Wally Funk was the only endearing thing about Jeff Bezos' spaceflight

Business

Business Insider 22 July, 2021 - 08:51am 12 views

Who is on Blue Origin launch?

Blue Origin's flight crew board New Shepard rocket Joining the Amazon founder onboard are his brother, Mark Bezos; aviation trailblazer Wally Funk, who will be the oldest person ever to fly in space at 82 years old; and Oliver Daemen, 18, a Dutch student who will be the youngest person ever to launch. The Washington PostJeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen reach space, return safely on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket

Where is the Blue Origin launch site?

If all goes to plan, the company's New Shepard rocket and capsule will take off for an 11-minute journey, launching and landing outside Van Horn, Texas at Blue Origin facilities, dubbed Launch Site One. Space.comBlue Origin to launch its 1st astronaut flight with Jeff Bezos and crew of 3 today

Why did Jeff Bezos go to space?

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET on July 20, 2021. VAN HORN, Texas—Jeff Bezos really flew to space. ... By going first, Bezos wanted to prove that his vehicle is safe, and that Blue Origin is finally ready to make its 11-minute suborbital trips an experience people can buy. The journey was lightning-fast by spaceflight standards. The AtlanticJeff Bezos Really Flew to Space

When did Richard Branson go into space?

The Real Deal Happens This Fall. This has been a big month for billionaires in space. On July 11, Richard Branson flew aboard his Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spacecraft 80 km (50 mi) up to suborbital altitude, returned safely to Earth, and earned his astronaut wings in the process. TIMEForget the Bezos and Branson Spaceflights. The Real Deal Happens This Fall

The intrepid astro-billionaires admit there are risks involved, but they don’t dwell on them. So far only Mr. Musk, whose company is widely admired by NASA insiders, has emphasized the risks. Speaking of his plans to send crews to Mars before the end of the decade, he said, “a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning.” Mr. Musk is right. Space travel is dangerous, and a question worth asking is: How many will die?

The last time there was talk about sending an ordinary person into space, NASA was doing the talking. In 1985 Christa McAuliffe beat out more than 11,000 other applicants to win a seat on the space shuttle Challenger. Almost overnight, she became a national celebrity: America’s teacher in space.

NASA had a journalist-in-space program ready to go, with applicants including Walter Cronkite and Norman Mailer. “They are probably taking a journalist on the principle that Earth could not but be improved having one fewer on it,” George Willquipped at the time.

When reporters asked McAuliffe whether she was nervous about rocketing into orbit, she repeated what she had been told: that the shuttle was as safe as a passenger jet. In fact, like today’s Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic vehicles, the space shuttle was an engineering experiment in progress.

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AOC Says Amazon Abuses Market Power, Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To

Reason 22 July, 2021 - 05:02pm

But since life here on Earth is plagued by tiresome partisan point-scoring, Bezos' moment of gratitude could not go uncriticized. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) seized on the moment to criticize Amazon labor conditions and allege that Amazon is in some way "abusing their market power to hurt small business"—a bold claim that ignores the value reaped by consumers, and that has become the startlingly accepted consensus among both the mainstream and fringe left.

Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this - with lower wages, union busting, a frenzied and inhumane workplace, and delivery drivers not having health insurance during a pandemic.

And Amazon customers are paying for it with Amazon abusing their market power to hurt small business. https://t.co/7qMgpe8u0M

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 20, 2021

Ocasio-Cortez is wrong that Amazon—and by extension, Bezos—has profited primarily by abusing its market power or engaging in anti-competitive practices. Bezos is so wealthy because, over the better part of three decades, he built a company that could successfully deliver a wide array of consumer goods to customers in just a few days flat, serving 300 million people annually (with 150 million of those customers deciding Amazon's services are so valuable that they choose to pay for an annual Prime membership). Bezos and other Amazon built a company that could survive the dot-com bubble, the subprime mortgage crisis, and a pandemic.

The same people who see monopolies everywhere often misstate how much market share Amazon has, and what alternatives are still available to customers. Amazon has about 40.4 percent e-commerce retail market share. That's a healthy chunk, but consumers have other choices: Walmart's sales comprise 7.1 percent of total U.S. e-commerce retail; Target, Wish, and other big-box retailers also ship directly to consumers. More people choose Amazon over competitors because it has more stuff and its click-to-ship speeds are half that of its competitors.

Of course, customers always have the option of seeking out brick-and-mortar retail equivalents—it's just that many of them choose not to, prioritizing convenience (and, in a pandemic, safety) over the fluorescent glory of in-person big-box shopping. But let's be clear about which businesses are losing money to Amazon. The company generates a lot of money from consumer electronics, which will make up about one-quarter of Amazon's total U.S. sales in 2021, and apparel/accessories, which will make up 16 percent. Those looking to buy consumer electronics would not otherwise frequent "mom-and-pop" stores, but rather big-box incumbents like Best Buy, recently departed Fry's Electronics, and fellow e-commerce hubs Alibaba and Apple.

