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Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click…
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Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America (2021. Auflage)

von Alec MacGillis (Autor)

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968229,731 (3.71)1
Titel:Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America
Autoren:Alec MacGillis (Autor)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2021), 400 pages
Sammlungen:Non-Fiction, Deine Bibliothek, Noch zu lesen


Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America von Alec MacGillis

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How Amazon shaped local, regional, and national policy; it’s a book of contrasts. Amazon’s direct employees in Seattle have access to specially constructed orbs full of carefully curated greenery to help them “find their inner biophiliac that really responds to nature.” Meanwhile, Amazon negotiates secretive deals to locate warehouses that provide huge tax incentives—making it more likely that the surrounding areas will deteriorate and making Amazon warehouse jobs look like better alternatives. Time and again, Amazon gets sweetheart deals and isn’t asked to provide anything in return, like bulk discounts for schools and public agencies (anyway, those would all have to come from Amazon’s already-squeezed suppliers). Virginia built a new power system for Amazon with a monthly fee on all ratepayers, not just Amazon, which sought a special discounted rate for power at its data ceSnters. Meanwhile, its dominance in data storage let it subsidize low prices for retail, undercutting retail competitors. “Amazon employees scattered around the country often carried misleading business cards, so that the company couldn’t be accused of operating in a given state and thus forced to pay taxes there.” But they also had a goal of “securing $ 1 billion per year in local tax subsidies.”

One excellent chapter examines how Amazon contributes both to homelessness in Seattle and to the backlash to it in an ostensibly liberal city. “Seattle had become proof that extreme regional inequality was unhealthy not only for places that were losing out in the winner-take-all economy, but also for those who were the runaway victors. Hyper-prosperity was not only creating the side effects of unaffordability, congestion, and homelessness, but injecting a political poison into the winner cities.”

This has toxic effects on mobility as well—moving to a big city without a college degree means a job that doesn’t pay much more than a job in the rest of America, but lots more housing costs; this chokes off sustainable growth even in the big cities. The book makes the case for having a lot of small capitalist “greedy fucks” rather than a few giant corporations with no interest in investing in areas outside the really big cities. ( )
  rivkat | Nov 19, 2021 |
So I probably would have read this anyway, but reading it now was prompted by a conversation with my daughter who pointed out that I don’t shop Walmart because of worker issues, so why would I continue to use Amazon?
This book reiterated some of what I knew about Amazon’s treatment of its workers - the pressures to keep up with metrics; lack of bathroom breaks (more of that in the news just recently- peeing into bottles); and the churn of turnover.
The book addresses Amazon’s extreme strategies and negotiations to avoid paying taxes (while reaping the benefits of, for example, local EMTs to provide aid to workers overcome by heat exhaustion)[there is a reason why the company whose origins were in California decided to move to Seattle- to avoid having charge state sales tax on what it projected to be its largest customer base]
And points out that while Amazon touts that it pays its employees $15, it is silent on the fact that so many (hundreds of thousands?) of its workers are contractors who don’t get paid this much.
An incident of an unmarked Amazon delivery truck fatally hitting a young child is provided as an example of the lack of liability on Amazon’s part in such a situation, but I don’t think MacGillis spends enough time exploring the ramifications of having so many workers who appear to be employees but who aren’t; he touches in one sentence on their not getting the same benefits as actual employees - but doesn’t explore lack of overtime, workers compensation, or unemployment benefits such contractors do not receive; and as far as accident liability, they and not Amazon are on the hook.
I like how he drew comparisons of the site in Baltimore where Beth Steel had once been and the wages, working conditions, and camaraderie that existed then versus the new Amazon facility now occupying that site, but this is part of a larger issue of loss of manufacturing jobs and what is now available to job seekers.
I like the vignettes of tying his reporting to individuals - it humanizes what would otherwise be facts and figures (and I’m still trying to decide if some of his examples had too much of their own baggage that maybe undercut his argument of the impact Amazon was having. ( )
  jimgosailing | Nov 18, 2021 |
OMG. One of my peace vigil buddies mentioned this book, so I put on hold and, eventually, the library let me check it out.

Basically, it tells how we've been f*ed by Amazon. But not just Amazon, other things as well, offshoring, the incredible rise in political lobbying, and so forth. Rather illuminating, if not a bit depressing.

One of the things that set me back was how far the city of Baltimore has fallen since my youth. I grew up there, and when I was a kid, Baltimore was the sixth largest city in the U.S. and had a number of important industries. Such is the case no longer, and Baltimore isn't even so large as formerly piddling cities like Columbus, Ohio or Jackson, Florida. WTF?

( )
  lgpiper | Sep 7, 2021 |
Amazon's Long Shadow. This book seeks to show the America that was, and the America that is in the Age of Amazon and how the former became the latter. And in that goal, it actually does remarkably well. Sprinkling case study after case study after case study with history, political science, and social science, this book truly does a remarkable job of showing the changing reality of living and working in an America that has gone from hyper local business to one of hyper global - and the giant blue smiley swoosh that has accompanied much of this transition over the last 2o years in particular. Very much a literary style work, this perhaps won't work for those looking for a more in-depth attack on Amazon, nor will it really work for those looking for a true in-depth look at Amazon's specific practices. But it does serve as a solid work of showing many of Amazon's overall tactics and how they are both the result of change and the precipice of other change. Very much recommended. ( )
  BookAnonJeff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Important reading, wide-ranging, brimming with facts and figures - undermined by a diffuse, wandering structure and an obsession with real estate values. In his attempt to make this more than just another trash-Amazon book, MacGillis packs in every bit of historic minutiae he has dug out (did we really need pages and pages on the history of the lobbying industry? or brick-making in Baltimore?) to present a more general history of the American retail landscape and how Amazon has disrupted and corrupted it. He may have a bit of a rosy view of previous generations of family-owned businesses, who certainly could be every bit as rapacious and self-serving, and Bethlehem Steel was not exactly a workers' paradise (except they did have unions and an hourly wage twice what Amazon pays in the warehouse that replaced the steel plant). It's just that they didn't have the ability to achieve the same overwhelming scale and power to run roughshod over every conceivable barrier to its sociopathic quest to make all the money in the world its own. But it is good to see laid out, with myriad examples and data points, the Bezos behemoth's manipulation, coercion, elision, evasion, callousness, and deliberate and unrelenting disregard for any harm, ethics, responsibility (like, oh, say, paying any taxes of any kind to anyone on its profits), or basic stuff like letting paramedics use the nearest entrance to help an employee who is bleeding to death under a fallen forklift, and making them walk through the entire warehouse instead. Appalling and vile. ( )
  JulieStielstra | Jul 3, 2021 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Alec MacGillisHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Contré, GuillaumeÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Saysana, MorganeÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Je reste près de l’entrée, j’attrape les objets dès qu’ils sont glissés dans le trou, j’écoute en hochant la tête. Je me suis lentement fondu dans cette cavité.
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Au sous-sol
Hector Torrez1 vivait au sous-sol de la maison à la demande de sa femme. Il n’avait rien fait de mal, n’avait pas donné de coup de canif dans le contrat de mariage. [...]
Chapitre 1

La ville hyper-prospère

Seattle, État de Washington
En Californie, les vétérans de l’armée n’avaient pas droit aux tarifs préférentiels dont bénéficiaient les étudiants résidents, alors que c’était le cas dans l’État de Washington. [...]
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Note :
Certaines parties des chapitres 3 et 7 ont d’abord été publiées
sous une forme légèrement différente dans le New Yorker
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