Kicking the Amazon addiction, or kicking it down the road
He switched to a local bookstore and never looked back
Good for Renée Graham for finally kicking the Amazon addiction (“A once-devoted customer rockets away from Amazon,” Ideas, July 25). I’m an avid reader who devours multiple books on a regular basis. A few years ago, I’d had enough of Jeff Bezos and his greed and switched all my book buying to a small local bookstore. The feeling was wonderful. They now know me when I go there and have become friends with whom I discuss my latest read.
I purchase many rather obscure books. To date, they have been able to provide me with whatever title I request. It may cost just a bit more and take a week or so instead of a day or two. But the fact that I know I am helping to provide employment to local people and to sustain a local business makes it all easy and worthwhile.
If Bezos had used his wealth more for good and humanitarian causes, and paid his employees fairly, I may have continued to support his business. Instead, he’s done his best to avoid paying his fair share — or even any share — in taxes. He has used his immense wealth to rocket his way into space for no apparent reason other than that’s the only place with enough space for his humungous ego.
Our infrastructure props up these corporate behemoths
Renée Graham makes an often-unappreciated but important point about many billionaires’ profits when she writes, “Streets became clogged with Amazon delivery vans.” Do billionaires pay fair taxes for the multitudinous government services they receive? How much does Jeff Bezos’ empire depend on roadways, air transport, seaports, the Internet, and government incentives to locate facilities in various communities such as Fall River (“Amazon warehouse workers say injury claims went unanswered,” Page A1, July 25)?
Thinking about this recently, I listed dozens of government services from which wealthy people and corporations benefit while often paying a lower tax rate than the rest of us. It’s a long list.
John E. Hill
We can push for changes, but we can’t put this thing back in the box
Talk about a Sunday morning guilt trip. I found myself agreeing with just about every point Renée Graham made in her column decrying the ubiquity and evils of Amazon. And yet, and yet, I couldn’t help but think of that old advertising slogan: Leggo my Eggo!
Amazon has certainly been an important lifeline to many, including me, through the pandemic as well as to consumers confined to home through illness or injury, even in so-called normal times.
Perhaps we can fix this: Jeff Bezos certainly should pay attention to reported abuses of his labor force; orders should be combined to reduce the footprint of Amazon trucks in our neighborhoods; transition to electric delivery vehicles should be accelerated. Finally, Congress should address the wild inequity of billionaires paying little to no income tax while their administrative assistants fork over more than 20 percent of their income every year. Perhaps even breaking up Amazon is the answer to some of the problems it has created.
But as for breaking ties altogether with the company, I think there is no keeping us down on the farm now that we’ve seen Paree’.