"Amazon has clearly been a boon for users in terms of the consumer surplus it generates and the antitrust accusations against it are the sorts of things thrown at all the innovative market leading retailers through history," Cato's Ryan Bourne tells Reason.

These sorts of antitrust sentiments have been thrown around not just by far-left politicians like Ocasio-Cortez, but also Biden administration picks like economic adviser Tim Wu and Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan, who "see antitrust as an all-purpose tool for reining in perceived corporate malfeasance and correcting marketplace outcomes they don't like," wrote Elizabeth Nolan Brown in Reason's July issue.

"The idea that consumers choose to use products not because they're useful but because Big Tech companies have somehow tricked or pressured them into it is deeply embedded…in the new antitrust crusade more generally," she writes. "It's a form of consumer false consciousness in which end users don't know what they want (but members of Congress, of course, do)."

Of course, part of Ocasio-Cortez's criticism is fair: Amazon warehouse working conditions are sometimes quite bad, with employees getting so little time for breaks that they cannot use the restroom or take time off-task. Amazon workers have been denied pregnancy accommodations and adequate sick leave, and warehouses have been hit hard by the pandemic. However, her claims that Amazon engages in union-busting are unfounded (warehouse workers in Alabama actually voted against unionization), and the criticisms she leveled at Bezos yesterday have been par for the course for someone who calls Amazon's lower-skilled jobs "scams" while rabblerousing for the cause of wealth redistribution. What's more, Bezos has acknowledged reports about warehouse working conditions and has pledged to make changes.

Over the course of the pandemic, Bezos' net worth has increased by about $70 billion. But despite Ocasio-Cortez's objections, his vast increase in wealth has been the result of making millions of people better off.

Liz Wolfe is a staff editor at Reason.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

I was going to make a joke about Alexa and “customers shop at Amazon because they *think* they want to” and then I got to “(and, in a pandemic, safety)” and it reminded me that private corporations aren’t the only ones responsible for the way their customers think.

They also benefitted from the widespread shutdown of small businesses last year.

Which was imposed, in some cases, forcibly by governments.

(Sits back and watches lefties’ heads explode)

When is AOC being sent to space?

Wonder how long a GoFundMe for AOC’s oneway ticket to space would remain up.

No one listens to AOC. She’s a small yappy dog barking insensibly and getting nothing accomplished.

Like Amazon is the only corporation out there mistreating employees and paying crappy wages? It’s a business model. One word: Walmart. Now go research the rest AOC – it will give you something else to yap about.

AOC is just pissed that her swag couldn’t fund her a bus trip back to the Bronx:

WFT is that? If not so petty and stupid, this could be Trump class cashing in on political office.

The money can technically only go to her campaign. Difficulty… she pays her fiance a shit ton from campaign dollars.

Please, send her to deep space with no chance of return.

If we give her enough velocity and launch her at the right time/trajectory she can even catch up with and pass by Musk’s Tesla Roadster launched over three years ago so she can flip the “rich guy’s” car off!

Tell her we’ve identified an entire planet that is completely governed by Socialists — she probably will bite and eagerly board the craft.

Was going to say that.

Local spread here was very low at brick and mortar, but Amazon warehouses and other large businesses were having lots of outbreaks. Amazon gets to stay open, locals go out of business.

Also, Amazon is very much the only game in town for some things due to years of operating tax-free. Now that they charge sales taxes, they lobby quietly for laws forcing businesses in other states to charge taxes, which is quite onerous for a small brick and mortar in the midwest to sort out due to all the local sales tax jurisdictions in the states. So, no tax for me so I can be a giant, but now that I have local facilities and have to pay I’m going to make everyone pay.

Amazon is a beast. I avoid them when I can. But when you close everyone else down, yeah, people “want” to shop there.

You shop where you want, I shop where I want. If you fuck with my choice I will fuck with yours.

At this point I pretty much use Amazon just to validate my thoughts on products I was probably already going to buy. I can get Chinese crap cheaply pretty much anywhere (or do without). The quality namebrand stuff Amazon (re)sells, their next-day shipping doesn’t really make any cheaper.

American “democratic socialists” like AOC and Bernie Sanders always talk tough about billionaires. But you can count on them to obediently support Joe Biden, who in only half a year has created the most billionaire-friendly economy in US history.

Biden has only been in office for 7 months. Since you can’t even do the math for how long he’s been POTUS, your comments are null and void. Look to the former for giving tax breaks out in exchange for ring kissing…

I was looking for a DVD of one of my favorite movies from a few years ago. I looked at Amazon and found both new and used DVDs priced everywhere from $11.99 to $22.50 from several different vendors.

Amazon has new and used DVDs of Porky’s 2? Asking for a friend.

LOL… no. “King of the Gypsies.” Fair movie. GREAT soundtrack (Dave Grisman, Stephan Grappelli, and friends.

“AOC Says Amazon Abuses Market Power, Ignores Fact That Customers Shop at Amazon Because They Want To”

I mean, people shop at Walmart because they want to as well. Same with drinking Bud Light. Doesn’t mean those parent companies don’t abuse their market power to force other companies into submission or buy up would-be competitors.

