and more, critics are beginning to wonder if Amazon is good for America.

One thing is for sure, Bezos isn’t ready to slow down — he wants Amazon to control even more of Americans’ lifestyles.

A report several weeks ago from Bloomberg revealed that Amazon has invited executives from companies that make major consumer brands — like Nike, Oreos and Cheerios — to a meeting in May where the company hopes to convince them not to sell their products through Walmart and other big-box retailers.

Bezos wants the brands to be sold direct to consumers through Amazon.

The company is also spreading its wings deeper into media with its $50 million deal last week to stream 10 Thursday-night NFL games next season. Bezos paid five times what Twitter paid for the streaming rights in 2016.

There is also chatter Amazon will soon add…

Read the full article at the Original Source..

Back to Top