Whether we like it or not, Amazon influences us all
A few days ago I reflected on our way of buying online and how Amazon has led us to “feel” that we need to receive our purchases urgently, even if they are not urgent at all. It is the habit that we have acquired.
But continuing to think about it, I think Amazon’s influence is much greater. Somehow it has changed our lives, partly for the better, but not in all cases.
Today Amazon is a large company with much more than a million workers worldwide (a million people work in the USA alone), and that extends to almost all countries except China.
It is a multi-platform market that offers all kinds of products, and is made up of many companies, its most flourishing business being the cloud computing service, but the one that most influences us all is online sales.
I think that the enormous development of Amazon has been prioritizing the speed of deliveries, and for this it has promoted the automation of its entire line of supplies and distribution. Coming to buy robotics companies to ensure preferential treatment.
Today it is so big that it has hundreds of thousands of people working in other small subcontracted companies to carry out part of its shipments to customers, and these companies must accept the conditions that Amazon imposes on them, whatever the conditions may be.
Its place in the market accounts for more than 50% of online sales and growing, and that makes all companies try to imitate it, to get a piece of that cake. And that imitation means that the working conditions of the workers are not the best, because nobody has the robotic means that they have.
From what I have read, Amazon imposes unfair conditions on its subcontractors to work with them, and can terminate their contracts without notice and without indicating the causes that originate it. They behave like despots.
The vast majority of Amazon workers perform low-level jobs, so their salaries are not high, without being negligible, and this contributes to the disappearance of the middle class. Something that we see happening everywhere, because workers are becoming poorer despite working. And that unfortunately is a trend that extends throughout the Western world.
Many other companies hire former Amazon executives to help change their ways of working, so the Amazon way of working spreads more and more, causing a few to dominate over many.
The large mega-corporations like Amazon do not stop growing, without apparently anyone putting limits on them, and competing with them is becoming more difficult every day, since the means they have far exceed those of other smaller competitors.
I do not intend to say with this that we must be inefficient and favor inefficiency, but that there should be certain limits to the size of companies so that they do not “contaminate” the social environment. And today there are none of those limits.
As a Society we must work to make it fairer, and that no one is left behind from the general benefits. And Amazon, and others, do not help to go down that path.