JFC, you’d think an ostensibly libertarian rag would want the free market working. But they’re too blinded by their hatred of AOC to make a cogent argument and stick to principal.

Do you actually have any evidence of abusing market power? Or you just ranting to hear your own voice again?

AOC certainly has no evidence of actual abuses of market power. She thinks that being big is all the evidence she needs. If she did have real evidence, she’d be handing it over to real prosecutors instead of pandering to her twitter followers.

However, you’re right that AOC has not (that I’ve seen) made a compelling argument that they ARE abusing their market position.

I think it’s more of a case of a natural monopoly forming. Smaller retailers aren’t closing down because of anything Amazon is explicitly doing, but rather because there are efficiencies of scale at play that allow Amazon to offer conveniences that smaller retailers can’t.

Amazon was caught a few years ago using their customer database to help and design the features into products to compete against sellers on Amazon, part of their Amazon Choice program. This database of competitor information was not part of the agreement between vendors and Amazon, but they used the normally trade secret information to benefit their own products against those vendors.

That type of behavior is in fact anti market. Another big one is Amazon gaining market share through loss leaders to drive put competition.

Amazon isn’t the free market success story everyone claims. They do a lot of anti market things.

“Do you actually have any evidence of abusing market power?”

One of the usual signs of market power is that a company no longer feels the need to please their customers, because their customers no longer have viable alternatives.

An example of this would be Amazon’s practice of mixing together reviews for “similar” products, so that when you look at the reviews for a particular product from a particular seller, many of the reviews will be for a DIFERENT product. You look at reviews for a 2 TB hard drive, some of the reviews will be for 1 TB hard drives, some for 3 TB. You get the idea.

This would be bad enough if you could sort them out, but unless the review makes a point of specifying the exact product being reviewed, (Many reviewers do this because of this problem.) you have no idea if the review you’re reading is for the product you’re contemplating buying.

Amazon’s customers positively hate this practice, and routinely complain about it, and Amazon ignores them. To quote the skit from SNL, “But that’s your problem, isn’t it? So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company.”

Amazon doesn’t have to care, they’re the Amazon, and for many products, you have no realistic alternative. That’s market power.

My favorite is reading reviews of obvious foreign raters for an electronic shittily made when I’m just trying to see if the shirt sizes are true to size. Sellers churning se product page for different products.

I can’t really think of anything where Amazon is my only realistic source.

There is no longer honor in politics. What you are asking for does not exist.

Do you actually care about small independent business owners?

It seems like the left interchanges “poor people” with “small business owners” as if they’re the same people, when they’re not.

Like, if small businesses were just fine with all this, would you be ok with Amazon?

How does a free market work if you’re always having the government put a stick in the spokes?

Because it would seem to me that a free market that is constantly being fiddled with by government . . . isn’t a free market.

And you never seem to have an explanation on why the people in government are both smart enough to know what interventions to make while also being uncorruptable and not able to be bought off by the businesses you want them to regulate.

It’s 45 miles to Walmart for us. I need something the next day or two it’s just as easy to go on Amazon and order it, easier in fact, than getting in my truck and driving to Wally world. And cheaper too. Amazon is a God sent to rural communities. Need body soap, ear tags for cattle, needles for calving season, castration bands, the latest Jack Campbell novel, a new cast iron frying pan, reloading gear (just not powder, brass and shells) it’s all available and delivered to your door within 72 hrs. We do most of our Christmas and birthday shopping on Amazon (I hate shopping, especially at Christmas). I need a new set of trim tools and a new mirror because I busted mine off the truck going through the gate one winter night? You guessed it, got it on Amazon. And cheaper than if I went through Ford.

P.S. Bezos is definitely a Dr. Evil meme flying into space in a dick shaped rocket and being shaved bald and all. I’ll make fun of him for that and disagree with his politics but I don’t begrudge him spending his hard earned money however he wants too.

So many charities and his ego prevents even a semblance of philanthropy.

It’s his money and he can do what the fuck he wants with it. That’s the problem cunts like AOC has with him; they want it re-distributed in order to achieve “equity” which is the new equality.

If this was meant as sarcasm, I missed it.

I think for many socialist cunts, equity is just an after-thought. Their real motivation is taking stuff from anyone who has more than is “just”.

You can donate to those charities too.

Disagree. Spending billions on hookers and blow rather than donating it to a soup kitchen? Kinda jealous, otherwise don’t care. Spending billions flying into space? No grudge, don’t care. Spending billions making devices that make it easier to make purchases at his company? No grudge, don’t much care. Spending billions making devices that “secretly” or “inadvertently” record every conversation within their detection range? Spending billions that makes your information services lie and misinform people (including on the devices you secretly/inadvertantly listen to them on)? Yeah, you’re pretty wilfully defrauding people and violating their rights, fuck that shit.

But people did buy them willingly. He never forced people to buy those devices. And they continue to buy them despite the stories about invasion of privacy.

