Right now, President Obama is giving a big speech on the economy at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tennessee. This morning, Shelf Awareness published some letters written by independent booksellers and independent bookselling organizations. Some highlights from the letters:
As you've noted so often, small businesses are the engines of the economy. When a small business fails and closes its doors, this has a ripple effect at both a local and a national level. Jobs are lost, workers lose healthcare and seek unemployment insurance, and purchasing decreases. And while Amazon may now be boasting about the creation of jobs, any gains are elusive, and not a long-term solution.
The simple fact is that Amazon's practices are detrimental to the nation's economy.
This, from a president who has expressed pleasure in shopping at Kramer Books in D.C., and Bunch of Grapes on Martha's Vineyard? We would hope that your administration would be standing with Main Street, and investigating the monopolistic practices of Amazon, rather than either explicitly or tacitly endorsing those practices.
Your appearance at the Amazon warehouse in Chattanooga sends a clear signal to small independent businesses that our value as job creators and community linchpins is not as important as an arrogant chain behemoth's contributions to states' monetary shortfalls and creation of thousands more minimum wage, benefit-poor jobs.