“The Internet is NOT the Answer” by Andrew Keen, QUOTES Part 2
“With the creation of the Web came the creation of a new kind of capitalism. And it has been anything but a cooperative venture.” Keen pg. 33
Andrew Keen makes a really good point; that the internet feels like a democratic, forward thinking affair but when we look at it closely we see that the economics are really quite backward. Under the influence of the internet there is a greater inequity in the distribution of wealth. Fewer Americans can afford the decent minimums in life and a small number of them are amassing an ungodly fortune. In terms of economics is the internet today very democratic or is it really leading towards an oligarchy where a few dozen plutocrats run the show? [If you want to see the very close connection between these plutocrats and white house politicians read Julian Assange’s new book.]
“In 2002 Amazon’s growing financial clout enabled it to take on UPS, wringing significant price concessions from the shipping giant, thereby giving Amazon a major cost advantage over its rivals.” pg. 47
Read the history of the first American “Trust Corporation” called Standard Oil, started and operated by John D. Rockefeller in the early part of the 20th century. Amazon’s wringing price concessions from UPS is exactly what Standard Oil did to the Railroads at the time and which enabled them to gobble up all the competition. It took Congress to pass the Trust-busting laws to break up the monopoly that was created. Today it seems the American people don’t have the antagonism we once had to monopolies. In those days it was clearly unfair business practice to squeeze out the smaller guys. Smaller business were seen to be the backbone of a healthy economy. Now smaller business are on the verge of extinction.
“Brick and mortar retailers employ 47 people per $10 million in sales. Amazon employs 14 people for the same amount. Amazon [has therefore] destroyed 27 thousand jobs since 2012.” pg. 49.
Google employs 46 thousand people with a market cap of $400 billion. General Motors employs 200 thousand people with a $55 billion market cap and that doesn’t include jobs created by dealers, auto-repair shops, etc. Facebook employs 8 thousand people and has a market cap of $140 billion (more than Coca-Cola, Disney or AT&T).
Uber is worth $18 billion and employed 1000 people in 2014! That is equal to the value of Avis and Hertz combined whereas those two companies employ 60 thousand people.
The US music industry lost $12.5 billion in revenue and 71 thousand jobs due to internet companies Napster and others like it.
“Simon Head called Amazon, along with Walmart, the most egregiously ruthless corporation in American.”
Almost every American likes Amazon because it has made everything so easy for the consumer. But what about those who don’t have any money to use Amazon? What if the number of those poor people will only be increasing in the future because of Amazon? We should consider these things not just our own convenience when we consider Amazon and other internet giants.
“It seems like a win-win: we all get free tools and the Internet entrepreneurs get to become super-rich. The problem is that we are all working for Facebook and Google for free, manufacturing the personal data that makes their companies so valuable.”
Posted on June 25, 2015, in Health & Society and tagged Amazon, disappearance of jobs, Facebook, General Motors, Google, internet, oligarchy, plutocrats, Uber. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.