He’s always been a Bond villain.

I don’t like shopping at Walmart, but there are times when it’s necessary and even convenient. Sometimes you need something that afternoon, or it’s just a much better deal, or any number of other reasons that might make it preferable to my norm.

Amazon has just about anything I can get at all of the retail stores in my area, plus a whole bunch of things I can’t find there because they aren’t carried anywhere.

The stupid aftermarket headlights that keep going out on my Mazda (previous owner install) are a special order product at Napa / AutoZone / etc, so they take an extra week or two and cost 4x as much as getting them on Amazon, for instance.

We buy groceries in Williston, so we go to Walmart and Tractor Supply and Menard’s when we get groceries. In between paydays it’s generally Amazon. But if I really need a tool or something I go to the local hardware store and pay three to four times the price I’d pay at Amazon.

As I said above, if I need a cheap Chinese-made piece of crap, Harbor Freight usually has me covered cheaper and faster than Amazon. If I need a quality, name brand tool local harware and big box usually have me covered at the same price as Amazon and I don’t have to wait a day.

Minadin makes a decent point; the only time I typically turn to Amazon is when I’m stuck fixing cheap Chinese crap that I’m using as a crutch until I can buy something more quality/name brand.

The nearest big box store is 45 miles away.

I used to be in the same predicament: anything over excepting a tank of gas or a candy bar was twenty-five miles away.

I find Amazon just as useful today — for comparing products, prices, and reviews, and, most often, after researching such products, I go to the local hardware store and find the one I want. And, nine-times-out-of-ten, it’s the same price. Once in a while it’s actually cheaper.

Yup. I can rely on Amazon to help determine whether I’m going to get screwed using cheap crap or whether I need to buy name brand. Even then, it’s not really rely on Amazon as much as rely on 250 reviews of “You like our product! It work you good!” to inform my decision.

Curious. Is Amazon mostly postal delivery for rural or do they have the contracted drivers?

So some of the cost is a cost transfer for their good rates from USPS. So a slight cost shift to taxpayers. Not begrudging you. Was just curious.

Personally rarely use Amazon as I have enough fresh produce from various markets and a lot of their products are cheap knock off of quality under Walmart.

I do spend a bit extra on things like Butcher Box though. But their meat is just delicious.

“So some of the cost is a cost tr.ansfer for their good rates from USPS. So a slight cost shift to taxpayers.”

We get Amazon delivery on Sunday by USPS.

Like Tony and her sock, Raspberry-ass dinners.

The only thing that Amazon has done has taken “catalog shopping” to a logical conclusion. (In case you were wondering, the first sales catalog was published and distributed in 1498, in Vienna.)

When we perfect replicators we won’t need any of it.

I was thinking the exact same thing lol

Will a replicator be able to replicate a replicator?

They never answered that question in the series or movies so I can’t give an answer and remain canon (maybe in one of the books I haven’t read?).

In the show they never quite explained why some things had to be mines for or grown while others could be replicated.

At various points in the Voyager series, they ration replicated meals, implying that replicators use some scarce resource that cannot itself be replicated. It also seems likely that the scarcity of that unknown resource makes at least some things that could be replicated more efficient to be mined or grown.

In at least one episode, they gave away a replicator yet suffered no notable shortages afterward, suggesting that yes you can replicate a replicator (or enough component parts to build one).

My understanding was power was the factor limiting replicator use in Voyager, e.g. they had limited dilithium crystals and needed those to power the warp reactor for the 75 year voyage as opposed to running the replicators and pulling into the nearest startstation to refuel.

It’s also why they cruised at warp 1.2 instead of maximum warp.

At the start Sears was perfectly positioned to take control of the internet and become bigger than what Amazon is now.

It took some incredible mismanagement for Sears to fuck up the opportunities that the internet afforded.

They ignored the internet completely as did JC Pennies. Evolve or die.

The eventually had a web portal, but it sucked, and was too late anyway. And they pretty much destroyed Lands End.

Sears was one of those companies that really missed the boat and should have bought out Amazon in its early days for its retail software suite alone. The whole point of Bezos setting that up was so he could market it to other online retail vendors, but it ended up that Amazon became an online version of Walmart/department stores/the local shopping mall. Sears could have easily leveraged that into their own existing warehouse logistics operation, weathered the dot-com bust and transitioned out of brick-and-mortar 15 years ago, and would probably still be a viable company today had they done so.

Amazon itself didn’t really stabilize until AWS was developed, but Sears was already an established company anyway, and wouldn’t have had to worry about covering its losses with fresh stock infusions because they already had a legacy reputation with consumers.

Sears owned Prodigy, at one point–the first consumer ISP. They failed to upgrade from 16 bit graphics, as I recall, because why would anybody want to see anything on the internet in more than 16 bit? Prodigy was because Sears owned H&R Block–and they wanted a way for consumers to send in their tax returns from home. They had the consumer internet under their control, and all they could see was a way to deal with the IRS.

They could have been AOL. They could have been Amazon. They started selling FTD flowers online! But noooOOOooo.

The last hurrah for Sears with me was Craftsman. Before they started making all their tools in China, Craftsman was a legit quality brand. Whenever your knuckles were sure to get ripped apart if your wrench broke or slipped, you’d look to see if it was a Craftsman and proceed. They built that brand on their lifetime guarantee for broken tools. If it ever broke, Sears would replace it for free.

Once they moved their production to China, the quality control fell through the floor. They kept their guarantee in place, but the reason they’d give a replacement for free was because they were so cheap to manufacture, they could afford to give you four or five for the same price. The would break all the time. It was like they were suddenly made out of chrome plated plastic. Thanks for the bloody knuckles, Sears!

“The last hurrah for Sears with me was Craftsman.”

Likewise here. I used to do nearly all my automotive work myself, including rebuilding a couple of engines. Craftsman were great tools… until they weren’t.

Sears would have failed at anything they did. I worked for Sears corporate at one time. They didn’t have the vision or operational excellence to adapt to a changing world. Here’s a small example of how incompetent they were. The lobby of the executive floor in the Sears Tower used to post every day the closing share price of Sears stock and what they believed to be their two main competitors. Not the change in price over some period, just the price. Management thought that the absolute value of share prices was relevant.

The shareholders should have sued the living fuck out of everyone involved in the Brennan, Martinez and especially Lacy regimes.

“Sears could have easily leveraged that into their own existing warehouse logistics operation, weathered the dot-com bust and transitioned out of brick-and-mortar 15 years ago, and would probably still be a viable company today had they done so.”

Amazon uses and abuses anticompetitive regulations to fight off competitors. Let’s not pretend Amazon maintains its dominance through fair play and impartial market forces.

Amazon does that on some things, but AOC doesn’t maintain her dominance through fair play and impartial market forces at all.

Yeah, I wasn’t agreeing with AOC. They’re both big government parasites.

Amazon sends delivers raspberries to my house for less.

AOC just spends my money, raises my taxes, and whines.

Isn’t that Tony code for his boyfriend’s hemorrhoids?

When I go to buy raspberries from my local supermarket, they’re at best about a day away from being moldy if they aren’t moldy already. Whatever it is Amazon is doing to get them from the bush to my door fresh, they’re doing it right. And they charge less for them than my local supermarket, too.

Oh, and Amazon is actually competition for Google search. It used to be that people would go to Google to search for just about everything they wanted to buy–and that was feeding Google’s advertising revenue. Nowadays, lots of people just go straight to Amazon and search there.

Amazon has done so much to make my quality of life better and save me money. AOC hasn’t done anything to make my life better–and she wants me to pay more in taxes. She hates us for caring about ourselves, too. She’s all about forced sacrifice. Fuck AOC. AOC sucks.

You want your raspberry dinner and want to eat it too.

You buy raspberries? I’m picking them off bushes I walk to off my road.

Maybe Amazon dips them in chlorine dioxide solution.

I make my own ClO2 solution too, but haven’t had use for it lately.

When you see a Democrat complaining about a business, you can be sure that there’s a Union campaign contribution involved.

I though Twitter was supposed to censor misinformation from Miss Information.

A lot of small businesses sell on Amazon and reach a wider audience than if they sold only out of local brick and mortar stores. Also, there is a whole new industry of small businesses created by Amazon, they pack millions of products for Amazon.

Exactly. One of my favorite businesses in a small custom leather shop located in Florida (I am a fan of their knife sheathes.) I am on the opposite coast. And, without Amazon, I would probably never have known it existed.

Do they do gun holsters? I’m looking for a holster for my Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum. It doesn’t quite fit in the holster for my Uberti Cinnamon .45 colt one though the ammunition fits in the belt loops.

Uncle Mike’s makes something it will fall out of.

I know that from experience. Almost lost it on a backpacking trip thanks to Uncle Mike.

The internet has provided me with an incredible gallery of supplies for all things gun related, including the guns themselves.

Amazon generally sucks in this regard, and most of their weapons gear is Chunk [Chinese junk]; but otherwise I have a whole host of places to go and prices and quality to compare.

I just don’t often darken the doors of bricks and mortars.

I got a good RCBD hand priming tool but I sp critically searched RCBS.

No. I wish they did. I am still looking for the perfect holster for my .45 Ruger Blackhawk.

My mom’s bookstore is entirely on Amazon now. She lowered overhead and raised sales and reaches customers globally.

Amazon can also warehouse (some of) her products and do the shipping and packing for her – it’s a service she uses called FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). And if you’re buying from a 3rd party seller on Amazon, and your item is eligible for Prime and 2-day shipping, you’re probably using FBA too.

Back in the seventies and eighties, I was in the music retail businesses. One thing I learned is that for many smaller music stores, particularly the specialty stores, anywhere from thirty to fifty percent of their profits were derived from catalog sales.

Which reminds me I still owe Columbia house for that Everclear CD they sent me in 1997.

You can do that with Alibris, too.

And if you’re a wealthy communist (is there any other kind), you can get an early printing of Das Kapital for $2600.

Sorry, capitalists. A first edition of The Wealth of Nations will run you $235K. Supply and demand, you know.

Yeah. I found a book written by a former professor of mine on Amazon (It was actually her thesis re-packaged.) But for $275, I took a pass.

I tried to convince my mom to sell some of her books on Amazon. She complained that it was too hard and Amazon took too big of a cut. I don’t really know how it works so I didn’t know what to say. What is your mom’s experience like selling on Amazon?

I love Amazon. Buy stuff there every other day.

I could care less what some idiot says about them.

Bezos is crony capitalist and among the vanguards of the woke movement. What praise should we heap upon a man who uses his muscle to support regulations on his competitors and intimidate attempts to put ones on his own company?

While he makes Buzz lightyear impressions and removes products from Amazon in the name of social activism, he remains silent as people are dying in Cuba and small businesses are driven out of existence. If the rumors of his warehouse working conditions are true, then the benefits of his brand of ecommerce was built on human misery. And judging by the noticeable increase in defective products (crushed soda cans, melted chocolate, game case that arrive without a disc) I can only imagine Amazon fulfillment centers are basically a giant tetris factory with declining quality inspection.

The left obviously hates any organism with wealth. I enjoy them tearing apart Bezos, even if it’s for wrong reasons.

“…he remains silent as people are dying in Cuba”

I didn’t know he had warehouses there too.

CM ignoring all the thousands of small businesses that survive by selling on Amazon also.

XM is a woke rightie. He’s way past the whole principles part, now firmly into “pwn the libs” territory.

I missed my opportunity… I’ve always wanted to take a picture next to a giant penis… and a rocketship!

The basic principles would be thus:

The threat from private monopoly power exists no matter how much you may like the service the monopoly is providing. If it makes competition impossible, it breaks capitalism.

If something is so great as a monopoly that it needs to be a monopoly, then it needs to be a thing we have democratic control over.

This may or may not sound like unicorn farts in the modern economy, but someone needs to explain why they’re wrong. Preferably without nonsense hand waving like “private monopolies are inherently unstable in nature.” If a private monopoly exists, capitalism isn’t working as you guys promise. It depends on competition for the whole thing to make any sense, does it not? Otherwise it’s some guy printing his own money and the rest of us having no say in the matter.

The problem specifically with Amazon isn’t that it overcharges for products (yet), but that it underpays for labor. Labor is a thing subject to market competition as well, and we figured out a long time ago that it was well within a democratic society’s purview to limit the misery in private workforces.

I am totally in favor of an increasingly automated rapid-delivery marketplace such as Amazon invented. It’s a great thing, and I don’t want to see it dismantled by legislation that only focuses on worker and consumer rights at the expense of technological advancement.

But it’s already using public infrastructure! It uses our roads and our postal service that we pay for with taxes, among all the other more abstract trappings of civilization. If we want this convenience, we should be prepared to pay for it. Nothing is free.

When the robots unionize, that will change.

Government control over private business. I seem to recall a political system based on that.

Government control over private business is literally every political system ever invented.

You are right in that no monopoly is ever strictly a monopoly, but can have monopoly-like features, which we have a right to pay attention to.

The only thing going on in antitrust actions is protecting the integrity of capitalism.

“The only thing going on in antitrust actions is protecting the integrity of capitalism.

We have one right now with the goal of censoring speech not approved by the White House.

Guess you shouldn’t have spent the best years of your life cheerleading for unrestricted capitalism, huh?

I have spent all of the years of my life cheerleading socialism. Haven’t accomplished anything other than living off of the hard work of the productive people I despise and dragging the collective down. So there have been no best years. AOC’s tweets are the high water mark.

How is that unrestricted capitalism? Your reply doesn’t even make sense.

But I think it makes perfect sense that people whose entire political worldview is about letting private companies do whatever the hell they think is in their best interest suddenly discovering a love of the joys of socialism the minute Twitter decides it’s in its best interest to ban Donald Trump from its property.

This makes perfect sense to me because, well, see my all of my commentary over the years.

Quicker to just say your a fat lazy idiot who doesn’t want to work.

True on all counts except the fat part.

File under shit that has never happened.

All your comments over the years make clear that you are inconsistent, and biased. So sure

Guess you shouldn’t spend your time making it clear that you’re an imbecilic lefty shit with no concept whereof you post.

Customers determine wages and nobody is forced to work at Amazon. Nobody is forced to buy from them either.

I’m a longtime Amazon customer and I don’t have the first clue how much Amazon workers make.

What difference, at this point, does it make?

You claimed that their labor was underpaid.

So if Amazon is part of the problem. You are helping to fund the problem. You are part of the problem.

I don’t blame individuals for problems caused by the actions or inactions of legislatures. I don’t really see the point of blame much at all. Free will, even in a colloquial sense, is largely illusory.

That’s the problem you don’t blame individuals for the individual decisions, instead you punish the group for individuals’ choices. It’s the entire problem of progressivism. Libertarians believe in individual choice and living with those consequences and not punishing others for the choice of a few or single individual.

I definitely don’t believe in punishment.

You (and other conservatives) struggle to see the world outside of the frame of “good guy vs. bad guy.” It’s all about agents and teams. That’s why you can’t talk about systemic racism. You always see it as a personal insult to your character, even though the entire point is that it’s not about individual character but systems. It’s right there in the name.

So I don’t believe in punishment because that, like your whole attitude, is based on a tribal mindset that simply doesn’t serve humans in the modern world. You punish people because you want them to feel pain that will motivate them to change their behavior. But housing millions of people in cages doesn’t motivate that in the same way, because they are no longer part of any community where shame plays that kind of role. Just for example.

I don’t have a single strongly-held policy belief that has anything to do with punishment.

But you dont believe taking someone’s hard earned income is punishment. It is just a gift taken by force.

Sitting on a portfolio of capital isn’t hard and it isn’t earning.

Yes it is earning. Fuck you don’t even understand simple economics. Better to keep quiet and have others think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

To earn is to acquire something according to some moral assessment of fairness. Typically it means you worked for it.

Yes, “earn” is also used when a capital investment grows with interest, but if all “earn” means is to get more money, then I can “earn” all the wealth I need by robbing banks.

Breaking up a company is a punishment to the company and it’s employees. Gun control is punishment to lawful gun owners. Socialism is punishing everyone for the actions of a few. And there is no more height of a lack of self awareness than to accuse conservatives of thinking in good vs evil. It is the entire cause de jour for the progressive movement.

I can see this is devolving into an annoying dispute over semantics. If you like, laws against murder “punish” would-be murderers. Okay, so? If you’re doing something socially undesirable, society stops you from doing that thing. It’s called law. Do you want to do away with all laws and taxes?

Allowed that punish a group for the misbehavior of a single individual. Punish the murderers not lawful gun owners. Punish the cheaters not all businesses through blanket regulations.

Yet you are blaming actions or inactions of legislature.

People who blame all their failures in life on others generally take your view.

Everyone does that. The difference between conservatards like you and progressives like me is I punch up and you punch down.

Lol. Who am I punching down on?

You’ve never punched down in your life. Aren’t you always bragging youre winning the culture war?

I expect people to ne held to their own actions and individuals. You want to harm those more successful than you to amend your failures. That’s not punching up or down, it is basic force.

It’s psychobabble justifying a failed ideology.

Which describes your side to the Tee. Imbecilic psychobabble like your nonsense the other day about the amygdala of conservatives.

“…If it makes competition impossible, it breaks capitalism…”

“The threat from private monopoly power exists no matter how much you may like the service the monopoly is providing. If it makes competition impossible, it breaks capitalism.”

You are forgetting the one, really huge monopoly which we have very little control over — the bureaucracy which spends trillions and trillions of dollars they don’t have on things that most people don’t want. And, unlike private businesses, I can’t not shop there.

No I’m not. I did not claim, nor does anyone claim, that monopoly is always bad.

If there’s going to be a monopoly, and sometimes there should be, it should be controlled by the people so that it does not control them. That’s all.

There’s a word for the people controlling companies and it isn’t capitalism.

I know, you think it’s more freedom if companies are under autocratic control of CEOs rather than democratic control of the people whose communities they feed from.

Youre almost to open communism. Who decides which businesses are worth it in your world? Who allocates the division of labor in your world?

Youre an authoritarian. Thank God youre a fat lazy one.

Yes I believe in capitalism be and socialism and communism always leads to tyranny. And I believe in freedom.

Nobody ever said capitalism required autocratic corporations.

But capitalism requires all businesses and corporations to be privately own d dipshit and joy controlled by the government

I actually think that a actual monopoly is bad, or at least will soon become “bad.” Amazon is not, by any reasonable definition, a monopoly. They claim something over 40% of the e-commerce market. GM once claimed 54% of the automotive industry. They were also not a monopoly — and they proved it by nearly going broke a couple of times, which they should have been permitted to do. Of course the government bailed them out.. because power-brokers actually like monopolies — it gives them more control.

Your actual problem seems to be with what you call power-brokers, then.

I agree that the actual problem is too much power concentrated in too few hands. That’s the same problem whether we’re talking about government or private capital. People are too stupid to be given too much power. It’s the central idea informing the modern democratic world. I’m glad we agree.

The customers are ultimately the power brokers. Which you don’t understand.

Nothing is more “democratic” than a free-market. The government screws it up with corporatism, favoritism, grants, special taxes, as well as tax-breaks, regulations on what people can buy (ie: foie gras or organic milk lacking added vitamins), as well as other “punishments” (or rewards) for organizations, manufacturers or governments of which they do or don’t approve.

We were very happy to take a $4500 tax credit on a new hybrid. That is my reward for making a lot of money and paying a lot of taxes. How “democratic” is that? I certainly didn’t NEED the tax break.

Democratic implies an equal say for all participants. Does that sound like capitalism to you?

Yes because anyone can start a business and succeed or Gail without the government picking winners and losers.

That’s how capitalism is supposed to work. When the government has to give permission and controls all aspects of business while allowing them to remain nominally privately owned that is actually fascism not capitalism. We’re much closer to gas ism because of your I’ll than we are to true capitalism.

Oh well. I can get castration supplies without having to drive 45 miles to buy them and cheaper. On a totally unrelated topic do you want to come and visit my ranch?

Meant as a reply to Tony.

The only way you have to worry about me passing on my genes is if I slip and fall in an incredibly improbable way.

We wish your mom had gotten an abortion; the world would be a better place.

When he was born, not only did the doctor slap him but each of the nurses got in a few shots too.

Who gives a rats ass what that feckless cunt thinks or says. She’s clearly either deliberately being obtuse or she’s just that fucking clueless. Everything out of her mouth is either a lie or something that someone else wrote for her. I realize there are dumbass prog left assholes who think she and the other democrap socialists are all that. But honestly giving her any airtime here is a waste. Yeah yeah I know what is really going on but still have some editorial sense. You can refute collectivists here all you want but leave that lying sack of shit off the table.

“It’s a form of consumer false consciousness in which end users don’t know what they want (but members of Congress, of course, do).”

That’s the problem with any government-led initiative. Regardless of the letter next to their name, most elected officials believe they know better than you.

I know whenever I sit down at the computer, one of Jeff’s armed thugs is at my elbow, telling me to key-up Amazon, or the dog gets it in the ear!

BTW does Ebay still exist? Asking for a friend.

🙂 Yeah. I buy stuff there that I can’t find on Amazon.

I disagree with AOC on this. Amazon pays decent wages in comparison to other small and large businesses and they help keep prices low which is just as important. And if you’re from places like Louisiana you’re especially thankful for a well run business. Not to mention that Amazon just bought a huge run down eyesore property in Baton Rouge and they’re turning into something nice and providing higher paying jobs which pressures other businesses to raise wages to compete for the labor. Amazon is a good thing in my opinion.

“…Amazon pays decent wages in comparison to other small and large businesses…”

Which is none of YOUR business, lefty shit.

Do you think an extra-woke person like AOC can stand by and let people do what they want, like buying from Amazon.

Speaking of standing, AOC knows that in every “just” society people stand in many lines to get things, and Amazon also prevents her from enforcing that.

Amazon is great. I use their services all the time.

The same is true of Facebook, Twitter, and Big Tech generally. Why do Facebook and Twitter create curated user experiences? Because that is what the customers want. If they wanted something else, they would go elsewhere. If customers wanted pure free speech, where Nazis and trolls could interrupt and derail every conversation, then they would have rejected Facebook’s and Twitter’s curation by voting with their feet. But they don’t. They want an experience where so-called ‘hate speech’ is kept to a minimum. You can argue all you want that Facebook shouldn’t ban so-called ‘hate speech’, just like you can argue all you want that Amazon shouldn’t shove small businesses out of their way and drive them out of business. But ultimately it comes down to what the customers want. And the customers have spoken.

Amazon is not a monopoly, they enjoy tons of competition still. Many small businesses still prosper, just in smaller niches. Likewise Facebook is not a monopoly, there are alternatives like Parler and MeWe where customers can enjoy their niche experiences of ‘purer’ free speech. Attempts by government to alter all of this will only make it all worse.

They are calling anyone conservative on facebook a Nazi and claim they are using hate speech. It’s ludicrous that you support the far left this way. No wonder you get your ass fucked every time you post here.

Who are “they”? Facebook management? Not true. Many of the biggest conservative names are on Facebook, like Ben Shapiro.

If by “support the far left” you mean “support the idea that property owners should decide what does and does not go on their property”, then I suppose, although it’s weird hearing you think that that is a “far left” idea.

You know what would be a better idea? Having the government dictate the content of speech on Facebook! Just like, having the government dictate the content of Amazon’s marketplace! Wouldn’t that just be *dreamy*? Right? Right?

Considering you’ve admitted you sympathize with the left, I’d doubt you have to much guilt over that happening.

This woman’s staff opens an online merch store and then – this is someone with a under-graduate degree in economics mind you – says that that’s not capitalism.

Yuo think Amazon abuses their market power? Wait until Russia finishes their natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea. And Biden’s all right with it.

I know, right? Maybe Biden should go to war with Russia over the pipeline, just like Hillary Clinton wanted to go to war with Russia over Syria. Wouldn’t that be better?

AOC, like most of her comments, are devoid of and/ or ignore facts. Third party vendors represent the majority of sales revenue and even higher number of transactions. The majority of third party vendors have 1 to 5 employees. It’s amazing how supposedly intelligent people have no concept of the business enterprises they criticize. The AOC’s of the Twitter world don’t understand that franchise model business have individual small business owners at each location. There is a difference between a company owned chain and a franchise. They have no concept of the difference between an independent contractor and an employee. Commission sales jobs. Amazon is a marketing, sales and logistics platform.

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